Apr 17 2008

Multilevel Drop Down Navigation Menus: Examples and Tutorials


Navigation menus are the most important element one should pay attention when designing a website. Web-developers can create user-friendly horizontal or vertical navigation menus using CSS. Javascript makes it possible to create more interactive, more responsive and more flexible navigation to any website.

This article presents over 25 (horizontal and vertical) multilevel drop down menu built using Javascript and CSS which you can use in your future projects. Also you will find some useful tutorials at the end of this post where you can use to start building your own multilevel navigation menu.

You might check out these posts as well:

Horizontal and vertical drop down menus

1) Drop Down Tabs (5 styles)- Drop Down Tabs is a horizontal CSS tabs menu that supports a second level drop down menu for each of its tabs.

2) Professional Dropdown

3) Multi-level effect menu- Is a very configurable javascript/css hybrid dropdown menu that is capable of producing simple menus(both horizontal and vertical).

4) FastFind Menu- A jQuery nested menus, based on dynamic “AJAX” responses. The menu can also be dragged/dropped.

5) jQuery SuckerFish- Replicate Suckerfish Menus.

6) Fancy Sliding Tab Menu using script.aculo.us

7) List Based Menu with Images- This is a menu based on an unordered list (<UL><LI>). It makes the menu easy to use and friendly to search engines.

8 ) Slide down menu- A slide menu based on an unordered list (<UL><LI>).

9) Dropdownmenu made with scriptaculous/prototype- A multi level drop down menu.

10) Suckerfish-style menu plugin for jQuery- This demonstrates a two-tiered horizontal menu that displays the path to the current page when the menu is in its idle state.

11) Building a dynamic drop down menu

12) onMenuOpen onMenuCollapse Events- This is a one-time effect that shows off the menu opening up and firing an event, and then finishing with another event.

13) Mootools menu with accordion and effects- This simple menu has a neat effect by hovering over the links, and opens a submenu with an accordion.

14) Mootools Unlimited Drop Menu

15) Creating an Outlook Navigation Bar- Using the ListView and Accordion Controls

16) Simple CSS vertical menu Digg-like- This tutorial explains how to implement a simple vertical menu digg-like using CSS and javascript to show/hide sub-menu.

17) Drop down menu with Prototype- A unique drop down navigation that recursively applies a function to an li that toggles the visibility of a nested ul element.

18) Drop down menu with nested submenus- Using CSS and a little JavaScript

19) Drop down menu with jquery- A drop down animated menu example made with jquery

20) jdMenu Hierarchical Menu- The jdMenu plugin for jQuery provides a clean, simple and elegant solution for creating hierarchical drop down menus for websites to web applications.

21) jQuery plugin: Treeview- Lightweight and flexible transformation of an unordered list into an expandable and collapsable tree, great for unobtrusive navigation enhancements.

22) Drop Down menu

23) Accessible fold-out menu

24) Accordion Menu script- This example illustrates how you would add a collapsible sub level.

25) Complex Dynamic Lists- Using an unordered list, to display a hierarchical structure of a complexity that would be very hard to achieve with dynamic select boxes.

26) Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- Chrome Menu is a CSS and JavaScript hybrid drop down menu. It’s easy to configure and search engine friendly.

Drop Down Menu Tutorials

CSS Pop-Out Menu Tutorial

CSS Express Drop-Down Menus- CSS Express menus should only be used in a horizontal orientation with a single drop-down level.

Son of Suckerfish Dropdowns- An accessible, light weight (just 12 lines of JavaScript), with great compatibility and can have multiple-levels.

Drop Down Menu Generator

Izzymenu- With an impressive Ajax interface, you can build your own CSS drop down DHTML sub-menu in minutes without writing a single line of code.

About the Author

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.


Comments and Discussions
  • Siddharth, 17 April 2008

    Nice tutorial here, I use Dreamweaver for web design and in My opinion, sub categories navigation is not so good looking in vertical menu. But I like them as drop down in horizontal navigation. Off course who like opening a door and finding one more door in it? :-)

  • jeremy, 17 April 2008

    People are still using multilevel drop down menus?

  • Gunner Si, 17 April 2008

    Sweet post! An option for every use, i was just looking at these at work today. These are a pain in the @ss to handcode! Thanks for the linkage

  • chris, 18 April 2008

    sweet set! now to show off mine:

    built using scriptaculous/prototype. Thought i’d spice things up a bit!

  • Anthony Ettinger, 18 April 2008

    Great solutions…I find the 2nd level tabs don’t work well, since IE6 doesn’t like punching out of the parent’s container.

  • knurów, 23 April 2008

    thanks, I was looking for drop down menu and I found this list :)

  • Acronyms, 27 April 2008

    Drop downs are old school.

  • C, 28 April 2008

    Please don’t use multi-level drop downs. They are html evil incarnate! If you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice, you took a wrong turn somewhere and need to go back and retrace your steps.

    • D, 23 April 2011

      Mr.C. You are right. After having incorporating HVMenu, now I am finding it as a trouble. When I work with CSS for printing purpose, the multilevel HVMenu gives me headache as it is not hiding. Only when I want to overcome the problem, I found your comment!. How exactly it is true. As you said, now I am retracing my steps by wasting a lot of time.

  • C, 28 April 2008

    I should say that single level drop downs are ok and in many places a good design choice, just avoid taking them multi-level.

  • Ajay kamat, 03 May 2008

    cool !!
    realy gud menu.

    thanks buddy.

    Ajay Kamat

    • Baroda Design, 23 February 2012

      This is really awesome. very usefull one.. great work

  • M.S. Babaei, 11 May 2008

    great thanks!

    it’s very useful!

    I worked for hours and hours and make nothing

    thanks again!!!

  • .wired, 30 May 2008

    Wanted to add my dropdown navigation tutorial, too: http://blog.masterplane.de/informationstechnik/programmierung/css/vertikale-aufklappnavigation


  • zipper, 05 June 2008

    very cool)) thanks so much!!!

  • Chris, 24 June 2008

    what about accessibility (508) and JAWS reading submenu items? I can’t get the readers to “see” the submenus. I have run into this problem with no solution.

  • Subhash, 18 July 2008

    where are the files to download in “Mootools menu with accordion and effects”.

  • kacupeng, 22 July 2008

    i have question for you !!!

    can i put professional drop down menu in my blog site???
    how can i get it ???
    could you tell me please how to put drop down menu in my blog ???

    thanks before

  • Ahmad, 08 October 2008

    I do not know what to say really! These menus are truly awesome, and I never seen most of them.. thanks!

  • Eric, 10 November 2008

    great list.

  • Mark, 12 November 2008

    Very useful info. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ixalmida, 27 October 2009

    I’d like to add my 2 cents on multi-level drop-downs. I agree that in most cases they make a site too “busy.” However, they have their place and appeal to a certain audience (especially in b2b apps). For example, if you’ve ever been on the Dell Premier site, you know you would KILL for a multi-level nav menu so you don’t have to wait for their agonizingly slow pages to load.

    I think the important thing is not to FORCE a user to use multi-level navigation. In other words, every item in the header menu should be clickable. The same wich each item in every level of the sub-menus. So if the user doesn’t want to deal with the menus, they can bypass them and be taken to a wizard-like page instead. This allows you to appeal to the type-A’s who will use the multi-menus as well as the slackers who want to be led by the hand.

  • Atle, 29 November 2009

    Great list of menus. Thanks! :)

  • feald, 04 December 2009

    Great resource , thanks for menus !

  • Don, 04 December 2009

    I have downloaded your scriptaculous multi level dropdown menu and converted it for my website donsgarden.co.uk. It is working, but firebug reports:- “uncaught exception: script.aculo.us requires the Prototype JavaScript framework >=
    Line 0″”
    Safari reports an RJS error.
    When I replace the prototype that I am using ( to the menu does not work. I developed the menu on a local copy using Mongrel, Ruby 1.8.7, Rails 2.3.4, Scriptaculous 1.8.3, Prototype The javascripts came with the scriptaculous download. Firebug also does report an uncaught exception.
    My website host server is using Ruby 1.8.6 and Rails 2.2.2.
    Is there a reason that you know about for this error.

    • Don, 08 December 2009

      I solved my problem. What I did was to create a blank rails application and copy all the javascript files to my website overwriting those I downloaded with Scriptaculous. Bingo no more errors. The fact that my ISP server is usingh 2.2.2 and not 2.3.4 does not seem to matter.

  • Archit Shah, 20 December 2009

    its great 1

  • Pisit, 03 January 2010

    Appreciate, thank for the sharing

  • selva comments, 05 January 2010

    Thank you … this has me very helped.useful list

  • Mathan, 11 January 2010

    useful information for nav menu.
    Thanks for sharing this tut..

  • sabari, 16 January 2010

    simply good!!!!!!!!! my requirement s over

  • ajans, 24 January 2010

    nice i like it..

  • Mature singles dating, 26 January 2010

    Great list! Navigation menu are greatly important for usability purposes and creating a user-friendly website.

  • Eni, 27 February 2010

    I’m still trying…
    What a nice view, by adding this dropdown menu to my blog…

  • Ali, 27 February 2010

    Good recommendation, Many dropdown menu tutorial on sites… but yours are the best

  • John, 04 March 2010

    Great Post…

  • Vijendra Mishra, 05 March 2010

    Nice Post with great resources… thanks

  • Marilee Lindenberg, 05 March 2010

    Dreamweaver has been lately my personal goto application for years. I truly don’t know what I would undoubtedly do without having it. There were moments when I initially started out making use of the program, and I thought it was way too complicated. Now I fly around it, and it has become a strong asset in my personal tool box. Nonetheless thanks for the article.

  • Giri, 20 March 2010

    Very useful.Good work

  • Heilo, 12 April 2010

    Sweet. Found what I was looking for :)

  • martin, 15 April 2010

    hai ur posting is very useful for us

  • avosoft, 18 April 2010

    just what i needed. thanks

  • Sitthykun, 20 April 2010

    cool ….

  • Timothy Zhu, 17 May 2010

    Very nice selection of drop down nav menus. One of them happens to be exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks!

  • extendstudio, 18 May 2010

    You can see more samples on horizontal or vertical drop down menu for Creative DW Menus which is a Dreamweaver extension. Here are the samples extendstudio.com/creative-dw-menus-pack/samples.html

  • Rana Mukherjee, 18 May 2010

    you can see drop down menu width background image example.

  • yinka, 18 May 2010

    Thanks. This has saved me a lot of work.

  • Student Brands, 22 May 2010

    Thanks for the great information. I hope to be back soon. I have book marked it keep posting. Thanks again.

  • xtin, 24 May 2010

    very nice info

  • rateeeh, 28 May 2010

    very helping, thank you…

  • wow! everything in one place – great share! thanks my friend :)

  • Mehmet demiray, 06 June 2010

    Nice menus thanks(:

  • Emin, 07 June 2010

    Hi. I need number 8 but
    I want to one more

    Can you help me.

  • Bineet chaubey, 09 June 2010

    really nice tutorial .but i can not find such type menu those i want

  • Tech & IT News India, 18 June 2010

    Thank you for a useful info, have a good resource in your blog.

  • zinmarwin, 20 June 2010

    Thanks you for your share.

  • prem, 23 June 2010



  • Hannah, 25 July 2010

    these are some awesome menu tutorials. Thanks for sharing.

  • Renae, 01 September 2010

    Hi i love the content! However, the code/info for #8 slide-down menu doesn’t work. It pulls up a page with weird info. Thanks!

  • cihip, 06 September 2010

    Thanks you for your share..

  • Subbu, 07 September 2010

    Good collection..nice effort..Do you know of pure css menu which is expandable?

  • Ritz Infotek, 12 September 2010

    Awsome collections! I would like implement the above menu so the submenu will go up instead of down. Any idea how to do this.

  • Vinayak, 19 October 2010

    Hey thanks!!!

    very good to c such awesome menus!!!

  • tecnico, 23 November 2010

    Thank for this article, is very util for my new project.

  • Biju Subhash, 06 December 2010

    nice collections…
    thank you for sharing…

    here a link for another jQuery menu:

  • steff, 29 December 2010

    very nice collection, but i was wondering if the horizontal menus can be converted to vertical menus? i need this for my oscommerce! any idea?

  • trxBox, 10 January 2011

    Very useful.Good work

  • BrockN, 25 January 2011

    I have written a jQuery plugin that supports infinite level of unordered lists. It is easy to implement, and has been tested in Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

  • John Chan, 28 January 2011

    Please help!!!

    I used the menu (8) described but the hyper-link inside the list items does not go to anywhere. Why? The link has no respond when I clicked. How to enable the link?

    8 ) Slide down menu- A slide menu based on an unordered list ().

  • Danismanlik, 02 February 2011

    thnks for share is very util for my new project.

  • Henning Larsen, 13 February 2011

    Cool site and lots of nice menus

  • Ginoa Andrean, 21 February 2011

    nice information. the explanation is very clear with clear picture too. great!

  • Megha shah, 22 February 2011

    Hey thanks for all dis information…
    it will be so usefull 2 me….

  • Som, 05 April 2011

    Nice tutorial .I need to make a drop down menu for my Website and your tutorial is really nice . Thanks a lot for the support.

  • cin takvimi, 05 April 2011

    I also believe thus, perfectly composed post! .

  • Nithu, 19 May 2011

    Great collections and very useful.

  • LANDOIS, 15 June 2011

    Very nice.

  • tommy, 04 July 2011

    Thanks for the menus. I love them, especially the second one.

  • LOGANATHAN, 19 August 2011

    Thank you the menu The explanation is very clear with clear picture too, and very use full

  • Luke Tupas, 23 September 2011


  • Ankur, 18 October 2011

    if you want to create a dropdown menu in html with red theme,
    see this, on here you can also download source code:


  • Andy, 05 November 2011

    Very cool! Thank you very much!!!

  • akshay, 24 November 2011

    thank you.. very usefull one.. great work

  • Dheeraj Bansal, 07 December 2011

    This is really awesome. hmm trying to do something new in html navigation menu

  • sharavanakkumar, 17 January 2012

    simply superb !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Polly, 03 February 2012

    Hi – I am trying to find a nice drop down for my site – My site covers many cities; I would like to have a drop down menu for the cities on my site – so it would be easier to view the information – would this site help me? thanks

  • Udhaya47, 11 February 2012

    Nice post..Thanks a lot….

  • sumit, 13 April 2012

    i was searching for drop down menu code in html. I found this tutorial. Very good explanation. Please tell me the code also to create drop down menu.

  • sumit, 13 April 2012

    I need this urgently. Please help.

  • Shilpi, 16 April 2012


  • Kathirason, 24 May 2012

    great collections.. but i need ajax based menu..

  • ayush, 01 June 2012

    i m web developer. i want use of java script in every type. so please give me some notes for java script


  • keshav singh, 02 June 2012

    gr8 collection man thank you for sharing , this is very useful for me

  • Michael, 11 June 2012

    This is really nice one

  • Alexander, 28 June 2012

    The Drop Down Menu Generator is great.

    Many thanks

  • Bedemand, 28 June 2012

    Thanks for this great list. I was looking all around the web for this.

  • Panagiotis, 24 August 2012

    This is a very nice post. Thanks for sharing!


  • Grafiker, 30 October 2012

    Awesome collection – thanks!

  • Geek, 21 November 2012


  • Medha, 17 December 2012

    I am looking for a selectable dropdown with subcategories. I need to pull the subcategories id into the select box.

    How do i do?

  • Frankie, 06 March 2013

    I love your website tutorial its very educate. It gets even better as you give options
    to download them. Regards Frankie

  • rakesh, 25 March 2013

    I love your website tutorial its very educate. It gets even better as you give options

  • Pratik, 25 March 2013


  • Fabrizio Bartolomucci, 17 December 2013

    I am using jGlideMenu that seems to work seamlessly but for a very annoying and blocking issue. Namely it transforms all input fields in the page in a sort of listboxes for the previous entered values without the possibility of entering new texts. I tried to investigate jQuery.jGlideMenu.067.min.js, as by removing it input fields return to work normally, but I found nothing suggesting a modification of the input fields behaviors. May you help me?
    Thanks, Fabrizio Bartolomucci

  • Fabrizio Bartolomucci, 17 December 2013

    I fixed the above mentioned problem by removing the keyboard handler. Now I am stuck with another problem. I use the JGlideMenu in a single page in a tab bar. The problem is that it shows up in all subpages, not only the one were I inserted it. I tried to hide it in the buttons changin page but it only works when clicking the buttom where is the control, even if I included the ajax files even in the other panel. Any best practice how to handle it? I am thinking of moving everything on the top page, even if that would encompass a duplication, but I am not sure it will work.

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