This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

CMS Navigation



Our new plugin, WPML, includes the functionality of CMS Navigation and is recommended for new designs.

It features much cleaner and simpler HTML and customization via the admin screen.

Additionally, we recommend you checkout our new CMS enabling plugins Types and Views.

With Types and Fields, you can achieve the functionality of this plugin yourself and customize it in whatever way you like.

Legacy Stuff

Do you want to use WordPress to create a full website, with easy navigation and menus?
This plugin will let you add essential navigation functions to your template, including:

  • Top navigation bar, listing the top-level pages and their children (as drop-down items).
  • Breadcrumbs trail navigation that shows the path to the current page all the way from the home page.
  • Left navigation that shows where the visitor is next to the page’s parent and nearby pages.

No configuration is required. To use, add the calls that create each navigation element to your template.
These calls can be added to any WP template

There are three template functions that can be used for displaying the navigation sections

Drop down top menu

cms_navigation_menu_nav($order=’menu_order’, $show_cat_menu=false, $catmenu_title=’News’)

This will display the top navigation – the top level pages with their sub pages as drop down elements.
Additionally – if specified – the menu will include the top level post categories at the end.

Normally, this function is added to your header.php file, so that it applies to the entire website.


  • <?php cms_navigation_menu_nav() ?> – include without the categories menu.
  • <?php cms_navigation_menu_nav('post_title') ?> – sort items by title.
  • <?php cms_navigation_menu_nav('menu_order',true,'News') ?> – sort items according to the ‘order’ field.

Breadcrumbs trail navigation


This will display a path from the current page all the way to the home page.
It’s useful for visitors who land in your website to know where they are and be able to navigate to relevant pages.

For posts

Home >> CATEGORY-NAME >> Post title

For pages

Home >> Parent pages... >> Page title

All the items back to the home page will be clickable.

You can add this function to single.php and page.php so that it will produce trail navigation for every page or post.

Sidebar navigation


This will display the sidebar navigation for pages.
It will show a tree created the page parents and it’s ‘brother’ pages (other children to the same parent).

This function should be added to page.php, as it provides local navigation between pages.

Live example using this plugin

Baripedia is using this plugin (and other CMS related plugins we’ve written).

Version History

  • Version 0.1
    • First public release.
  • Version 0.2
    • Removed some of unneeded formatting.
    • Added option to set the tag around sidebar navigation heading.
  • Version 1.2
    • Handles setting static pages for homepage and blog page.
  • Version 1.2.1
    • Added static home page to top navigation
  • Version 1.3
    • Works with IE6 as well as other browsers (didn’t support IE6 before)
    • Removed the gradient and simplified the CSS for customizing the menus
    • The top menu HTML has changed. If the encapsulating DIV has a background, you may need to change or remove it.
  • Version 1.4
    • Added feature to exclude pages from the top navigation.
    • Added GUI for controlling page settings (instead of editing custom fields).
  • Version 1.4.2
    • Added migration instruction to WPML


  • All three navigation functions enabled (highlighted in red).
  • An open drop-down menu.


  1. Place the folder containing this file into the plugins folder
  2. Activate the plugin from the admin interface


Does the plugin work with any theme?

You can add the navigation functions that the plugin creates to any theme. As a demo, we’ve added it to the WordPress Default theme.

Where can I find detailed instructions

Click on the plugin page. It shows detailed instructions of what PHP code needs to be added and where.

How do I customize the drop down menus and other stuff?

There are a css and img folders in the plugin install folder. Don’t edit them.
Instead, you can provide your own CSS in your theme which will override these defaults. If you edit the plugin files, your edits will be lost when you upgrade the plugin.


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Contributors & Developers

“CMS Navigation” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “CMS Navigation” into your language.

Interested in development?

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