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03 June 2014

Why use these WordPress Navigation Menu Plugins

Why use these WordPress Navigation Menu Plugins
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By Manmeet Anand

Why-use-these-WordPress

Navigation menu is an important part of any website not only from the optimization view point but also from the user experience perspective. If you are running a website based on WordPress platform and on a lookout for the best navigation plan, then WordPress menu plugins can be the most apt option for you. Built with jQuery technology, WordPress menu plugins provide great usability and cross-browser support. While searching for perfect WordPress menu plugins, you will find two types of plugins:

  • Plugins that enhance the menu management and page structures in the WordPress admin side
  • Plugins that improve the front-end navigation of any website

After in-depth research work, I have gathered ten best WordPress Navigation Menu Plugins that allow you to enhance the menu management, improve the front-end, and optimize the page structures.

1. JQuery Accordion Menu Widget

  • Requires: 3.0 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.4.2
  • Last Updated: 2012-5-14
  • Downloads: 181,861
  • Ratings: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Free Download

This amazing WordPress plugin allows you to add a jQuery-powered accordion menu to your website with the help of short codes or widgets and is extremely customizable. Offered for free, this plugin provides support to multi-level menus, multiple animation speed, several skins for you to choose from, and lots of other useful options.

This plugin is useful due to its following features:

  • Handles multiple levels
  • Auto Expand Based on Current Page/Item
  • Close menu, Class Menu, Class Disable
  • Saved state using cookies
  • Option of selecting “click” or “hover” events for triggering the menu
  • Disable parent links
  • Hover delay

2. JQuery Drill down Ipod Menu Widget

  • Requires: 3.0 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.1.4
  • Last Updated: 2011-5-15
  • Downloads: 24,208
  • Ratings- 4.9 out of 5 stars

Free Download

This plugin is quite useful to create a drill down style menu for your website. It is ideal for people who need to create complex yet compact menus for their sites or blogs. Drill down menus is ideal for managing large and complicated menus in a vertical, small, compact and fixed-sized area. In addition to this, drill down menus also offers a great alternative to accordion style and drop down menus. The drill down menu offers 3 different ways to navigate:

  • A back button to return to previous options
  • Using a breadcrumb style menu at the top of the drill down menu
  • Selecting previous link headers, which are fixed at the top of the menu so the user can see the path

Some incredible features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Saved state using cookies
  • Multiple menus on the same page
  • Customizable animation speed
  • Cross-browser comparability
  • Smooth height auto adjustment functionality
  • Mobile platform ready
  • Keyboard navigation
  • Smart search option

3. Responsive Select Menu

  • Requires: 3.6 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.8.3
  • Last Updated: 2014-2-12
  • Downloads: 105,729
  • Ratings- 4.4 out of 5 stars

Responsive Select Menu plugin automatically transforms a WordPress 3 Menu into a mobile-friendly menu. Therefore, it is perfect for people who want their sites to be easy to navigate on smartphones or tablets. People who access your website using a mobile device will be presented with select box navigation, which is more touch screen-friendly and smaller than traditional menus. Some outstanding features of this plugin are given below:

  • Easier navigation for touch screens
  • Takes up less screen
  • Works automatically
  • Width breakpoint
  • No need to add extra PHP code

4. Admin Menu Tree Page View

  • Requires: 3.8 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.8.3
  • Last Updated: 2014-1-26
  • Downloads: 82,729
  • Ratings- 4.8 out of 5 stars

Free Download

The name of this WordPress plugin shows its work. It adds a page tree to all your web pages, which is directly accessible in the admin menu. In this way all your web pages will be available within just one click of mouse, no matter where you are in the admin area. With the help of this plugin, you can add web pages directly in the tree and you can quickly find your pages by using the search box.

Remarkable features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Add link to view page directly from admin menu
  • Add pages directly after or inside another post
  • View the page hierarchy
  • View all pages and change the order of pages with drag and drop interface
  • Compatible with WPML

5. Custom Taxonomies Menu Widget

  • Requires: 3.8 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.8.3
  • Last Updated: 2013-12-16
  • Downloads: 19,673
  • Ratings- 4.5 out of 5 stars

Free Download

If you want to create a menu for custom taxonomies and their related terms, you should definitely try Custom Taxonomies Menu Widget plugin. Easy to configure, this WordPress menu plugin comes with lots of configuration options. With the help of this plugin, you can choose which custom taxonomies and associated terms to display in your menu and whether to hide or display terms without any posts. In addition to this, you can choose the order in which the related terms are displayed.

Some incredible features of this plugin are as follows:

  • You can choose whether to display the list of terms as a hierarchy
  • You can choose whether to display the taxonomy name as a title
  • You can choose whether to hide terms with no posts
  • User options to control how to treat display of new terms added to taxonomy

6. Advanced Menu Widget

  • Requires: 3.0 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.5.2
  • Last Updated: 2013-4-29
  • Downloads: 51,200
  • Ratings- 5 out of 5 stars

Free Download

This popular plugin adds enhanced “Navigation Menu” widget and offers many options which can be set to customize the output of the custom menu through the widget. Offered for free, this plugin is acknowledged for it’s below mentioned features:

  • Custom class for a widget block
  • Display only direct path to current element
  • Display all menu items starting with the selected one
  • Display menu as drop down
  • Starting depth and maximum level to display “+” flat display
  • Custom hierarchy

7. AllWebMenus

  • Requires: 2.3 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.9.1
  • Last Updated: 2014-4-25
  • Downloads: 39,256
  • Ratings- 2.9 out of 5 stars

Free Download

This WordPress plugin is widely used to create menus for your website. It works in combination with AllWebMenus Pro, which is a desktop application from Iikno software. This plugin allows you to create custom menus from your website’s structure, customize colors and behavior, add external links, and many more. It also creates cross-browser navigation menus that work alike in all browsers supporting DHTML. Some incredible features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Full cross-browser support (Internet Explorer, all Mozilla based browsers, Opera, Safari, Google Chrome and many more)
  • Full SEO support
  • Edit CSS menu properties through a WYSIWYG interface
  • Auto Item Highlight
  • Optimized menu building with separate java scripts for different browsers
  • Multiple Rows and Columns on submenus
  • Responsive Menus for your Responsive Website Designs (RWD)
  • Full documentation on all features and properties
  • Automatic Scroll on Mouse Over
  • Use popup and hidden menus that appear on events specified by you

8. UberMenu- WordPress Mega Menu Plugin

  • Compatibility: WordPress 3.9
  • Latest update: 2.4.0.3
  • Last updated on- January 16, 2014
  • Ratings- 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • Regular License- $19

Purchase

This WordPress plugin comes packed with lots of useful features that help you creating a powerful menu for your website or blog. UberMenu is responsive, therefore, it will work with smartphones and tablets, and it includes 20+ styles for you to choose from. This plugin is fully widgetized, and it also includes short codes in order to help you add Google Maps, a search bar, and latest posts to your website’s navigation. In addition to this, you can use UberMenu to create image-only menu items, add images and descriptions to menu items.

Some amazing features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Fully responsive
  • Enhanced CSS
  • Lighter weight and more efficient JavaScript
  • iPhone & iPad compatible
  • Supports both slide and fade effects for sub menus
  • Ability to create image-only menu items (no text)
  • jQuery Enhanced

9. WP Sticky Menu Plugin

  • Compatibility: WordPress 3.0 and above
  • Latest update: 2.0
  • Created- 14 May 11
  • Last updated on- 11 July 13
  • Ratings- 3.84 out of 5 stars
  • Regular License- $15
  • Extended License- $75

Purchase

One of the greatest mega menu plugins for WordPress, WP Sticky Menu Plugin is really powerful and supports option panel where you can choose different styles, width, animations, alignment of menu and much more. WP Sticky Menu Plugin is easy to manage and very flexible, and you can also select the animation effect for the sliding out and in of the menu.

Some special features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Optimized JS
  • Optimized CSS
  • Hide Mega Menu Titles Function Added
  • Sub Titles Activated and Restyled
  • Responsive
  • 10+ New Styles
  • Settings Panel Optimized
  • Mobile Ready

10. UI – Pro Simple Metro Style Navigation Bar

  • Compatibility: WordPress 3.0 and above
  • Created- 2 January 13
  • Last updated on- 13 March 13
  • Ratings- 4.00 out of 5 stars
  • Regular License- $6
  • Extended License- $30

Purchase

This simple WordPress menu plugin is used to create Metro (now called Windows 8 UI) style navigation bars easily. The menu plugin comes with the icon pack called ‘Iconic’ by P.J. Onori that can be effortlessly set with CSS classes. Some incredible features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Short code to create link for open/close/toggle actions for both sides
  • Change colors right from the admin panel
  • Separated Custom Post Type for the links for easy manage
  • Additional Settings Page for controlling the jQuery Plugin
  • Metro UI style navigation bar
  • Uses CSS3
  • Lightweight JS/CSS
  • HTML or Object source
  • Left or/and Right panel
  • Easy customization
  • Free Help in Basic Setup

There are heaps of other WordPress navigation plugins available, but these ten plugins are my personal favorites which are also competent enough to transform your website into more than a simple blog by making your menus look stunning. If you want to enhance user satisfaction on your website, I recommend you to hire experienced WordPress developers, who can give a professional touch to your website.

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