Laravel Menu Helper - A Laravel package that simplifies creating various menus of any kind.

v1.0.0 2022-08-10 16:11 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-11-10 16:45:29 UTC


Laravel Menu Helper can make working with menus extremely easy. Whether it be a top navbar, a left sidebar, FAQ, or anything else. If it's a menu, it can help :)

Menus can be a pain, especially when you need to handle logic for various things, like determining if the user is on a matching route, adding an active class, or you need to make modifications to the data on the fly.

With Laravel Menu Helper, you build your menus with a config array of the data and view components broken down to manage them easier. The components have their own methods that allow you to take control over your menus.

Since Laravel can cache the config files, you don't have to use them. The items can be passed directly into the component allowing you to load them from a database, use RBAC to toggle whether the item is shown, perform collection operations on the data, cache each user's menu, whatever you need.



The basic menu stubs are simple 1-level menus. The most obvious example of a basic menu is a FAQ section. You have multiple sections, each with a header (title) and text. It doesn't have to be a FAQ section, you could use this for pricing boxes on your homepage, or anything else that doesn't require multiple levels.

The advanced stubs are for multiple level menus. It could be a top navbar, sidebar, mobile menu, etc. The advanced stubs include methods that allow you to determine if the current menu item (in the loop) is the current route so you can do something different, like apply a class, or detect if the menu item has children (is a dropdown). Allowing you to easily create multi-level menus.

There isn't a difference between basic and advanced under the hood. They both use the same Components, the difference is how they are used. All of the same methods are available. With a basic menu, we just have a title and text and aren't checking if there are children items or if we are on a specific route. Though, you can use those methods to do so. Using the basic stub doesn't limit you. The stub just had a different way of looking at the menu. Just because the basic stub uses the text field, doesn't mean the advanced can't. You could use it to pass a popup hover message. Just because the advanced stub uses icons, doesn't mean you can't in the basic. You just have to use the methods in the view components to utilize them. If you are creating a multi-level menu, start with the advanced because it already includes the subitem view component and methods to handle the looping.

Keep in mind, you can also create your own stubs to re-use in multiple projects. You could create your own Bulma stub with the basic CSS classes needed. Drop it in, modify it, and have a menu built in 5 minutes on future projects.


To install this package, run:

composer require wadeshuler/laravel-menu-helper

It is recommended that you view the demo the first time you use this package so you have a better understanding of what you are working with as a baseline to expand upon. Included are 2 types of menu stubs to use as a starting point: basic and advanced. Both basic and advanced have Bootstrap and Tailwind stubs to choose from: basic-bootstrap, basic-tailwind, advanced-bootstrap, advanced-tailwind.

Demo Mode

To enable demo mode, add the Menu Helper Demo Mode key to your project's .env file:


Demo mode activates the demo routes, views, and config so you can check out some live examples. There is a demo page that will help you navigate and review the various menu examples.

Navigate to /demo/ and you will be presented with 2 options, Tailwind and Bootstrap. Each one has their own basic and advanced examples.

The Tailwind and Bootstrap demos are using their CDN links so they work out of the box for this demo. When generating your own menus, you will need to have your own CSS and JavaScript (if necessary). This does not handle any of the CSS or JavaScript to make the menus works. It assumes you already have them installed to your template, because, at this point, you should.


First, lets publish the config files:

php artisan vendor:publish --tag=menuhelper-config

This will generate menu-helper and menu-helper-secondary in your app's config directory.

The menu-helper config file is the global config. The intention is to place all of your menus that will load on every (or most) page loads. Things like a top navbar or left sidebar, for example.

The menu-helper-secondary config file is for things that aren't on every page. Since the menu config arrays can get fairly big, we split them. Things like the config for your FAQ menu, would go here in the secondary config. It is only needed if they are on your FAQ page, so it doesn't need to be lugged around for every other page load.

Now that you have installed the package with Composer and have checked out the demos, you can now build your own menu. You just have to know which stub you want to use as a baseline. If you don't want Tailwind or Bootstrap, then you can pick either one and modify it to fit your needs.

The stub values in the make:menu name --stub= command correspond to the menu names in the demo. So if you want to see an example of a Bootstrap sidebar, open the /demo/bootstrap/advanced URL. If you want to use that as a starting menu template, you can generate it with php artisan make:menu left-sidebar --stub=bootstrap-advanced, where left-sidebar is the name of the menu you want to create.

Remember, the stub names match the demo routes. /demo/bootstrap/basic is bootstrap-basic. /demo/tailwind/advanced is tailwind-advanced. If you have made your own custom stubs, then it is the folder name. Refer to the Creating Stubs section for more info.

If you do not specify a stub, and just run php artisan make:menu my-menu, it will default to the Tailwind advanced stub/template.

Basic Menu Config

We can pass a lot through our menu config array. For now, let's just keep it simple. You can check out the Advanced Usage section for info about showing/hiding a menu item or sub-item, detecting if the item matches the current route, and more.

FAQ Example

Let's start with a FAQ example, which is based off the basic stub:

    'my-menu' => [
        'expanded' => true,         // `$isExpanded()` - Optional - Default: false
        'target' => 'collapseOne',  // `$getTarget()` - Optional
        'id' => 'headingOne',       // `$getId()` - Optional - A random `mh_` prefixed id if empty
        'title' => 'Accordion 1',   // `$getTitle()`
        'text' => "<strong>This is the first item's...",    // `$getText()`

Note: my-menu is the name of your menu that you generate with the make:menu command.

Only title and text are really required here. The rest are helpful when using JavaScript.

Remember, all of the options are still available to us. You can specify an icon, custom data, link, whatever you need. It comes down to how you use this data (the logic flow and methods used) in the view components. Since this is a single level menu without sub-items, the menu-subitem.blade.php view file is not needed. That is really the only difference between basic and advanced. The advanced assumes you will need multiple levels, so it includes a menu-subitem blade file. You could use the advanced stub and delete the subitem view file if your menu will only ever be 1 level, as well as remove the if/else checking in the menu-item blade file.

Navbar Example

Most of you are going to be looking for a navbar menu. So if you aren't sure, then you probably are.

Here is an example of a sidebar menu built from an advanced stub:

    'my-menu' => [
        // start: single item
            'title' => 'Home',              // `$getTitle()`
            'icon'  => '<i class="fa-solid fa-fw fa-house-chimney"></i>',   // `$hasIcon()`, `$getIcon()`
            'route' => 'dashboard',         // named route - `route` key only supports a single route as a string
            //'routes' => ['dashboard'],    // we could also use an array list of all routes that match
            'link'  => ['dashboard'],       // `$getLink()`named route for the link, null = no link
        // end: single item

        // start: dropdown item
            'title' => 'Posts',
            'icon'  => '<i class="fa-solid fa-fw fa-book"></i>',
            'routes' => ['posts.*'],     // route matching: array list of all routes that match
            'items' => [

                // first sub-item
                    'title' => 'All Posts',
                    'route' => ['posts.index'],
                    'link'  => ['posts.index'],

                // second sub-item
                    'title' => 'Create Post',
                    'route' => ['posts.create'],
                    'link'  => ['posts.create', ['foo' => 'bar']],
        // end: dropdown item

Note: my-menu is the name of your menu that you generate with the make:menu command.

Notice that this array is a bit different. It doesn't have text but instead has an items key. Items holds an array of each "sub-item".

The "Home item" doesn't have any "items", or "sub-items" as they are referred to in the view components. It is the first level, or only level if you aren't needing child or sub-items. It also supports route matching. This route matching allows us to do something different with this menu item. We could give it an active class to change the background, font color, or whatever we want.

The "Profile item" has "sub-items", keyed as items. It uses route matching to match the posts.* wildcard. We could use this to add an expanded class which reveals the sub-items. It also has an icon, which can be any HTML you need. You will need to install any extra fonts or font libraries yourself.

The "Profile sub-items" are simpler, and use a title, route, and link. Again, route matching is supported here. Typically it would be the route exactly and not a wildcard.

Building The Menu Views

Now that you have a menu config array, you need the view files to bring it all together. This is where your understanding of the demo comes in. Or.. you could just guess and wing it. Whatever works for you :)

Here is the format of the make menu command:

php artisan make:menu {name} {--stub=tailwind-advanced}

Note: If you don't specify with the --stub option, then tailwind-advanced is used.

Included Stubs:

  • tailwind-advanced
  • tailwind-basic
  • bootstrap-advanced
  • bootstrap-basic

You can also create your own stubs. Refer to the Creating Stubs section for more info.

Example generating a menu named my-menu using the bootstrap-advanced as a boilerplate:

php artisan make:menu my-menu --stub=bootstrap-advanced

The views for the menu will be generated at resources/views/vendor/menuhelper/my-menu.

Note: The menu name must match the name used in your config file. Also, this does not install any CSS or JavaScript. If you are using Bootstrap or Tailwind, FontAwesome, etc.. then you need to install them yourself.

Add The Menu To Your Layout

Ok, now you have the config and views created. It's time to drop the menu into your layout.

Wherever you want the menu to be, add the Menu Helper menu component:

<x-menuhelper::menu scope="global" menu="my-menu" />

The scope can be global or secondary, and the menu must match the menu name you used in the previous steps. It is recommended to always pass the scope. If your menu is a secondary menu, and you don't specify, it will look in the global menu config first. Then in the secondary if it doesn't find it. We can save some resources and specify the secondary scope. Always specifying it even when it's global can help with code clarity.

Now your menu is created and ready for you to customize it.

Advanced Menu Config



This is where the fun begins and your menu comes to life. Remember, there is no CSS or JavaScript included. You have to do that yourself.

You need to understand the view components that make up the menus and the helper functions available that can help you build menus quickly and easily.

View Component Files

The only differences between the basic examples and advanced examples, are that the basic ones do not have a menu-subitem and their config array does not have items. It was just title and text. So it is basically 1 level. The advanced examples do have the menu-subitems view files and their config array has items. Meaning it is more than 1 level, the parent elements can have child elements. Typical of a top navbar or left sidebar.

  • menu.blade.php - The wrapping content around the menu
  • menu-items.blade.php - Typically no styling here at all, it just loops and creates the menu-item
  • menu-item.blade.php - The actual menu item itself (ie: Account)
  • menu-subitem.blade.php - The child of the item above (ie: Change Password under Account item)

Again, you may not need menu-subitem if your menu is and only will be, 1 level.

Helper Methods

Each view component has their own helper methods available to them. The examples show you some of the most necessary ones that allow you to pull off a nice menu after you have paired it with CSS and JavaScript. Some methods are exclusive to the component, others are available all the way down the chain.

Menu Component

The following methods are available to the menu component menu.blade.php:

  • getConfig() - Probably don't need this. It holds the whole menu's config.
  • getScope() - global or secondary. Not sure why you would need this, but it's available :)
  • getMenu() - The name of the menu, ie: left-sidebar
  • getMenuId() - The id of the menu for use in your HTML. If not defined, a random mh_ prefixed id is generated
  • getItems() - Gets the items of the menu
  • showHeader() - (bool) Whether or not to show the header
  • getHeaderText() - The header text. Useful for displaying text, like Navigation before your menu

To render the menu component, place it in your template/layout wherever you want it to go:

<x-menuhelper::menu scope="global" menu="left-sidebar" />

Remember, scope must be either global or secondary and match the config file. The menu must match a menu configured in your config file and the name of a menu in your resources/views/vendor/menuhelper directory, ie: resources/views/vendor/menuhelper/left-sidebar.

Menu Items Component

The menu items component is really basic. It simply takes the data in the menu and passes it down the chain. It's the foreach loop that passes what it knows down to a menu item.

The following methods are available to the menu items component menu-items.blade.php:

  • getParentId() - Gets the id of the whole menu (same as getMenuId() from above menu component)
  • getMenu() - The name of the menu, ie: left-sidebar
  • getItems() - Gets the items of the menu

To render the menu items component, call it from the menu component:

<x-menuhelper::menuItems :menu="$getMenu()" :items="$getItems()" :parent-id="$getMenuId()" />

Menu Item Component

The menu item component is the 1st level item itself. This item can have child elements. If you look in any of the advanced stub examples, we use $isDropdown() to determine if the item is a dropdown item. If it is, we do a few things differently and render a menu-subitem component. If not, then we use the item's link/icon/title directly. If your menu is and will only be 1 level deep, then you do not have to check if it's a dropdown and can just display the data directly.

The following methods are available to the menu item component menu-item.blade.php:

  • shouldRender() - (bool) Whether or not the item should be shown
  • getParentId() - The main menu's id (passed all the way down)
  • getId() - The id of the item itself
  • getMenu() - The name of the menu
  • getItem() - The data of the item
  • isDropdown() - (bool) Whether or not the item has sub-items (children)
  • hasTitle() - (bool) Whether or not the item has a title
  • getTitle() - Get the item's title
  • getText() - Get the item's text (used in the FAQ usage, not sidebar)
  • hasIcon() - (bool) Whether or not the item has an icon
  • getIcon() - Get the icon (html)
  • hasLink() - (bool) Whether or not the item has a link
  • getLink() - Get the item's link
  • hasSubItems() - Same as isDropdown()
  • getSubItems() - Get the sub items
  • getRoutes() - Get the item's routes (used by routeIsMatch())
  • routeIsMatch($returnAsString = false) - Determines whether the current route matches the item's route
  • classIfRoute($class = 'active', $fallback = '') - Return a class if the route is a match, or another if not
  • classIfNotRoute($class = 'active') - Return a class if the route is not a match
  • boolIfRoute($returnAsString = true) - Returns a boolean (or string representation) if the route is a match
  • getCustom($key) - Get the value of custom data passed to the item
  • getLoop() - Get the Laravel loop object (passed into menu-item by the loop created in menu-items)
  • isFirstLoop() - Is the first iteration in the loop (first item being processed)
  • isLastLoop() - Is the last iteration in the loop (last item being processed)
  • getTarget() - Get the item's target (useful for JS)
  • isExpanded($returnAsString = false) - Whether or not the item is (or should be) expanded. 'expanded' => true in config
  • isCollapsed($returnAsString = false) - Opposite of isExpanded(). If an item is not expanded, it's collapsed

To render a menu item component, call it from the menu items component in a foreach loop:

@foreach($getItems() as $item)
    <x-menuhelper::menuItem :menu="$getMenu()" :item="$item" :parent-id="$getParentId()" :loop="$loop" />

Menu Sub Item

Since a sub-item is basically an item with no child items of it's own, it has some of the same helper methods.

  • shouldRender() - (bool) Whether or not the sub-item should be shown
  • getMenu() - The name of the menu
  • getSubItem() - Get the sub-item's data
  • getRoute() - Get the sub-item's route
  • routeIsMatch($returnAsString = false) - Determines whether the current route matches the sub-item's route
  • classIfRoute($class = 'active', $fallback = '') - Return a class if the route is a match, or another if not
  • boolIfRoute($returnString = true) - Returns a boolean (or string representation) if the route is a match
  • hasLink() - (bool) Whether or not the sub-item has a link
  • getLink($fallback = '') - Get the sub-item's link
  • getTitle() - Get the sub-item's title

To render a menu sub item component, call it from the menu item component:

@foreach ($getSubItems() as $subItem)
    <x-menuhelper::menuSubItem :menu="$getMenu()" :subItem="$subItem" />

In your menu item component, you will want to check if the item has sub-items by using either the isDropdown() or hasSubItems() methods.

Refer to the source code for a better understanding: src/View/Components/MenuItem.php

Creating Stubs


This repo and documentation is not complete. I have made some changes that might have thrown off this documentation. I needed to wrap it up and use this menu helper in a project, so I just needed to get it pushed.

The custom stubs probably won't work yet. There is whitelist checking, so it probably needs to look through the stubs directory and see if a directory with that name exists.

Feel free to ask a question or dig through the code and issue a PR.