The best WordPress menu plugins expand on the default menus already available in WordPress. Menus are an important feature of your website because they serve as the main guide for your visitors.
In this guide, we’ll recap some of the best WordPress menu plugins out there so you can pick the right one for your website. Then, you’ll be able to use it for creating highly customizable menus that help users get where they need to go. Let’s dive in!
What is a WordPress Menu Plugin?
A WordPress menu plugin provides additional functionality for creating website navigation menus beyond the default or native WordPress menu feature. When you install and activate your menu plugin, it will replace the default menu options from WordPress.
You might think that using the standard menus available on WordPress, or within your chosen WordPress theme, are all you need. But many times a more complex menu is required to serve a specific purpose.
If you need more features or complex functionality beyond what’s built-in to WordPress menus or if you just want the capability of expanding your menu functionality, a WordPress menu plugin can give you the options you are seeking.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Menu Plugin For 2022
When it comes to selecting the best WordPress menu plugin for your site, there are a few important things to consider.
Start by defining what needs you have for your menu. Things like media support for product images or a mega menu need to be considered when looking for the menu plugin that will work best on your website.
Your website’s navigation menus need to work on all devices, from desktops and laptops to mobile devices and smartphones. Your WordPress menu plugin should be responsive, meaning menus automatically adjust to the size of any device.
Menus shouldn’t slow your site down. Website speed is increasingly important for SEO. Choose a plugin with a solid code base that is optimized and built with speed in mind.
4. Developer Credibility
There are trusted developers that maintain and update their plugins. Also, they have good customer service and detailed information for easy installation. Choosing a plugin with established developer credibility is always the best option.
5. Active Installations
More people using a plugin means more insight into that plugin. Plus, it’s likely that a well-used plugin will remain up-to-date and secure from vulnerabilities.
If you want to install a plugin from an external site, check for malicious codes before progressing. The free WordPress.oActiverg plugin repository analyzes the code of plugins made available on their sites. External ones will need a thorough analysis to guarantee the safety of the code (hint: don’t download or install versions of premium plugins from bootleg or nulled sources; most usually have malware or other dangerous code).
7. Reviews and Ratings
Look for what others have to say about the different menu plugins. People give feedback on purchased products, installed software, and many more. Thus, faulty plugins with complications will be rated badly, and this would help you avoid the mistake too.
Customize Your Menu Without Additional Plugins
You have options in many themes to customize your menu beyond the basic WordPress menu options. Kadence Theme Premium options include Ultimate Menu. With this next-level feature, you can use icons in your menu item labels, create multi-column dropdowns, customize content for dropdowns, and create custom backgrounds for dropdowns.
If you are looking for an option for mega sub-menus, highlight tags, and icons, then the Kadence Theme Premium is a powerful option.
Now, for our list of best WordPress menu plugins.
The Best WordPress Menu Plugins For 2022 Compared
To help you choose the best WordPress menu plugin, we tested multiple WordPress menu plugins to highlight the features that each plugin provides, from the simple to the complex.
We’ve included both free and premium plugin options, so you can also decide your level of investment. Each plugin includes information on features, pros, cons, pricing, and our final verdict.
As the name implies, Mega Menu by Megamenu.com is a plugin that automatically converts a menu into a mega menu with the use of drop builders in the dashboard; that is, it changes it to become touch-friendly, easily accessible. You will be able to restyle your menu using your theme editor and change the behavior using the built-in settings. Max Mega Menu is a complete menu management plugin.
Take control of your menu and turn it into exactly what you need.
Also, this plugin allows you to build complicated menus, add interactive features, and include calendars and forms. It includes accessibility features.
More so, the mega menu feature for this plugin is free, and unlike other plugins, it loads fast and is lightweight.
Furthermore, it has a pro version, which is an extension of the standard mega menu, and you install it as a separate plugin.
- Automatic support for native touch events
- Off Canvas Mobile Menu option built in
- Specify your own Responsive Breakpoint
- For items with sub menus, choose between “First click opens sub menu, second click closes sub menu” or “First click opens sub menu, second click follows link”
- Option to hide sub menus on mobile
- Mobile Toggle Bar designer allows you to tailor the toggle bar elements to fit in with your site design
- Builds upon the standard WordPress menus system
- Supports multiple menu locations each with their own configuration
- Off canvas (slide in from left or right) or standard drop down mobile menu
- Organise your sub menus into rows and columns using the Grid Layout builder
- Display WordPress Widgets in your menu
- Customise the styling of your menus using a built in theme editor
- Supports Flyout (traditional) or Mega Menu sub menu styles
- Hover, Hover Intent or Click event to open sub menus
- Fade, Fade Up, Slide Up or Slide sub menu transitions
- Add icons to menu items
- Menu item options including Hide Text, Disable Link, Hide on Mobile etc
- Align menu items to the left or right of the menu bar
- Align sub menus to left or right of parent menu item
- Keyboard Navigation built in
TABactivates keyboard navigation and navigates through the menu
ENTERon a parent item opens a sub menu (pressing
ENTERa second time will respect the “Second Click Behaviour” setting)
ENTERon a standard item will follow the link
SPACEtoggles the sub menu visibility
ESCcloses all open sub menus
- Great visuals like sticky menus, tabbed mega menus, custom icons, menu logos, Google and custom fonts, and menu item badges.
- Access to priority support
- Automatic WooCommerce and EDD updates
Pros to Max Menu Plugin:
One significant advantage you would enjoy while using Mega Menus is the number of features included in the free plugin. This is a great perk for small and medium-sized businesses seeking to maximize costs.
Furthermore, using Mega Menus your options are organized. You know having scattered, unarranged groups when working can be frustrating.
Reviewers rave about the support you get with this plugin. With over 400,000+ active installations, the plugin has a 4.5-star average review.
Cost of Max Menu Plugin Pro:
- Personal License for 1 site: $29/yr
- Business License for 5 sites: $49/yr
- Developer License for 99 sites: $99/yr
Responsive Menu by Express Tech is one of the best WordPress menu plugins for mobile readiness. This plugin allows you to create full responsive menus for your sites, with mobile development for smartphones and tablets due to its many features.
It has over 150 customization options and 22,500 different menus for user navigation. BONUS: No coding experience or knowledge is needed to make it work for your website.
Also, it supports shortcodes, WPML, loads amazingly fast and after installment, you can build your custom responsive menus in no time.
Like the Mega Menu, it also comes with a free version. However, there is a paid premium version with expanded and extended features.
- Supports external scripts
- Supports background images and CSS elements
- Has an integrated header bar
- An extensive list of options for customizing menu
- Controls typography settings in the menu
- You can upload pictures for background photos while uploading other images as logos and icons
- Personal menu creation option
Advanced & Pro Functionality:
- Preview your changes before implementing
- Animate the menu items when menu is opened
- FontIcon Support for individual menu items
- 15 button animation effects
- Colour opacity for all colours
- Custom overlay colour and opacity
- Integrated header bar
- Let the plugin provide and style your main menu as well as hamburger menu
If you need to change your mobile view and you need a desktop image change, you should consider installing the responsive menu plugin.
- 1 site: $49/yr
- 2 – 5 sites: $79/yr
- 100 sites: $95/yr
UberMenu by sevenspark is a popular premium plugin for menus. It’s easy to use for customizing to your specific and unique needs ad it’s highly responsive. It provides an amazing menu for all devices and features your personal photos and images.
There’s even room for further complexity by the integration of third-party widgets into the menu.
The plugin is widely used and rated Number 1 on CodeCanyon with over 75,000 sales, is easy to learn, and install, and supports over 50 style combos.
- Fully Responsive
- Works with the WordPress 3 Menu System
- Includes 20 Style Presets
- Fully Responsive
- Slide and Fade Effects
- Click, Hover, or HoverIntent Trigger
- Vertical and Horizontal Orientations
- Add Images to Menu Items
- Add Descriptions to Menu Items
- Add shortcodes to menu
- Widgetized submenus
One of the advantages of using UberMenu is that, as a premium-based login, you can test the software to purchase the right product.
Cons of UberMenu: No free version
Installing UberMenu Plugin will permit you to add items automatically to the menu.
- Personal License for 1 site: $25
QuadMenu Plugin by Mega Menu is one of the latest plugins for WordPress, which allows integration of menus in your theme project. It lets you create your menu simplistically for a variety of themes. It is the best responsive mega menu designed with developers in mind.
There are several available menus in this plugin like the main menu and carousel.
Visual is essential in this plugin as you can change your choice of colors and fonts.
QuadMenu supports developers with a professional version that has a variety of added menus and premium licenses.
- Menu works well on mobile devices
- Supports Google Fonts and animation styles
- Unlimited number of themes for your website
- Allows menu integration to dine either manually or automatically
- You can include more than just menus in this plugin. You can add Icons, tabs, register, and social menus.
- Dead and Drop panel that allows you to manage your mega menu, add new elements and columns.
QuadMenu has a variety of menu options not limited to Mega Menus alone; you can add other menu options like social or carousel. Plus, the premium version comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Personal – 1 site license: $30
- Agency – 5 site licenses: $60
- Developer – unlimited site licenses: $90/yr
Superfly Responsive Plugin by envatoelements is one of the best WordPress plugins, popular for the beautiful vertical menus. Also, they have unique side menus that will make your design or work stand out.
Social media buttons, images, and full-screen mode are features of this plugin. The vertical menus are suitable for mobile visitors, and you get to slide your way through using the navigation menu.
You can fully customize the plugins with a variety of colors, fonts, and icons, and it supports Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. You can add social links also.
Superfly works well on mobile versions.
- You can switch old or boring themes for creative vertical ones
- Users have a full screen view to avoid distraction when in use
- Animations are powered by C223; they are lovely and unique when compared to other plugins
- Short codes can be used to adjust errors in content areas
- Fully responsive
- Variety of colors and fonts to choose from
If you are a business owner that likes the vertical style, this plugin is for you.
Cons of Superfly Responsive Plugin: You must be a member of Envato elements. An individual plan will run you $16.50/month.
The WordPress menu plugins listed above are some of the best plugins you can use in WordPress. After reading, you should easily be able to find a favorite that is suitable for your site.
These WordPress menu plugins have similar functions, versatility, effectiveness, and customization options. Remember the speed of a plugin depends on its loaded content. However, most of these plugins should work perfectly and won’t slow down your page load times.
No matter which WordPress menu plugin you pick from the list, they are all great options and offer everything you need to get started building custom menus for your WordPress website.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. As marketing director here at iThemes, she’s dedicated to helping you find the best ways to build, manage, and maintain effective WordPress websites. Kristen also enjoys journaling (check out her side project, The Transformation Year!), hiking and camping, step aerobics, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.