One of the hardest parts of a good, responsive site is the navigation. This can take a while to figure out, and there are plenty of tutorials to help with that. But I’m also a fan of using code snippets like the ones we have collected for this article.
All of these responsive navigation snippets are free to edit and clone for your own projects. They also feature a variety of styles, so there’s going to be something here that’ll work for all types of websites.
You might also like these menu and navigation snippet collections:
1. Responsive Fullpage Layout
This responsive example – created by Johnny Mango – shows how far you can take a website’s prototyping phase. You’ll notice the navigation has an interesting feature when you hover and auto-focus on links. This effect can be altered on a “live” website with the same navigation, but it’s useful in this example to show off the page’s UI/UX.
2. Dropdown Navbar
If you need longer dropdown items in your navigation then this menu might work better. It’s a strong alternative to the more basic navigations that only feature a handful of menu items. In this case, you’ll find a simple list of links with a very small dropdown. The sub-menu links only appear on a click event which is handled by jQuery. You could change that to CSS-only, but you’ll lose the click trigger.
Still, for such a clean design, I’m surprised at how much versatility this snippet offers developers.
3. Single-Page Layout
Single page navigation menus need love just like the any other. This is a perfect example of single-page navigation in action. The links scroll down with a smooth animation but don’t leave you waiting for too long.
Not to mention, they automatically resize to the perfect fit regardless of your browser size. I would mostly recommend this type of navigation for a sales page or a simple portfolio site. It’s clean, and features some great animation features alongside the responsive techniques.
4. Red Dropdown Menu
Developer Stéphanie Walter has built some exciting projects for the web. This snippet is just one example featuring a bright red, responsive navigation.
The links have a little more pizzazz with a custom selected feature and a nice hover effect to boot. When resized, you’ll notice the navigation uses a sliding dropdown menu instead. I would almost opt towards a block-level list of links for mobile, but this works much better considering the sub-menu.
5. Pure CSS Design
Here’s a unique design using pure CSS for the navigation. It’s a vertical menu with navigation links mimicking the periodic table of elements.
The hover effects are a bit delayed yet undoubtedly interesting. Not to mention the responsive style is surprisingly usable. Perhaps the most impressive part is how this entire example solely uses CSS.
6. Responsive Sticky Header
I mentioned single page design in an earlier snippet and this responsive header follows a similar trajectory. The only difference is that this navigation has a slightly larger block on the page, and it handles responsive page design a little differently.
When you resize the browser you’ll notice that this example uses the hamburger icon with a fun animation. It’s nice considering the style, but may not be everyone.
7. Responsive & Touch-Friendly
All good websites should be touch-friendly by default. That’s what makes this navigation even more appealing to designers.
Each link does lead to a new page, but you can tap to hover the dropdown menus with ease on any touch-based device. This feature is often missing from navigation menus, and it’s one reason dropdowns can be tricky to design.
8. Simple Nav Links
When I think of simple navigation menus, I think of a design like this. Each link appears as its own block element, even on smaller screens. There is no hamburger menu and no hidden animated menu feature. Instead, the links resize and break into separate lines.
The trickiest part is handling the dropdown effect on mobile devices. Many of the links do have sub-menus, and they’ll work the same on smaller screens.
I would argue that this works best for sites with little or no sub-menus, but it’s worth a try on mobile to see what you think of the experience.
9. Playstation Curtain Menu
Developer Louis Chenais created one of my favorite responsive navigations based on the PlayStation website. Louis calls this a “curtain menu” where it slides into view, overtaking the entire page. This is really common for mobile interfaces, and it’s quickly become a popular for web designers as well.
One thing I really like is the animation style. It’s sleek and fast enough to display the links without leaving users bored. And best of all, this feels like it could work on a production website.
10. Responsive Mega-Menu
You can search the web and find hundreds of mega navigation menu examples. These typically appear on larger blogs and news websites, but they’re also popular on eCommerce shops or even large agency sites. The toughest part of a mega-menu is making it fully responsive. Thanks to this small snippet, you can rework the mega menu design to fit any screen with ease.
On mobile, it uses a sliding navigation to display all the internal links in one menu. This may seem a tad annoying, but you could also use jQuery to hide the sub-links if that makes sense. It’s still one of the best responsive solutions I’ve seen for running a mega menu on desktop without alienating mobile users.