Top 5 WordPress Menu Plugins (Pros and Cons Compared) blog image

Want to design multi-layered, sophisticated menus for your website? Building and styling website menus is easily accomplished with the WordPress Menu Plugins.

The WordPress Themes and Theme Frameworks provide an excellent system to design great-looking website menus. The modern Navigation Menus, however, seem to be strikingly different from the menus that were in use a few years back. The WordPress themes and customizations continue to provide menus that work with the theme concept. Mega Menus are the way ahead for larger sites with lots of pages for diverse products or services. With WordPress menu plugins you can add highly responsive, extremely attractive and device friendly mega menus into your websites.

 

WordPress Responsive Menus

The website menu is one of the most significant elements of a website as it aids page navigation. It directs your users across the web pages and helps them navigate from page to page. The website menu defines the choices presented to the site users. By clicking on a chosen menu item the user is directed to a defined web page or action. Menus being the starting point of website navigation, are an essential website component from the users’ perspective. Both from an aesthetic or navigational ease viewpoint, a visually striking menu is critical for the website designer.
Menus are of various types and you would ideally choose one depending upon the number of pages and overall website design.

  • Horizontal Menus appear at the top of a web page and the remaining space is reserved for the main content. It is intuitive to use as most people prefer to read text horizontally.
  • Vertical Menus are used alone or in combination with horizontal menus. These are primarily used when the menu content cannot be fit horizontally across the page.
  • Dropdown Menus can be used with both horizontal and vertical menus. These separate the visible main menu items from sub menu items that appear only on mouse hover on the main menu.
  • Mega Menus are big, 2-D panels that are grouped by navigation options. These are a relatively new concept and are gaining popularity since the complete menu is visible at once with no scrolling. These are a combination of simple and drop down menus and are similar to the ribbon in Microsoft Office.

 

WordPress Menu Plugins

WordPress by itself provides built-in features to create the different types of menus. However, these features are generic and do not enable you to implement advanced mega menu systems. WordPress Menu Plugins integrate with your existing WordPress menu system and provide additional capabilities. The plugins help to design professional looking Mega Menus that further enhance the users’ menu experience. Most menu plugins have a built-in admin panel to add or modify menu elements stylized with your website design. These provide customization menu options for fonts, colors, background texture/colors, icons etc. Shortcode elements allow for adding contact forms, images, videos, google maps & dynamic contents into your menus. Most WordPress Mega Menu plugins are optimized to work with multiple devices. These plugins include multiple menu support along with hover effects and other menu animations.

In this article, we look at 5 popular Mega Menu Plugins for WordPress that provide a vast array of options. We also list a few others that offer in-depth usage for advanced web designers.

 

Comparison Chart of WordPress Menu Plugins

Features Max Mega Menu Responsive Menu WP Responsive Menu Nextend Accordion Menu WR Mega Menu
Intuitive Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fully Responsive Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Preview No Yes (Pro) No No Yes
Drag and Drop Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom CSS support Yes Yes (Pro) Yes (Pro) Yes Yes
Unlimited Colors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Google Font support Yes (Pro and Advanced) No No Yes (Pro) Yes
Menu Animation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Menu Themes Yes Yes No Yes (1 default and 3 with Pro) Yes
Multiple Device support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

Max Mega Menu Plugin

max mega menu wordpress plugin

Max Mega Menu plugin is a complete menu management plugin. With complete ease, one can modify an existing menu into a user-friendly, fully accessible and responsive menu. The options include built-in settings to restyle, add widgets, change behavior and convert menus into mega menus. This WordPress Menu Plugin supports custom menu styling, drag and drop menu builder and a built-in theme editor in its free version. The plugin supports customizable menu transitions and a built-in theme editor. The Max Mega Menu Pro adds features like Vertical, Accordion Menus, Menu Logo, Google Font support, WooCommerce and EDD support.

 

Responsive Menu Plugin

responsive menu wordpress plugin

This is a highly customizable responsive menu plugin for WordPress. The interface is easy to use and gives you a multitude of customizable options. The various choices for customizing the menus include menu type, background image, menu animations, menu alignment and placement, screen size. With its free version, the Responsive Menu plugin provides capabilities such as menu logos, re-order components, include scripts, custom menu triggers. Another add-on is the inclusion of unit tests which can be effortlessly run by the user. The Advanced and Pro functionality provides support for design preview, menu item animation, integrated header bar and more.

 

WP Responsive Menu Plugin

wp responsive wordpress menu plugin

The WordPress Responsive Menu Plugin is a highly customizable mobile menu plugin. The plugin helps to convert your existing WordPress menus into fully responsive, elegant looking sliding menus. This plugin easily integrates with the WordPress menu system and works on all types of mobile devices. The free version provides an easy to use admin interface. It offers an array of options and the ability to show categories, sub-categories, and posts. The plugin provides built-in support for adding custom colors, menu logos, hiding specific elements on mobile devices and swiping gestures.

 

Nextend Accordion Menu Plugin

nextend accordion menu wordpress plugin

The Nextend Accordion Menu plugin is user-friendly, highly customizable and easy to integrate WordPress Menu Plugin. The Accordion Menu enables you to use different levels of submenus. The accordion menu plugin provides complete control over menu, levels, colors, animation effects. It can be used to build a custom accordion menu from any WordPress menu. The Lite version comes with one theme. The 3 extra themes are available to be purchased with the PRO version of the plugin. The list of powerful features also includes complete control over colors, backgrounds, images, fonts. There are also added multiple menu levels and integrated Google fonts support.

 

WR Mega Menu Plugin

mega menu by woo rockets wordpress plugin

The Mega Menu Plugin by WooRockets is a powerful, responsive, User-Oriented Plugin. This WordPress menu plugin provides you with a dedicated and intuitive menu builder. This provides complete control over designing and customizing the menu. The additional main features of this responsive menu plugin are user-friendly menu builder, multiple screen size, device support and drag drop. Also supported are menu orientation and icon display options, live preview, and profiles for menu settings. You may also embed rich content and choose to embed Google Fonts from the plug-in dashboard.

The above-listed plugins are well-known and highly rated WordPress Menu Plugins. These plugins are overloaded with features to support building mega menus.

 

Bonus Plugins

WordPress plugin repository also has an assortment of plugins available for advanced users. These provide specific functionality for further enhancing your WordPress Menus.

 

TemplateToaster: Tool to Design WordPress responsive menu

For busy designers, it becomes cumbersome to install and manage multiple plugins that cater to varying requirements. It is also important to keep in mind the usability and user-friendly aspect when designing a user interface. Most web designers prefer to work on the designs and let a tool or framework manage the intricate details. TemplateToaster is one such tool that provides multiple capabilities for creating WordPress websites. The tool also provides WordPress Sticky Menu Plugin, a lightweight plugin to make your menu or header sticky on top of advanced and eye-catching functionality keeping the internal details away from the designers.

Let us take a look at TemplateToaster as a Menu design tool. We will go into the details of Menu configuration and how to step-by-step create a menu system.

 

TemplateToaster Menu Tab

menu design wordpress templatetoaster screenshot

Figure 1: TemplateToaster Menu Tab

The TemplateToaster Menu Tab includes the various designing elements of the Menu. It is used to add Menus to themes, templates or websites and contains options such as:

  • Suggest Menu
  • Menu Position
  • Color
  • Foreground Image
  • Text Area
  • Sub-menus
  • Height of Menu Buttons
  • Width
  • Margin

The TemplateToaster tool allows you to create both Normal Menus and Mega Menus. The Menu Type is selected from the Layout option in the SubMenu tab of the TemplateToaster Menu Tab. As seen in Figure 2, there are 3 options for a menu type – Mega, Vertical and Horizontal.

mega menu wordpress templatetoaster screenshot

Figure 2: Menu Options in TemplateToaster

 

Normal Menu

A Normal Menu is the classic Menu and is either Horizontal or Vertical.As seen in Figure 2, the “Services” menu tab has a vertically placed “Web Services” submenu.

child menu sub menu design wordpress templatetoaster

Figure 3: Normal Menu in TemplateToaster

How to create Responsive Menu in WordPress using TemplateToaster

  • Select the Menu Position from the “Menu Position” option in the Menu Tab.
  • Select the Height, Width, Color and other Menu attributes from the Menu Tab.
  • Add a Page from the Pages Panel and preview the Menu created above.
  • Click on Layout option in the Submenu tab of the Menu Tab.
  • Select Menu Type as Horizontal or Vertical.
  • Select other attributes from Submenu Container, Submenu Item, and Submenu Headings.
  • Click on any tab on the Main Menu to verify the submenu placement.

 

Mega Menu

A Mega Menu is a grouped Menu and is either Horizontal or Vertical. As seen in Figure 4, the “Services” menu tab is Mega Menu with multiple submenus.

mega menu design wordpress templatetoaster screenshot

 

Figure 4: Mega Menu in TemplateToasterSteps to create Mega Menus in TemplateToaster

Steps to create Mega Menus in TemplateToaster

  • Select the Menu Position from the “Menu Position” option in the Menu Tab.

menu position design wordpress

  • Select the Height, Width, Color and other Menu attributes from the Menu Tab.
  • Add a Page from the Pages Panel and preview the Menu created above.
  • Click on Layout option in the Submenu tab of the Menu Tab.
  • Select Menu Type as Mega.
  • Select other attributes from Submenu Container, Submenu Item, and Submenu Headings.
  • Click on any tab on the Main Menu to verify the submenu placement.

TemplateToaster is a WYSIWYG tool with detailed settings for both general and minute layout design features. It provides designing options as per the latest trends. The customizable widget areas provide both flexibility and control. It enables designers to create fully functional themes with no help from developers.

Best Drag and Drop interface to Design stunning WordPress Themes

 

Conclusion

The point to consider when selecting a Mega Menu Plugin is that page navigation adds value to the users’ experience. Most times a complex menu hierarchy actually confuses the user. If you are an experienced web designer, then WordPress Menu Plugins provide a viable option for you to create the website menus. With plugins, it is however not that simple to create mega menus. It takes a time to add elements to every single column in the menu. Using shortcodes in the mega menus too might not be too easy for novice users. TemplateToaster is an all-in-one solution that requires minimal effort to design and create menus. The tool provides all that you get with a WordPress Menu Plugin and lots of additional functionality that is easy to use and customize.