File Name: simple navigation bar in html5 and css3 tutorial .zip
- Creating basic navigation menus
- Create a Drop-Down Navigation Menu with HTML5 and CSS3
- Creating a Dropdown Menu with HTML & CSS
Creating basic navigation menus
In this tutorial we will take you through how to create different types of basic navigation menu using HTML lists and links. This is a good idea. This is good for both search engine optimization and for visually impaired users. A navigation block would look something like this:. In a nutshell:. They contain lots of basic information that will help you understand this tutorial.
HTML lists are quite handy for this purpose. If the order of the pages is not important you can use an unordered list.
However, if the order in which the visitors go through all the documents is important then you should use an ordered list. You can see a correct and an incorrect example below. Notice that browsers display both examples in the same way. Browser display should never be an indicator for the quality of your code. The structure of nested ULs should always be:.
The menu of a site is unlikely to stay the same for very long — sites tend to grow and change as functionality is added and the user base grows, so you should create menus with scope for menu items to be added and removed as the site progresses, and for menus to be translated into different languages so links will change in length. This does not, however, mean that knowing HTML will become obsolete; it will actually become more important, as this knowledge will still be needed to create HTML templates for the server-side script to populate.
There are several types of menus you will be called upon to create in HTML as you work on different websites. Most of these can be created with lists, although sometimes interface restrictions force you to use something different more on that later. The list-based menus you will be likely to create are as follows:.
Each menu link looks like this:. That anchor looks like this:. Technically, this is all you need to make this kind of navigation work; however, there is an annoying bug in Internet Explorer that forces you do to a bit more work. Note that keyboard navigation around links in Opera works slightly differently — try looking at the above example in Opera, then hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to navigate around links it also works on form elements.
This is called spatial navigation. It is a menu of a site or a subset of it, showing both the options visitors can choose from and the hierarchy of the site. Lists are perfect for this purpose.
One golden rule of web development and navigation is that the current document should never link to itself, and its link should be visibly different from the other entries in the menu.
This is important as it gives the visitors something to hold on to and tells them where they are on their journey through your site. There are edge cases like web applications, permalinks in blogs, and so-called "one page websites", but in most cases a link to the document you are already viewing is redundant and confusing to the visitor.
If you offer, for example, a link that points to the current document, activating it will reload the document. This is why the current page should never be linked to from the menu. You could remove it altogether or, even better, highlight it e. This gives users a visual clue and also tells vision-impaired visitors that this is something different.
Another issue to consider is how many options to give visitors at once. A lot of menus you see on the web try to make sure that every page in the site can be accessed from one single menu.
This is where scripting and CSS trickery comes in — you can make the menu more manageable by hiding certain parts until users select certain areas rollover menus, as they are sometimes called. This is clever from a technical point of view, but there are several issues with this approach:. It is up to you how many items you put into a menu — different designs call for different choices — but if in doubt, you should try cutting your menus down to only the links to the main sections of the site.
You can always provide further submenus where appropriate. Contextual menus are links that build on the content of the current document and offer more information related to the current page you are on. Figure 1: An example of a contextual menu in a news article, offering related news items at the bottom. Contextual menus on websites are a great way to promote content on other parts of the site; in terms of HTML they are just another list of links.
Sitemaps are what you might expect: maps of all the different pages of your site or the main sections of very large sites. Both sitemaps and site searches are a great way of offering visitors a fallback option when they are lost or to offer quick access for those who are in a hurry. From an HTML point of view they could either be one massive nested list full of links or, in the case of very large sites, section headings with nested links of section-specific hierarchies, or even search forms for each of the sections.
Pagination is necessary when you have to offer a way to navigate through large documents split into separate pages. Pagination is different from other types of navigation because it does normally link back to the same document, but results in more options or further information being displayed. Some examples of pagination are shown in Figure Figure 2: Pagination menus allow visitors to go through large sets of data without losing track of where they are.
The HTML is nothing ground-breaking. Once again, you offer a list of links with the current link indicating which chunk of data is shown and how far down in the pagination you are being highlighted e. The main difference from site navigation is that there is a lot of programming logic going on with pagination.
Depending on where you are in the whole data set you may need to show or hide the previous, next, first, and last links. If you have massive amounts of information to navigate through, you will also want to offer links to landmarks like results, results, etc.
This is why you are not very likely to hard-code menus like these in HTML, but create them on the server-side instead. In most cases an ordered or unordered list is a sufficient HTML construct for menus, especially as the logical order and nesting also allows for styling with CSS very nicely.
There are, however, some situations that may require different design techniques. One technique is to use a client-side image map. Image maps turn an image into a menu by turning sections of the images into interactive areas that you can link to different documents.
For example, using an image map, a user could navigate by clicking the different sections of the triangle, as shown in Figure 3. Figure 3: By defining a map with area elements you can turn parts of an image into interactive links.
You can turn any image into a menu by defining a map with different areas also called hotspots. The code in our example looks like this:. Note that this works exactly like in-page links, which means that you need to precede the value of the usemap attribute with a hash. Another technique you can employ is to use a form control for navigation. Your visitors can choose an option, then submit the form to jump to different pages. The most obvious benefit of using this type of menu is that you can offer many options without using much space on the screen, as browsers render the menu as one line as seen in Figure 4.
This will show a menu with non-selectable options the group names as shown in Figure Figure 5: Select menus can use option groups that allow you to tell visitors which options belong together. This technique has the benefit of using up hardly any space but it also means that you need to have a server-side script to send the visitors to the pages they choose.
Other options are to get a list of all the links, or to jump from heading to heading. If the menu is at the top of document, it will be the first thing the user will encounter, and having to skip through 15 or 20 links before they get to any actual content could be annoying.
There are two workarounds available. First, you could put the menu after the main content of the document in the HTML source you can still place it at the top the screen using CSS if you wish.
Second, you could offer a skip link. Skip links are simply links placed before the main menu that link to the start of the content, allowing the visitor to skip over the menu and get to the content immediately. Skip links are not only useful for users with disabilities, but they make life easier when you navigate a site on a mobile device with a small screen. There are many ways to construct navigation menus, but no real standards — either official or de facto — for doing so.
Then, either emulate menus you like, or strike out and create your own. Your menu design might be the Next Big Thing! This site is now available on github. DOCS tutorials creating basic navigation menus.
Creating basic navigation menus Summary In this tutorial we will take you through how to create different types of basic navigation menu using HTML lists and links. You can, for example, tell a user agent that the current document is part of a larger set that spans several documents, including a table of contents, and define the relationships among the documents.
Types of menus There are several types of menus you will be called upon to create in HTML as you work on different websites. The list-based menus you will be likely to create are as follows: In-page navigation: For example, a table of contents for a single page, with links pointing to the different sections on the page. Site navigation: A navigation bar for your whole website or a subsection of it , with links pointing to different pages on the same site. Sitemaps: Large lists of links that point to all the different pages of a website, grouped into related sublists to make them easier to make sense of.
Pagination: Links pointing to other pages that make up further sections or parts of a whole, along with the current page, for example, part 1, part 2, and part 3 of an article. You can try out this bug for yourself: Open the document in Internet Explorer 6 or 7.
Do not use a mouse; instead use the keyboard to navigate the document. You can hit the tab key to jump from link to link and the enter key to activate a link — in this case to jump to the section it points to. Seemingly all is well when you do that — the browser scrolls down to where you wanted to go. If you hit the tab key again the right behaviour for the browser is to take you to give focus to the first link inside the section you chose.
Create a Drop-Down Navigation Menu with HTML5 and CSS3
At the end we will have something similar to this:. We just need to open and close the nav tag and leave some space in between to add all the other tags. Now that we have that in place, we can add our list of links. The ul tag will go inside the nav tag. Then, we can start adding our list items that will contain the links to our website main sections the 4 sections I was talking about before. For each list item we need to add the name of the corresponding section, but also make sure that once the user clicks on it, the page will scroll down until it reaches the related section. You can put each anchor tag inside the list item and then write the name of the section inside the anchor tag.
Creating a Dropdown Menu with HTML & CSS
A CSS navigation bar is a collection of links. This example shows a functional and styled navigation bar:. In these examples, HTML list elements create the functional part of navbars:. In the example, we remove padding , margins , and the bullets from the list:. However, placing the ordered or unordered lists in this element is not a requirement.
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In this tutorial we will take you through how to create different types of basic navigation menu using HTML lists and links. This is a good idea. This is good for both search engine optimization and for visually impaired users.
There are some great solutions to drop-down navigation menus, like the superfish jquery plugin for example. The structure of the files is simple. You need an index. Each ul list inside a li is a drop-down menu.
Already have an account? Log in. Sign up. If you need more help, please contact our support team. Navigation is such an important part of your website.
There are code examples to download to go along with this article — we will refer to these throughout the tutorial. So, a navigation block would look something like this:. In a nutshell:.
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