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May 23, 2022

WPML CMS Navigation is an add-on plugin that provides navigational elements you can use when building the site. This includes a breadcrumbs trail, drop-down menus and sidebar navigation. The plugin does not require any configuration and will work as-is. All you need to do is add the navigation elements to your theme.

The WPML CMS Navigation add-on plugin is included with the Multilingual CMS version of WPML.

Adding the navigation elements to your site

Top tab navigation with drop down menus

Top navigation
Top navigation

Top tab navigation gives visitors quick access to main sections in your website. Traditionally, it’s implemented using custom PHP functions that list pages and their subpages.

WPML simplifies this by doing the work for you. Just include the PHP function that call the menu and it’s generated for you:

<?php do_action('icl_navigation_menu'); ?>

This call generates the drop down menus in this site too (

Breadcrumbs Trail
Breadcrumbs Trail

Breadcrumbs let the user find his way home from anywhere in the site. To include it, add this to the theme:

<?php do_action('icl_navigation_breadcrumb'); ?>

It will work from any page, post, category, tag and even search results.

Sidebar Navigation
Sidebar Navigation

Sidebar navigation shows visitors what other pages are available close to the page they’re viewing.

It lists all the children for the same parent. This isn’t a complete list of all the site’s pages but rather a list of nearby pages.

You can also customize the starting and the ending for the heading of sidebar navigation. We provide these options in WPML Navigation.

An example: customize the heading with the bold text.
An example: customize the heading with the bold text.

To add sidebar navigation, you can include the following in sidebar.php:

<?php do_action('icl_navigation_sidebar'); ?>

This function also comes as a WordPress Widget so you can add it to the sidebar via the Widgets control on the Appearance Widgets page.

Advanced customization options

WPML comes with default (not so pretty) design for the navigational elements. The sidebar and breadcrumbs trail come with very little default formatting and the top drop down menus are heavily formatted. The reason is, to make the top menus drop down, a lot of CSS is required.

For detailed information on how to style navigation for your website or add custom HTML to your menu, visit the following documentation pages: