When building your website, problems are inevitable. Broken code, elements not aligning, poor social media integration, all of these are hurdles that we need to conquer in order to create a website that we can be proud of. Along with that, sometimes we find that something is missing from our website.
It’s usually nothing site-breaking, but mostly the issue of your website looking bland. Compared to other sites, your website might be missing that oomph that one comes to expect from any professional website.
There are many ways to fix this problem, one being the use of a sticky menu and/or sticky header.
In case this is the first time that you hear about a sticky menu and/or don’t know what is a sticky header, we don’t blame you; both can be easily overlooked thanks to the plethora of other available web design features.
In its most basic form, a sticky menu is an element on your website which follows you as you scroll. Now you might be asking yourself, “How is this useful?” and we are getting to that, don’t worry.
The first and most obvious example would be a sticky toolbar at the top of your website. Implementing a feature like this one is simple, but still, you don’t see many websites with it. Creating a sticky toolbar or some other type of sticky menu not only gives off the impression that you care about the usability of your website, but it also creates the possibility for you to have a website filled with content that one can easily browse through without having to scroll back up to change pages.
Search bars, a box with recommendations for other articles or products, a small button that subscribes a person to your newsletter or shares your website/post on social media, all of these can look stunning as sticky elements without cluttering up your website.
So if you are sold on the idea of sticky menus and sticky elements in general, the obvious next step is learning how to implement them to your WordPress site.
The basic way of doing this would be writing a few lines of code and calling it a day. But this approach has both its pros and cons. While you do have a lot of control when writing code yourself, it can get tedious fast. So, not only would you be wasting precious time, but you would also be missing out on the great features that many WordPress sticky menu plugins offer.
For that reason, we would strongly recommend that you use a plugin, and to help you pick one out, here is a list of the top 7 best free WordPress sticky menu plugins.
1. Sticky Menu, Sticky Header (or anything!) on Scroll
We are starting this list off with a strong choice. With over 100,000 active installations and a five-star rating, this sticky menu plugin is a great one.
With it, you can create all of the amazing things we mentioned in the introduction. The sky is the limit, as this plugin makes sure that you can turn any element on your website into a sticky one.
The plugin’s setting “push-up element” allows you to designate an element that will push your sticky element back to the top. The Z-index setting allows you to prevent any other elements from obscuring your sticky element. Plus, you can configure how your sticky elements work depending on the user’s screen size.
Small touches like these will make your site more pleasant for the user, as there are only a handful of things more annoying than a sticky element blocking off half of your mobile device display.
With regular updates and a debug mode provided by this plugin, you can be sure that you won’t run into any problem that can’t be fixed.
For those of you that like what you have heard so far, we would recommend that you also check out the pro version of the plugin called WP Sticky.
With additional features such as an element picker available in the pro version, you can say goodbye to writing code and will be blazing through the sticky element creation process.
The pro version also offers fast and reliable customer support straight from the developers of the plugin. A luxury that many other plugins don’t provide.
Oh, and did I mention that this plugin is compatible with all page builders, plugins, and themes? It is! So, do yourself a favor and check it out.
With a bunch of great features, this plugin makes sure that users can create what they want without putting in too much effort.
The plugin manages to be unique and does what it is supposed to do. An important thing to know about it is that it was developed with the Twenty Thirteen template in mind but should be compatible with most themes.
3. Float menu
The Float menu plugin is a bit more niche in its use but can still create a great-looking menu that will appear as if it is floating on your site. At its core, it will still be just a sticky menu, nothing game-changing. But what differentiates it from the rest is its distinct visual style, which is comprised of buttons.
The main drawback of this plugin is the fact that its customizability options are quite limited. And not only that, but the menus can only be placed on the left or right side of your site. Still, if you like the look of the menus that this plugin creates, and you don’t want to deviate too far from the original design, you will find that this is a stable and good plugin.
4. WP Sticky Sidebar
This is a plugin quite similar to Float menu. Its main feature is the ability to create a simple but effective sidebar menu on your website. So, if you only need a sidebar menu, this plugin is great, as its installation is fast and easy.
The main characteristic that this plugin shares with the Float menu plugin is the lack of customizability. But, some praise should be given to it, as this plugin can create mobile-friendly sticky menus; plus, it’s compatible with all themes that you might want to use on your website.
5. Essential Addons for Elementor
This plugin is for all of you that are using Elementor. In case you don’t know, Elementor is a fast and easy-to-use WordPress site builder.
We would strongly recommend that you use the Essential Addons for Elementor plugin alongside Elementor since it does lack in certain areas. By using this plugin, you can augment Elementor’s basic sticky menus and make them more your own.
6. Smart Floating / Sticky Buttons
Smart Floating / Sticky Buttons is a sticky button plugin. It is probably the fastest and most streamlined tool that allows for sticky button creation.
The whole process of creating a button takes around 10 seconds which is simply amazing. Still, even though the process is simple, this plugin doesn’t withhold any features from you. You get everything that you need in its free version.
Also, this plugin doesn’t limit you to a single type of action that a button can perform. Instead, through a button, you can link your social media, send a message, link to another site, etc. Your imagination is the limit, really.
So, if you only need a sticky button, then this plugin is right for you.
7. Catch Sticky Menu
And last but certainly not least, we have Catch Sticky Menu. Even though it is packed with all the features needed to create a sticky menu, this plugin doesn’t really stand out. It is simple and reliable.
So, you might be thinking, “Why did you put it on this list then?”. The answer to that question is the fact that this is an open-source plugin. This is the strongest feature of Catch Sticky Menu. In layman’s terms, it means that you can go look at the plugin’s code, take the parts you like and add to them, or remove the parts you don’t like. So, if you are not happy with any of the aforementioned plugins and you are willing to get your hands dirty, then this plugin is perfect for you since you can customize it to your heart’s desire.
Still, this is by far the hardest and most time-consuming way of implementing sticky menus on your site, so be warned.
A few closing thoughts
Now that you have a basic idea of what a sticky header and sticky menu are, you should be ready to pick out a plugin that will help you create exactly that. Still, if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with the number of choices, we would highly recommend that you go for Sticky Menu, Sticky Header (or anything!) on Scroll as it is by far the most versatile and reliable option on the market. A jack of all trades, if you will.
Not to mention that if you like its free version enough, you can always upgrade to its pro version later, which will significantly speed up your site-creating process.
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