Wikipedia:Navigation template

A navigation template is a grouping of links used in multiple related articles to facilitate navigation between those articles. Editing of a navigation template is done in a central place, the template page.

There are two main varieties of navigation template: navigation boxes (or navboxes), designed to sit at the very bottom of articles, and sidebars, designed to sit at the side of the article text. The two are complementary and either or both may be appropriate in different situations.

The usual way to create navigation templates is to use the {{navbox}} or {{sidebar}} master templates. This simplifies the process of creating a functional and consistent template.

Navboxes are categorized under Category:Navigational boxes. Some WikiProjects maintain a list of their navigation templates.

Types

The two main types of navigation template are navboxes and sidebars. The two serve similar purposes: to allow related subjects to link to each other easily in a consistent manner.

  • Navboxes are footer templates that sit below the standard article appendices and are laid out horizontally. They are created using the {{navbox}} template. An example navbox template is shown below:


  • Sidebars sit alongside content, in the same manner as infoboxes, and are predominantly laid out vertically. They are created using the {{sidebar}} template. An example sidebar is shown to the right:


The two types are used interchangeably, and either or both may be appropriate in different circumstances. The primary differences between the two are:

  • Navboxes are laid out horizontally, and so work best for longer lists of links in a small number of sub-categories. As they are placed at the very bottom of articles, they are better for broader lists of links than would be appropriate in a sidebar. Articles often have more than one navbox and content may overlap to a degree: nevertheless, not everything needs a navbox, so navbox templates should only be created when they would be genuinely useful as navigational tools.
  • Sidebars are laid out predominantly vertically, and are placed relatively prominently in the body of articles alongside the text. This makes them useful for smaller amounts of directly relevant links. Tangential information should be kept out of sidebars. Few articles have more than one sidebar.