Sticky headers are becoming increasingly popular. You've no doubt seen them in action…you know, the header that pins itself to the top of the browser window as you scroll down the page. The benefit of course is quick and easy access to the sites main nav without having to scroll back up to the top of the page.
In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of fixed headers and check out some of the best sticky header plugins to help you implement them on your own site.
Pros and Cons of Sticky Navigation
Fixed or “sticky” headers are website menus that are locked into place. They stay in place at the top of the active tab so that the navigation options stay at eye level.
The purpose behind this emerging design trend is to provide a navigation bar that doesn’t disappear once the user scrolls down. Most users agree that sticky headers are convenient whereas others don’t like how much valuable screen real estate they take up.
- Improves user experience.
- Lowers your site’s bounce rate.
- Increases conversions.
- Reduces screen space.
- Doesn’t translate well to mobile devices.
- Complex implementations increase page load times.
At the end of the day, the only true measure of the effect of fixed header implementation on usability is the end user’s preference.
Best Fixed Header Plugins for WordPress
Awesome Sticky Header by DevCanyon
Awesome Sticky Header by DevCanyon gives webmasters maximum control over their site’s fixed header implementation. It empowers them to make live edits to their fixed header’s position, background color, text color, and header width.
This amazing, feature-rich plugin comes with a wide range of customization options right out of the box. It also allows users to add custom CSS and set transparency levels to their fixed headers. Webmasters with some technical expertise can fully customize their fixed headers by using pre-defined filters.
This sticky header plugin is available for free in the WordPress plugin repository and comes with a pro version that offers advanced functionality.
Sticky Menu (or Anything!) on Scroll
Sticky Menu (or Anything!) on Scroll is one of the most popular plugins in this space. It enables webmasters to make any page element sticky upon reaching the top of the page. In addition to fixed headers, users can also create fixed call to action boxes, logos, or even promotional banners.
One of the best features about this plugin is that it empowers users to set the fixed page element implementations on smaller screen sizes. For instance, if viewers are accessing your site from a mobile device, you can choose not to display fixed elements to them.
If you’re technically minded then you won’t have any difficulty using the Sticky Menu (or Anything!) on Scroll plugin. It requires users to manually pick the right selector for the page element you want to have fixed.
Sticky Header by ThematoSoup
Sticky Header by ThematoSoup is the most intuitive sticky header plugin for WordPress. The plugin doesn’t have a lot of advanced options on offer. It enables users to create single-level fixed headers and modify their text color, background color, and size.
The plugin’s settings also allow users to hide the fixed header when a visitor accesses their site from devices with smaller screens. Sticky Header by ThematoSoup is an easy to use plugin that helps you implement fixed headers regardless of your technical expertise. It allows webmasters to deliver improved user experience to their site’s visitors through convenient navigation.
WordPress Notification Bar
Online business owners often want to display discounts and special deals to increase conversions. The WordPress Notification Bar plugin allows webmasters to make their site’s notification bar fixed. This powerful plugin lets users leverage sticky navigation bars. For instance, if you want to invite visitors to sign up for newsletters or offer an exclusive discount on specific products then this plugin works great.
One of the best features about the WordPress Notification Bar plugin is that it is incredibly easy to setup and is compatible with WordPress multisite. The plugin is translation ready right out of the box and comes with nine translations (as of this writing).
myStickyMenu is a lightweight sticky header plugin for WordPress that offers multi-language support and a responsive design. According to the developers, this plugin was designed for the Twenty Thirteen theme. With a little modification, it works seamlessly with any WordPress theme.
The standout feature available with this plugin is that it allows web developers to add custom CSS code. This flexible and fully customizable solution enables users to set values for when to fix the header based on how far down the user has scrolled. The myStickyMenu plugin is easy to configure and use. Be sure to check out its demo on the Twenty Thirteen theme.
Wrapping It Up
Sticky headers can be used to deliver optimal user experience to your viewership. Aside from improved navigation, webmasters can use them to promote special offers and increase conversion rates. With some experimentation, you’ll be able to create a fixed header for your WordPress site in no time.
Which fixed header plugins have you tried out and how was your experience using them? Let us know by commenting below!