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Extended menus are drop-down menus with more than one column (sometimes also called "mega menus"). Extended menus are supported in most Thrive Themes (some themes with special layouts are an exception, e.g. Voice).

Extended Menu Elements

Here's an example of what an extended menu can look like, with all the features that differentiate it from a regular drop-down highlighted:

The first and most obvious difference (1) is that extended menus can have several columns of menu items.

Optionally, each column can also begin with a column heading (2). These column headings can be links or just un-linked titles.

In addition, you can add custom content such as images (3) or text (4) instead of regular menu items.

The extended menus are created using the WordPress menu builder, which you can access by going to "Appearance" -> "Menus":

Unfortunately, the WordPress menu builder is quite restrictive in terms of what it allows us to do and it wasn't built with multi-column menus in mind.

Because of these limitations, the extended menu feature isn't the most user-friendly thing you'll ever encounter, but you'll quickly get used to how it works and in the end, it gives you the greatest amount of freedom in creating your menus.


As an example, we'll use an extended menu with 3 columns. The first 2 columns show links, the final one shows some custom content (example shown is using the Squared theme):

Here's what the structure for this menu looks like in the WordPress menu builder:

In short, you create a new column by adding a 2nd-level item and you determine further links in this column by adding 3rd-level items below it. 3rd-level items can either be regular links or custom text and images.

Each level has a different role in the menu and each level has different settings available.

Top Level Settings

To create an extended menu, you need to check the "Activate Extended Menu" box in the top-level menu item. Then, there are two further settings to consider:

  1. Check the "Use Column Heading" box to display every 2nd-level menu item as a heading. Leave it unchecked to display all menu items the same.

  2. Select how many columns the menu should have.

2nd-Level Settings

Each 2nd-level menu item signifies the start of a new column. There is a "Disable Link" option for 2nd-level menu items.

The purpose of this is for menu headings: if you want menu headings to be purely descriptive and not themselves link to pages, check this box.

3rd-Level Settings

For 3rd-level menu items, there is one additional option: check the "Free Text Item" box to display custom content. Note that when this box is checked, the link and link text from the menu item is removed entirely.

Only the content you add in the text field will be shown for this item. You can add images and styled text to this field.

We recommend that you build an extended menu and try the different options yourself, as this is usually the quickest way to understand how it works and end up with exactly the menu you need for your site.

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