Naming Menu Items

On our websites, we put a good deal of effort into naming our web pages and menu items. Let’s first identify several components:

  • Domain name — the unique web address name, like
  • URL segment — a piece of the URL after the domain name
  • Link name — the short name that appears in the menu
  • Title — a longer name that may appear when you hover, or in the browser title bar
  • The complete URL is the domain name, plus all URL segments needed to uniquely identify this page.

The URL for the page you are on, for example, is:

Notice that in the menu, How To is the major, or top level. Menus is a second level page. And this page, Naming is third level. This means that you won’t see this link if you are looking at the top level page Options.

The title is Naming Menu Items - JWebs, and it should appear if you mouse over the link name, or in the title bar on many browsers.

Choosing a URL segment

It should be meaningful, and short. Always remember that someone might be trying to type the URL into their smart phone.

Choosing a link name

This should also be meaningful, but short. There is only so much space before it will spill over to the next line, and then your menu will be much more confusing to visitors. And just because the link name fits on the line in your browser, doesn’t mean that your visitor is using the same size font you are. They may have vision problems, and their browser may be set up for a minimum font size.

We have included a page below with an intentionally over-long link name.

Choosing a title

This can be longer, to better explain the page. It also has some value in Search Engine Optimization, but that’s another topic.


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