WordPress Mega Menu

Looking for a way to create a WordPress mega menu at your site?

By default, WordPress makes it easy to create a simple drop-down menu using core functionality, but unfortunately, there’s no core support for mega menus.

👉 All’s not lost, though! It’s still fairly easy to create a WordPress mega menu for your site. And in this post, I’m going to:

  • Share the options you have for creating a WordPress mega menu
  • Give you a step-by-step tutorial for how to create a mega menu using a free plugin

I will also answer some frequently asked questions about WordPress mega menus at the end.

Let’s get started!

WordPress mega menu: Your two options ✌️

In case you’re not already familiar, a mega menu is basically a larger-than-normal drop-down menu that lets you display way more information than a regular drop-down menu. For example, think of those big menus that Amazon uses:

mega menu example.

If you want to create a mega menu for your WordPress site, you have two general approaches…

Option 1: See if your theme supports mega menus

Some themes offer built-in mega menu support. For example, the Hestia theme includes built-in functionality to create a mega menu.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you whether or not your theme supports a WordPress mega menu, nor can I give you a tutorial for how to set up your theme’s mega menu because each theme is different.

But, it’s always a good first step to check your theme’s documentation to see if it already has a way for you to create a mega menu.

Option 2: Use a WordPress mega menu plugin

If your theme doesn’t have mega menu functionality (or maybe even it does!), you can also use a WordPress mega menu plugin to add mega menu functionality to any WordPress theme.

Is it better to use your theme or a WordPress mega menu plugin?

Now, you might be wondering, “if my theme already supports mega menus, is there any reason I still might want to use a mega menu plugin?”

Well, there might be. Here are the pros and cons of each approach…

The benefit of using your theme’s mega menu functionality is that it will instantly match the rest of your theme’s styling as soon as you add it. Basically, it’s convenient.

The downside, though, is that if you ever switch themes, you’ll lose your mega menu functionality.

👉 On the other hand, the benefits of using a WordPress mega menu plugin are that:

  • Your mega menu will continue to work even if you switch themes.
  • You’ll probably get access to more functionality.

But the downside is that you might need to play around with the plugin’s styling options to make it match your theme.

How to create a WordPress mega menu with a free plugin 🔌

There are several plugins that can add mega menu functionality to your site, but the most popular and highest-rated by far is Max Mega Menu:

This free plugin lets you build your mega menu using regular WordPress widgets, which makes it very beginner-friendly.

To get started, make sure to install and activate the Max Mega Menu plugin (learn how to install a WordPress plugin). Then, you’re ready to follow along with the guide.

Step 1: Enable the mega menu functionality

To enable mega menu functionality, go to Appearance → Menus in your WordPress dashboard.

Now, select the menu location for your header. Usually, this is the default menu (i.e. it’s already selected) and it has a Display Location area like “Primary Menu”, “Top Menu”, “Top” etc.

If you don’t have any menus in WordPress yet, you can follow this guide to create your first menu.

👉 Once you’ve selected the menu location where you want to place your mega menu:

  • Find the new Max Mega Menu Settings box on the left
  • Check the Enable box
  • Click Save
how to enable WordPress mega menu functionality.

Step 2: Build your mega menu layout

👉 Once you’ve enabled mega menu functionality:

  • Hover over the menu item that you want to use to open the mega menu
  • Click the blue Mega Menu button.

In the example below, the mega menu will appear when a user hovers over the Shop menu item:

Launch builder.

Clicking the blue button should open the mega menu builder interface.

Choose display mode and add widgets 💻

First, choose the type of display mode you want to use. I’ll use Mega Menu – Grid Layout for this tutorial as it’s pretty flexible. Then, use the drop-down menu on the right to add a widget to your mega menu:

Add widgets to mega menu.

You can use any of the standard WordPress widgets in your mega menu, which gives you a lot of flexibility. And you can also use the + Column and + Row buttons to organize the layout for your mega menu.

Continue adding widgets for all the content you want to display in your mega menu.

Edit widgets ⚙️

To edit widgets and add content, click the Wrench icon. And to move them around, you can use simple drag and drop:

Rearrange mega menu.

Make sure to Save each individual widget after you make any edits.

Once you finish building your layout, you should have something that looks roughly like this:

Finished mega menu layout.

If you want, you can also dig into the Settings and Icon areas. But you aren’t required to configure any settings there.

And at this point, you now have a working mega menu:

Mega menu in action.

As you can see, though, the menu styling isn’t quite right yet – the black background on the menu items doesn’t really fit with the rest of the theme*.

If you’re experiencing a similar issue, you’ll need to dig into the plugin’s settings to change some colors to make everything fit together.

*Note – if you are actually using the Hestia theme, Max Mega Menu already includes a pre-built design theme to fix this issue. All you need to do is go to Appearance → Menus and choose the Hestia option from the Theme drop-down in the Max Mega Menu Settings – no need to edit any other settings!

Click to see Hestia theme fix
Fix for Hestia users.

Step 3: Configure mega menu styling (if needed)

To configure your mega menu’s style, go to Mega Menu → Menu Themes in your dashboard. Then, select the Menu Bar tab.

👉 There, you’ll need to edit some colors to match your theme. Normally, the most relevant options to edit are:

  • Menu Background
  • Menu Background Hover

You might also need to change the font color as well:

Fix mega menu colors.

Once you do that, your mega menu should fit more closely with your theme’s styling:

Final example of mega menu.

Other settings and premium features

You now have all the tools that you need to create a basic WordPress mega menu. But Max Mega Menu has a deep feature list, so if you want to customize some small aspect of how your mega menu functions, I encourage you to further explore the plugin’s settings to see what all there is to offer.

👉 Additionally, there’s also a premium version that gives you:

WordPress mega menu FAQ 🙋

If you made this far and you read everything above this section, then you already have a pretty good idea of how to create a WordPress mega menu. However, if you were just quickly scrolling through or if perhaps you still have some lingering questions that you’re curious about, then hopefully these concise answers will give you what you need.

Should I use a mega menu on my WordPress site?

Whether to use a mega menu or not depends on the specific needs of your website. Mega menus are beneficial for complex or content-rich websites that require efficient navigation and organization. Consider the amount of content you have, the complexity of your site’s structure, and the user experience you aim to provide. Simply put, if you have a relatively low-content website, then you probably don’t need a mega menu, but ultimately you have to make that call.

How do I create a mega menu in WordPress?

To create a mega menu in WordPress, you have two main options: utilizing a WordPress theme with native mega menu functionality or using a dedicated plugin.

Firstly, you can choose a WordPress theme that supports native mega menus, such as Hestia, Avada, or Divi. These themes offer built-in mega menu features, allowing you to create and customize your mega menu directly within the theme’s options. Simply follow the theme’s documentation or settings to design your mega menu according to your preferences.

Alternatively, you can use a dedicated mega menu plugin, such as “Max Mega Menu” or “UberMenu”. This option is applicable regardless of whether your chosen theme has built-in mega menu functionality. Mega menu plugins offer advanced customization options, additional features, and greater design flexibility.

How do I create a vertical mega menu in WordPress?

Vertical mega menus are a unique twist on the mega menu concept and you can create them by using certain plugins. The specific plugins that support this design feature include Max Mega Menu (in the Pro version only) and QuadMenu (a premium plugin).

How to create mega menu in WordPress without plugin?

To create a mega menu in WordPress without using a plugin, you can utilize a WordPress theme that offers built-in mega menu functionality. Choose a theme that supports mega menus and follow its documentation or settings to create and customize your mega menu directly within the theme options. This allows you to design a mega menu without the need for an additional plugin, making the process more streamlined and integrated within your chosen theme. Examples of themes with built-in mega menu functionality include Hestia, Divi, and Avada.

What is the best use of mega menu in WordPress?

The best use of a mega menu in WordPress is to enhance website navigation for complex or content-rich websites. Mega menus provide a visually appealing and organized way to display a large amount of information, allowing users to access multiple sections and subcategories directly from the main menu. They improve your site visitors’ experience, facilitate quicker browsing, and help users find relevant content efficiently.

Final thoughts 🏁

Remember – if you need to create a WordPress mega menu, you have two good options.

If your theme offers mega menu support, that’s always a great first option. Just remember that you’ll lose your mega menu if you switch themes and you might not have as much flexibility.

And if your theme doesn’t have a mega menu feature, or if you want a little bit more portability and flexibility, the free Max Mega Menu plugin can help you add a mega menu to any WordPress theme.

Have any other questions about creating a mega menu for your WordPress site? Leave a comment and we’ll try to help out!

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