How To Add a Slide Panel Menu in WordPress Themes

If you are a WordPress developer or a WordPress theme designer, you may want to add a custom menu in your theme editor in order to control the menu options. However, the WordPress admin dashboard does not have a slide panel menu option by default. This means that you have to turn to a third-party plugin or template to add this feature to your themes. Therefore, today we are going to explain how to add a slide panel menu in WordPress themes.

Slide Panel Menu in WordPress Themes: Why Include It?

There are many reasons why including a side panel may be important. The first reason is that visitors will have an easier time navigating your WordPress site if you take the time to develop intuitive menus. The second reason is that slide panels are necessary for mobile devices. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have them if you want your website to function well on mobile devices. However, if many of your site users will be using mobile devices, testing the menu’s layout on these smaller displays is essential before going live with WordPress. Fortunately, when viewed on a mobile device, many WordPress themes’ default styles will display mobile-friendly menus. A fullscreen responsive menu or dynamic slide panel menu in WordPress themes might be a nice touch to further personalize your mobile navigation. For this reason, let’s examine the integration of a sliding panel menu into WordPress themes.

Step One: Install the Responsive Menu Plugin

Installing and enabling the Responsive Menu plugin is the first step. There are two different versions of this plugin, a paid and a free version. While the paid version of Responsive Menu offers some nice extras like conditional logic and more theme options, we’ll be using the open-source plugin for this tutorial. Upon turning on the responsive menu, go to Responsive Menu > Menus. As soon as you are there, go up to the toolbar and hit the “Create New Menu” button. Give your new menu a name, and save your work. Don’t worry if it says it’s empty.

WordPress plugins in the download menu.
The Responsive Menu plugin is required to create a slide menu in WordPress.

Step Two: Chose the Theme

The new responsive menu will then provide you with four different design options. You may buy more themes if you like. This tutorial will make use of the system-selected theme. Then, you may go on by selecting the “Next” option. If you have not done so already, give your responsive menu a name and then choose the menu type from your WordPress dashboard that you want to appear in the sidebar. We selected the ‘Navigation’ option for the sake of this tutorial.

If you want your visitors to only see the new slide panel menu, you may also choose to conceal the default menu that appears with your WordPress theme. To do this, use the area labeled “Hide Theme Menu” to input some CSS code. Click the “Know More” button for more information on how to input the appropriate code for your chosen theme. The Pro edition adds a few more customization options for the user.

Step Three: Set It Up

After you have adjusted the parameters to your liking, you can generate your menu by clicking the “Create Menu” button. After you have done this you will find a preview of your site to the right, with options to switch to mobile, tablet, or desktop mode down at the bottom. On the left, you’ll see further settings for personalization. Take note of the language that appears above the menu options. Both the menu’s title and a line of “Additional Content,” as the plugin labels it, are shown here.

Lines of code displayed on a screen.
With little to no coding, you can incorporate a slide menu into your WordPress theme.

Select “Mobile Menu” and then “Container” from the side menu to make changes to or conceal the text. In the Title Text area, you may enter anything, from “Main Menu” to “Navigation.” To disable the title bar, just toggle the switch labeled “Title” to the off position. Once you’ve done that, go to the ‘Additional Content’ option. You have the option to disable this feature or replace the text with anything else. When you’re through customizing the menu, don’t forget to click the “Update” button at the bottom of the page.

Step Four: Test It Out

Before you go live, it’s important to do some preliminary testing. To make sure everything is working properly, you may want to use a different browser than the ones you’d normally use to access your site. In this example, we used the Google Chrome browser. To access the site on mobile devices, we downloaded an app called “Internet Explore for Android.” We copied and pasted the URL for this site into the app, and the results were astounding. We found that the menu was formatted properly in both landscape and portrait orientations, and all of the links worked as expected. Your mileage may vary when it comes to mobile devices, though. We encourage you to test your menu on as many devices and browsers as possible before putting it live. If you do find any problems, now is the time to fix them.

A person testing out their slide menu implementation on their WordPress website.
You must test everything before going live after adding a new element to your website.

Step Five: Go Live

Once the menu has been tested and you’re satisfied that everything is working as planned, it’s time to make it available to the public. Click on the menu icon in the upper right corner of your site and select “Menu Settings” from the drop-down menu. You’ll see a list of items with the title “Mobile Menu” at the top of the list. This is where you’ll enter the web address for your Mobile Menu Plugin page. Once that’s done, click “Save Changes” and wait a few seconds for the changes to take effect. That’s it!


Now that you know how to add a slide panel menu in WordPress themes, go and try it out on your own site. And now, if you ever want to update your website with additional menus, you know how to do it. Hopefully, this article helped you learn a new skill and didn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed.


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