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Boston University Launches Navigation Plugin

Another day, another inventive approach to WordPress. I’m always intrigued by the solutions people create to solve issues they are having with their WordPress sites. Boston University has created such a solution, in the form of a clever plugin that handles site navigation.

The aptly named BU Navigation Plugin aims to, according to their developer page, ‘tame even the most unruly of site structures’ and is designed with large sites in mind. The larger the page count on the site the more impact the BU Navigation Plugin can have.

Tame those pages.

Tame those pages.

It’s seems like a pretty intriguing idea: replace the traditional menu and parent page style of WordPress and replace it with drag and drop ordering.  This simplifies it visually and operationally.

Enter the edit order screen and order the entire hierarchy of your site, in individual moves, or in bulk.

Screenshot of the drag and drop page ordering.

Screenshot of the drag and drop page ordering.

You can add a custom navigation widget to your sidebar which is sourced from your page hierarchy. It also allows you to add external links to these navigation lists.  Want the navigation label for a page to be different than it’s title, no problem, it’s covered.

I can imagine on large WordPress sites that a plugin like this would save time, energy and headaches, especially if a redesign or restructuring is coming.  And while a plugin like this is not necessary, it sure would make life easier.  And isn’t that one thing plugins are for?

The BU Navigation Plugin is also on GitHub with access to code files, FAQ, screenshots, and the changelog.  If you want to see the development that’s gone on or are curious to see the code itself, head on over.

Check out the code and see if you can help improve the plugin.

Check out the code and see if you can help improve the plugin.

BU Navigation Plugin is still early in its development but it is prime for trial.  Is your site heading towards a restructuring or just a much overdo clean up?

It is available for free download, so why not give this plugin a shot and report back to the community what your hands on experience was like?

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  • http://geek.ryanhellyer.net/ Ryan Hellyer

    If you are looking for something a little simpler and lighter, perhaps check out the Metronet Reorder Posts plugin that Ronald Huereca and I wrote a while back. It’s not as feature rich as the BU plugin, but it is very useful for when you only need to reorder your posts/pages.

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      Ah, yes. Thanks for that Ryan!

  • gwc_wd

    I’m having a brain freeze. I don’t understand what this plugin is doing that is not already available in the Menus UI. You can add, remove, reorder pages, internal or external links, via Appearances –> Menus admin. The BU plugin doesn’t appear to handle posts but remains page-centric. What am I missing?

    • http://geek.ryanhellyer.net/ Ryan Hellyer

      From what I can tell (I haven’t actually tried the plugin), it actually reorders the pages, rather than just creating a menu. Plus it has a few other features that might be useful.

      It’s the sort of thing you might use on a massive site with thousands of pages. I don’t think it would be useful to many people.

      • http://www.cambrennan.com Cam Brennan

        You are correct sir:

        “The larger the page count on the site the more impact the BU Navigation Plugin can have.”