is a popular WordPress menu plugin built by ExpressTech
. It has over 2 million downloads, over 230 5-star ratings, and promises absolute responsiveness across screen sizes.
Google has been working on mobile-first indexing for years and made the switch in September 2020
. While there are many factors that go into making your site mobile-friendly, having fully responsive menus that function perfectly for mobile users is huge
Accessibility is also a cornerstone of ExpressTech’s ethos, and they’ve made it possible for visitors to navigate your menus with a set of keyboard commands
without having to use a mouse.
You won’t need to know how to write code to build any kind of menu you want with Responsive Menu. Although, if you know some HTML5 and CSS3, this plugin offers a text field for entering custom CSS to tweak your menu and allows you to use custom HTML, too. And you can do this without having to edit the theme files, which can be tricky to do without breaking your site.
So let’s talk about what can you do with your navigation using this plugin.
What kind of menus can you build with Responsive Menu?
The hamburger menu seems to be the focus of most of the sources we found, probably because the whole point of the plugin is to build mobile-friendly menus. And we’re all used to looking for those familiar three lines by now. So that would make sense!
You can add a header bar to use in conjunction with menu options to give your menu an app look and feel. You can make a full screen menu. You can even create a mega menu by taking advantage of the multiple levels of submenus.
If you’re not sure what to use these for, full screen menus are great for displaying a clean, distraction-free context for navigation. And if you have a massive amount of content, mega menus can organize it to make every part of your site visible from the menu.
Responsive Menu uses your existing navigation to create a responsive menu and you’ll need to “hide” your default WordPress navigation in order to display your new menus. And if you don’t know where to start, you can download templates to start off with or use the plain default template and build it up from scratch.
And there’s something else that makes Responsive Menu stand out.
One specific feature worth looking for in any plugin
There is one feature of Responsive Menu of particular interest to developers – W3C compliance. Every developer has (or should have been) at least introduced the to importance of clean code.
Dirty, ramshackle code will slow your site down and may produce errors. Content management systems, page builders and plugins have long been notorious generators of unnecessary code. But that’s starting to change as the tools of our trade must produce complex functions without slowing down page speed for mobile devices.
In their blog post How to Build a Responsive Top Navigation Menu without coding?
For complex sites with a lot of plugins and/or custom code, that may be a deciding factor if it comes down to a choice between a plugin you know is built with clean code and one that doesn’t come with that W3C endorsement.
What features come with the free version of Responsive Menu?
Over 150 customization options give you thousands of possibilities for realizing your perfect menu. And then lets you easily change it a few months later when you feel like giving your site a new look and feel.
You also get:
- integrated search
- the ability to show or hide buttons
- multiple levels of submenus for more organized navigation
- support for external scripts in the footer, so you know the HTML will load first
- complete control over typefaces and type sizes and colors
- touch gestures and keyboard commands
- header bar you can build into a menu
- 600+ font icons from FontAwesome and Glyphicon sets
- the ability to suppress unwanted scrolling when opening and closing menus
- accessibility on as many devices as possible
What features are available in the Advanced and Pro licenses?
With the Advanced and Pro versions, you can:
- preview your menu before publishing it
- choose animation for menu items when the menu opens
- adjust opacity for all colors
- use a custom overlay with adjustable color and opacity
It also comes with Fonticon support for individual menu items, 15 button animation effects, and an integrated header bar.
Here’s the plugin’s page
on WordPress.org if you’d like to see instructions about how to download and install Responsive Menu. And if you’re ready to design, the support area of the Responsive Menu site has a great article explaining how to style your menus