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Configure global navigation and menu links

Menu links are links added to a header. These links require a descriptive label that tells visitors where they're going when they follow the link. Administrators and team members can use menu links to make it easier for site visitors to navigate to additional content related to the site, such as other sites and pages or external web links.

What is global navigation?

Every new site includes global navigation. Global navigation is a site capability that places a compact bar above the header of a site. This bar includes the following options:

  • Sign In—The option to sign in enables administrators, team members, and other members of your organization to access your site. Without global navigation, people will have to sign in to Portal for ArcGIS Enterprise and access Sites through the app switcher.
  • User profile—once signed in, a person's user profile drop-down menu provides access to Sites Settings and the Overview page, depending on their privileges. Once signed in, a person can access their user profile and notifications.
  • A search button—When clicked, the search button expands into a search bar for anyone to use to explore all public content shared with Sites. A person does not need to be signed in to enter a search on a site. Signed in members can also search for private content (items shared with a team to which they belong, or the organization).

What can I link to when creating a menu link?

You can link to any external website by using a URL. You can also choose from items belonging to portal. The following items are supported:

  • Web mapping applications
  • Dashboards
  • Datasets, shapefiles, and CSV files
  • Sites
  • Pages
  • Web maps
  • Documents

For a full list of items supported by Portal for ArcGIS Enterprise, view Supported content.

Add a menu link to a header

A common guideline suggests that 7 is the maximum number of menu links that should be included in a header because a concise a menu is the easiest to remember. This rule doesn't always apply, though, if your content spans a significant breadth. If you have many menu links to add, be sure to consider order and meaningful labels.

  1. Sign in to Portal for ArcGIS and click Sites on the Overview page to view a list of your sites.
  2. Click to open your site.
  3. On the Customize panel, click Header.
  4. Click Menu.
  5. Click Add Link and choose from the following two options:
    • To existing content—Choose from content created by you, your team, your organization, or the public.
    • To external page—Copy and paste a link in the Link Destination field. Provide a name for the link in the Link Name field.

    Descriptive labels answer questions rather than simply indicating what type of content is behind a link. For example, the label Videos is generic compared to FAQs, Success Stories, and Learn More. Embedding a video or photo as part of a story or resource page is more effective than a link to a video with no context.

  6. Click Save.

Menu links on mobile devices

To ensure the best experience for people viewing a site on a mobile device, the site's header is designed to be mobile responsive. This means that anything included in a site's header, including logo, name, and menu links, can collapse into a drop-down menu depending on the screen size of the device.


Global navigation impacts header display on mobile devices. If you’ve added a logo to your header, it will appear in the global navigation bar when viewed on a mobile device. This means that if you have a light-colored logo and a light global navigation background, there will most likely not be enough color contrast for your logo to be accessible. If you have both a name and a logo in your header, use a short name to ensure that your site’s title does not get truncated.

Change a menu link label

Follow these steps to change the name of a menu link.

  1. Open the site you want to edit.
  2. On the side panel, click Header.
  3. Click Menu.
  4. Click the setting button on the link you want to edit.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Enter a new name in the Link Name field.
  7. Click Save.

Reorder a menu link

The order in which menu links are displayed makes a difference. Prioritize resources that you think have the most value to a visitor by placing their links in the beginning of the menu. Recent content can be linked toward the end of the menu. People are most likely to remember links in these places.

  1. Open the site you want to edit.
  2. On the Customize panel, click Header.
  3. Click Menu.
  4. Click the menu link to drag it to a new spot in the list.
  5. Click Save.

Configure social media links

Add icons for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to a site's menu.

  1. Open the site you want to edit.
  2. On the Customize panel, click Header.
  3. Click Social Icons.
  4. Click to turn on the icons you want to display.
  5. For each icon you want visible, paste a URL for the account you want to link to.
  6. Click Save.

Remove a menu link

Follow these steps to remove a menu link from a site's header.

  1. Open the site you want to edit.
  2. On the Customize panel, click Header.
  3. Click Menu.
  4. Click the setting button on the link you want to edit.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Click Remove Link.
  7. Click Save.