How to Add an External Link to Your WordPress Menu

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.

How to add a link to another site

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.

Label the link as external

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.

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  1. Sneha Sneha

    Nice post thanks for sharing

  2. Ruchi Adhikari Ruchi Adhikari

    nice post.

  3. Insights Success Insights Success

    Its a useful post for me. Thank you Ben. Keep posting.

  4. Shaun Bracey Shaun Bracey

    Excellent post – really easy to understand and clearly written – thanks.

  5. Eugen Eugen

    Hm, thanks, although it doesn’t work in my case trying to change the menu button link ID ; /?p=19 to /?p=1 . it highlights the button but till showing the old link that is good for nothing to me. 🙂

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      Based on those link parameters, you would be linking the visitor to the post/page on your site with an ID of 1 instead of 19 (which is probably the “Hello World” post). Why not use the “Post” or “Page” sections in the Menu editor in that case? This tutorial is specifically about linking to external URLs meaning pages that are not on your own site. You can copy and paste whatever link you want into the “Custom Links” section without needing to edit any URL parameters.

  6. David Jeson David Jeson

    Really Great work Man, Thanks for sharing useful formation. All of the posts on your blog are having informative and valuable content. Appreciate your efforts.

  7. Nyssa Nyssa

    Hi there! Super helpful post – thank you! Do you know how you can set the link to open in a new tab? Not sure if there’s a way to do that but would be awesome if there was.

    Thanks again!

  8. Tkies Tkies

    I like working in WordPress other than any tool.
    Whatever you just said was on the point.
    Loved it!

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