Understanding Bootstrap Navbar and its Usage

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

No matter whether your users are using a web browser or mobile browser, your website needs smooth navigation to allow the users to switch tabs quickly. Websites with poor navigation have a negative user experience, and if your site also does not come with effective navigation, then the chance of your visitors returning to your site will get lower. However, if you create a navigation header in Bootstrap, that will make a positive impact on your website for the new and returning users. A bootstrap is an open-source tool that delivers templates for your website so that you can include responsive components to create a better user experience. To use Bootstrap, you should know HTML and CSS, but it does not require you to create your website from scratch.

What is Bootstrap Navbar?

Navigation bars are navigation headers that you can find at the top of your web pages. When you are using Bootstrap to create navigation bars or navbar, you can allow the users to expand or drop the bar according to the size of the screen. To create a classic navbar, you can use the <nav class=”navbar navbar-default”> tag. You can pile the navbar vertically on extra-large, large, medium, or small screens. Add the <ul> tag with class=”navbar-nav” and <li> tag with the .nav-item class and <a> tag and .nav-link class: class to include links inside of the navigation bar. Scrutinize the illustration below to discover how to do it:

<!– A grey horizontal navbar that becomes vertical on small screens –>

<nav class=”navbar navbar-expand-sm bg-light”>

<!– Links –>

<ul class=”navbar-nav”>

<li class=”nav-item”>

<a class=”nav-link” href=”#”>Link 1</a>


<li class=”nav-item”>

<a class=”nav-link” href=”#”>Link 2</a>


<li class=”nav-item”>

<a class=”nav-link” href=”#”>Link 3</a>




This is an example of how to assemble a basic navbar but you can also create a vertical navbar or a navbar with a drop-down menu, and so on. With the navigation bar, you or your users can effortlessly and quickly find the important web pages on your website. For example, if you are running a blog and also offering a product page to allow the users to purchase products from, you will have to enable the users to switch among the pages quickly. And navigation bars are the best way to do it. When you have a navigation bar on your website, it will reduce your bounce rate, increase your page views, and your visitors will spend more time on your blog. In this section, we will discuss how to create a basic navigation bar with some lines of codes, and now we are going to show you how to create some other navigation bars using Bootstrap. But before that, let’s check out the features of Bootstrap Navbar.

Key Features of Bootstrap Navbar

Navbar is a navigation header of Bootstrap which is responsive and easy to implement. Here are some of the key features of the bootstrap navbar that you should know:

  • Navbars are fluid by default, and they are also responsive. This means they can drop or extend depending on the width of the users’ viewpoint.
  • Navbars need a .navbar wrapping including .navbar-expand{-sm|-md|-lg|-xl} classes. These classes decide the time when the content will drop at the back of a button.
  • There is a <nav> segment in bootstrap navbar which is an HTML component. When you are using this segment, you can be sure of its accessibility feature. It is also more widely selected than <div>.

The Navbar has been one of the main segments of Bootstrap since its earliest version. If you want to find faster and better style sheets for the navbar, you can find them in the newest version i.e. Bootstrap version 4.6. However, the stylesheets in the latest version are the ones that are available in the earlier versions of Bootstrap, such as versions 4.0 and 4.2. So it does not matter what version of Bootstrap you are running; you can still access the same style sheets. In the next section, we are going to show you how to create different styles of navigation bars in Bootstrap.

How to Design Diverse Styles Navbar in Bootstrap?

There are different style options available for the Bootstrap navbar. After checking out all the styles, you can choose the best one that is the most suitable for your taste or the website that you are working on.

Bootstrap Vertical Navbar

A basic navbar is horizontal, but you can also create a vertical navbar for your website. And to do that, you will have to delete the .navbar-toggler, .navbar-collapse, and navbar-expand-lg classes from the <nav class=”navbar navbar-default”> tag.

Bootstrap Transparent Navbar

A transparent navbar means the color of your navigation bar will be the same as the background color of your blog. And in that case, you don’t have to create colors for your navbar to match it with the color of your blog. To make a transparent navbar, you will have to use the .bg-transparent utility. You can make the navbar transparent by using the hex color code #EAF0F6.

Bootstrap Navbar Color

If you don’t want to create a transparent navigation bar, then you can modify its color scheme. For that, you will have to revise the combination of the classes and background color utilities that are specified in the first line of code. There will be a navbar-light bg-light phase in the code which means the background has light colors. And .navbar-dark calls have dark background colors. If you use the bg-light code, it will color the navbar in a light gray. There are other colors available to color your bootstrap navbar as well.

Bootstrap Fixed Navbar

Navbars are positioned in a static by default like most of the HTML segments. This suggests that the navbars are positioned as per how the page loads and how it will look like as the document object model. But you can also position your navbar in a non-static CSS position by using the bootstraps position utilities. To create fixed navbars, you will have to use position: fixed. Fixed navigation bars develop the viewport from the border to the border, but they remain in the exact position even when the user scrolls. You can set the fixed navbar on the footing or top of the screen. If you add .navbar fixed-bottom, then the navbar will be placed at the bottom, but if you add .navbar fixed-top, it will be placed at the top. All you have to do is change the position in the same code line of .navbar-expand{-sm|-md|-lg|-xl} class.

Bootstrap Navbar Dropdown

If you want to include many pages in your navbar, then you can record them side-by-side or include them in a drop-down menu. You can add multiple web pages such as your contact form, newsletter subscription form, etc., on the Bootstrap Navbar drop-down menu. To create a drop-down navbar, settle the below code after the .nav-links:

li class=”nav-item dropdown”>

<a class=”nav-link dropdown-toggle” href=”#” id=”navbarDropdownMenuLink” role=”button” data-toggle=”dropdown” aria-haspopup=”true” aria-expanded=”false”>

Dropdown link


<div class=”dropdown-menu” aria-labelledby=”navbarDropdownMenuLink”>

<a class=”dropdown-item” href=”#”>Action</a>

<a class=”dropdown-item” href=”#”>Another action</a>

<a class=”dropdown-item” href=”#”>Something else here</a>




These are all the codes and elements that you need to know to create effective Bootstrap Navbars on your websites. But you will have to put the right element in the right position to see a positive result. For more details, go through our other posts.

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