How to Create Menus in WordPress (Complete Guide)

Did you just create a new WordPress website? And now you’re wondering, how to create a menu in WordPress? In this article, we are going to show you a complete step-by-step process to create menus in WordPress. By menus, I mean you will learn to create all types of menus in WordPress.

First, you’ll see the introduction and then you will learn all about creating menus in WordPress. So, let’s begin.

Table of Content

Before going to start, let’s take a quick overview of the menu.

What is a Menu in WordPress?

In simple words, the WordPress menu is a list of important links. These links consist of categories, pages, and posts. Without categories, pages, or posts, you can’t create a menu. Menus are proved to be very helpful for site visitors in finding what they are looking for.

You can display menus on different locations on your WordPress website. But the locations of menus depend on your WordPress theme. Usually, free themes provide fewer options than premium themes.

Example of WordPress Menu

As you can see in the image given below, we have a menu located at the top. This is just an example of how a WordPress menu looks like.

Example of Navigation Menu in WordPress

The menu in the above image, we call it navigation menu. It is always displayed at the top of the page. We also say it is the primary menu of our website.

As I said, every theme in WordPress provides different menu features. And every theme has built-in locations of menus in WordPress. So, you can display menus on different locations of your WordPress website.

For example, if you want to display a menu inside the footer of your website. Then, you do it by simply choosing the location.

Why Menus are Important?

The main reason is user experience. Search engines like Google prefer user experience more than everything else. Search engines always love those types of sites that are user-friendly and easy to use. A bad user experience always has a negative impact on your website and SEO.

Due to the menus, site visitors can easily navigate to any topic, page, or post. This way menus help your site visitors. And increases user-friendliness. That’s the simple reason that menus are very important.

Apart from that, every menu has its own importance. Whether it is a navigation menu, or a footer menu both have importance. Because every menu provides information about a particular section of your site.

Now, let’s create WordPress menus.

Create Menus in WordPress

In WordPress, we can create menus and add them to different locations of our website. And all the menus are called by different names in WordPress. For example, primary menu or navigation menu, secondary navigation menus, footer menus, mega menus, and sidebar menus, etc.

Well, we’re going to show you how to create all these menus in WordPress.

As I said a word earlier ‘menu locations’. The menu locations depend on your theme functionalities. Some WordPress themes provide more options for menu locations while some themes provide fewer options.

Before Starting Note: I will use the Astra WordPress theme in this whole process.

Also, you can see our guide on the best free WordPress blog themes.

Now let’s create menus in WordPress one by one.

Usually, the first menu that every visitor sees on a website is a navigation menu. The navigation menu refers to as navbar or nav menu. These menus are always located at the top of every WordPress website. As you can see in the image below.

Navigation Menu in WordPress

In this WordPress navigation menu, we add the most important categories, pages, and posts.

How to Create a Navigation Menu in WordPress

To create a navigation menu in WordPress first, log in to your WordPress dashboard.

Then, inside Appearance > go to > Menus. As shown in the image below.

In WordPress Inside Appearance Click on Menus

This will take you to the menus page.

Menus in WordPress

If you see the above image, there are three sections on that page.

  1. Add menu items: In this section, you can add items to your menus. In simple words, menu items are pages, posts, categories, and custom links that you can add to your WordPress menus.
  2. Menu struture: In this section, you can manage your menus structure. For instance, which menu item you should want to show first, second, and so on.
  3. Menu Settings: This section have some pre-defined locations for menus. These options are different in every theme. Here you choose only one location for each menu. After that theme will automatically display that menu on your selected location.

Let’s go ahead with creating the menu.

Now first, give your menu a name. Then select the location primary menu, and click on create menu button. As shown in the below image.

Create a Naviagtion Menu in WordPress

Note: Primary Menu is a location for navigation menu that displays at the top. If you choose any other location then the menu will not display at the top. For example, if you choose the footer menu then your menu will display inside the footer of your site.

Now, your menu has been created. Let’s add some items to our WordPress navigation menu.

First, let’s see how you can add pages to the WordPress menu.

How to Add Pages to WordPress Menus

To add pages in the WordPress menu, click on view all. Then, select all the pages you want to add to your menu and click add to menu button. After that click on the Save Menu button. As shown in the image below.

add pages in wordpress menus

How to Add Categories to WordPress Menus

To add categories to your WordPress menu, click the categories tab and then click view all. And select all the categories that you want to add to your WordPress menu. Then, click the save menu button to save it. As shown in the image below.

Add Categories to WordPress Menus

If you visit your site now, the menu is added. But the menu items are not arranged as you can see in the below image.

Nav Menu in WordPress

To arrange menus, you can drag and drop the menu items to adjust their position. As you can see in the below image.

Drap n Drop Menu items to Ajust Position

After arranging the menus, don’t forget to save them.

You can see more about categories in our how-to add categories in the WordPress guide.

How to Add Custom Links in WordPress Menu

To add custom links, go to add menu items section and click on the custom links as shown in the image below.

Now, enter the link you want to add to your menu in WordPress. Then, give a name to your menu item and click add. As shown in the following image.

How to Add custom links to WordPress Menu

A Dropdown Menu is a menu that consists of sub-menus. When you hover over the menu item, it shows a dropdown that has sub-items. As you can see in this image below.

To create these dropdown menus in WordPress, we first created some categories of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. And then we added these categories to the navigation menu as you have seen that above.

After that, to create a dropdown menu drag the menu items horizontally that you want to show on hover. As you can see in the following image.

How to Create a Dropdown Menu in WordPress

Now click on the save menu button to save your menu. And refresh your homepage and see the dropdown menu has been created.

Footer menus have their own importance. It is located at the very bottom of every website. Often, the footer menu consists of a few important page links. Important pages like privacy policy, about us, terms of service, and contact page.

As you can see in the image below, this is how the footer menus in WordPress look like.

To create a footer menu in WordPress, go to Appearance > then Menus. And click on create a new menu as shown in the image below.

How to Create a New Menu in WordPress

After that give your Menu a name. Then, select the footer menu in menu settings. Lastly, click on Create Menu button as shown in the following image.

Create Footer Menu in WordPress

Now add pages that you want to show in your footer menu.

To do pages to your footer menu, click on the view all inside pages section. Then, select the pages you want to add to your footer menu and click add to menu button as shown below.

add pages to footer menu

After that don’t forget to click the save menu button to add the footer menu in WordPress.

Sidebar menus are not so important but some WordPress users use them elegantly. You can add any type of menu to your WordPress Sidebar. In the sidebar, we use a navigation menu widget. Don’t worry, you don’t have to install a WordPress plugin. This widget is already included in WordPress by default.

So, to create a sidebar menu, go to widgets as shown in the image below. Then, click on the main sidebar.

to create a sidebar menu

Now, scroll down a little bit and click on the ‘+‘ button to add a new widget to your sidebar. Then, type ‘menu’ in search and select the navigation menu as shown below.

add menu in sidebar

This will add a menu widget in your sidebar. So what you have to do now is, simply select the menu that you want to display. As you see in the below image, I’m going to display my navigation menu in the sidebar. The navigation menu that we have been already created.

Sidebar Menu

Lastly, don’t forget to click on the update button to save your menu.

save Sidebar Menu

Now, let’s create a mega menu in WordPress.

5. Mega Menus in WordPress

Often you have seen menus that show a lot of links. And those links are divided into one, two, or more sections. Those types of menus are called mega menus. Mega menus are mostly used by larger websites. Mega menus are very helpful in organizing and showcasing your content like blog posts, videos, etc.

Example of Mega Menu

Example of Mega Menu in WordPress

Note: This is the menu that we’re going to create.

So, let’s create one.

How to Create a Mega Menu in WordPress

1. Install ‘Max Mega Menu’ Plugin

To create a mega menu in WordPress, install a plugin called Max Mega Menu. This plugin allows WordPress users to easily create mega menus in WordPress.

Tip: If you don’t know how to install a plugin. Then, read this guide to install plugins in WordPress.

After activating the Max Mega Menu plugin, go to the menus page.

max mega menu in WordPress

As you can see in the above image we have a max mega menu option available.

2. Enable Mega Menus in WordPress

Now go to the Max Mega Menu Settings option and click on enable and then save. As you can see in the following image.

Enable Max Mega Menu

Selecting this option will allow us to convert our existing menu into a mega menu in WordPress.

Important: You should have some categories, pages, or custom links that you want to add to your menu. Then, make four menus with the names column 1, column2, column3, and column 4.

Now, which menu item do you want to convert to a mega menu. Then, just click on the ‘Mega Menu’ option to add items to your mega menu. As shown below.

Click on Mega Menu

Next, you will see a box as given in the image below. Here you can add items in the form of widgets to your mega menu.

Select ‘Mega Menu – Grid Layout’.

3. Add Columns in your Mega Menu

Now, add some columns to your mega menu. I added four columns to my mega menu by clicking on the column button as shown below.

Add Columns in your Mega Menu

Note: You can add rows too by clicking the button. I am just doing it to help you.

Let’s see the next step.

4. Add Widgets to your Mega Menu

Max Mega Menu allows us to add any type of widget in WordPress menus.

So, add widgets in these columns that you want to display in your mega menu. You just need to click on the ‘select widget dropdown’ to add widgets, as shown below.

Add Navigation Menu Widget in all columns

I added a ‘Navigation Menu’ widget in all the columns. Then, I selected the menus that I already have been created.

Note: You can drag and drop widgets to arrange in columns.

As you can see in the above image, just click on the wrench icon, select the menu, give a name, and click save. Repeat the process and select the items that you want to add.

Additionally, you can add any widget.

After this, save and refresh the homepage. Your mega menu has been created. But you will have to do some customizations to change the colors and design. I know you want to make an interactive and beautiful mega menu.

5. Custom Mega Menu in WordPress

To customize your mega menu, go to the ‘Menu Themes’ option as shown below.

Customize Mega Menu

Here, you can change the mega menu design. For example, you can set the menu background color to transparent or whatever, menu width, font size, and so on. Also, you can add icons to your menu.

Hope you understood.

That’s it. Now, you know how to create menus in WordPress!

I hope this guide will be helpful.

At last, if you have any questions related to this guide. Feel free to ask the questions in the comment section below.