A while ago I wrote an article on how to hide pages when using the Headway Theme for WordPress.
Since I wrote that article, there have been a number of changes to WordPress, and also Headway Theme which have made that article somewhat redundant. I still get a reasonable amount of traffic to that page and I see it’s still a popular question being asked on the Headway Theme forum, so I thought it was time to write an update to show you how to do it in 2012!
In the old article, I talked about using the Headway page options to hide a page. When you were adding (or writing) the new page, there was an option within the Headway options to hide that page from the Navigation Bar. That option no longer exists!
In addition, I also suggested making the page No-Index and No-Follow so Google didn’t crawl it.
Hiding a Page In Headway 2012 Style
In one of the recent WordPress updates, they added more functionality to the WordPress menu that made the page hiding a little redundant in Headway.
Now in WordPress you have a ‘Menus’ section within the ‘Appearance’ settings.
You have the ability to set up custom menus within WordPress. You then tell Headway Theme which menu to use.
So the adding or removing pages is now done within WordPress, not Headway.
Initially, you need to set up a menu – I call it ‘Main Menu’.
You then drag across the pages you want to include in the menu (it’s cut off in the picture here, but to the left of these settings is a list of all your pages).
You can drag them up or down to re-order them.
You can also nestle pages under other pages to make little sub-navigation groups i.e. hover over the top item and the ones underneath appear.
Importantly, there’s a radio button called ‘Automatically Add New Top-Level Pages’ (I’ve indicated it here with a big fat arrow!). I leave this unchecked. If I add any new pages, I’ll manually go to this menu page and add it to the menu bar.
If you check this box, if you add a new page that you want to be hidden, it won’t be!
Now you save this menu.
On the left hand side of that page, you tell WordPress where to display this menu that you’ve just created.
In the case of Headway, it is able to support two different menus. In this screenshot I’ve applied the settings so the menu will appear on the front page and other pages of my blog (it’s for a different site than this one).
I can’t remember exactly the order to do this, but I seem to remember that you need to have a page set up in Headway’s visual editor (and saved) before these Navigation #’s will appear in the WordPress menu (it took me a while to figure that out!).
This example is using WordPress version 3.4 and Headway Theme version 3.2.1.
I like the option of using two menus. I haven’t done it on this site as it’s running Headway V2 (still waiting for a simple upgrade guys!). I have another site running V3 and I’m considering adding a second menu to that one. I’m thinking of having one top menu with a few key pages on it, but another menu below it somewhere that has some more targeted pages on it.
The Final Step
Now, you may think that this is enough – the page no longer shows in the navigation menu and it’s not crawled by Google. Well…think again.
Apparently WordPress isn’t smart enough to exclude these pages from your site search. So if someone uses the search box on your site (if you have one), they can find pages that are supposed to be hidden. So if you want to hide a secret page (like a product download page), people can still find it in your site search. Crazy, isn’t it!
When I wrote the original article, I could have sworn that these steps were enough and I’m sure that the pages I wanted hidden, remained hidden. But then sometime later I realised they could be found in a site search. Whether something changed or whether I just didn’t check it well enough, I’ll never know!
I wish WordPress would add a check box that you can tick to exclude a page from the navigation, site search etc.
So, to really hide a page, you need a plugin.
I use the Search Everything plugin which, despite the name, gives you the option to exclude pages or categories from your searches.
It’s very simple to install and setup. In its settings you add the page IDs of the pages that you want to exclude.
How do you find a Page ID in WordPress? Go to your pages menu to display all your pages and hover your mouse over the page titles. At the bottom of the page you’ll see the URL which will contain a ‘Post Number’. This is the number you add into the box. Add multiple pages using a comma to separate them.
Once these options are entered, test them. Use your search box and search using the page titles. Hopefully these pages won’t appear in the search results.
That’s it! Hopefully these instructions will help all Headway users learn how to hide pages from their navigation menu, and also from site search.
These instructions are current as at June 2012, and are likely to change at some point in the future!
If they’ve helped you or if you have any questions or comments, please leave a message below. And if you haven’t checked out Headway Theme yet, do so.
- Headway Theme – How To Hide Pages
- Headway 1.5 Theme Review
- Headway Theme Version 2 Coming Soon
- Headway Theme 3.0 Review and Sneak Peak
- How to giveaway e-books on your site using Headway theme