a simple side nav in jQuery

Press the icon in the top right corner of this page to run simple-sidebar.

A jQuery plugin that allows to create a side nav as in modern mobile apps. It aims to simplicity so that everybody can use it no matter if expert programmers or not.

For an even simpler and stable version of this plugin check the simpler-sidebar fork.


Run one of these commands in your bash according to your needs.

git clone

bower install simple-sidebar

npm install simple-sidebar

Or download the latest version from the releases page.

If you are updating, remember to read the Release History and to check for incompatibility issues.

Getting Started

You will need to prepare a specified HTML template in order to make it work properly. The code below is just an example from which you can and have to draw inspiration. Along with this plugin you are provided with some demo pages in the demo directory.

<div id="wrapper">
	All your content must go here.
	This wrapper must be relative positioned, unless Simple-Sidebar won't work properly.
	* Every POSITION-FIXED ELEMENT must be positioned outside of this wrapper.
	* Every POSITION-ABSOLUTE ELEMENT must be positioned inside a POSITION-RELATIVE div.

<div id="navbar">
	#navbar is positioned fixed.

	It does not matter what element #toggle-sidebar is, give it a selector (in this example #toggle-sidebar).
	<span id="toggle-sidebar" class="button icon"></span>

<div id="sidebar">
	Simple-Sidebar will handle #sidebar's position.

	Links below are just an example. Give each clickable element, for example links, a class to trigger the closing animation.
	<a class="close-sidebar" href="#">Link</a>
	<a class="close-sidebar" href="#">Link</a>
	<a class="close-sidebar" href="#">Link</a>
	<a class="close-sidebar" href="#">Link</a>

At the bottom of the web page, just before the </body> tag, include the jQuery library. If you are interested in better easing, include the jQuery-UI library too. Eventually include Simple-Sidebar.

<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>
<script src="simple-sidebar/dist/jquery.simple-sidebar.min.js"></script>

Call the simpler-sidebar plugin function and fill it with the options you need. Here is an example of some required options. Read the Options section for further informations.

	$(document).ready(function() {
			opener: '#button',
			wrapper: '#wrapper',
			sidebar: {
				align: 'left', //or 'right' - This option can be ignored, the sidebar will automatically align to right.
				width: 300, //You can ignore this option, the sidebar will automatically size itself to 300px.
				closingLinks: '.close-sidebar' // If you ignore this option, the plugin will look for all links and this can be buggy. Choose a class for every object inside the sidebar that once clicked will close the sidebar.
				css: {
					//Here you can add more css rules but you should use your own stylesheet.
					zIndex: 3000 //Choose the amount of zIndex you want. It must be the higher zIndex number.


You can access options in two ways.

The first way is to add an option in the plugin itself. For example:

	opener: '#button',
	wrapper: '#wrapper',
	sidebar: {
		align: 'left',
		width: 300,
		closingLinks: '.close-sidebar'
		css: {
			zIndex: 3000

The second way to access options is by using the following key:


After this key, you have to add the proper option, for example:

$.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.animation.duration = 1000

All keys must be put above the main plugin function and there should not be duplicates between them since keys override the options in the plugin function. Read the Options List for further informations about all available options.

According to the example above, here is the other way to tweak options by using the key:

$.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.sidebar.align = 'left';
$.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.sidebar.width = 300;
$.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.sidebar.closingLinks = '.close-sidebar';
$.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.css.zIndex = 3000;

	opener: '#toggle-sidebar',
	wrapper: '#wrapper'

You can also override multiple options by using the key but it is not safe and it could be buggy, especially when you try to override sidebar. However you can safely override css such as $.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.mask.css, for example:

$.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.mask.css = {
	backgroundColor: 'black',
	opacity: 0.5,
	filter: 'Alpha(opacity=50)'

Options List

  • opener: selector for the button/icon that will trigger the animation.
  • wrapper: selector for the content of your entire website except all elements that are positioned fixed (for example #navbar and #sidebar), position absolute elements inside this wrapper must be wrapped inside a div with position:relative attribute.
  • ignore: selector for all elements that must be ignored.
  • add: selector for all elements that must be added if the plugin is ignoring them accidentally.
  • attr: the data-* attribute to make the plugin works. If simplesidebar is somehow causing you issues, you can change it.
  • animation:
    • duration: the duration of the animation in milliseconds.
    • easing: the type of animation. For more animations include the jQuery-UI library and check out this page. I strongly suggest not to play with easing because they haven't been tested all yet. I suggest to use simple easing like easeOutQuint.
  • sidebar:
    • align: default is undefined which means that is aligned to right. If you want to align it to left, write left.
    • width: the max width of the sidebar, this option is default to 300, please change it as you please.
    • gap: the gap is the space between the left margin of the sidebar and the left side of the window (and viceversa). It is useful so that the user can click that space to close the sidebar.
    • closingLinks: links or elements that close the sidebar. I suggest to choose a class and give it to all links and other elements such as icons, banner, images, etc, that are links or that are supposed to be clicked. By default it is a so every link in the sidebar will close the sidebar. You can use multiple selectors too but, avoid using nested selector otherwise the function will be triggered twice. For example you can select 'a, .close-sidebar' but if an element is <a class=".close-sidebar"> the animation will be triggered twice.
    • css here you can store all css, anyway I suggest not to add more css attributes to the one below.
      • zIndex: by default is is 3000 but you have to change it to the higher z-index number in your css plus 1.
  • sbWrapper:
    • display: true or false. false will remove this option.
    • css: here you can store all css attributes to give the sbWrapper. However I suggest to do it in your stylesheet except for these below. You can call this by its data attribute ex: [data-simplesidebar="sbwrapper"].
      • position: 'relative'.
      • height: '100%'.
      • overflowY: 'auto'.
      • overflowX: 'hidden'.
  • mask:
    • display: true or false. false will remove this option.
    • css: here you can store all css attributes to give the mask div. However I suggest to do it in your css file except for these below. You can call this div by its data attribute for example: [data-simplesidebar="mask"].
      • backgroundColor: the color of the mask. By default is 'black'.
      • opacity: by default is 0.5.
      • filter: IE opacity 0.5 = 50 and so on: 'Alpha(opacity=50)'.


Help me improve simpler-sidebar and make it as perfect as possible, but first read the contribution guidelines.

Release History

  • v2.8.0 (unreleased) -
    • Fix README.
    • Fix identation.
    • Add support to jQuery v.1.12.0.
    • Rename test folder to demo.
    • Update copyright.
    • Release under MIT and GPL-2.0 licenses (#9).
  • v2.2.0 (2015-07-08) -
    • Change attr from ssbplugin ([data-ssbplugin=""]) to simplesidebar ([data-simplesidebar=""]).
    • Change [data-simplesidebar="sbWrapper"] to [data-simplesidebar="sbwrapper"].
  • v2.1.4 (2015-07-01) -
    • Add Grunt. Simple-Sidebar files are moved to dist/ and renamed to jquery.simple-sidebar.js and jquery.simple-sidebar.min.js.
    • Add /test folder to better handle actual browser tests.
    • Add jQuery v1~ as dependency of NPM and Bower.
    • Fix #10, and animations functions.
    • Change subWrapper option to sbWrapper.
  • v2.0.5 (2015-05-17) - FIX right align bug and resize bug.
  • v2.0.4 (2015-05-16) - Animate LEFT and RIGHT instead of margins, and fix closingLinks AJAX and onResize bug.
  • v2.0.0 (2015-05-15) -
    • Provide public access to options: $.fn.simpleSidebar.settings.
    • Users can now disable subWrapper and mask (see #6).
    • Now you can download simple-sidebar via npm: npm install simple-sidebar.
    • Change data to attr.
    • Add add, subWrapper.display, mask.display.
    • Fix absolute elements inside wrapper that moved twice.
  • v1.2.2 (2015-05-07) -
    • Change to sidebar.css and to mask.css.
    • Add subWrapper.css and subwrapper.css.position: 'relative'.
  • v1.1.2 (2015-03-21) - Fix #5. Remove #4.
  • v1.1.0 (2014-10-01) - Fix maskDiv double-click.
  • v1.0.3 (2014-08-04) - Fix #3.


Copyright (c) 2015 - 2016 Davide Di Criscito.

Dual licensed under the MIT and GPL-2.0 licenses.