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In many cases, websites need a menu that includes more features than the classic ones. There is a solution for that and it is called a mega menu. Mega menus are rich in features, dropdown menus that can be used for websites that need this function
One-level menus can only be used for a website that doesn’t have a lot of functions to include there. However, the problem appears with larger websites that have a lot of categories that need to be included in the dropdown menu. In order to build a menu for a website that has more than 10 pages of content, a WordPress mega menu is a solution. Keep reading to learn how to create a multi-level menu and to gather inspiration from other mega menu examples.
The definition of a mega menu
In order to define a mega menu, you need to understand that it is not a simple dropdown menu, such as the ones you might already be used with. Mega menus contain submenus, which are also called levels. For websites that contain a lot of categories, these multi-level menus are the easiest way to keep content organized and easy to navigate. Mega menus are used to improve the experience that a user has on a very complicated website.
Why should you use a mega menu?
There are a few reasons why you might want to use a max mega menu instead of other types of menus. Once you understood that these mega menus are based on multiple-level structures, you need to determine whether you need one or not. If you notice that the categories on your website can’t be squeezed into one single level menu, it is time to step up the game. Mega menus can include elements that visually represent the categories, which is another useful feature in making the website even more accessible for people who want to find their information fast. The characteristics of a mega menu are:
- It has 2D panels that are divided into groups
- All the categories are visible at once
- It can be oriented vertically or horizontally
- It includes actions such as hovering, clicking or tapping (on mobile)
Before making a decision
Do you really need a mega menu?
Even though you may have a lot of information to list on your website’s menu, a WordPress mega menu might not always be the best choice. When building a website, you need to take into account the requirements that the client has for the website. Some people may perceive mega menus as complicated instead of simple, moment when you will need to find another situation to list the categories. It would be best if you would advise people that you work with to use mega menus if they have a broad range of items to include on the website.
Is your mega menu built correctly?
Next, you need to learn how to build a mega menu correctly, as there are conventions to respect in order to get it right. Mega menu plugins are not difficult to handle, but you need to stay away from implementing revolutionary features that may turn out to be ineffective. Navigation can’t be risked because people want to find what they are looking for as fast as possible. Keep the mega menu familiar, to avoid confusing the user.
Building a responsive mega menu
One menu button
As you will see in most max mega menu examples, it is best to use only one menu button, for further expansions. Using one single button for the WordPress mega menu means that you can later add different categories to the top level without altering the layout of the website
Filtering is required
It is important to understand that some themes support built-in mega menus while others don’t. See if the theme you use is compatible with a WordPress mega menu, and if it’s not, go ahead and opt for Be Theme or other similar themes that offer built-in support.
The second option for implementing a mega menu
Because you can’t find a WordPress mega menu plugin that works exceptionally that easy, this is a list with the ones that will do the job. The downside is that you most likely will have to pay for these plugins. If your budget is tight, there are some options that are free as well. Check out this list:
This is a free option that many people choose. The plugin had a little over 100 000 installs a while back. It is the most lightweight solution you can find online and it is extremely easy to use. Basically, it replaces your existing menu with a mega menu one automatically. Then, you can style it the way you want by using the tools it comes with. Max Mega Menu can be applied to multiple websites at once and it is also based on a drag-and-drop builder.
Hero Menu is another premium plugin that can be considered more extensive than other plugins. The reason behind that is that it covers both simple dropdown menus and max mega menus. If you know your way around a WordPress mega menu, building one with the Hero Menu plugin will be the easiest thing you have done. You can even customize colors and backgrounds. The plugin also gives you choices for specific content types.
FAQ on WordPress mega menus
What's a WordPress Mega Menu Anyway?
Oh, man! So, a WordPress mega menu is like a super-sized dropdown menu that appears when you hover over a menu item. Instead of just a list of links, you get columns of content, images, and even widgets. It's a game-changer for sites with a lot of content. It's like turning your menu into a mini-website.
Why Would I Need One?
Well, think about it. If you've got a ton of content or products, a mega menu helps organize everything neatly. It's like having a tidy closet. Visitors can find what they're looking for way faster. Plus, it looks super professional. It's a win-win!
Are They Hard to Set Up?
Honestly? Not really. There are some fantastic plugins out there that make the process pretty straightforward. You don't need to be a coding genius. Just drag, drop, and customize. But, like anything, there's a learning curve. So, patience, my friend!
Do They Slow Down My Site?
Good question! If done right, it shouldn't. But, like with all things WordPress, it's about balance. If you go overboard with images and widgets, it might slow things down a tad. Just keep it clean, use optimized images, and you're golden.
Can I Customize the Look?
Oh, absolutely! That's the beauty of these mega menus. You can match them to your site's design, use custom fonts, colors, and more. It's like giving your menu a stylish makeover. Lookin' sharp!
Are They Mobile-Friendly?
Most of the time, yes. But, always double-check, especially if you're using a plugin. You want that menu to look slick on mobile too. Nobody likes pinching and zooming to navigate, right?
What If I Change Themes?
Great point! If you switch up your WordPress theme, you might need to tweak your mega menu settings. But, most plugins are pretty adaptable. Just a heads up to check everything after a switcheroo.
Do I Need a Special Plugin?
Not always, but it sure helps. There are themes with built-in mega menu capabilities. But, for the most flexibility and features, a dedicated plugin is the way to go. Trust me on this one.
How Do I Update It?
Just like you'd update any other part of your site. Add new links, change images, tweak the layout. Keep it fresh! And always, always backup before making major changes. Better safe than sorry.
Any Tips for a Mega Menu Newbie?
Totally! Start simple. Plan out your content and structure before diving in. And, test it out with real users. Get feedback. Tweak. Improve. And most importantly, have fun with it! It's a cool tool to elevate your site.
The key is not to underestimate the power of a good menu on a website. It is the key to good navigation and, thus, it influences the entire user experience. By using a WordPress mega menu or a theme that support built-in mega menus, you help visitors find what they are looking for faster. This is the factor that will make them return to your website in the future.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to get a WordPress mega menu, you should check out this one about how to make fewer http requests.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like
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how to reset WordPress,
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how to use the WordPress do_shortcode.