Looking to add mega menu functionality to your WordPress site? Unless you’re using a WordPress theme that already supports mega menus, you’ll need to turn to one of the many third-party WordPress mega menu plugins to get that functionality.
We’ve actually already written a tutorial on how to add mega menus to WordPress. But, SuppaMenu, the plugin featured in that article, is no longer available. For that reason, we’re back with a new, working list of the best WordPress mega menu plugins that you can use to enhance your site’s navigation menus.
What Are Mega Menus? A Quick Primer for the Uninitiated
If you’re not already familiar with mega menus, here’s a super quick introduction to get you up to speed.
A mega menu is an expandable menu that displays when a user hovers over or clicks on a regular menu option. They allow you to display tons of information at once and, done right, make it easier for readers to navigate your site.
I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen mega menus in the wild, even if you don’t know them by that name. That’s because popular sites like Amazon use mega menus to great effect:
Are Mega Menus Good for User Experience?
If you just want the list of the best mega menu plugins, you should skip ahead. But before I get to that list, I think that it’s important to lead with a discussion of whether mega menu plugins actually help your visitors get more from your site.
Thankfully, people who know much more about user experience than I do have delved into this very question. Nielsen Norman Group, researchers who base their user experience recommendations on actual data, are fans of mega menus when mega menus are done right.
That is, if you implement mega menus properly, they can make it easier for your visitors to navigate your site. But...that “properly” part is super important. Done wrong, mega menus can be cumbersome and difficult.
So...make sure to fit into the former camp.
How to Implement Mega Menus Properly
Don’t worry - I’m not going to leave you hanging when it comes to actually implementing your mega menus. Here’s what Nielsen Norman Group says to do when crafting your mega menus:
- Nail the timing for when your menu displays. Mega menus should only display after a user hovers their mouse for 0.5 seconds to avoid a user accidentally triggering the menu.
- Group options within your mega menu. Don’t just show a huge list of navigation options - group them into categories so users can quickly find the content that they need.
- Keep it simple. Just because mega menus can handle tons of data, that doesn’t mean you need to pack them to bursting. You should still try to keep your mega menus as simple as possible.
5 Best WordPress Mega Menu Plugins
Below, you’ll find some of the best available WordPress mega menu plugins. Unfortunately, there’s only really one good free mega menu plugin. I made sure to include the free plugin, but the rest of the mega menu plugins on this list will at least cost you some money, though most are pretty affordable.
Let’s dig in...
1. WP Mega Menu
WP Mega Menu is a premium plugin from popular developer MyThemeShop. Many of MyThemeShop’s themes come with mega menu functionality, so I trust that these guys know what they’re doing when it comes to mega menus.
This plugin puts that knowledge to use in a theme-independent manner. That is, it works with all WordPress themes.
You can create your mega menus using the familiar WordPress menu interface. And you also have full control over colors, icons, and more. Beyond that, the plugin also lets you choose from a number of different loading effects to control how your mega menus appear.
If you’re using WooCommerce, you’ll also like that WP Mega Menu is compatible with WooCommerce to help you create mega menus consisting of your WooCommerce products.
WP Mega Menu costs $29 for use on unlimited websites.
2. Max Mega Menu
Max Mega Menu is the best free WordPress mega menu plugin out there. The plugin has maintained an impressive 5-star rating on it's over 100,000 active installs.
While the free version is solid in its own right, there’s also a Pro version that adds even more functionality. But before I get to that, let’s dig into the free version first.
In the free version, you get a drag and drop menu builder that allows you to create mega menus with your regular content, as well as even display WordPress widgets and shortcodes inside your mega menus.
Beyond the content, you can also customize animations and transitions, as well as choose to display your mega menus based on hover, hover intent, or click.
And my favorite part is that the plugin lets you create multiple menu locations, each with their own separate configuration.
If you go with the Pro version of Max Mega Menu for $23, you’ll get access to more menu types, search boxes, WooCommerce and EDD Support, custom icons, as well as some other smaller features.
With over 67,000 sales, UberMenu is by far the most popular mega menu plugin for sale at Code Canyon. What’s better is that the plugin has also managed to maintain a stellar 4.67-star rating on that many sales.
UberMenu gives you an easy to use grid system that allows you to create a variety of different responsive mega menus for your WordPress site.
You can either create mega menus dynamically from your WordPress posts or links, or include tons of advanced content from custom HTML, shortcodes, widgets, and more. That means you can even include things like maps and forms inside your mega menus (though forms might be a bit unwieldy).
UberMenu also uses the WordPress Customizer interface so that you can style your mega menus and preview the changes in real-time (this is a super helpful feature!).
Like Max Mega Menu, you can also control transitions and choose how users trigger your mega menus.
All in all, 67,000 sales don’t lie - UberMenu is one of the best options for creating mega menus for your WordPress site.
UberMenu costs $20 and comes with standard Envato licensing.
4. CSS3 Mega Drop Down Menu
CSS3 Mega Drop Down Menu is a basic, but incredibly affordable (just $4), plugin that helps you create mega menus. It has over 9,000 sales at Code Canyon and has maintained above a 4.5-star rating, which is always a good sign.
CSS3 Mega Drop Down Menu lets you create mega menus in a variety of layouts and color schemes.
The functionality is basic but solid. But the one area where I ding the plugin a bit is that the styles look dated. With that being said, it’s hard to argue with the plugin’s price.
If you just want a basic way to create simple mega menus, it’s a viable option, though I’d probably still recommend Max Mega Menu over it for an affordable option.
CSS3 Mega Drop Down Menu costs just $4 and comes with standard Envato licensing.
5. Mega Main Menu
Let’s round things out with Mega Main Menu, another Code Canyon mega menu plugin that has a 4.58-star rating on over 6,000 sales.
Mega Main Menu lets you create a variety of different mega menu styles using a detailed interface. The interface isn’t quite as user friendly as some of the other plugins, but all of the functionality is there.
Beyond regular content, Mega Main Menu lets you use shortcodes and WordPress widgets inside your mega menus, and it also has helpful options to quickly add your logo, a search box, WooCommerce cart button, and more.
And like some of the other plugins, you can also choose to activate your menu on click or hover.
I don’t think Mega Main Menu is quite as user friendly as some of the other options, but it’s still plenty functional and is a little bit more affordable than those plugins.
Mega Main Menu costs $14 and comes with standard Envato licensing.
Which Mega Menu Plugin Should You Choose?
If you’re specifically looking for a free mega menu plugin, your only good option is Max Mega Menu. For a free plugin, it’s still plenty functional and can even hang with the premium options.
CSS3 Mega Drop Down Menu and Mega Main Menu are both solid and affordable, but I don’t see anything that they do better than the other plugins.
Now over to you - do you have a favorite WordPress mega menu plugin? It would be great if you shared in the comments so that we can all learn something new!