How to Make an HTML Dropdown Menu [+ Examples]

HTML 5 | October 6, 2022

A drop-down menu is a list of pages and subpages. Users can access it by hovering or clicking on the menu. This design element is created to offer enhanced user experience (UX) on the web and mobile by reducing the clutter of links, text, and buttons. Want to improve the branding of your website? Learn how to design a neat and attractive HTML dropdown menu by using HTML and CSS.

What is HTML Dropdown Menu?

A drop-down menu is revealed when a user clicks it or hovers the cursor. The list of menu options populates vertically and once the user disengages from the menu; it disappears. Since the HTML dropdown menu is used for effortless navigation without cluttering the web pages, hence it’s used for hiding items that users may want to use later after the initial page load happens. Thus, this design element is actively used on websites and mobile applications to add more links and content to a page.

Use cases for HTML dropdowns 

  1. Navigation menus – contain links to sub-pages on a website
  2. Web forms – an options list from which a user may select
  3. Site search – listing, filtering, or sorting options for a query
  4. Buttons- to save space on a page it’s used as an alternative to radio buttons

Why should you create a dropdown menu?

For a seamless user experience, an HTML drop-down menu is essential. It allows you to save screen space while your users can easily access all contents hosted on your website.


Effortless Navigation: To list important links in an organized manner, a dropdown menu is used. It offers a great user experience as your audience can easily click the menu and navigate to the sub-pages of their interest.  

Enhanced website design: Highly functional and neat outlay is what makes a good website. An HTML dropdown menu saves space, which makes the website look organized and attractive to the audience, while it offers the website owners the opportunity to make it look attractive with images to gain quality traffic. 

Saves Sidebar Space: The sidebar can make or break your website’s attractiveness. Despite neatly organizing the website’s categories onto the sidebar, it looks overwhelming and messy. However, the dropdown menu appears only when users click it or hover their mouse over it, and thus you can save the sidebar space.  

Professional Appearance: A neatly organized website with relevant content, images, and colors boosts sales opportunities as it attracts and retains a quality audience who are willing to purchase. 

How to Make a Dropdown Menu in HTML

The process to create an HTML dropdown menu is as follows:

Step 1: Create a Label

To create a dropdown list first add <label> element to HTML document. Next, add the “for” attribute with a shorthand name in the opening tag. 

<label for=” “>Choose name:</label>

Example: If you have a pet website selling dogs and dogs products, you can create the dropdown like:

<label for=” dog_name”>Choose a dog name:</label>

Step 2: Create Select 

Once the label element is created, <select> element follows it. Add name and id attribute in the select element.

For setting the id attribute use the same value of the attribute mentioned in the <label> tag.

For setting the name attribute use the value that recognizes the menu when the form is submitted. 

Let’s follow the above example of a pet shop for creating this HTML element.

<select name=”dog-names” id=”dog-names”></select>

Step 3: Create an Option for the selected element

Finally, add <option> tags for the select element by placing them between the opening and closing tags. Next, add value and name attributes to each option tag. 


<option value=”German Shepherd”>Dog</option>


Contact us with detailed information about the project and get a quote NOW!!!!.

HTML Dropdown Default Value

Upon creating an HTML dropdown menu, the first option of “HTML default value” is listed in the dropdown. If you want to change the default value, use the boolean attribute. Add it to the <option> tag that you intend to use and display it as default.


A drop-down menu for membership plans usually includes options – free, bronze, silver, and gold plans. Now use the boolean attribute to set your choicest default from the options list such as gold. 

Multi-select dropdown

In this design style, the HTML dropdown menu appears when users hover on it. It’s easier to use because they can select several options with a single click. Following are the steps to create it. 

Step 1: Create a Label 

Add <label> element by associating a text label with an <input> form field.

Example: For creating a breakfast menu list

HTML: <label for=”breakfast-menu”>Choose a breakfast menu:</label>.

Step 2: Create Select 

Add the <select> element to options with “multiple” attribute. This element would allow the user to multi-select items in a single click.  Simply, add the name and ID attribute and keep their values the same as that of the <label> element. 

Example: For creating a breakfast menu list with multi-select

HTML: <select name=”breakfast-menu” multiple size=”5”>

Step 3: Create options for the selected element 

You can include several options in this muti-select list by inserting them in the <select> element. Add a value attribute for each <option> tag.

 HTML: <option value=”pancakes”>Pancakes</option>

Examples of HTML and CSS Dropdown Menus

With HTML Dropdown menus or CSS templates, you can create dropdown menus for your website.  

Example 1: Use HTML and CSS for the parent menu to expand easily on hovering and create a dynamic and extraordinary web page appearance.

Example 2: For a minimalistic yet great user experience design a collapsable menu that saves screen space, and you can add icons, which strengthens your website’s branding.  

Example 3: Build a multi-level dropdown menu by using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As the mouse hovers over the parent menu, the sub-menus appear with a slide transition animation. This style is highly practical if you seek to manage a large content menu.   

Example 4: Animated dropdown menu is high on visual impact as it creates a transition effect. You can design it by using JavaScript and CSS keyframe animation. The sub-menu page flips to open upon clicking the parent menu or slowly transitions. 


An HTML dropdown menu helps to create a useful and attractive user interface by enhancing the website’s aesthetics with a suitable design that reduces the number of elements that clutters the space. By using HTML or CSS you can easily create a dropdown menu. We hope this guide on the HTML dropdown menu will help you learn better.