It’s important to show categories and sub-categories in an easy to navigate way, so visitors can quickly find exactly what they are looking for. Clearly displayed magento category trees are a sort of site map, so any visitor can understand such navigation structure.
Magento Advance categories extension allows you use various modes for category display according to your needs and goals. ‘Default’ mode works the same way as standard Magento categories filter, when only one category level at a time is displayed. When you use ‘In dropdown’ mode for categories display one category level is shown as in default mode. This is the most compact display mode. ‘Together with sub-categories’ mode shows currently selected category, its parent and subcategories. ‘Static 2-level category tree with plus/minus controls’. means that the category filter always shows the top 2 levels of categories. This display option works great for stores with simple 1-2 level category structure.
Magento categories allows creating a new block, in which you can display the list of category subcategories together with thumbnails. This block both improves the category page look and makes the category structure easier to understand and browse.