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.

Do not rely solely on navboxes for links to articles highly relevant to a particular article. Navboxes are not displayed on the mobile website for Wikipedia, which accounts for around half of readers. See Phabricator ticket T124168 for progress on the mobile issue.

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.



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

Properties

The style of any navigation template depends on its articles, how they are most intuitively presented, and previously established convention.

Navigation templates provide navigation within Wikipedia

Navigation templates provide navigation among existing articles

Navigation templates provide navigation between related articles

Navigation templates are not arbitrarily decorative

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Icons

Advantages

See also: Wikipedia:A navbox on every page § Benefits of navboxes; and Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates § Advantages

Advantages of using navigation templates rather than listing all the links under "See also" sections include:

Alternatives

In certain cases, there are alternatives preferable over the creation of a new navigation template.

Template limits

Main page: Help:Templates § Template limits

There are limits to the number of templates an article may have. When a page exceeds this limit it may look fine in preview but, after the edit is saved, one or more footer navboxes display as wikilinks to the now excess navboxes (for example, displaying a link to "Template:Navbox" rather than the Navbox template itself). Solutions for this problem include (a) removing a template, and (b) setting up the footer navboxes so the least important one becomes the "extra" navbox (the one the reader will have to navigate to a separate page to in order to view).

See also

Navigation templates comparison
Template Collapsible Header color Image Groups Style (body)
parameter/s
((Navbox)) collapsible navbox Left/right of body Yes Yes
((Navbox with collapsible groups)) collapsible navbox Left/right of body and/or in each list Yes Yes
((Navbox with columns)) collapsible navbox Left/right of columns No Yes
Collapsible attributes
Type CSS classes JavaScript Collapses when Custom
initial state
Nesting
Collapsible tables mw-collapsible Defined in Common.js 2 or more autocollapse on page Yes Yes