[CSS3] jQuery Dropdown Navigation in WordPress

Today, we will learn how to enhance you WordPress in a whole new way. Multi-Level or Multi-Dimensional navigation menus can offer your theme and users 2 new things. One, add a nice new type of effect to enhance your theme. Two, allow the users to find things more easily. We will start off by making a HTML version, then making it compatible with WordPress.
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Beginning the Script

At the beginning of every new project it’s good to have a good basic setup to work with. I prefer to have the basic elements every page needs, head and body, along with importing one stylesheet and the latest jQuery.

		<!-- Title -->

		<!-- Meta -->

		<!-- Javascript -->
		<script src=" jquery-latest.min.js" type="text/javascript"><!--mce:0--></script>

		<!-- Styles -->

		<!-- Content -->

Starting the Navigation

Before we dive into WordPress, in this tutorial or in any case, you want to make a working HTML version first. First, we are going to open up a header div width a unordered list inside of it that will end up being are navigation menu. You can give that unordered list a class or id but i am choosing not to for this tutorial. Next, fill the unordered list with about 4 list items (make sure the text is nested in anchor tags).

		<!-- Title -->

		<!-- Meta -->

		<!-- Javascript -->
		<script src=" jquery-latest.min.js" type="text/javascript"><!--mce:1--></script>

		<!-- Styles -->
<div id="header">
	<li><a href="#">list item</a></li>
	<li><a href="#">list item</a></li>
	<li><a href="#">list item</a></li>
	<li><a href="#">list item</a></li>

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 09:30 and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Cody Robertson is a 19 year old freelancer. He is currently attending university, but loves to write and create beautiful websites whenever he can. He ranges with a large spectrum of coding languages, all the way from Objective-C to HTML. Follow Cody on Twitter

About the author Published by Cody Robertson

49 Responses »

  1. Thank you! I might use it in my future WordPress website! 🙂

  2. ok great tutorial , and I’ll leave comment for respect

  3. There is a bug…
    When you pass the dropdown menu item a couple of times, it continues animating…

    If you move quickly 5 times over the button, it will animate 5 times… Is there a fix for it?

  4. Any reason you did not nest your tags properly? I mean going right into another LI without first opening a UL?

    Also, you should probably add a stop before you animate. When you mouse in and out rapidly, you are forced to wait for animation.

  5. @SD and @Matt

    We will try to find a solution for this ASAP.

  6. @SD I will look into it.

    @Matt It has it on my local version. I must have messde up while typing this tutorial. When using the WordPress code

  7. Nice tut.
    Ive found that the arrow element gets in the way of the first link in the list.
    Is there a way to make the arrow li smaller and less obtrusive?


  8. Found a solution for the arrow blocking the first link in the list.
    Just add z-index: -100; to the .arrow {} css element

  9. Could you please help me with one error im getting with this tutorial.
    Im getting a border on the left hand side of the .arrow element when the list animates up.

    You could please let me know how to remove this.
    My menu can be seen here: http://www.unit23skatepark.co.uk
    Mouse over the team or contact links.

    Thanks in advance.

  10. Tried the z-index fix above but it doesnt seem to do anything. Only way I found to get over the problem is to make the .arrow class more specific so that it overwrites the standard #header ul li ul li styles rather than defaulting to them.

    Change the .arrow selector to #header ul li ul li.arrow. Then on the last line add padding-bottom: 0; and you shouldnt have the arrow obscuring the link.

  11. Awesome tut … haven’t seen a simpler drop-down-jquery-tut anywhere.
    Note: does not work if you use WordPress’s own “jquery.js” from the includes directory.

  12. not working on localhost wordpress theme that is being developed 🙁

  13. Is there any way to center the submenu, because if you have a menu item with the name of Portfolio, the submenu is not centered.

  14. Ok, the submenu is centered only if the menu item has a fixed width but if i change the width to auto then the submenu is not centered, is there a way to fix this?

    • The only way to horizontally align an UL element without a fixed width is to use something like this:

      #nav ul {
      clear: left;
      float: left;
      position: relative;
      left: 50%;

      #nav li {
      display: block;
      float: left;
      position: relative;
      right: 50%;

  15. Thanks for a nice tut.

    I had a problem with a not so smooth animation after hovering the menu(due to the arrow being removed)

    (I used other styling with all images maybe thats why?)

    If you are having a similar problem the fix is to put the ‘remove arrow’ in front ‘add arrow’.

    Does the same job:

    //remove the Arrow
    jQuery(‘ul li.arrow’, this).remove();
    //Add the Arrow
    jQuery(‘ul li:first-child’, this).before(

  16. This post was extremely nicely written, and it also contains numerous helpful facts. I appreciated your professional way of writing the publish. Thanks, you have made it easy for me to understand.

  17. Can you give me more examples? I really want to create a drop down menu for my website! Thanks for your sharing and i’m looking forward to your more attractive content!

  18. Is there a fix for the way this menu pushes the whole page down on hover. I tried playing with z-index with no success.

  19. Very nice code snippet. It works great!

  20. Hi There!,

    this is my first ever post/comment/question regarding a tutorial.

    First off, thank you so much for sharing you knowledge with everyone. (it’s people like you that make it possible for people like me to design websites)


    When I view this drop down in firefox, the border and shadow don’t show. I haven’t tried IE yet.

    is there a fix?



  21. Hello Cody.
    first , i�d like to thank you for a big help that you gave me with this menu.
    but i still have some problems with render in the internet explorer browser .
    take a look at the link: http://www.assadballarinybrito.adv.br/teste/index.html
    and if you have a solution for this… because in another browser it’s working very well…
    Thanks a lot!

  22. put jQuery .stop function in your animation not to run it again and again!!