“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
Prefer vertical menus over horizontal menus?
Luckily for you, there are tens of thousands of WordPress themes, and plenty available with vertical menus.
Out of all these themes, the templates selected below represent your best options. You’ll find themes for any kind of site here – photography, eCommerce, blogging – you name it!
Only the most customizable and attractive themes with vertical menus have been included below, so make sure to give each demo site a look.
You might also like some of the templates in our mega menu WordPress themes collection.
Vertical menu WordPress themes
With new updates coming out for WordPress all the time, it’s important that the themes remain up-to-date. Each of these themes has a track record of consistent attention from the developers and work great with the latest WordPress release.Here are my top picks for best vertical menu WordPress themes for 2020.
1. Author by Compete Themes
I can’t make this list without first mentioning our theme, Author.
Author is a minimalist theme designed with a left sidebar menu. It’s great for blogs and other websites with lots of written content. The layout was styled based on the Van de Graaf canon which is an ancient approach to creating optimal text layouts in books. Elements of this design have been brought onto the web with the Author theme.
This WordPress theme for bloggers and writers is also completely free. You can install it directly from your dashboard by searching for “author” in the Appearance menu. Installation takes just a few seconds and you’ll be ready to customize. You can follow the Author Getting Started Guide to personalize your site exactly how you want it.
2. Vertikal by ThemeWisdom (Themeforest)
The Vertikal theme has a cool style that businesses and tech bloggers will appreciate. The simple color palette is fully customizable but looks great with the default blue accents.
Of course, you’ll be happy to see that Vertikal has a vertical menu featured prominently on the left side of the site. While it looks like it may be static from the screenshot above, it actually stays fixed on the screen and follows you as you scroll down the site. This is a nice touch because visitors can always access the menu to navigate to new pages.
The rest of the site has a boxed style that makes it very easy to see all of the content available. More modern designs tend to use full-screen layouts, but personally, I appreciate how easy it is to scan the content of a boxed layout.
Vertikal has loads of pre-made skins and other customizations that I haven’t even mentioned yet. Check it out on Themeforest to see what else this vertical menu theme is capable of.
3. Kreativa by Imaginem (Themeforest)
If you’re a photographer, check out the Kreativa theme. It has gorgeous full-screen image backgrounds and a slick, semi-transparent vertical menu.
Navigating through the demo site, you’ll be amazed by how many different layouts are available. There are 10 different portfolio designs and many more gallery styles available too. You’ll have no problems featuring your photos exactly how you want with this premium WordPress theme.
On top of the simple yet excellent design, Kreativa has a huge amount of practical features for photographers. For instance, there is a built-in photo proofing and client management system. This WordPress theme goes above and beyond a great design for showcasing your images. On top of this, you can promote events on the site and even sell digital and physical products thanks to the WooCommerce integration.
4. Bullet by RedExp (Themeforest)
Bullet is a multipurpose theme that features a left sidebar vertical menu. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used for any kind of website you want to make.
The menu itself is prominent and easy to navigate. You’ll find it easy to use the menu system provided by WordPress to quickly fill out the sidebar with all of the necessary pages. Below the menu, you can add any widgets you’d like to make use of the sidebar space.
As for the rest of the page, you can add any content you want. Besides simple posts and pages, you can build out completely custom page templates using the page builder. Bullet bundles the Visual Composer page builder plugin for free saving you $33. This drag-and-drop template creator takes some getting used to, but once you know how to use it, you can create any template you want.
Overall, Bullet is a solid theme and likely the most customizable one included in this list.
5. Elessi by Nasa Themes (Themeforest)
Need an eCommerce theme with a vertical menu? Check out the excellent Elessi theme.
This WordPress theme for eCommerce stores has a perfect 5.00/5.00 rating on Themeforest after 39 reviews which is incredibly rare. Usually, there are at least a few bad reviews from bugs or unsatisfactory support interactions. While Elessi has a great design and plenty of features, the majority of the reviews are left for the outstanding customer support the developers provide.
Elessi has a flat style design with a warm and cozy color palette. It balances images, text, and icons effectively to create a dynamic and attractive style. In the screenshot above, you can see how the vertical menu fits in to allow visitors to quickly find the right department on your site. Similar to Amazon, each menu item can be hovered over to expand a mega menu with many more options inside.
The Elessi theme is fully compatible with WooCommerce which means you get great features like payment processing, customer reviews, and product search filters all built into the experience. The product pages themselves are gorgeous and include everything you could want from image galleries, lightboxes, and options to select different colors and sizes.
Which vertical menu theme is best for you?
Author is the only free theme featured here and has a simple, adaptable design. It works great for bloggers and content creators. However, if you want to use it as a business theme with more complex page designs, you can easily do this by customizing templates with Elementor.
For a basic business website, Vertikal will be your best choice. It has an excellent design and I love how the sidebar menu is sticky so it stays available as you scroll down the page. Bullet is a superb alternative for business sites and any other kind of website thanks to its page builder and customizable layouts.
If you’re a photographer, Kreativa is the obvious choice. It’s got an amazing assortment of features and a gorgeous design.
Lastly, if you want to create an e-commerce store with an Amazon-like sidebar menu, you can’t beat the highly-rated Elessi vertical menu theme.
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