The next important choice that you have is which style of navigation to use on your website. There are 3 major types of navigation to consider:

Option 1: Vertical Navigation:
Vertical navigation runs down the left-hand side of the page, and is often located just under your company’s logo on the website. This is the most common type of navigation. And, it’s so popular for a couple of reasons:

  • First of all, it’s popular because it is so common. Visitors are used to looking for the navigation of a website along the left-hand side, so it makes browsing quick and seamless.
  • It’s expandable. There’s a lot more room down the side of the average website than across the top – so there’s a lot more space available to put more pages.
  • Navigation items take up less room vertically than horizontally. The text used on navigation buttons is shorter vertically than across, so, again, you can fit more items on this type of navigation bar.
  • There are a lot of style choices available, from a plain and clean bar style, to more complicated button-like choices. These all look great in a side bar and don’t make the page look too busy because they’re put aside in their own little space.
  • If you do choose to go with vertical navigation, there are a few rules about using it well:

    • Don’t make your page titles too long. While your names for your pages can be longer than with horizontal navigation, they still can’t be whole sentences – don’t get carried away. You can get away with a page title that wraps to 2 lines in your vertical navigation, but more than that starts to look inelegant and becomes hard to read.
    • Don’t put your vertical navigation in a strange place. Vertical navigation that’s too close to the top of the site design, or that’s right-aligned, can be confusing and disorienting for visitors. It’s the expected norm for vertical navigation to be on the left side of the browser window. Even though it may seem boring and standard to do it that way, it will make your site more user-friendly to put the navigation in the usual place.
    • Don’t make the navigation too long. Web visitors have short attention spans, and don’t want to search through a long list of navigation items. If you do have a lot of pages in your site, categorize them so that you can use secondary or even tertiary navigation to guide the visitor through all of the pages on the site.