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[WordPress Plugin] Display Categories in Multiple Columns

[WordPress Plugin] Display Categories in Multiple Columns

If you’ve ever had a site with lots of categories, then you know what a pain navigation can be.

The relatively new WordPress custom menu system can help you show some of your main categories in your sidebar. But somewhere, however, you are going to want a page that lists ALL of your categories in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming and unattractive.

Perhaps you might even want to do it on your home page.


The answer for such a problem is to divide your categories up into columns, and the Multi-Column Taxonomy List plugin will do just that.

After installing and activating the plugin, you can simply place the  shortcode [mctl]into a page, and all of your categories will be listed for you there.

If you want to put the categories on your homepage, you can simply make that page your homepage, or you can add the following into your home page file wherever you’d like the categories to show up:

<?php multi_column_tax_list(); ?>

This is what it looks like out of the box.

If you’d like, you can play around a little with the code and change the appearance.




As pointed out in the comments by Per Søderlind, a better way to change the number of columns is to include parameters in the shortcode.

For example, if you want five columns instead of three, then use the following shortcode:

[mctl columns=”5″]


The following step is not necessary. See the update above.

I changed the default 3-column layout to five columns by editing the main file.

Plugins >> Editor >> Multi-Column Taxonomy List (top right pull down menu) >> multi-column-taxonomy-list.php

Here’s the result.

A Clean, Functional Solution

This plugin isn’t fancy, but it works. I’ve had the need myself in the past for a plugin like this, and all the fancy ones I tried never worked. In the end I had to hard code my file with a lot of mess. It worked, but it wasn’t pretty. I wish I’d had a nice, simple solution like this plugin then.

Download the Multi-Column Taxonomy List plugin here.


Photo: Washington DC Architectural detail of columns and marble steps. Critical focus on middle column  from BigStock.