Advanced WordPress Menus: Plugins to Improve and Enhance the WP Menu System
These plugins allow you to enhance and improve the current WordPress menu system. In most cases they allow you to increase the amount of content and different types of information you can display in your dropdown menus, in order to make them more useful to your readers and visitors.
By installing one of these plugins, the already functional menu system of WordPress becomes even more powerful. Being able to customise these plugins, in terms of their appearance and how they work, means they should be able to fit in with most of the themes on offer today.
Some of the features of these menu plugins are very impressive and quite surprising, so they are definitely worth a look.
UberMenu is the ‘WordPress Mega Menu Plugin’ and with over 23,000 downloads and continuing, it’s one of the most popular premium plugins available at Code Canyon. Yes, it is a premium plugin, but with its $16 price tag, it should be an affordable option for most site owners.
It really does upgrade the WordPress menu options and no matter what themes you are using, this plugin will bring some new features to the table. As well as looking great, the navigational menus on your site can now contain many more content types than was previously possible.
As well as the standard text links used on most website menus, with the UberMenu plugin, your dropdown menus can now feature elements such as contact forms, images and Google Maps to name but a few. You could think of the dropdown menu space as a mini page where all sorts of information can be displayed. In fact, the menu is fully widgetized meaning you can drag and drop widgets into the menu.
If you’ve ever wanted to have sidebar content displayed atomically in your site’s menu, then this plugin is for you. Being able to drag and drop your most recent posts, or any other widget, into your menu makes creating a dynamic and useful navigation system for your site very easy.
The menus you can generate with this plugin aren’t just limited to the horizontal kind, as it’s just as easy to create vertical menus. The dropdown or reveal effects can either be set to slide or fade or you can deactivate animations altogether.
If you want an easily customisable plugin with over 20 style presets for the appearance of your menus then you can’t go wrong with UberMenu.
There is also now an addon for this plugin called the UberMenu Conditionals Extension which allows you to define when and when to not show particular menus or menu items. These conditions can be based on things like whether a user is logged in or not, which page of the site the user is on, whether they are viewing a single post or not, if they are on the home page or if they are viewing a 404 error page.
This extension takes an already great plugin and makes it even better for just $4 more.
Download UberMenu Conditionals
Stripe is a ‘lightweight menu plugin for WordPress’ that does not replace your existing menu. The Stripe menu is added to the header of your site and is fixed in position, scrolling along with the user as they move down the page. Despite this fixed or floating positioning, this plugin does not break the page up and page down keys, as you can see from the demo, as some fixed headers plugins are known to do.
The animated effects of the plugin are subtle and well designed and will not detract from the overall quality of your site. As this plugin works with your existing menu, it can be used for highlighting just a few select links, such as your social media accounts or the most important pages on your site. You can even insert text into the Stripe header such as your contact number for easy access for your customers.
The plugin allows you to create multiple menus. This allows your site to feature a main menu, as well as post and page specific menus which can be displayed selectively, overwriting the side wide default Stripe menu. The icon set in use by this plugin delivers menu decoration that resizes and scales gracefully without degrading at larger sizes, even on retina screens.
With a good selection of colours to choose from, this graceful and attractive addon menu for WordPress will make a great addition to any site.
JQuery Vertical Mega Menu Widget
This is a very cool free plugin that allows you to add a vertical menu to either the right or left side of your site. Depending on its position, the second level of the menu will fly out to the left or the right when a menu item is hovered over with the mouse.
This sidebar widget menu can display its contents using multiple columns. This makes it ideal for showing links to many pages on your site or elsewhere. The options for this WordPress menu plugin allow you to change the speed of the slide out, the colours of the menu and the transition animation effect.
As by default this plugin doesn’t replace the horizontal navigation menu used on most sites, it can be used to add an additional menu to your site in order to show links to items other than the main pages of your site. Alternatively, you could disable the standard horizontal menu and just use this one as your main navigational menu.
This is a very easy to use free menu plugin that provides another set of options for how your visitors can navigate your site.
If you want to personalise the appearance of the admin menus of a WordPress site then this premium plugin is a good choice. It converts the current design into a flat style design, bringing the WordPress dashboard up to date.
Modern Admin allows you to change the colours of the menu items via the five colour schemes or by creating your own custom scheme. There are lots of icons to choose from for giving the menu items a custom look. There is also the option of customising the login screen beyond the current design that comes with WordPress.
Download Modern Admin
Admin Menu Editor
This free plugin allows you to easily edit the WordPress admin menus. Once installed you can hide, reorder or rename the menu items, allowing you to give your dashboard a makeover. This plugin is ideal for hiding certain menu items from specific users, allowing you to secure your site and simplify the process for creating new posts or using other admin features.
If you want to give contributors access to your site admin area, or allow clients to access the admin dashboard of their own sites, without overwhelming them, you can use this plugin to hide superfluous menu items they will never need to use. For example you could hide all menu items apart from the Posts menu for a certain user, creating a very streamlined and non-distracting admin dashboard.
The pro version does give you access to some of these advanced features but the free version does allow you to get started with customising the WordPress admin menu.
These mainly premium plugins give you some great options for enhancing the WordPress navigation and menu systems. While some themes can do a good job of changing the appearance of the WordPress menu, plugins like UberMenu take the functionality to a whole new level.
The Stripe plugin is a great choice for those happy with their existing menu but would still like to add an extra set of buttons and navigational aids to their site.
Overall, there are plenty of options for enhancing the existing menus that go beyond what is offered by many of the premium themes on the market.