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How to Highlight a Menu Item in WordPress

In the realm of website design, effectively highlighting menu items can greatly enhance user experience and drive desired actions.

This article explores two methods for highlighting menu items in WordPress: utilizing the Full Site Editor and the Theme Customizer. Detailed step-by-step instructions and customization tips are provided, alongside an exploration of the importance of well-designed navigation menus and available styling options.

Additionally, recommended resources and plugins are suggested to optimize website performance, security, and marketing efforts.

Discover how to make menu items stand out in WordPress.

Why Highlighting Menu Items Is Important

Highlighting menu items in WordPress is important for drawing attention to specific areas on the menu and emphasizing important pages. By using visual cues such as color or styling, highlighted menu items can effectively draw attention and improve user experience.

This is especially crucial for boosting sales and increasing conversions, as it directs users to important pages like pricing or contact us.

When menu items are highlighted, they stand out from the rest of the menu, making it easier for users to navigate and find what they are looking for.

Furthermore, emphasizing important pages through menu highlights can reduce bounce rates and encourage users to explore more of the website.

Method 1: Using Full Site Editor

To highlight a menu item in WordPress, there are two methods you can use. The first method is to utilize the Full Site Editor, which allows for easy customization of the menu appearance. By using the Full Site Editor, you can make changes to the CSS code for the desired highlight effect. Here are some tips for customizing menu item highlight using the Full Site Editor:

  • Access the Appearance » Editor page in the WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Double-click the menu item you want to highlight and click the Settings icon.
  • Scroll down to the Advanced tab and expand it.
  • Add the CSS class ‘highlighted-menu’ in the Additional CSS Class field.
  • Save your changes and add CSS code to your theme for the highlight effect.

By adding a CSS class and customizing the CSS code for the highlight effect, you can easily draw attention to important menu items on your WordPress website.

The advantages of using the Full Site Editor include the ability to make quick and easy changes to the menu appearance, as well as the flexibility to customize the highlight effect to match your website’s design.

Method 2: Using Theme Customizer

The second method for highlighting a menu item in WordPress is by utilizing the Theme Customizer.

This method is particularly useful for users who are using a block-enabled theme.

To begin, navigate to the Appearance » Customize section in the WordPress admin dashboard.

From there, click on the Menus tab and open the advanced properties by clicking the gear icon.

Check the CSS Classes box and select the menu that contains the desired menu item.

Expand the menu item and click into the CSS Classes field.

Here, you can add the CSS class ‘highlighted-menu’ to highlight the menu item.

Customizing Menu Item Highlight

To customize the highlighting of a menu item in WordPress, you can adjust the CSS code to modify the appearance of the menu item. Here are some ways you can customize the menu item highlight:

  • Customizing colors: Change the background color by replacing the color code in the CSS snippet. You can use the hex code of any color to customize the background.
  • Adding icons: Enhance the menu item by adding icons that represent the page or category. Icons can make the menu item more visually appealing and engaging.
  • Adjusting font styles: Experiment with different font styles to make the menu item stand out. You can change the font family, size, weight, and other properties to create a unique look.
  • Using hover effects: Apply hover effects to the menu item to provide a visual cue when users interact with it. This can include changing the color, adding an underline, or applying a shadow effect.
  • Exploring animation effects: Add animation effects to the menu item to make it more interactive and dynamic. This could include fade-in, slide-in, or bounce effects.

Importance of WordPress Navigation Menus

WordPress navigation menus play a crucial role in enhancing website usability and user experience. They provide a clear and intuitive way for users to navigate through different pages and find the information they are looking for. By organizing website content effectively, navigation menus reduce bounce rates and improve user engagement.

In addition to improving user experience, navigation menus also contribute to better SEO rankings. When optimized properly, they can help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of a website, leading to improved visibility in search results.

WordPress offers a wide range of menu layouts and customization options, allowing users to create menus that align with their website’s design and branding. Users can also enhance the user experience by adding icons or images to menu items, making it easier for users to identify and navigate to specific sections of the website.

Styling Options for WordPress Navigation Menus

Styling options for navigation menus in WordPress allow users to customize the appearance and layout of their website’s navigation, enhancing both the design and functionality of their menus. These options provide flexibility and creativity in creating unique and visually appealing menus.

Here are some key styling options available:

  • Font customization options: Users can choose from a variety of fonts and customize the font size, color, and style to match their website’s branding.
  • Vertical menu layout: Users can choose to display their navigation menu vertically, providing a sleek and modern look.
  • Adding icons to menu items: Icons can be added to menu items to make them more visually appealing and easier to understand.
  • Background color customization: Users can customize the background color of their menu items to create a contrast or match their website’s color scheme.
  • Styling submenus: Submenus can be styled to differentiate them from the main menu, such as using different background colors or font styles.

Additional Resources and Plugins for WordPress

There are various resources and plugins available for WordPress users to enhance their website’s functionality and customization options.

One recommended plugin for adding CSS code snippets is WPCode. It allows users to easily add and manage CSS code to customize the appearance of their highlighted menu items.

Another useful plugin is the Yoast SEO plugin, which helps optimize website content for search engines.

The WooCommerce plugin enables easy setup and management of online stores, while the Jetpack plugin provides security, performance, and marketing features.

For creating and managing contact forms, the Contact Form 7 plugin is highly recommended.

These plugins offer additional functionality and customization options that can greatly enhance the user experience and improve website performance.


In conclusion, highlighting menu items in WordPress is a powerful tool for drawing attention to important pages and increasing conversions. By using the Full Site Editor or the Theme Customizer, website owners can easily customize their menu item highlights.

Well-designed navigation menus and the various styling options offered by WordPress play a crucial role in creating an effective and user-friendly website.

To further enhance WordPress websites, additional resources and plugins are available to optimize performance, security, and marketing efforts.

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