A Small Change for a More Effective Website Navigation Menu

We've added a new feature to our themes that lets you highlight a link in your site's header navigation.

The change is quite subtle, but it can make a big difference to your site - especially if you follow the tips at the end of the video!​


The following themes support this new menu item highlight feature:

  • ​FocusBlog
  • Luxe
  • Ignition
  • Minus
  • Squared
  • Pressive
  • Storied
  • Rise

For a more in-depth look at what to do (and what to avoid at all costs) when it comes to creating not just your navigation, but the entire header area of your site, check out this post: How to Create the Perfect Website Header.

For more examples concerning site navigation specifically, check out this post on the KISSmetrics blog.

Now, over to you: do you have any questions about this topic? Any experience from experimenting with menus on your site? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • Nubia R says:

    Hi Shane your plugins allow to make split test with menus or pages?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Nubia,

      We don’t have a plugin for that (yet), unfortunately. I would simply use one of the existing A/B testing services like Visual Website Optimizer, Convert or Optimizely and run a test with different menus on the page that gets the most traffic.

  • Glenn says:

    How would you AB Test your home page or home page menu? Run one for awhile and then run another? Nothing automated I assume.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Glenn,

      If you use a testing service like Visual Website Optimizer, Optimizely or Convert, you can quite easily make changes to your menu in their editing interface. The easiest thing to do is to just run the test on your highest-traffic page, so you don’t have to set anything up for running the test across your entire site (which is possible, but a lot more complicated).

  • Rita S says:

    Hi Shane, another outstanding feature! Thanks for that. I like it very much.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Rita!

  • Martin B says:

    Superb feature. Any chance of it becoming available for Performag?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Martin,

      The Performag menu has a style that doesn’t work very well for something like this, which is why the feature wasn’t added to that theme.

  • Chris says:

    Hi Shane. Will you be implementing this into the Thrive Builder Plugin as well?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Chris,

      Since the Content Builder is concerned with content inside a page and navigation is more of a site-wide thing, we don’t have plans of adding this to TCB.

      • Anton K says:

        Would be great to see this added to TCB.

        We use Focus Blog and have it highlighted on our actual blog but use a TCB page for our home page. The menu is pretty dull for not having the highlight option.

  • Vincent says:

    Earlier, I abandoned the idea of getting all these little things that make your website stand out… Because each of them needed a plugin.
    Or sometimes a theme that’s so customizable that you spend days trying every feature…
    Good work, ThriveThemesTeam!
    This kind of enhancement that doesn’t eat my time or my website’s speed is EXACTLY why I’m only using your themes and plugins on my websites since I’ve subscribed.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Vincent!

      I feel the same way about this. This is the kind of thing I wouldn’t have done before, because if you need a separate plugin, it’s probably going to be bothersome to set up or not work at all. As part of the theme, it’s a breeze to use, though.

  • Trish Jones says:

    Seriously love your tutorials Shane. Thanks for the navigation tip.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Trish!

  • Doug Lietz says:

    Yes, I’d like to request that this feature be added to Performag as well.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      We’ll see what we can do.

  • Harvey says:

    VERY NICE new feature. How would I use this to allow visitor to go directly to a web-form on the same page?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s currently not possible, but I really like the idea. :)

      I’ve added this to our board for ideas to discuss for future updates.

      • Harvey S says:

        So, would a solution be to just have the web form as the ONLY thing on a new page and have it navigate to that page?

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Yep, that’s no problem. You just create a landing page and link to that. :)

  • Julia Harris says:

    Oooh, I like it :)
    I was putting off getting Thrive Themes for ages but I’m so glad I did. It looks great and is super easy to use!!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Julia!

  • Luca says:

    Hi Shane

    I came across a few sites that ditch the menu navigation on their blog posts: Sivers.org, zen habits,…

    Is it because that way they save the link juice? Or/and because distraction is avoided?

    I would like to know your opinion about it . I wonder whether this can be a good strategy.


    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Luca,

      The sites you mention do this as part of their minimal design philosophy. From a user experience perspective, it’s definitely not an advantage. The sites serve as good examples to show that not every website is built with conversion or user experience in mind, though.

  • Karim A says:

    This is an amazing option to get more eyeballs. Great job guys :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks, Karim!

  • John says:

    Yes please tell me, discuss, talk, speak… how to make a 3 + 1 menu, it’s a good idea but after I decide on the 3 + 1 configuration, what do I do next? Would love a focus on the menu conundrum. Thanks !

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello John,

      Can you be more specific about what you want further help with? As far as I see it, once you’ve picked your 3+1 menu items and set them up, you’re done and you can focus on some other part of your site. :)

  • Ludolf E says:

    Hello Shane, ist’s brillant!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ludolf! :)

  • Gerald says:

    Hi Shane, love your tips. I only seem to have Extended Menu but Not the Highlight option…am I missing something?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Gerald,

      Which theme are you using?

  • Hi Shane,

    Is there a demo of it somewhere?

  • Mike Saif says:

    I love your themes and bought the subscription. However, not having video tutorials for each theme is a dealbreaker for me. I find it surprising you don’t have them, I do them occasionally for my business and they take no time at all and they are better than a hundred pages of text and screenshots. I have seven sites and unfortunately I have made the move to a different theme for one and will continue that course as I don’t have the help and guidance I need for your themes.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Sorry to hear that, Mike. We don’t have separate tutorials for each theme because we’ve made sure to keep the options and features very similar in all themes. You don’t have to re-learn how to use a theme when you switch from one of our themes to another, because the user interface and the options are identical for a large part. That’s why we have a set of general tutorials for the themes, but not theme specific ones.

  • John says:

    Shane is truly amazing! So concise and valuable without fluff. This video is a great example.

    Thank you Shane! :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, John!

  • Claudemir M says:

    Hi Shane,

    I really want to use this feature but it’s not working for some reason.
    The highlight option does not appear in the menu and I’m sure that I’m trying to use it in the Top Menu/ Primary Menu.

    I’m using FocusBlog.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Claudemir,

      Please post about this problem in our support forum, so our team can help you out with it. Thanks.

      • Claudemir M says:

        Thanks Shane

  • Jose C says:

    Shane, I was reading Michaels comment and can agree that training in the members area could be better laid out. I can see how most of the features are common, however It would be great to have 1 general training section which talks about features like the one this blog post is about for new members of the Thrive Themes community to get up to speed. I don’t build websites all that often so I tend to forget what, and how I did what I did at times. I’ve been digging through the e-mails you send out with updates to the theme using keywords I’m interested in to figure out how to go about building out my site as I’d like it. You theme, the content builder and pretty much everything you put out is amazing! The training videos you create are some of the best! It’s just a shame that it’s not better organized inside the members area.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      I’ve taken note of this, Jose. And thank you for providing honest feedback like this.

      I’m working on improving the organization of the training material and making it more accessible and easier to search.

  • arsuzon says:

    this is really nice theme,
    i love this, i have a problem about menu,
    i wanna increase my menu font size but i can’t do this,
    help me please give me any tutorial link if you have,
    my website looking nice but menu font too small,
    how can i fix this problem dear Shane ?

  • Craig says:

    Hi, I don’t see this option for the Magazine theme. I haven’t found any examples of how to recreate the demo’s dropdown menu either. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks

  • You did not tell us about the highlighted link. C’mon.

  • NATASHA R says:

    How do I change the color of the highlighted menu item?

  • hi.lakshman says:

    Nice idea, Shane!

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