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How to Create a Sticky Floating Navigation Menu in WordPress

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Do you want to create a sticky floating navigation menu in WordPress?

The top navigation menu typically has links to all your most important pages. By making this menu sticky, you can keep it on screen as the user scrolls down the page, so it’s always within easy reach.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add a sticky floating navigation menu to your WordPress website.

Creating a sticky floating navigation menu in WordPress

What Is a Sticky Floating Navigation Menu?

A sticky or floating navigation menu ‘sticks’ to the top of the screen as a user scrolls down, so it’s onscreen at all times.

A sticky navigation menu in action on our demo website

Usually, the top navigation menu in WordPress contains links to your website’s most important content. By making this menu sticky, visitors can click on those links at any time without having to scroll.

If you run an online store, then the top navigation menu typically has links to pages that are designed to convert, such as the checkout page and customer cart. By making the top menu sticky, you can often reduce cart abandonment rates and get more sales.

With that said, let’s see how you can easily create a sticky floating navigation menu in any WordPress theme or WooCommerce store. Simply use the quick links below to jump to the method you want to use:

Method 1: Add a Sticky Menu Using Your Theme Settings (Easy)

Some of the best WordPress themes have built-in support for sticky navigation menus. With that being said, it’s worth checking your theme settings by going to Themes » Customize in the WordPress dashboard and looking for any settings labeled ‘Menus.’

If you are not sure whether your theme supports sticky menus, then you can check the theme’s documentation or even contact the developer for help. For more information, please see our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support and get it.

If your theme doesn’t have built-in support for sticky menus, then you’ll need to use one of the other methods below.

Method 2: Add Your Sticky Navigation Menu Using a Plugin (Recommended)

The easiest way to add a sticky navigation menu in WordPress is by using Sticky Menu (or Anything!) on Scroll. This plugin allows you to make anything sticky, including menus.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » Sticky Menu (or Anything!).

The Sticky Menu plugin's settings page

To start, you’ll need to get the CSS ID of the navigation menu that you want to make sticky by using your browser’s inspect tool.

Simply visit your website and hover your mouse over the navigation menu. After that, just right-click and select ‘Inspect’ from the browser’s menu.

Inspecting the navigation menu element on your website

This will open a new panel inside the browser, where you can see the source code for the navigation menu.

You need to find the line of code that relates to the menu or your site header. It will look something like this:

<nav id="site-navigation" class="main-navigation" role="navigation">

If you are struggling to find the code, then hover your mouse over the different lines of code in the ‘Inspect’ panel. The browser will highlight the navigation menu when you find the right code, as you can see in the following image.

Finding the navigation menu ID using the inspect tool

In this case, the navigation menu’s CSS ID is site-navigation.

Once you have this information, switch back to your WordPress dashboard and add it to the ‘Sticky Element (Required)’ field.

You’ll also need to add a hash character (#) at the start, so site-navigation becomes #site-navigation.

Entering the ID of the element that you want to make sticky (in this case, the navigation menu)

After that, click the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page to store your changes.

Now, if you visit your WordPress website and scroll, the menu should stay at the top.

Viewing the sticky menu on your website

Sometimes, the sticky menu may overlap some content that you don’t want to hide.

If this happens, then you’ll need to define a space between the top of your screen and the sticky navigation menu by typing a number into the ‘Space between top of page…’ field.

How to create a sticky navigation menu in WordPress

Sticky menus can cause problems for devices with smaller screens, such as mobile devices. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to check the mobile version of your WordPress website from desktop.

If you are not happy with how the menu looks, then you can ‘unstick’ it for mobile users by finding the following field: ‘Do not stick element when screen is smaller than.’

Here, type in ‘780px.’

Unsticking the sticky navigation menu on mobile devices

There are some more settings to explore, but this is all you need to create a working sticky navigation menu.

When you are happy with how the navigation menu is set up, click on ‘Save Changes’ to store your settings.

Method 3: Add a Sticky Floating Navigation Menu Using Code

You can also create a sticky navigation menu using CSS.

The best way to add custom code to WordPress is by using WPCode. WPCode is the best code snippets plugin that allows you to add custom CSS, PHP, HTML, and more.

Since you are not editing the theme files directly, you can avoid many common WordPress errors. You can also update your theme or switch to a completely different theme without losing your custom code.

You can also toggle the sticky menu on and off with a single click.

First, you will need to install and activate the free WPCode plugin. For more information, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, go to Code Snippets » Add Snippet.

Creating a sticky menu using WPCode

Here, you will see all the ready-made WPCode snippets you can add to your site. These include a snippet that allows you to completely disable comments, upload file types that WordPress doesn’t usually support, disable attachment pages, and much more.

On the next screen, just hover your mouse over ‘Add Your Custom Code (New Snippet)’ and click the ‘Use snippet’ button when it appears.

Adding a custom code snippet to a website using WPCode

On the next screen, you need to type in a title for the code snippet. This is just for your reference, so you can use anything you want.

Then, open the ‘Code Type’ dropdown and choose ‘CSS Snippet.’

Creating a sticky navigation menu using WPCode

With that done, add the following snippet to the WPCode code editor:

#site-navigation {
    background:#00000;
    height:60px;
    z-index:170;
    margin:0 auto;
    border-bottom:1px solid #dadada;
    width:100%;
    position:fixed;
    top:0;
    left:0;
    right:0;
    text-align: center;
}

This will create a navigation menu with a black background. You can use any color you want by changing the hex code next to background.

For example, using background: #ffffff will give you a white menu background. If you are not sure what hex code to use, then you can look at a resource such as HTML color code.

You’ll also need to replace #site-navigation with the CSS ID of your navigation menu. To find this code, simply follow the same process described above.

When you are happy with the code, click on the ‘Inactive’ toggle so it changes to ‘Active’, and then click on the ‘Save Snippet’ button.

how to make a sticky navigation menu using WPCode

Now, if your visit your WordPress blog or website, you will see the sticky floating navigation menu in action.

Depending on your theme, sometimes the navigation menu may appear below the site header instead of above it. In this case, the sticky navigation menu might appear too close to the site title and header or even overlap it.

The sticky navigation menu is slightly overlapping the site title

If this happens, then you can add the following to your custom CSS snippet:

.site-branding {
margin-top:60px !important;
}

Just replace site-branding with the CSS class of your header area. To get this information, simply use your browser’s ‘Inspect’ tool and then follow the same process described in Method 2.

We hope this article helped you add a sticky floating navigation menu to your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase your blog traffic and our comparison of the best WordPress page builder plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

46 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Mrteesurez says

    Well crafted, I am happy to see the plugin you shared here “sticky menu or (anything) on scroll”. That’s means it can be used to make sticky any elements apart from menu.
    Initially I used raw code for it, thanks for share this easy method.

  3. Jiří Vaněk says

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve always been looking for usually a template that can basically do this. According to this guide, I no longer have to.

  4. Ivaylo says

    Great practical tutorail. I did Method 2 and it worked instantly, however when I open the website on mobile, the buttons from the menu have vanished. Anyone knows why or how to solve it?

    Cheers!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you haven’t done so already, we would recommend checking with the support for your specific theme to see if it could be a conflict with your theme’s CSS

      Admin

  5. Serena Richardson says

    Hello,
    How do you create a sticky floating menu down the right hand side of a page rather than at the top, so it moves down as you scroll down.
    Thanks!
    Serena

  6. Tam says

    Hello!
    Thanks for your help! It worked like magic :D.
    I learn a little CSS and tried to make my nav sticky from a free theme (GeneratePress) but didn’t work. (I tried “position: sticky;” in CSS), but thank your code that helped me to fix it :)

  7. Guy Bailey says

    Many thanks for your help – just a small q; the background of my menu is transparent when scrolling down. Any quick fixes of tricks to add a solid colour behind it (white in our case)?

  8. Tony Chung says

    The CSS code worked and I did have to add a margin to the header so the whole title would display. My menu bar stretches across the top but the menu buttons start at the left and stop in the middle. How do I move the buttons to be centered on the page?

  9. Gillian Davies says

    I have a list of books in a table. I have imported the images of their front covers into Media, now I want to have the images pop up as a viewer scrolls down the list. Similar to a row hover, but how do I do this in a table created in table maker?

  10. Raul says

    How can i make this fixed navigation menu scrollable?
    So i used it for a sidebar but when the sidebar it is too long it doesn’t fit on the screen and i cant scroll it down.

  11. Rushikesh Thawale says

    Hello,
    How did you write the code LIKE A CODE in this post? I mean how to show HTML codes like this in a post?
    Thanks.

  12. dani says

    :( I wasn’t even able to find that CSS code …. I even searched for “nav id” and there is nothing like that in the code! Any idea why?

  13. Sujith Reghu says

    I want to know how to add a sticky menu inside a WordPress post or page. Like for a long post, the headings and sub-headings of the post itself to be presented in the sticky menu so that a reader can easily navigate from one section in the post to another. Thanks…

  14. Zac says

    thanks for the tutorial!

    what i need is a little different, i need a ‘mini-menu’ to appear when you hover on the menu … so it doesn’t show until you hover .. like a drop down

    if you could make this tutorial i would appreciate it.

    • amin says

      you can use a mega-menu plugin or uber menu plugin, but you can make it without plugin, by css or jquery, like bootstrap3 menu

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