Hierarchy and Navigation are briefly covered in the Basic Site Management tutorial, but Site Navigation is such a critical component to the Sitemason platform that it deserves its own tutorial.
How Navigational Hierarchy Works
The site hierarchy is not only a way to organize your content for your management, but for most websites, also controls the display of navigation menus on a website. For example, you can see in the example below how the hierarchy in the sitemason.com site relates 1:1 to the site menus on our website.
Obviously not all pages must be selected to display in the site navigation menus. Depending on whether the site is marked to "Include in Navigation" (covered below), it is highlighted differently in the hierarchy of the CMS. Those marked to display in the navigation get a blue background behind the white page icon, while pages not marked for navigation are unhighlighted with a black page icon. This is best shown with an example. Here's another screenshot of the Sitemason navigational hierarchy but showing the last few pages listed in the navigation plus a few that are not. In our case, pages about Sharing, details about our Commerce offerings, and our Sitemap do not need to be listed in our main navigation and are instead linked elsewhere on our site.
Adding a Page to the Navigation
By default, when a page is added to your website, it is left out of the navigation. This is based on the assumption that you will need to add content to the page before it's ready to be listed in your website's navigation.
When you are ready to add your page to the navigation, go to the tool's Site Settings tab, and the very first option is a checkbox to "Include in Navigation". Simply select the checkbox and save the tool.
Covered in more detail in the Navigation Links tutorial, Navigation Links are items in your site menu that are not pages, but simply just that, just a link to another page or website.
Navigation Links are useful for linking to pages within your site that might be important, but are buried in the hierarchy and you wish for the link to be prominent in your menu. In example of this is our Sitemason Blog. It's location is sitemason.com/about/news, in the second level of navigation within the About section, but we want it also linked from the top level.
Another common use for Navigation Links is to link off to a third party website directly from your menu. This might be a sister company, or a common resource. Like if you are a garden supply reseller and want a link off to your supplier's site to see a full line of their products.
Being able to quickly reorder your website's menus and hierarchy is essential for maintenance. And Reordering, also covered in the Basic Site Management tutorial is a great for moving pages and folders around to meet your site's needs.
Select Reorder from the Action Bar atop the Site panel, and drag and drop your pages to the desired location.