Is there any way to pass a parameter to a menu walker? I'm trying to write a BEM-style walker, and I'd like to be able to pass a class to apply to the menu links via the walker. Something like:

    "container"      => false,
    "depth"          => 3,
    "items_wrap"     => "%3\$s",
    "theme_location" => "primary",
    "walker"         => new BEMwalker("mobile"),
  • Can you access the menu args from the walker? Just had a quick read through the docs and it might be possible...? If so, you could add a custom argument
    – Tim Malone
    May 5, 2016 at 22:11
  • 1
    Alternatively you can use a filter to modify the menu links directly, it's wp_nav_menu_items or similar. The $args are then definitely available in there.
    – Tim Malone
    May 5, 2016 at 22:12
  • 2
    You are doing it right already. Just change the constructor to keep that value in a private member.
    – fuxia
    May 5, 2016 at 22:52

1 Answer 1


As @toscho said, you can call the walker class with parameters as you did:

new BEMwalker( 'mobile' )

The constructor of BEMwalker will take the arguments (like any other function or method in PHP) so you can access the parameter(s) via $this:

class BEMwalker extends Walker_Nav_Menu {

    private $classes;

    public function __construct( $classes = '' ) {
        $this->classes = $classes;

    public function start_el( &$output, $item, $depth = 0, $args = array(), $id = 0 ) {
       $output .= sprintf( "<li class=\"%s\"><a href=\"%s\">%s</a></li>",


Further reading: There's also a GitHub repository called WordPress BEM Menu which might help you to implement a BEM-like syntax.

  • 1
    Thanks much! I'm not the best with PHP, but I figured the answer would be this simple :) I'll give this a shot on Monday. May 8, 2016 at 16:36

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