Is there a maximum number of links you should have on a single page? In theory you could have any number but after a certain amount the page will surely become too unwieldy.
I ask because I was recently discussing how to layout the menu of my CMS. Looking at the various tree menu systems’s I soon realised that they were all unusable in a system where any category can be a child of any other, and any ‘depth’ is possible. For example a sub sub sub sub sub category.
Think of a classic node type menu, where you click a node to expand the sub categories. Sure it may look nice to begin with, but after a few sub sub categories appear it will start to look a little ragged. Even if there is no extra indentation, there is still the problem of trying to differentiate between all the different parent categories.
Then the number of possible links a CMS menu might have makes you wonder just how many links should appear on each and every page of your site! Filesize would be increased, navigating the links becomes more difficult, keyboard navigating becomes tedious and boring and probably more! All of which will detract visitors from revisiting your site. Yes broadband access is making things easier, but not everyone has it!
In my CMS I came up with a compromise, 3 sections of links:
- Sub Categories of the current category(with an ‘Up a level’ link)
- Pages in the current category
- Top level categories
But what are the alternatives? and what is the best solution?