Do you need to create a simple or drop-down menu in WordPress? Are you looking for a way to learn all about WordPress menus? Do you want to make a multi-level drop-down menu in your header and add it to your footer too?

In this complete tutorial, you’ll learn how to work with different menus in WordPress CMS. Once you’ve created your first WordPress menu for your website, you’ll notice that it’s a simple task that can be done easily by making use of the default options in WordPress CMS.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have made a drop-down WordPress menu that looks like this:

Working with WordPress Menus

In the following, I’ll walk you through a step by step tutorial to make a menu for your website, using two different methods:

That sounds fantastic, right? So let’s get started.

Method #1: Creating menus in the WordPress admin area

First, log in to your WordPress dashboard, and in the left-hand sidebar select Appearance > Menus.

Next, give your first menu a name. If it’s not your first menu, then you need to click on the Create a New Menu link on top of the screen. So, give it a name and click the Create Menu button.

Adding new items to WordPress menus

Now you have an empty menu with no items. So you need to add some items to your new WordPress menu. In order to do that, in the left-hand sidebar of the menus screen find pages and click to expand. Then select a page and click Add to Menu.

If you want to add a custom link to your menu, then you could find the Custom Link section and click to expand. Next, you should give your item a name and type or paste a link in the URL field and click Add to Menu.

We added “Categories” and “Best Posts” using the Custom Link section like the screenshot below:

Creating a multi-level drop-down menu in WordPress

Now, let’s add some posts and categories to our menu. Post’s links will be set under the “Best Posts” item and categories links will be set under the “Categories” item. In other words, these links will be child menu items for their parent items. Go ahead and in the sidebar click Posts/Categories to expand. Mark or select the categories/posts you want and click the Add to Menu button.

Then, to make each item a sub-menu or sub-item of a parent-item, you can simply move them to the right by drag and drop.

Click Save Menu to publish your new-crated menu.

Now if you visit any page on your website, you’ll see your menu on the header like the screenshot below.

Working with WordPress Menus

How to customize my WordPress menus

Do you need to change the name of an item? Simply select each item that you want. This will expand your item. When the Navigation Lable field appears feel free and change its name to whatever you want.

Also, if you want to remove an item, then click on the red Remove link.

Warning: Do not click on the red Delete Menu link. This will delete all your menu items forever!

Alternatively, you can reorder or move your menu items up and down by drag and drop.

Do you want to show your menu in the footer or your topbar? In your WordPress dashboard, below the menu items, you can see the Menu Settings section. There you can adjust the position of your menu.

Also, if you have several menus, then you should adjust the Display Locations from the Manage location tab.

After you have created your WordPress menu, you can always come back to customize it again.

Method #2: Creating WordPress menus in the customizer

Now let me go further and find a better way to create WordPress menus. Navigate to Appearance > Menus and click the Manage with live preview button. 

This will take you to the WordPress Customizer screen which it’s an editor for different parts of a WordPress website.

In the left-hand sidebar, find and select Menus to see all of your created menus. Then, you need to click on the menu that you want to customize.

Theme Customizer is a default WordPress feature and it will provide you with a simple user interface and a live preview of your website. From this section, you can create or edit your custom menus as we did above in the WordPress dashboard. 

Also, you can see your menu in responsive mode using Customizer like the screenshot below:


Creating a drop-down or multi-level menu in WordPress is not a complicated task. You can easily create and customize your menu in the WordPress admin area or Theme Customizer. Of course, there are other different plugins to build a professional menu in WordPress like Elementor but we recommend to use the default features and don’t make it complicated. 

We hope this tutorial helped you to learn how to work with WordPress menus. If you enjoyed this tutorial, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or share it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you for reading this far. Good luck.


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