Search “WordPress menu plugins” in Google = Eeek!
A quick search for WordPress menu plugins in Google will bring up over 32,000,000 results. Oh, dear Lord! Dozens, if not hundreds, of those results can be quite mouth-watering at first glance. But sifting through the mess of unappetizing stuff to find something satisfying can be frustrating to say the least. Even searching the WordPress plugin repository can be quite tedious.
So, here’s a collection of 9 really cool jQuery-powered WordPress menu plugins to get you feeling more inspired than frustrated (and to enhance the user experience on your site, of course). You’re welcome! Along with the 4 freebies and 5 premies, be sure to check out the bonus tutorial at the end if you want to get your hands dirty and create something truly unique!
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4 Free jQuery WordPress menu plugins from Design Chemical
#1 – Mega Menu Widget – Download | Screenshots & Docs
This is one of the best free WordPress menu plugins I’ve used. Drag the Mega Menu Widget into any widget area and select one of your custom menus from the dropdown. Apply one of 8 available skins, set the animation effects, and you’re done. Simple. Plus, you can download the stylesheet to use images in your custom menu as shown above. Go to the Custom Mega Menu styling page at Design Chemical and click “Download Source Files”.
If you don’t have a widget area where you want to display the menu (for example, in your theme’s header), see How to Widgetize a Page, Post, Header or Any Other Template in WordPress.
#2 – Vertical Mega Menu Widget – Download | Screenshots & Docs
The widget options of this plugin are quite similar to #1 above when it comes to choice of skins and animation effects. You can also select to have the sub-menus flyout to the left or to the right. And yes, you can have multiple instances of the widget on any page. To use images in your menu, get the advanced styling stylesheet from Design Chemical.
#3 – Drill Down iPod Menu Widget – Download | Screenshots & Docs
This plugin is an excellent option if you need to present a large, complicated hierarchical menu in a small, vertical, compact and fixed-sized area. Breadcrumb navigation in the menu widget makes it easy for your site visitors to know at a glance where they are in the menu hierarchy.
#4 – Floating Menu – Download | Screenshots & Docs
Have important links that you want to be available to your site visitors at all times? This plugin enables you to create multiple instances of sticky menus that can be set to float to either side of the screen, and remain visible while your site visitors scroll through your pages. It also comes with shortcodes that can be used to toggle any menu open or closed when visiting specific pages. Neat.
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5 Premium jQuery WordPress Menu Plugins from Code Canyon
FULL DISCLOSURE CLAUSE :-)
a) I’ve bought only one of the premium WordPress menu plugins listed below: UberMenu (I’m hooked!).
b) The “Purchase” links are not affiliate links; they are provided solely for your convenience.
#5 – UberMenu – Screenshots | Live Preview | Purchase
#6 – PBK Mega Menu – Screenshots | Live Preview | Purchase
#7 – WP Sticky Menu – Screenshots | Live Preview | Purchase
#8 – Mega Drop-Down – Screenshots | Live Preview | Purchase
#9 – Unique Path Style Menu – Screenshots | Live Preview | Purchase
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#10 – Slide Down Box Menu – Tutorial | Live Preview | Source Code
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to build something absolutely brilliant for your site, do check out this tutorial from Codrops Web Design. It provides detailed instructions, as well as all the code you need right on the page. You can also download the source files.
Note that this tutorial doesn’t really have anything to do with WordPress Menu Plugins… ‘cuz it’s not a plugin. I just found that the menu it allows you to create is quite unique, so wanted to include it here with the plugins. It also does not make use of WordPress custom menus; the menu created should be hard-coded in your template. So if you want it, go for it, and have some fun!
While you’re there, check out some of the other tuts from Codrops: it’s jaw-dropping stuff folks!
Photo credit: Flickr.com