Advanced Sidebar Menu


Uses the parent/child relationship of your pages or categories to generate menus based on the current section of your site. Assign a page or category to a parent and this will do the rest for you.

Keeps the menu clean and usable. Only related items display so you don’t have to worry about keeping a custom menu up to date or displaying links to items that don’t belong.

Check out Advanced Sidebar Menu Pro for more features including priority support, the ability to customize the look and feel, custom link text, excluding of pages, category ordering, accordions, custom post types, custom taxonomies, and so much more!

Pro version 3.9.0 is now available with support to exclude and change titles of navigation menu items using each page’s settings!


  • Page and Category widgets.
  • Option to display or not display the highest level parent page or category.
  • Option to display the menu when there is only the highest level parent.
  • Ability to order pages by (date, title, page order).
  • Exclude pages or categories by entering a comma separated list of ids.
  • Option to always display child pages or categories.
  • Option to select the levels of pages or categories to display when always display child is used.
  • Option to display or not display categories on single posts.
  • Ability to display each single post’s category in a new widget or in same list.

Page Widget Options

  • Add a title to the widget
  • Display highest level parent page
  • Display menu when there is only the parent page
  • Order pages by (date, title, page order)
  • Use built in styling (very plain styling, for more advanced styling Go Pro!)
  • Exclude pages
  • Always display child Pages
  • Number of levels of child pages to display when always display child pages is checked

Category Widget Options

  • Add a title to the widget
  • Display highest level parent category
  • Display menu when there is only the parent category
  • Use built in styling (very plain styling, for more advanced styling Go Pro!)
  • Display categories on single posts
  • Display each single post’s category in a new widget or in same list
  • Exclude categories
  • Always display child categories
  • Levels of Categories to display when always display child categories is checked

Pro Features

  • Priority support.
  • Ability to customize each page’s link text.
  • Click and drag styling for page, category, and navigation menu widgets.
  • Styling options for links including colour, background colour, size, and font weight.
  • Styling options for different levels of links.
  • Styling options for the current page or category.
  • Styling options for the parent of the current page or category.
  • Block styling options including borders and border colours.
  • Bullet style selection from 7 styles or select none to have no bullets.
  • Accordion menu support for pages, categories, and navigation menus.
  • Accordion icon style and colour selection.
  • Accordion option to keep all sections closed until clicked.
  • Accordion option to include highest level parent in accordion.
  • Ability to exclude a page from all menus using a simple checkbox.
  • Link ordering for the category widget.
  • Number of levels of pages to show when always displayed child pages is not checked.
  • Ability to select and display custom post types.
  • Ability to select and display custom taxonomies.
  • Optionally display the current page’s parents, grandparents, and children only.
  • Optionally display child page siblings when on a child page. With our without grandchildren available. .
  • Ability to display the widgets everywhere the sidebar displays.
  • Ability to select the parent page/category when using the display widget everywhere option.
  • Ability to display assigned posts or custom post types under categories. NEW
  • Ability to select which levels of categories assigned posts should display under. NEW
  • Ability to limit the number of posts or custom post types to display under categories.
  • Support for custom navigation menus from Appearance -> Menus.
  • Ability to display the current Navigation Menu’s items parents and children only.
  • Optionally display the top level Navigation Menu’s items when there are no child items or not viewing a menu item. NEW
  • Access to members only support area.

Currently ships with the following languages

  • English (US)
  • German (de_DE)


Developer docs may be found here.


Send pull requests via the GitHub Repo


  • Page widget options
  • Category widget options
  • Example of a page menu using the 2017 theme and default styles
  • Example of a category menu ordered by title using the 2017 theme and default styles


Use the standard WordPress plugins search and install feature.

Manual Installation

  1. Upload the advanced-sidebar-menu folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Drag the “Advanced Sidebar Pages Menu” widget or the “Advanced Sidebar Categories Menu” widget into a sidebar.


The widget won’t show up?

The widgets in this plugin are smart enough to not show up on pages or categories where the only thing that would display is the title. While it may appear like the widget is broken, it is actually doing what it is intended to do.

The most common causes for this confusion come from one of these reasons:
1. The incorrect widget was selected (there are different widgets for categories or pages).
2. “Display highest level parent page” or “Display highest level parent category” is not checked.
3. The widget is currently not being viewed on a Page (for the pages widget) or Category (for the categories widget).

How do I change the styling of the current page?

You may add css to your theme’s style.css to change the way the menu looks

For Instance This would remove the dot and change the colour

.advanced-sidebar-menu li.current_page_item a {
    color: black;

.advanced-sidebar-menu li.current_page_item {
    list-style-type:  none !important;

To style your menu without using any code Go Pro!

How do you get the categories to display on single post pages?

There is a checkbox in the widget options that will display the same structure for the categories the post is in.

How do you edit the output or built in css?

Create a folder in your child theme named “advanced-sidebar-menu” copy any of the files from the “views” folder into
the folder you just created. You may edit the files to change the output or css. You must have the option checked to use the built in CSS (in the widget) to be able to edit the css file in this way.

Does the menu change for each page you are on?

Yes. Based on whatever page, post, or category you are on, the menu will change automatically to display the current parents and children.


July 1, 2019
I tried the free version of Advanced Sidebar Menu and could not get it to show up. I went to try to contact the developer but was directed to use a support forum - which of course did not help.So it goes witout saying - I will not be using the pro version when the free does not show up and had no real way of notifying the plugin dev - except for here.
June 29, 2019
This is a very adaptable plugin. Now we can have the links we want on each page: Links to all of the main pages via the WordPress menu, and links to sub-pages with the Advanced Sidebar Menu. Now, instead of building a separate website for each of our Instructors, we can simply give them a few pages on the main website, and use the Advanced Sidebar Menu to provide links to only their pages. We haven't experienced any problems with this plugin, it does the job just the way we expected it to.
March 12, 2019
Having auto-generated menus based on page hierarchy is an amazing feature that should be incorporated in WordPress! This is an amazing plugin. More importantly, it is great for developers since the author has selectors to identify how deep you are in the hierarchy (parent/child/grandchild) making CSS very clean and easy, without nesting.
December 19, 2018
Very useful and easy to use. When I ran into an issue this week, the plugin author looked at my site individually and updated the plugin to solve the issue. Couldn't be happier.
May 21, 2018
This plugin is superb! A lifesaver and exactly what I needed. Thank you to the creator(s) for making such a great tool free and available for us! I couldn't tell if this would create a different nav bar for different pages but it DOES - does everything I need it to. Highly recommend it!
Read all 28 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Advanced Sidebar Menu” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Advanced Sidebar Menu” has been translated into 3 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Advanced Sidebar Menu” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Elementor support for multiple widgets of the same type on the same page.
  • Automatically increment widget ids under any cases where they would duplicate.
  • Bump required WordPress Core version to 4.8.0.


  • Convert “Always display child pages” to use our List_Pages structure and support all widget options.
  • Bump required PHP version to 5.4.4.


  • Added support for Beaver Builder


  • Greatly improve category widget performance


  • New improved widget structure


  • Support Pro Version 3.0.0
  • Add German translations
  • Begin converting code formatting to strict WordPress standards


  • Restructure the codebase to a more modern PSR4 structure
  • Improve cache handling
  • Improve verbiage in admin
  • Implement new actions and filters
  • Rebuild templates for improved stability and future changes
  • Improve performance
  • Kill conflicting backward compatibility with version 5
  • Open up more extendability possibilities


  • Code improvements
  • Performance improvements via shared child retrieval

= 6.3.0
* Improve category class handling for pro version accordion support


  • Improve sorting of categories


  • Improve page list view
  • Add advanced_sidebar_menu_list_pages_args filter


  • Remove legacy template support
  • Restructure plugin
  • Introduce ‘advanced_sidebar_menu_template_part’ filter


  • Convert query over to get_posts() to allow for more extendability
  • Implement object caching to improve performance for environments using external object caches
  • Begin modernizing the naming conventions of methods and improving PHPdocs


  • Greatly improved performance
  • Improved code structure


  • Added Internationalization (I18n) support


  • Added support for Pro Version


  • Improved filter structure to allow for add-ons to work more effectively


  • Added a has_children class to page links with hidden children


  • Added many filters into the category widget for things like taxonomies, parent category, display on override, order by, and much more. There is no UI support for any of this yet, but developers may now tap into this.


  • Added Order By Selection in Page Widget


  • Added support for an unlimited number of page levels
  • Change structure slightly for future enhancements
  • Added Legacy Mode for backwards compatibility