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30 Simple Responsive Navigation Solutions & Tutorials

By
on CSS & JavaScript

Depending on the type of website or app you’re building, there will always be some key areas that you have to give more attention to than others. One area that is critical to all types of websites, and requires more thought than others, is navigation.

Menu items generally lead to the most important pages or areas of a site and help visitors navigate easier. And, as you have to consider multiple screen sizes when designing a menu, making the navigation responsive can often make things much more complicated, especially on larger sites.

As there is no universal solution, the type or style of menu you use will depend on the type of site you are creating. If it is a small site like a personal portfolio, a <select> drop-down menu or a simple hamburger toggle menu will probably be suffice. But if it is a larger site like an eCommerce store that relies upon a mega-menu for navigation, then a drawer-style navigation or an animated side panel menu will most likely help you.

You will hopefully find the responsive navigation solution that best suits the website you’re currently working on. We have a collection of JavaScript and jQuery plugins, a selection of tutorials that will take you through every step of the menu build, and some useful resources covering responsive navigation patterns.


If you don’t find the responsive navigation solution you need on this page, you may find it on one of these code snippets collections we have also published recently:

JavaScript & jQuery Responsive Menu Plugins

Sidr – Responsive Side Menus

Sidr is an easy-to-use plugin that will create a responsive Facebook-like side menu. It allows you to create multiple ‘sidr’ menus on either side of your layout.

Sidr Side Menus javascript navigation menu responsive web design

Navgoco Vertical Multi-Level Slide Navigation

Navgoco is a simple jQuery plugin that can turn a nested unordered list of navigation items into a beautiful vertical multi-level slide navigation.

Navgoco Vertical Multi-Level Slide javascript navigation menu responsive web design

FlexNav Mobile-First Menu

FlexNav is a mobile-first example of using media queries and jQuery to make a robust dropdown menu. From the developer: It is a ‘device-agnostic approach to complex site navigation with support for touch and keyboard accessibility.’

FlexNav Mobile-First javascript navigation menu responsive web design

scrollNav.js – Scrolling Responsive Side-Nav

scrollNav is a lightweight jQuery plugin that grabs your page’s existing content, divides it into logical sections and builds a customizable scrolling sidebar navigation.

scrollNav Scrolling Side-Nav javascript navigation menu responsive web design

Flaunt.js – Nested Click-To-Reveal Navigation

Flaunt.js allows you to create a stylish responsive navigation with nested click to reveal.

Flaunt Nested Click-To-Reveal javascript navigation menu responsive web design

jVanilla Menu

jVanilla Menu is a simple jQuery menu plugin that takes an existing CSS drop-down menu and adds enhancements such as animations, submenu levels, and timeout delays.

jVanilla javascript navigation menu responsive web design

Slidebars – App-Style Push Menu Plugin

Slidebars is a lightweight jQuery plugin that will allow you to add an app-style push menu to your website or application easily.

Slidebars - App-Style Push Menu Plugin javascript navigation menu responsive web design

scotchPanels.js – Off-Canvas Menus

scotchPanels.js is a jQuery plugin for creating an off-canvas menu and other panel types such as images, videos, and iframes.

scotchPanels Off-Canvas javascript navigation menu responsive web design

SmartMenus

SmartMenus is a feature-rich plugin for creating both horizontal or vertical menus. Responsive and accessible. There are also Bootstrap addons available.

SmartMenus javascript navigation menu responsive web design

jQuery Menu Aim

Menu Aim is a dropdown (both horizontal or vertical) plugin that can differentiate between a user hovering over a dropdown item versus trying to navigate into a submenu content.

jQuery Menu Aim javascript navigation menu responsive web design

jQuery slimMenu

slimMenu is a lightweight jQuery plugin that makes it easy to create responsive and multi-level navigation menus on the fly.

jQuery slimMenu javascript navigation menu responsive web design

jPanelMenu – Animated Paneled-Style Menu

jPanelMenu is a jQuery plugin for creating a smooth animated paneled-style menu. The animation is handled by CSS transitions.

jPanelMenu Animated Paneled-Style javascript navigation menu responsive web design

Naver – Mobile Friendly Navigation

Naver is a simple plugin that will automatically turn a basic navigation system into a mobile-friendly system.

 javascript navigation menu responsive web design

HorizontalNav

The HorizontalNav plugin will span a horizontal navigation to fit the full width of its container and comes with an option to either make it responsive or not.

HorizontalNav javascript navigation menu responsive web design

jQuery.mmenu

jQuery.mmenu is a plugin for creating slick, app look-alike sliding menus for you mobile website with only one line of JavaScript: $("#nav").mmenu();.

jQuery mmenu javascript navigation menu responsive web design

TinyNav.js

TinyNav.js is a lightweight plugin (452 bytes) that converts <ul> and <ol> menus into a select dropdown. It also automatically selects the current page and adds selected="selected" to that item.

Responsive-Menu

Responsive-Menu is tiny jQuery plugin that will turn your site’s navigation into a dropdown (<select>) when your browser is at the preset mobile width.

MeanMenu

MeanMenu is a media query independent plugin for converting a standard menu into a mobile responsive menu. It is not a menu system replacement but simply some lightweight jQuery to convert a standard menu into a mobile version.

Side Toggle Menu

The Side Toggle Menu plugin allows you to add a sidebar menu to your website that slides in from either the left or right edge of the browser window.

Responsive Navigation CSS & JS Tutorials

Planning and creating a menu that works as intended on mobile devices is the trickiest area of building any responsive layout. To help you out, we have a selection of responsive navigation tutorials that will take you through each step.

  • CSS Alternatives to JavaScript Navigation (CSS)
    Learn how to create a JavaScript-free hamburger menu, horizontal scroller, or have the menu on seperate page.
  • Responsive Off-Screen Menus (CSS)
    Learn how to create a slide and push menu using CSS transitions.
  • Full Width Responsive Tiled Menu (CSS)
    Create a fully responsive tiled navigation, with a little JavaScript to show/hide the navigation on smaller screen widths.
  • Basic Responsive “Three Line” Menu (CSS & jQuery)
    Learn how to progressively enhance a responsive site and build a “three line” (hamburger menu) responsive menu without adding additional markup to the page.
  • Responsive Multi-Level Navigation (CSS & jQuery)
    Create a horizontal drop-down menu, with up to two levels of sub-menus that appear when the parent element is hovered over. On smaller screens, a menu button that will display the menu vertically.
  • Responsive CSS Navigation Menu (CSS-only)
    Learn how to create a responsive menu, without any JavaScript, using clean and semantic HTML5 markup. The menu can be aligned left, center or right.
  • Top Drawer – Smooth Responsive Dropdown Menu (CSS & jQuery)
    This tutorial will show you how to create a smoother reveal mobile menu using CSS rather than animating it with JavaScript.
  • Simple Responsive Navigation (CSS & jQuery)
    Learn how to build a responsive menu from the ground up using CSS media queries and a little jQuery to display the menu on a smaller mobile screen.
  • Simple & Responsive Mobile First Navigation (CSS-only)
    Learn how to build a simple mobile layout and navigation, then using media queries, progressively enhance the design for larger screens.
  • Responsive Navigation Menu Tutorial
    With this tutorial you will learn how to code a simple responsive navigation menu that you will be able to easily modify and reuse in your own projects.

Responsive Navigation Patterns

A selection of resources that discuss the pros and cons of the many different responsive menu options. Learn how you should handle responsive navigations and discover which solution best suits the project you are currently working on.