Site Navigation

Creating A Site
Step 6 of 6

You could have the greatest site in the multi-verse, but if users can’t navigate it, it’s all for naught. Fortunately Liferay DXP provides extensive support for customizing your site’s navigation. There are two main ways to define and customize site navigation:

  1. In the site’s theme. This is the primary and most powerful way to manage site navigation. Themes in Liferay DXP can customize any aspect of a site, including its navigation. Defining site navigation in the theme provides a uniform look and feel across the site.

  2. With apps. Navigation apps can define navigation on a page-by-page basis. For example, the Navigation Menu app displays a navigable page hierarchy of the site. You can select which page in the hierarchy to use as the root. There’s also the Breadcrumb app, which displays the trail of pages in the hierarchy that lead to the current page. Like a trail of breadcrumbs in the woods, this app lets users retrace their steps so they don’t get lost.

These two ways of defining site navigation can be used together. Like page templates, themes can define which apps appear in a site. You’ve already seen an example of this in action without being aware of it. The Lunar Resort uses the Liferay DXP’s default theme, Classic. This theme embeds the Navigation Menu app as the site navigation bar. Therefore, the Lunar Resort’s navigation bar is nothing more than a Navigation Menu app configured to display the entire site’s page hierarchy.

You won’t change the theme the Lunar Resort uses, but you’ll fine-tune the site’s navigation by adding another Navigation Menu app and a Breadcrumb app.

Adding a Navigation Menu App

The current Navigation Menu app does a fine job of defining the Lunar Resort’s navigation bar, so why would you want to add another one? For footer navigation, of course! Once a page requires scrolling, the navigation bar disappears. It’s therefore useful to have another one at the bottom of the page. Follow these steps to add and configure such a Navigation Menu app:

  1. Go to the Lunar Resort’s Welcome page.

  2. Click the Add button (Add) on the upper right and expand the ApplicationsContent Management category in the menu.

  3. Drag a Navigation Menu app onto the page below the existing content.

  4. Mouse over the Navigation Menu app and click the app’s Options menu (Options) on the right hand side of the portlet bar. Then select Look and Feel Configuration.

  5. Set Application Decorators to Barebone, click Save, then close the dialog box.

  6. Now select Configuration from the Navigation Menu app’s Options menu (Options).

  7. For Display Template, select Bar minimally justified styled.

  8. Leave the rest of the default settings alone, then click Save and close the dialog box.

The navigation footer should look like this:

Figure 1: The Welcome page now has a navigation footer.

Figure 1: The Welcome page now has a navigation footer.

Great! Next, you’ll add a Breadcrumb app.

Adding a Breadcrumb App

To add the Breadcrumb app, you’ll leverage the power of Page Templates. Recall that you created the Lunar Guide pages using a template with the Blogs app in the right hand column of the page. Since Liferay DXP propagates template changes to the pages, you’ll now change the template to add a Breadcrumb app to each of the Lunar Guide pages. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open the Main Menu and select Control PanelSitesPage Templates.

  2. In the list of page templates, click Lunar Guide Page.

  3. Add a Breadcrumb application from the Content Management category to the page template’s left column (next to the Blogs application).

  4. Open Breadcrumb app’s Options menu (Options) and select Look and Feel Configuration.

  5. Change Application Decorators to Barebone, then click Save and close the dialog.

  6. Close the page template editing tab/window.

  7. Navigate to one of the lunar guide pages. The Breadcrumb now appears alongside the Blogs app.

    Figure 2: After adding the Breadcrumb app to the page template, the app appears on each lunar guide page, to the left of the Blogs app.

    Figure 2: After adding the Breadcrumb app to the page template, the app appears on each lunar guide page, to the left of the Blogs app.

As you’ve seen, the Navigation Menu and Breadcrumb apps help users traverse page hierarchies. These apps are invaluable for any site with complex page hierarchies.

Awesome! Now that you’ve created your site’s framework with pages and navigation, you’ll fill the site with content.

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