How to Add an External Link to Your WordPress Menu

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Are you new to WordPress?

Customizing your menu is one of the most important steps to customizing your site.

As you probably learned already, your menu can include links to all of the “Pages” you publish from your admin dashboard. But that’s not all you can add to your menu. You can also add links to posts, category archives, and external links leading to pages on other websites.

In this tutorial, you’ll find a few steps to create a custom menu and add an external link to it.

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The first step is to visit the Customizer (Appearance > Customize). You’ll find the Menus section all the way at the bottom.

Menus Section Customizer
This is the Customizer view in the Challenger theme.

In the Menus section, you can create new menus, assign them to locations in the theme, and edit existing menus.

Menus In Customizer

If you don’t have a custom menu created yet, click the Create New Menu button. Otherwise, select one of the existing menus.

In the next panel, click the Add Items button to add a new menu item.

Add Menu Items

This will open up a side panel where you can choose between adding custom links, pages, posts, categories, and tags.

Add Menu Item Panel
The Pages section will be open by default.

Click on Custom Links and you’ll find an input where you can enter any URL you want.

Custom Link Section

This is how you can enter an external link. Since the URL will accept any valid link, you can enter a URL linking to any page on the web. You can also use the Link Text input to set the text for the menu item.

Finally, click the Add to Menu button and the menu item will be added to your menu.

When adding external links to your menu, it’s usually a good idea to label them so visitors don’t accidentally leave your site.

Follow along with this short tutorial to learn how to add an external link icon to any menu item on your site:

How to Add an External Link Icon to Any WordPress Menu Item


Adding external links is simple once you know where to find the option. Adding menus via the Customizer instead of the Menus page in your dashboard also lets you watch your changes live as you make them.

To summarize, the steps are:

  • Visit the Customizer
  • Open the Menus section
  • Create a new menu or click on an existing one
  • Click the Add Items button
  • Select the Custom Links section
  • Enter in the URL and Link Text for the new menu item
  • Click the Add to Menu button to add the new menu item to your menu

External links are especially handy if you have a landing page hosted on a third-party platform or an event on another site to promote. Now that you know how to add them, you can easily customize the menus in your WordPress site.

If you have any questions or feedback about this post, please leave a comment below.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.