Add a Custom Menu To Your WordPress Theme

Complexity Low
Compatibility Wordpress 5.4, 5.5+


In this recipe, we will be adding a custom menu to your WordPress theme. This can be used to add header menus, footer menus, responsive pop-out menus, wherever you need a custom menu. These menus will be able to be controlled via Appearance -> Menus in your Admin Dashboard. This is just the basic registration and display of these menus.

Step 1: Register your Nav Menu

The first step is to register your menu in the theme. A lot of the time, this would be done in the functions.php file. If you choose to break up functions.php in smaller parts, place this wherever you include your menu settings.

        'header' => esc_html__( 'Primary Header Menu', 'your_theme' ),
        'footer' => esc_html__( 'Footer Menu', 'your_theme' )

Step 2: Display your Nav Menu

In any template part (header, footer, sidebar), partial, page, wherever you want to display this menu, place the following code:

        'theme_location' => 'header', // Key in the array when you register_nav_menus()