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Website design is mainly about enhancing user experience. The numerous search engine optimization measures and SEO-friendly themes that we adopt help attract and increase traffic to our website. However, once visitors land on our website, they must easily move about within it to find what they’re looking for. That’s where navigation and WordPress menu plugins play an important part.
Why a WordPress Menu Is Important
A menu is like a map that guides visitors within your website and is therefore important to the success of a site. It can encourage visitors to spend more time on your website, leading to a better conversion rate. In turn, this is a positive signal to search engines.
Often, even though a search leads visitors to your website, they do not stay there long and bounce away. This indicates that the navigation on your website may not be effective in guiding the visitors.
Besides serving a practical function, menus occupy a prime screen space on your web pages. They can make a website visually striking and enhance aesthetics.
Though WordPress has many features that support menu creation, its plugins can take your menu building to a whole new level. These menus can display the important contents of your website right on the homepage, complete with custom links and a featured image.
The following are the best free WordPress menu plugins and a few premium ones.
Free WordPress Menu Plugins
Below are seven free plugins that add features to your WordPress menu. They can be downloaded for free from the WordPress plugin repository, and you may want to check out their features before searching for premium options.
Max Mega Menu
When you install Max Mega Menu, it automatically converts your existing menu into a mega menu. The drag-and-drop builder helps build the menu from your dashboard, and you can see the menu taking shape in real-time using the preview feature. You can convert your menu into a touch-friendly, easily accessible menu with a few clicks.
It’s possible to style the mega menu using your theme editor and alter the menu behavior using native WordPress settings. The plugin offers a wide range of customization options, allowing you to choose colors, fonts, sizes, and more.
It’s also possible to build complex menus with this plugin and, at the same time, add interactive elements, such as maps. Since it can integrate with other plugins, you can include functions like calendars and contact forms.
Usually, the mega menu feature is found only in the premium or advanced plugins, but it’s available for free in Max Mega Menu. Despite the range of features that it offers, it is lightweight and fast loading.
You may want to upgrade to the paid version for additional features like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads support.More info / Download
WP Responsive Menu
To convert your WordPress menu into a cool sliding menu that sizes down perfectly to mobile devices, you should try WP Responsive Menu. It integrates seamlessly with the WordPress admin interface and packs many user-friendly menu building tools. All features not necessary for a mobile menu can be hidden. Nevertheless, desktop users view the default menu with a full list of options.
What makes WP Responsive Menu a standout is that the menu creation process is streamlined. This helps you create a beautiful and functional menu in minutes using the dozens of options available to customize your menu. Additionally, it supports swipe gestures and pinch to zoom feature and integrates well with all platforms. You can make it easy for visitors by adding a simple search function to the menu. The plugin works well with any theme framework, as well as with multisite.
For more features, check out the premium plugin.More info / Download
Groovy Mega Menu
If you are ready to take the navigability of your website to a whole new degree, you better choose Groovy Mega Menu WordPress menu plugin and make a difference. This tool offers you the complete creative freedom to establish the mega menu and header you fancy. While it comes with a set of predefined layouts for you to put into play out of the box, you can also come up with your custom version. Horizontal, vertical, and, of course, mega menus, it is all possible with the amazing functionality of Groovy Mega Menu.
Moreover, Groovy Mega Menu is also compatible with all the major drag and drop builders, like WPBakery, Elementor, Beaver, and Gutenberg, to name a few. You have over two hundred options when it comes to styling the menu of choice for your particular online presence. Let the menu take the user experience of your website to new heights.More info / Download
You can do a lot of fancy stuff with your website menu, making it more navigable, as well as more appealing to the eye. Well, the two just mentioned go very well hand in hand anyway. To spice up your menus and navigation bars, we bring you a solid collection of WordPress menu plugins that will save you a ton of time and energy. With little effort invested on your end, you can still succeed at hammering out the exact menu that you want.
If Menu is an exciting tool that you should look into to limit your menu’s visibility. With If Menu, you can set restrictive rules based on admins, editors, geolocation and logged-in users to name a few. In other words, if there are sections that you would like only admins to access and have your editors see only one part of the menu, this is the plugin you need. Now get busy, download If Menu for free, and see the magic happen.More info / Download
WP Mobile Menu
There is a very good chance that the major part of your traffic is mobile. That said, you might need to do some customization and optimization for mobile users specifically. Of course, if you are using a modern WordPress theme, you do not need to worry about responsiveness. But you might need to enhance your mobile menu to make it even more striking and easy to use. By employing the power of WP Mobile Menu plugin, you will enhance the mobile website experience undoubtedly.
The collection of features WP Mobile Menu brings to the table is pretty vast for a tool that costs you nothing. WP Mobile Menu includes a multilevel dropdown feature, naked header, overlay mask, background image, and logo. Of course, you can also modify the style of the menu to fit your branding regulations precisely. Make sure your page’s mobile experience is just as first-class as on a desktop.More info / Download
One simple way to elevate your menu section is by adding icons. As simple as it sounds. You can add all sorts of icons to your menu with Menu Icons plugin. This excellent WordPress plugin is effortless to use and takes barely any time to set it up. Even when it comes to the smallest details, it is worth considering it when fine-tuning your online presence.
After you install and activate Menu Icons, go to the appearances section of your admin dashboard and locate to menus. Pick the icon that best resonates with the section, add it, save the menu, and you are done. From then on, you can edit your menu accordingly.
Menu Icons is an adaptive tool that works with most modern themes available today. Besides, it also supports different icon sets, like Font Awesome, Fontello, TI Icons, and Foundation Icons to name a few.More info / Download
WP Mega Menu
Take your menu to an entirely new level with WP Mega Menu WordPress plugin. Not only is it easy to use and work with, but the outstanding mega menu you can craft with the plugin goes beyond expectations. While basic navigation works to some extent, if you have a lot going on on your web platform, there is a good chance you need to implement WP Mega Menu into your online presence. It will add a whole new level of professionalism to your website, wowing your visitors and helping them find what they are looking for much quicker.
When using and styling WP Mega Menu, you will immediately notice how much you can do with it. Change colors, add social icons and logo, introduce widgets and implement a search bar. Moreover, you also do not need to do any coding to modify the look to match your regulations thanks to the drag and drop technology. WP Mega Menu truly does deliver a wide array of options.More info / Download
Advanced Sidebar Menu
Sometimes, having a menu in a sidebar can increase your page’s user experience. With Advanced Sidebar Menu, you can achieve great results when creating a sidebar menu. This WordPress menu plugin goes slightly against the norm compared to the menus we normally see, located toward the top of a website. However, it is still super simple to use and set up, just like any other tool you find in this collection. Very beginner-friendly if you will.
Advanced Sidebar Menu brings page and category widgets to the table that you can add to your sidebar in a breeze. Both widgets have pretty similar characteristics and features, just that one is on a category and the other on a page level. That said, use the one that best resonates with you or even stick to both if you find them fit your project.More info / Download
My Sticky Menu
To improve your website’s navigability, use My Sticky Menu plugin and make an immediate difference. Keep in mind, My Sticky Menu also works great for all sorts of promotions and other whatnot that you would like to put an extra shine on. You do not have to limit yourself to just one thing.
Moreover, you do not need coding knowledge to activate My Sticky Menu and make it work on your website or blog. Let your visitors have constant access to the menu without needing to scroll back to the top of your page to visit a different section.More info / Download
ShiftNav is a free WordPress menu plugin that exclusively focuses on mobile users. Meaning, if you would like to create a fully responsive and flexible menu for mobile devices, ShiftNav is the right tool to use. It integrates beautifully in any theme that you use, increasing the performance and experience for all your mobile site visitors. ShiftNav creates an off-canvas menu that slides to the screen from the side.
With quick and easy implementation, you can now activate ShiftNav on your website and take your mobile navigation to the next level. Some of the features of ShiftNav are light and dark skins, automatic integration, CSS3 transitions and amazing configurations. The outcome will feel native, like it was integrated into the website from the very beginning.More info / Download
To keep your menu always accessible to the user, Float Menu is the WordPress menu plugin to consider. While they scroll, the menu slides to the side and is always available. No matter how far down your page they are, the menu will always be there, offering them to go to different locations without the need to scroll back to top. Also, the menu takes a small portion of the screen, not causing any disturbance.
As for the features, Float Menu comes with many, making sure everyone gets the most out of it without a hassle. Not just that, but without the need to do much work. You can employ Float Menu to create the exact floating menu you fancy, either positioned on the right or the left side. Moreover, you can add custom button labels, modify the color, introduce any link you want, and even set the button’s background.More info / Download
WooCommerce Menu Cart
When running an online store, you might want to add a shopping cart button in the navigation bar for your shoppers’ convenience. By adding this feature, you provide your customers access to their cart at all times. One of such components is WooCommerce Menu Cart plugin. It only takes a few clicks to set up this WordPress menu plugin and deliver an additional comfort level.
With WooCommerce Menu Cart, you can do all sorts of stuff to display details. You can showcase items only, price, or even both. What’s more, the cart can only appear in the menu when they add an item but stays blank when there is nothing in it.
You can also set the shopping cart to float left or right or, of course, use it in your menu’s default settings. In addition to WooCommerce compatibility, WooCommerce Menu Cart also works with Easy Digital Downloads, Jigoshop and others.More info / Download
Sticky Menu is – hence the name – pretty self-explanatory. If you would like your menu to stick to the top of your page, this is the WordPress menu plugin you need. If you would like other elements of your page to stick to the top, this is the tool that will do the trick as well.
In the settings section of Sticky Menu, you can set the spacing between the menu and the top of your page and specify which screen resolution you would like to use the feature. For instance, your new sticky menu can only work on desktop and tablet devices but stops working for mobile users. There you go, now you know how to create a sticky menu.More info / Download
QuadMenu is one of the latest free mega menu plugins for WordPress. This plugin allows you to create mega menus, tabs menus, and carrousel menus simply and natively.
Developed under the “mobile-first” concept, this responsive menu fits all screen sizes. Still, the difference with other alternatives is that the touch screen events have been incorporated natively, substantially improving the user experience in mobile devices.
Another key feature that highlights this plugin over other alternatives such as Ubermenu or Max Mega Menu is the variety of available layouts. This is the first mega menu that’s all in one solution, as you’ll be able to create a horizontal or vertical menu on desktop devices and a collapsible or off-canvas menu on mobile.
The admin panel of QuadMenu has been integrated so that you will hardly notice that you are coming out of the native WordPress operation. The drag & drop user interface allows you to manage all the menu content by adding widgets and any other element available in my native WordPress menu metaboxes.
Finally, we must stand out the integration with the customizer dashboard that allows you to tweak all menu color schemes or layout settings and see the effect of those changes in real-time.
QuadMenu is a freemium plugin, this means it has a free and a paid version that includes some additional features like the customize integration described before, login and register form, the tabs, and carousel mega menús.
You can download it for free through the WordPress plugins directory or get the premium version.More info / Download
Admin Menu Editor
Admin Menu Editor does not automatically create menus. It merely helps you manually edit your dashboard menu. Once you install this plugin, you can hide menu items, even from the administrator.
You can create specific menu items, change menu titles, and organize menu items with drag-and-drop ease. Shift menu items to the sub menu levels, and create custom menus that direct to any part of the dashboard or to an external URL. If things go wrong, you can restore the default version as the administrator.
Moreover, you can set it up as a global plugin in a multisite network. This will enable the network administrator to edit the dashboard for all the sites and users simultaneously. To set per role user menu permissions, drag menu items between levels. However, if you want to open menus in a new window, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version.More info / Download
Nav Menu Roles
If you want to hide some menu items from some users, Nav Menu Roles will help you do it. You can only reveal links in a custom menu to certain users, such as logged-in users or paying members. One important point to note here is that Nav Menu does not restrict access to content. It merely hides or reveals menu items based on user roles. However, you can select which roles to display by checking the user roles under the display mode.
The plugin is flexible and allows you to customize the functionality by creating additional check boxes.More info / Download
The free plugins mentioned above do their job well enough. In case you need some specific or unique feature or a higher level of support, you may want to look through these premium plugins as well.
UberMenu is a popular plugin in the premium segment. With it, you can build complex mega menus that involve many levels.
UberMenu’s outstanding feature lets you add advanced content, like Google Maps, to the menu. You can get blog post grids to display in the menu. Not only that, you can also configure the grid to pull specific content and featured images. You can align the menu vertically or build multiple UberMenus with independent configurations if you wish.
The plugin integrates well with the WordPress menu system, but your theme needs to include an UberMenu-specific style sheet. It includes an intuitive builder that you can use to build responsive grids with multiple columns. You can call up the options to customize each block by hovering on the content blocks. Thanks to the Live Preview feature, you can watch it come along.
With UberMenu, you can keep it simple or add even more functionality by integrating third-party widgets. The plugin is fully responsive. Anyway, if you feel that the menu is too complex for smaller devices, you may want to use the free mobile menu plugin ShiftNav. This helps to build app-style menus for mobiles.More info / Purchase
A load of customization options that come with Hero Menu helps you build any menu you want. This plugin makes both the typical Hero menu and a simple dropdown menu possible. Making it easy for you to customize are the 650 Google fonts, 60 color presets, and a custom background. Menu building is easy with a drag-and-drop editor as well.
What’s sure to delight you if you’re managing an e-commerce store is this plugin’s complete integration with WooCommerce. You can assign icons to menu items, picking from the 270+ free icons. It even allows you to display product thumbnail images and prices in the menu. Besides, all regular content like text, forms, and maps can also find their place in the menu.
The sticky menu is always visible to readers, and the menu will automatically scale down to smaller devices. You can hide menu items depending on user roles to keep some content visible only to logged-in users. A recent update adds an eyebrow menu, a little text feature, and a login link in a thin strip at the top.More info / Purchase
WP Mega Menu Pro
If you find it hard to choose between vertical and horizontal menus, perhaps WP Mega Menu Pro is for you. This plugin lets you build menus both ways. Besides, it bundles 14 templates to let you get started. It also includes a drag-and-drop visual builder.
The 100+ customization options will prove useful if you have no coding skills. They allow you to set triggers and transition effects. The plugin has functionality for login, search, WooCommerce Cart Total, and 1,200+ menu icons. Moreover, it’s fully responsive, touch-friendly, and translation-ready. The plugin is compatible with WooCommerce, most WordPress themes, and multisite.More info / Purchase
WP Floating Menu Pro
WP Floating Menu Pro is the only plugin in this list designed specially for single-page menus. The plugin helps build two types of menus: single-page menu and sticky menus. Typically, one-page websites are divided into many sections, each with content that loosely corresponds to a page. When visitors click on a menu item, they will automatically reach that section instead of another page.
Thirteen templates are included to get you started with building and customizing your menu. Seven menu positions are available, which can be placed on any four sides of the screen. You can create any number of menus for your website and configure the menu for each page independently. Three different menu icon sets are available, and you can also upload your custom icons.More info / Purchase
More Plugin Options
If you’ve reached this point and you’re still searching for suitable options, check out Superfly. Superfly offers nearly endless options and lets you build a responsive vertical mega menu with full support for touch screens, shortcodes, and custom HTML. Mega Main Menu is highly customizable and can place advanced content in dropdowns.
Mega menus are a great option if you want to display a load of information to visitors without scrolling down. They slide in and out at the click of a button, making way for attractive full-screen images and videos on the homepage. Often, they remain off-screen and appear only on hover. This maximizes screen space for other valuable content.
All the WordPress Menu plugins in this list carry out the same basic function—helping to direct your users to the pages they want. It’s the additional features that distinguish them from one another. These plugins can handle anything from complex multilevel feature-rich menus to simple dropdown menus.
To select the one that’s the best fit for your website, you’ll have to examine not only the features that each plugin offers but also your budget and the level of support you need. If your site is content-heavy, a well-designed mega menu may be a good choice. However, vertical menus that hide behind a toggle may be a better choice if you want to maximize space. The unique requirements of your website will determine the best option.
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