I am new in WordPress world (before now I always used Joomla and some other old CMS)

Now I am testing WordPress and I have some doubts about how create a navigation menu in my WP Site.

This is my test site (that at this time have not content but only a template): http://www.scorejava.com/WPTest/

I plan to create articles organized by category and I would have an horizontal top menu like this WP blog: http://viralpatel.net/blogs/

As you can see in this second WP site there is an horizzontal top menu that contains some voices, like "Java", clicking on this voice appear a page showing all the Java posts preview.

As you can see this menu work also with submenu, for example, moving the mouse cursor on Java appear the "Java EE" subvoice.

What can I do to have something like this in my WordPress?

And if I want a similar vertical menu in my right sidebar?

  • Have you looked at some popular (free and premium) WP themes which already have a similar nav structure? It'd be easier to simply take that theme and start writing! Mar 21, 2013 at 12:52

4 Answers 4


You have to register menu's in your theme's functions.php unless you only wish to use them in widgetised areas.

As an example:-

<?php register_nav_menu('main', 'Main Navigation Menu'); ?>

Then you have to call that menu into your template file where you wish it to be displayed, so for example, in the header (header.php):-

<?php wp_nav_menu( array('main' => 'Main Navigation Menu' )); ?>

Then you can construct the menu in the Wordpress back office under 'Appearance' > ' Menu's' including necessary pages and categories as you wish.

You can set the menu to auto include top level pages as they are created as well.


First create a custom menu in your admin-area. You find this option under DESIGN > MENUS

On your left you can choose pages, links, categories etc. to add to the menu. Then you can arrange them on the right through drag and drop. This way you can create sub-menu-items too, if you drag them a little bit to the right, beneath the main-menu-item. If you are finished give your menue a name and choose it as primary menu (top left)

If you want to add this menu to the sidebar too, go to DESIGN > WIDGETS and drag the "individual menu"-bar to the side-bar (right). There you need to choose the name of your menu again.

I hope I didn't missed something.


schwarzgrau's information is correct you want to use the 'Custom Menu' widget to create a vertical menu. your horizontal menu will be created automatically as you create parent 'pages' but can be customised by using from Appearance > Menus. If you want drop down menus dont forget to set your parent in your child pages to have that cascading sub-menu you speak of.

You might want to consider using posts as these are categorise-able and therefore maybe more efficient if you have lots of articles; they will add themselves to their relevant categories at the click of a button once these are defined (and can be done so from the posts menu) and therefore can also be used in your vertical sidebar menu using the 'Categories' widget.

Hope this helps. Best of luck and let us know how you get on.


First read WordPress Codex to get better understand structure and maintenance. No need any codes or any plugins and any themes. As I understand your problem. Simply you can create a category menu using WordPress backend. Yes, you can add sub menus also. It's simple. For your sidebar just add one widget is there by default in WordPress custom menu widget. Simply use it. and style it.

also read @zigojacko answer.

If you need my help. Please find me any of social network by searching yeshansachithak.

Thanks for all.

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