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wordpress, frontend, webdev, javascript

Fixing “WordPress Hamburger Menu and Search Toggle Not Working”

Written by: @stephengade ↔ on Sep 25 '23

I have finished working on the WordPress website and everything was working perfectly. Then suddenly the Hamburger icon that triggers the Navigation menu alongside the Search icon stops working.

If I’m logged into the Admin dashboard, they work but if I use a separate browser, they don’t. I began to troubleshoot different methods to solve the issue because the hamburger menu and search toggle are essential components of modern websites. They provide users with easy access to navigation menus and search functionality.

ALSO READ: How to Create Reusable Components with WordPress Shortcodes

It can be frustrating when these toggles cease to work as expected. In this article, we'll explore the common reasons why your hamburger menu and search toggle may not be functioning correctly in WordPress and provide step-by-step solutions to address these issues.

Diagnosing the Problem

Hamburger icon not working in WordPress

The main reason why these icons are not triggering the Navigation or search form is because there’s definitely wrong with the website CSS or JavaScript. This is entirely not your fault, a few things might be causing these issues for you.

Here is how you can troubleshoot those issues and know how to fix them.

Check for JavaScript Errors

Begin by inspecting your website using your browser's developer tools usually accessible by pressing F12 or right-click, then click on Inspect.

Navigate to the "Console" tab and look for any JavaScript errors. These errors may provide valuable clues about what's causing the toggles to malfunction.

Then click the hamburger or the search icon to see if any message will be displayed in the console. If there’s no message, then it’s not a browser issue.

Test on Different Devices and Browsers

Confirm whether the issue is specific to certain devices or browsers. Sometimes, problems may arise due to browser compatibility or responsive design issues.

If the issue persists in different browsers, let's take the troubleshooting further.

5 Common Causes and Solutions

Testing the Error

1. Theme and Plugin Updates

Sometimes, the WordPress theme developers might have to change some CSS and JavaScript in the theme, or there may be a plugin that’s overriding your theme setup. In most cases, the theme or plugin developers might have to fix and push the update to you.

Solution: Simply check to see if there’s any theme or plugin that needs to be updated and do so.

2. Mobile Responsiveness

Mobile responsiveness issues can affect the behavior of hamburger menus on smaller screens.

Solution: Review your theme's responsiveness settings and CSS to ensure that the hamburger menu is displayed correctly on mobile devices.

3. Cache and Minification

Caching plugins or server-level caching can serve outdated or cached JavaScript files.

This is what caused an issue for me. I was using the Litespeed Cache plugin and set it up wrongly. Basically, I was rendering different files for when users are logged in and when they are not. If they’re logged in, the hamburger icon and search button will work, if they’re not the buttons won’t work.

Solution: Clear your browser cache, purge the cache from caching plugins, and adjust caching settings. Disable JavaScript minification in optimization plugins temporarily to test functionality.

If that doesn’t work, disable the Cache plugin on your website and the hamburger to see if it works.

4. JavaScript Conflicts

Other JavaScript files or scripts on your site may interfere with the toggle functionality.

Solution: Use browser developer tools to inspect elements, review JavaScript files, and check for conflicting scripts. Resolve conflicts by reordering scripts, using jQuery's noConflict mode, or modifying JavaScript code.

The best way to solve this issue is to never install two plugins that do the same thing. For instance, not installing the Yoast SEO plugin and Rank Math on the same website, will cause a lot of issues.

5. Theme and Plugin Conflicts

Conflicts with your WordPress theme or plugins can disrupt JavaScript functionality.

Solution: Temporarily deactivate plugins and switch to a default WordPress theme to identify the conflicting element. Reactivate them one by one to pinpoint the source of the issue.

Before you start deactivating your plugins or theme, kindly back up your website via Cpanel so that you can deploy your website back after detecting the plugin causing issues.

In conclusion

With these 5 possible solutions, you should be able to fix the toggle action when you click the Hamburger menu or the search icon. If none works for you, kindly comment with the affected website and we’ll troubleshoot for you.


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