When you publish a new page in WordPress, it does not automatically display on any menus you’ve created, unless this box is checked in the settings for a particular menu:
By default, WordPress leaves the auto-add box unchecked.
Note that, even if you have checked this box, sub-pages or child pages will not automatically display. Only top-level pages can be auto-added.
“I’ve just installed WordPress and I never checked any box, yet pages are automatically showing up in my navigation menu” – that’s because you haven’t set up a WordPress menu yet, and until you do that, your navigation will show all top-level pages in alphabetical order.
Why It’s Better Not To Use Auto-Add
Here are a few reasons why I recommend leaving the auto-add top-level pages to menus box unchecked:
- Auto-added pages automatically go to the end of the menu.
In most you’ll still need to go into your menu settings to move that page where you want it, so you haven’t saved any steps by using auto-add.
- WordPress automatically uses your page’s title for the navigation label.
In most cases you’ll want to shorten the title for use on the menu, so again, you’ll need to edit your page’s menu listing, which means you didn’t save any steps by using auto-add.
- Not all pages will belong on your main navigation.
A good example would be a thank you page for signing up to your newsletter. Leaving auto-add off ensures that pages aren’t showing up on your menu when you don’t want them there.
It’s true that you might forget to add a new page to your menu, but you should be checking your new page to see how it looks on your site, and at that point you’ll notice it’s not on the menu.