Navigation is an important aspect of a good WordPress website with a great design. Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to think about how your website’s visitors will interact with your pages through your navigation. One way is to use a floating fixed bar (fixed header).

This is where the header section of your website stays at the top of the screen as the user scrolls. This provides countless benefits, but one of the main ones is that your navigation elements remain in the user’s line of sight, no matter where they are on the page. For this reason alone, floating fixed bars are a popular user interface (UI) element.

How to Create a Floating Fixed Bar (Header) for Your WordPress Website

In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a floating fixed bar in WordPress. It will cover many aspects such as examples from around the web, WordPress plugins that can help you, and a guide on how to develop your own floating fixed bar. First, though, let’s discuss in more detail what a floating fixed bar is.

What is a floating fixed bar

Example of floating fixed bar on the web

Why use floating fixed bars

Floating fixed bar plugin recommendation

How to Create a Floating Fixed Bar in WordPress

Tips for using floating fixed bar

What is a floating fixed bar

The header section of your website is a bit like your website’s information desk. This will be the first thing most users will find, and will always be where they check to find out some key information and do something:

For example, your logo or website name will appear here as a base for users. In most cases, they will be able to return to the home page by clicking on the logo.

If you’re running user accounts on a website, the header usually provides a link to log into those accounts and profile pages.

There may be a search function here, especially if you have a large website with a lot of content in different areas.

Of course, the navigation of your website is also an integral part of the header.

Overall, your header is the user’s touchpoint. You’ll find it’s usually a “bar chart” of an F-shaped reading pattern, so it grabs the user’s attention on an intuitive level.

You probably already know what a floating fixed bar is, even in an intuitive sense. It’s where the header section of your website is “pinned” to the top of the screen when you scroll. In contrast to a static header that stays in place and disappears when scrolling, a fixed header is an element that is always visible.

While the typical way to float a pinned bar is to pin its static version to the top of the screen, there are a few different ways to make it more usable, screen efficient, and dynamic. Next, we’ll look at some real-world examples.

How to Create a Floating Fixed Bar (Header) for Your WordPress Website

Example of floating fixed bar on the web

You’ll find floating fixed bars all over the web, it’s best to check some to see how far you can achieve. One of the most basic examples around is from Hammerhead. The site uses “popup menus” and floating fixed bars, and it’s simple: it strives to be fixed to the top of the page in its static layout:

Another simple implementation comes from Kin. This uses a typical floating fixed bar, but this time with some cool design elements.

You’ll notice that the contrast changes depending on the part of the site you scroll through, and there are some nice transitions:

This time, when you scroll down the page, you’ll see the header disappear. However, when you scroll up, it reappears – you might call it a “partially persistent header”.

The premise here is that scrolling down means you’re investing time into the page itself, so there may be no need to navigate, land on the page, or go elsewhere. However, as you scroll up, you’re more likely to want to go to another page on the site. Here, a floating fixed bar will be displayed to save time.

It’s these little user experience (UX) touches that make website visitors want to come back. For your own fixed bar design, you need to think about how to craft a UX and UI that focuses on the needs of your visitors.

Why you should use floating fixed bars for your website

Many websites use floating fixed bars, and there are plenty of good reasons why this is the case. They can be a key part of your overall website experience and have a big impact on your user experience and UI.

Given that the elements you’ll be including in the header are the ones the user will always want to access, it makes sense to show them all the time. This is especially true for small screen devices and formats.

While it may seem counterintuitive to have an “always-on” header when viewport space is at a premium, it’s a small sacrifice. The real benefit is less reason for mobile users to scroll — a necessity on smaller devices. If you provide site navigation without scrolling, users can move around your site more easily.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Floating Fixed Bars

We covered some advantages of floating fixed bars, so let’s quickly summarize:

You can provide navigation that users can access at any time, which helps maintain a natural reading pattern on your site.

You can adapt the header to different needs, such as contrast, color scheme, and even user intent.

There is an opportunity to provide value to users, whether on desktop or small screens.

However, floating fixed bars are not a panacea to enhance the user experience, and there are some disadvantages to using them:

We covered this briefly, but for various screen sizes, you need to allocate space for the header.

A fixed header will naturally stand out from the rest of your content, as its own element takes the eye away from the body of the page.

There’s more development work involved with a good fixed header because you need to implement it, make sure it works in different browsers, and check it for bugs on smaller screens.

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