So, up until recently, I have been building menus that are hidden and appear when a button is clicked using HTML, CSS and crucially… a JavaScript library (namely jQuery). This has usually involved binding a click event listener to the button, then toggling an ‘is-active’ or ‘is-visible’ class on the menu and the button once that event fires. This, is a great solution although it has either been to the exclusion of non JavaScript users; or it has required me to replicate my menu in the footer and apply an anchor jump link to the button so that if JavaScript doesn’t load, clicking the button produces a jump to the menu.

Enter CSS Pseudo selectors

With the growing support for CSS Pseudo selectors, specifically :target, I have made the jump (pun intended) to using a jump link to actually show the menu. This approach requires no JavaScript at all, and is supported in all modern browsers (CH 4+, FF 3.5+, Safari 3.2+, Opera 10.1+, IE 7+).

An Example

So lets look at what markup you would use for you menu

<nav class="nav" id="main-nav" role="navigation">
		<li><a href="/">Home</a></li>
		<li><a href="/about">About</a></li>
		<li><a href="/products">Products</a></li>

And lets say you have a simple anchor tag that you have styled up to look like a hamburger

<a href="#main-nav"><span class="is-hidden">Menu</span></a>

The crucial part here is the href. This must start with a hash and then contain the ID of the element that is hidden. Much like a standard jump link.

Now use your preferred CSS technique to hide the menu from view until the button is clicked, but remember that display: none will make the menu inaccessible to screen readers.

.nav {
	left: 0;
	position: absolute;
	top: 0;
	transform: translateX(-100%);

.nav:target {
	transform: translateX(0);

It’s that simple. You may want to include an anchor with an empty href inside the menu to use as a close button. But other than that, you can style it up however you want, with whatever animations and transitions help make it feel slick.