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Top 28 jQuery Navigation Menu & Bar Plugins For Websites 2020

Website navigation is going to be one of the most important features that you implement. It serves as the compass for what is to be found on your site. If there is no navigation to begin with, a huge mess establishes itself. Have you ever visited a website that had a clear lack of navigation features? Don’t you find that annoying? With the evolution of modern web, as well as the responsive web, the navigation tools for websites have also evolved rapidly. jQuery now makes it possible to create stunning, unique and authentic navigation effects that will keep users entertained; most importantly, satisfied with the choice of having a website navigation menu at all.

On-line stores, blogs, content directories, news websites, encyclopedias, and so many other types of websites depend on good navigations to help users find what they are looking for. That is the primary goal of our collection of the best jQuery navigation menu and bar libraries, scripts and plugins. We will dive deep into what the open-source community has managed to unravel in the form of JavaScript’s potential to dynamically optimize your website for the best possible navigation experience. We will look at examples that are modest, but also examples that are truly modern and will change the way you look at the navigation menu’s forever. What makes these options so appealing too, is the fact that you don’t need to be overly experienced with programming to install any of these libraries. On top of that, they all have thorough documentation files available for a quick learning curve.

A solid navigation menu is going to be one of the best design investments that will quickly make a humongous return in the form of bounce rates, clickthroughs on your content, and general exposure of new users towards existing content. Any of the navigation menus and navigation bars below are going to give you the necessary boost in content exposure to ensure that none of your content goes unnoticed. Please enjoy at your own pace.



Try out slimMenu, a lightweight solution for creating responsive multi-level menus for your website. Understanding how media queries in CSS work is a challenge in itself. That is why slimMenu is hoping to eliminate the need for you to learn difficult CSS syntax and simply give you the bread and butter of a top-notch jQuery plugin. slimMenu also supports tree view (nested) menus that are fully mobile responsive. You can have a number of different slimMenu widgets within the same page, too, and a precise integration of tap-navigation for mobile devices. These make it easy for mobile users to access sub-menu items. The design is fairly standard, and some little work is going to be required for websites that deal with a lot of colors.




In web design, there are going to be numerous ways that a designer is going to get frustrated. One of those is working with grids. A website grid is the actual boilerplate layout of a website. Usually, the header grid is an individual container that receives individual styling and markup, and so requires individual styling options. When creating navigation menus for the header, we usually run into a fairly common problem: our menu items don’t stretch all the way out across the full width of our page. A very common problem that designers encounter. HorizontalNav is a jQuery library that takes your menu container, and simply allows it to stretch out in full width. Thus, the exposure of each individual menu item is maximized. So easy to apply to your website, will leave you wondering why you didn’t research this UI pattern before.




SmartMenus is a world class menu library/platform that promises to provide its users with a modern menu system that is going to work equally great on all browsers, devices, and platforms. From the moment you open the SmartMenus website, it’s clear that this plugin is based on a modern way. This gives reassurance that what you are about to start using on your website, is actually a fully functional library with great support behind it.

Moreover, the navigation menu that you see on SmartMenus is actually amplified with the SmartMenus plugin itself, so you can get a firsthand experience of what this menu library is going to do to your menus. There are a couple of themes to choose from: blue, clean, mint, and simple, with the option for you to style your own navigation theme for the use on SmartMenus. Modern code and technology means that SmartMenus will support touch based devices, but also book readers that allow web access. All the markup is friendly to search engines, so you won’t be losing out on any visitors any time soon. Code is easy to follow, so easy to modify as well.



jquery mmenu

There’s just something about native web design that keeps designers challenged towards creating native-themed UI patterns using traditional languages like HTML or CSS. jQuery.mmenu is one such library that tries to achieve the feat of providing a native-looking mobile menu for mobile apps. And best of all, this menu isn’t just for mobile devices; the library is meant to work for smartphones, tablets, and desktop websites alike. WordPress users can quickly download the free plugin to transform their existing menus into native application looking menus. It’s a wonderful library to experiment with, to get an idea of your users’ preferences.




What’s Drawer? Drawer is a jQuery drawer menu plugin that utilizes iScroll and modern CSS3 to create a menu drawer widget. The menu drawer widget acts as a simple button that a user can click that will draw open the site navigation. All your existing menu items occupy the navigation, which also can be nested underneath one another. You can position the menu in all directions of the website, as you’d expect from such a versatile plugin.


Responsive Nav

responsive nav

Creating a navigation menu these days is going to require two things. First, the menu should be responsive and fully adaptable to mobile devices, and second, the menu should use modern design standards to have universal appeal. Well, Responsive Nav hits the jackpot on both cases. The plugin is third-party library independent. This means the end size of the actual script is roughly 1 kB, size that won’t even matter to your overall website performance. Responsive Nav is also in favor of the increasingly popular CSS3 transition animations. Another great feature of this particular jQuery navigation menu is it will function even if the user doesn’t have JavaScript enabled in their browser. On top of that, it will also work on popular Kindle readers. Seriously, it’s an amazing solution for creating a responsive and universal menu for your website.




TinyNav transforms the “UL” and “OL” navigation elements to a select form elements for small screen sizes. A WordPress plugin is available. TinyNav is what sparked the development of Responsive Nav, the navigation menu that we outlined one above this one. Evolution happens in web development too, doesn’t it.




scrollNav has a slightly more unique purpose. This particular navigation bar works best with projects that need a scrolling navigation that appears on the side of the content area. The uses that come to mind at first is things like a documentation, on-line book, on-line content compilation, and others. The plugin is of course very advanced. The way it works is rather wonderful, you simply specify the individual tag that you wish to be outlined as a navigation option, for example “H2”, but you could also set it to be “H3” or “H1” it doesn’t matter to the plugin. Read the documentation to get a better understanding of the features.




Sidebar menus have grown in popularity in the recent few years. Not having a full-on menu at the header of the page means that there is more room to really expose your site’s front page. Instead, use a simple navigation icon on the side of the page that would trigger the full menu. Such approach has become popular even with sites like Google. There, the right-top icon of the user profile is all you need to access every single part of Google’s products and pages. If you wish to aim for the same effect on your designs, Sidr is one of the best libraries to get the job done.




At first glimpse, this menu couldn’t make any less sense than it does, but the important thing to do is pay attention. stickyNavbar is a navigation menu that sticks to the top of the page, once the user has reached the particular container that holds the menu together, this means that you could easily insert a menu in the middle of the page, have the user scroll past that page and then have your menu scroll with him alongside the rest of the page, but of course, if the user scrolls back up, above the menu, it will naturally detach itself from the top of the page. That’s the main functionality of stickyNavbar.


Mega Dropdown

mega dropdown

An eCommerce website will inevitably need to have a mega dropdown, well, for as long as this eCommerce website is serving thousands of items. A mega dropdown menu is a menu that can hold huge amounts of selections, without compromising the quality of design. This is one such jQuery extension that is going to help you achieve the desired result. The mega dropdown lets you create an individual menu item, lets say “Clothing” — then when the user opens Clothing, they are presented with different choices ranging from accessories to shoes, but within each of the selections there are more subsections, and so on and on. All that, to better help you display the available items you have going on for sale.

In addition, the other mega dropdown menu option in this particular library, is the ability to display gallery items within a menu. This means that you could easily advertise individual products with the use of visual content, within the menu. Oh..and if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an option to list your services and talk about each of them, also within the grid of the menu. It will be very hard to find a better mega dropdown menu than this one, it’s a powerhouse, yet provides a simple way of installation.


3D Bold Navigation

3d bold navigation

3D Bold Navigation is a simple folded menu that rolls out with a 3D effect once you click on the menu icon. It’s quite large, and would require a specific design project to be viable for use, explore on your own to get a better feel for it.


Stretchy Navigation

stretchy navigation

What’s stretchy navigation? It’s a navigation that stretches, quite literally. Stretchy Navigation gives you a unique menu icon that once clicked, will stretch out vertically all the items on the menu. The cool part, the menu items can have a name that’s outside of the container, and a menu icon that’s inside of the container. Very interesting approach to a menu, and we think you’ll find some good purpose for it.


Secondary Sliding Navigation

secondary sliding navigation

A secondary sliding navigation that lets you have two menus within a single menu grid. First, you have the default menu with all the default menu items. And then at the end of the menu, you have a selectable menu button that once you click on it, it will unfold a secondary menu.


3D Rotating Navigation

3d rotating navigation

Another 3D menu; this time, we won’t see a menu jumping in our faces. Instead, the 3D Rotating Navigation is going to unfold from the top of the page. This gives us a fairly medium-sized menu that supports menu icons, and also a close icon to close the menu. It is one of those menu solutions that enable us to have more space at the top of our pages, as we adapt to using an unfolding menu widget.


Responsive Overlay Menu Navigation

responsive overlay menu navigation

Overlay menus are also gaining momentum. It lets you create a full-page menu that consists of everything there is to know about your business, yourself, the website you are running, and any other additional details. Once you click the little hamburger icon in this demo, the amazing menu experience that follows will stun you. It is a full-page menu that’s divided into three parts: about, services, and work, with each having their own individual menu items. The bottom of the overlay has enough space for you to showcase your social media availability.


Slide from Top full-screen Overlay Navigation

slide from top full screen overlay navigation

Just another overlay menu. This one, though, uses a slide from the top approach. Once it does slide open, you can see that there are many ways such a menu could be optimized to include custom things like email subscription forms, custom categories and pages, and other website elements that the user would need to be aware of. Although of course, you can customize everything as you like, there’s no limitation whatsoever.


Twisted Menu jQuery

twisted menu jquery

A cool menu widget that showcases an icon. Once you click the icon, numerous menu icon items unfold around the first menu icon. You can see in the demo snapshot as to how it functions, look at the page to learn more.


Off-canvas Sidebar Menu with a Twist

off canvas sidebar menu with a twist

If twisted wasn’t enough, perhaps a twist will. This stunning off-canvas menu solution is going to add a unique and dynamic function to the way your website menu is being displayed. Once the user clicks on the menu, the website gets twisted a few angles. Then, the available menu items are unfolded at the bottom-left corner. It’s a one of a kind experience as far as navigation for a website goes. We highly recommend that you explore this one a lot more.


Google Nexus Website Menu

google nexus website menu plugin

The Google Nexus website has a unique menu that scales with the content. So for example, once you open the menu, you are still exposed to the full-width of the website. Though, it is a slightly resized version, as room is being given to the menu. This creates a similar experience to what a mobile device would be able to provide, though slightly more advanced. The tutorial discusses how you can recreate this menu yourself. It also provides all the downloads for you to start using this menu script today.


Premium jQuery Navigation Menu & Bar Plugins

The free market for navigation bars and menus is evidently very huge. The options and selection of choice is clearly there. And when we set out to make this collection, it didn’t even occur to us that there would be so many great jQuery choices to choose from. Now that we have finished the free part of the collection, we realize that the free stuff alone can help us make some truly amazing menu experiences on our websites. But to help you with getting your creative juices flowing in the right direction, we will include a number of navigation menu plugins from a very famous and very active code marketplace where developers share their unique work at a small premium.

Minus Menu

minus menu jquery navigation plugin
Adding a menu to your website need not be too complicated once you gain access to Minus Menu. This remarkable jQuery navigation bar plugin is a pack of goodies that will have you started immediately. With fourteen different designs, you know you will easily find the one that fits your needs best. But it does not end here. There are also ten different button hover actions that spice things up. Of course, Minus Menu is in tune with smartphones and tablets as well. Like that would not be enough, you also get six months’ worth of free support. Easy to use for great navigability that your website deserves.



uinoin jquery navigation plugin
If you would like to keep everything as modern as possible, you will want to use UINOIN. It is a jQuery menu plugin with a multi-level structure that will help you create awesome navigation through your website. The entire setup is also a little breeze, making sure everyone gets the most out of the tool, even as a beginner. Moreover, if you would like to perform additional customization tweaks, you are free to modify UINOIN according to your liking. Everything is indeed well-documented, so the execution should flow naturally. Of course, do not forget to check the live preview of the menu first and see UINOIN in action.


Tnagele SideBar

tnagele sidebar jquery navigation plugin
For everyone with an idea of adding a sidebar navigation, hence the name, Tnagele SideBar is the solution you need. The very many features that this tool sports will have no trouble convincing you to use it and activate it on your site. Tnagele SideBar is in tune with the majority of well-liked devices and web browsers for an always smooth and stable performance. It even supports RTL languages. Some other features include push effects, drop-down, Bootstrap 4 compatibility and Cordova version. Create the sidebar navigation for desktop and mobile that fits your needs with Tnagele SideBar quickly.



bnav jquery navigation plugin
For a mega menu type of navigation, you better not miss BNAV. This jQuery navigation menu plugin rocks things with heaps of great amenities that will do the trick. First and foremost, there are a whopping fourteen types of navbar available with great animations that will capture everyone’s attention. Bootstrap 4 Framework compatible, in harmony with mobile and desktop devices, as well as effortless to fine-tune and adjust to your project’s regulations – that’s what’s up when it comes to BNAV. Check the demo material, flip through the documentation, get the gist of it and you are all set for successful inclusion of a mega menu to your website.


Nuxion jQuery – Responsive UX Navigation Menu Bar

nuxion jquery responsive ux navigation menu bar

What about a menu that would act more like an individual website page for each of the items that you are viewing? Well, here we have the Nuxion widget. It is a wonderful solution for creating menu items that have their own individual content allocated to them. For example, you could have a menu item called About Our Project. Once the user clicks on this item, instead of taking them to a new page where the about details are discussing, they can preview the About Us details within the actual container of the menu item that they’ve clicked on.


MetNav 2- Another jQuery Metro UI navigation menu

metnav 2 another jquery metro ui navigation menu

MetaNav, another exploding menu with unique and creative features. Here, a menu item can consist of many different links. However, all of the links remain in the same grid that the menu icon is within. This means that the menu items could actually be quite large in their size. Though, shouldn’t be a problem for those who require a particular design feature such as this. It’s very lightweight and looks good on almost all major browsers and devices. It’s a Windows 8 Tile base navigation menu which supports unlimited sub menus. It also supports responsive design and works well on touch devices.


Full Screen Navigation

full screen navigation

Full screen navigation got a few mentions in our collection; here is another one of the Full Screen Navigation library. This one allows you to create many layers and variations of a full-screen menu, a normal menu, a menu with lists inside, a menu with boxed grids and circles, all kinds of menus to give your users the most unique menu experience possible. There are numerous other options available for creating an authentic menu for your website. Please refer to the official documentation for those features.


Ultra Navigation – Responsive Bootstrap Sidebar Menu

ultra navigation responsive bootstrap sidebar menu

The Ultra Navigation menu we see here isn’t just for the use for website menus. It’s an ultra solution for creating menus that would work well in admin dashboards, and application dashboards that require a more dynamic menu approach. Ultra Navigation is also powered by Bootstrap. This makes it more appealing to modern developers. There are tons of features that will keep your attention engaged, so explore them all individually.


Navigation Menus and Navigation Bars built with jQuery

Would you say that we listed some of the best choices available? If for some reason the answer is no, we hope that you will take the time to inspire us with more available options. You can do this by leaving feedback on this post.

jQuery is versatile, and a lot is possible using this language; over 30+ unique navigation plugins are the true testament to that. We look forward to what developers are going to come up with in the future!

Disclosure: This page contains external affiliate links that may result in us receiving a commission if you choose to purchase mentioned product. The opinions on this page are our own and we don't receive additional bonus for positive reviews.

Alex is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in design, development, and small business. His work has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, and others. You can find his personal writing at The Divine Indigo.

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