CSS Search Box Designs That You Can Use on Your Website

Most users use the search box as a last-ditch effort to find something before leaving a website. As a utilitarian element, the backend process of a search bar is essential. Yet many designers ignore the frontend design. However, this small feature plays an important role in a good user experience and should include style.

Most users use the search box as a last-ditch effort to find something before leaving a website. As a utilitarian element, the backend process of a search bar is essential. Yet many designers ignore the frontend design. However, this small feature plays an important role in a good user experience and should include style.

This article will discuss design practices and will provide a selection of CSS search box designs.

Search Bar Design Practices

Image source: TechCrunch

Not every website needs a search function. A search box is to help viewers find information fast. If a website has a good layout and is well organized, then it does not need a search box. It is best to include a search box when a website is growing and contains a lot of content. This way users can find what they are looking for.

CSS Search Box Design Principles

The search bar must be visible, recognizable, simple, and usable. It should fit the design of the website but also stand out. The following design practices will help to do just that.

Search Box Location

Based on the common F-shaped scanning pattern, the best place to put the search bar is in the top left or right of the page. When creating a website that does not conform to traditional design practices, make sure that the search box is visible and in a location that visitors will find it.

The Search Button

The submit button can make or break the search box. Here are best practices for the search button:

  • Make it look like a button
  • Do not make it too small
  • Make it stand out
  • Name it something intuitive like “Search”
  • It is best not to provide more than one search button as this can confuse visitors

Search Input Field

The search input field also has an impact on the style of the search box. Good design practice is to include a placeholder text in the search field. Placeholder text indicates that viewers can search and it can suggest what to search. Also, make sure that the search field is not too short limiting the search query.

Best CSS Search Box Design Examples

Morphing Icon

This is a morphing search box. It is a nice solution for small screens so the search field is out of the way. A magnifying glass is an unmistakable indicator for a search bar. When clicked on, it morphs into a full-size search bar. Clicking on the “X” shrinks it back to a magnifying glass.

Expandable Search Form with CSS3

The CSS of this search bar allows it to expand and adapt without compromising style. The frame will expand or contract according to the number of characters entered.

Animated Search Form With Micro Interactions

Here is another search bar that is a great design for small screens. It includes small animations that make it more exciting. It starts as a search icon in a circle. Clicking on it makes it transition into a search bar with rounded corners.

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Search boxes should be simple but they do not have to be boring. A bounce adds some excitement to this search box. It has a minimal design displaying a search icon. But when clicked on, it expands with a little bounce.

Amazon uses a comprehensive search bar to organize its huge selection of products. This search box uses a similar design to help users find what they need faster. It is perfect for websites with a large catalog of products.

CSS3 Search Form

This is a raised-up search form that includes all the best search box design practices. It is simple, visible, and helpful for visitors. It includes a history feature and allows visitors to delete previous search queries.

Animated Search Interaction

Animation always adds excitement to website elements. This search box starts as the classic magnifying search icon. The glass transitions into the search field and the handle into the search button. HTML5 validation of non-blank input makes sure the search input field stays open.

Search Box in Content Moves to Fixed Header

After submitting a search, visitors often have to scroll through a lot of content. This is even more true with mobile devices. Here is a sticky header that attaches to the top of the page and stays there as visitors scroll down. This is useful if they do not find the information they are looking for. Instead of scrolling all the way back to the top, they can submit another search right away.

Here is another option for a box with a lot of animations. It is a simple search bar but includes smart design features. First, the search icon slides into a bar almost as if it is trying to be elegant. Second, it includes a delete icon that deletes the search input text and closes the bar.

This search engine includes jQuery and allows visitors to submit a custom search. Visitors can select options to search the web, images, news, and videos. It provides a structured and advanced search form.

Search field animation

This is a stylish search box that adds extra flair to delight its users. When a visitor submits a search the magnifying glass icon scans the text. Then it displays the results in a card-like layout.

Use this for a straightforward, simple search bar without animations and effects. It is an HTML and CSS structure that uses a minimal color scheme. It contains an icon instead of a search button and has placeholder text.

Expandable Search Bar Animation

An expandable search bar is a great way to keep a website organized and uncluttered. This is a rounded search bar that maintains a minimalistic style. It expands on hover and condenses when the mouse moves away.

Placeholder-shown selector

A placeholder is the only thing that a visitor sees with this search box. It uses HTML and CSS but has no JavaScript so the search button is hidden. After a visitor starts to type, a “Go” button appears.

After looking at search boxes with many fancy features it is nice to see a basic one. This is a classic and simple design with a search button and text field. The placeholder text says “what are you looking for?” and allows an unlimited amount of characters.

Material Full-Screen Search Transition

While some websites choose to downplay the search box, others embrace it and make it a main feature. This search form turns a small magnifying glass icon into a search box that fills the whole screen. The background color of the icon fills the screen. A large font size placeholder beckons visitors to type a search inquiry. The magnifying glass itself spins into an exit button. Clicking on the exit button makes the search box shrink back to a small icon.

Expanding Search Bar HTML & CSS

With HTML, CSS, and JavaScript this is a functional search box that includes animations. It has a fluid width, works well on mobile devices, and shrinks back to the icon when not in use.

No visitor can miss this search bar. It is a unique and playful bar that stands out. It is perfect for websites that go against traditional website design. Each letter of the word “search” is in a different circle and has a different color. The circles bounce up and down as if they are doing the wave.

For those who like animation, this search box is full of delightful animated features. It starts as a magnifying glass with a white background. When a user clicks on it, it expands to include a search input field. The placeholder jumps into place and an exit button spins to its position.

Fancy Search Box allows for a heading and a subheading. It has a round border-radius but with a click, the round corners vanish and a single line remains.

Search Box Focus Effect

The colors presented with this search form attract the focus of viewers. At first, a simple, plain, and colorless search box is displayed. When a visitor clicks on it, the background bursts into color and an accent color highlights the input field.

CSS3 Search Box with On-focus Suggestion Box

This search box has a simple design but includes several effects that make it appealing. The predictive text provides search suggestions and helps visitors conduct a quick search. It also has round corner features and a shadow.

Search bars that provide custom searches are often large and unappealing. In contrast, this search bar provides visitors custom search options with a simple design. It displays small icons and tooltips so that visitors can perform a specific site search.

Simple Voice Search Field

Viewers who are on the move prefer voice searches over manual ones. This search bar supports voice searches. It is perfect for map or traveling applications to attract those who are too busy to type in keywords.

Although a search box should stand out, it should not be the main focus of the page. Here is a search box with a transparent background so that it blends into the webpage. The border color is a thick white line so that it is still visible.

FAQs about CSS search boxes

1. How can I customize the appearance of a search box in CSS?

With CSS, you may alter the color, shape, font, and spacing of a search box to suit your needs. Other attributes include padding, background-color, border-radius, and font-size. When the search box is selected, you can modify its appearance by using pseudo-classes like:focus.

2. How can I make the search box responsive to different screen sizes using CSS?

You may use media queries to change the size and placement of a search box based on the width of the screen to make it responsive to various screen widths. A responsive layout that automatically changes the search box’s position and size can also be made using CSS Grid or Flexbox.

3. How can I change the font size and color of the text in the search box using CSS?

The font-size and color properties in CSS can be used to alter the font size and color of the text in the search box. The color of the placeholder text can also be altered using the::placeholder pseudo-element.

4. How can I add a background image to a search box using CSS?

With CSS, you may utilize the background-image property to add a background picture to a search box. Other background attributes like background-position and background-size allow you to change the background image’s size and location as well.

5. How can I change the shape and size of the search box using CSS?

You can utilize CSS properties like border-radius, width, height, and padding to alter the search box’s dimensions. The search box’s shape can be altered using CSS modifications like scale and rotation.

6. How can I add placeholder text to the search box using CSS?

Use the::placeholder pseudo-element and set the content attribute to the required text to insert placeholder text into the search box using CSS. Moreover, CSS allows you to change the font and color of the placeholder text.

7. How can I make the search box icon clickable using CSS?

Use the pointer-events property on the search box input element with a value of “none” to make the search box icon clickable using CSS. Then, attach a click event on the icon element. As an alternative, JavaScript can be used to manage the icon element’s click event and start the search action.

8. How can I align the search box and button next to each other using CSS?

CSS Grid or Flexbox can be used to create a layout that arranges the search box and button in a row such that they are aligned next to one another. The search box and button can alternatively be floated to the left or right by using the float attribute.

9. How can I add a border to the search box using CSS?

With CSS, you may use the border property to create a border to the search box and set its width, style, and color. To further alter the border’s appearance, you can also use border-related properties like border-radius and box-shadow.

10. How can I change the position of the search box on the webpage using CSS?

CSS properties like position, top, left, right, and bottom can be used to determine the search box’s position in relation to its parent element or the viewport, allowing you to adjust where it appears on the webpage. To design a layout that sets the search box in a precise location on the page, you can alternatively utilize CSS Grid or Flexbox.

As noted above, a search box plays an important role as a functional element of the web. It helps save viewers time and energy as they search through a website. However, it is also part of the whole website experience and thus should not be ignored during the designing process.

There are few aspects to a search box, but with some creativity, they can have their own style and appeal to visitors. Of course, each site will have a different search form to accommodate different scenarios. Some need a basic layout, while others need to provide custom search options to enhance the search experience. In every scenario, it is possible to create an appealing and usable search bar.

The CSS search box examples above include functional and stylish options that are useful for all types of websites.

If you liked this article about CSS search boxes, you should check out this article about CSS text animation.

There are also similar articles discussing CSS menus, CSS tables, CSS hover effects, and CSS checkboxes.

And let’s not forget about articles on CSS formsCSS tabsCSS button hover effects, and CSS slideshow.

CSS Search Box Designs That You Can Use on Your Website

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The Author

Dirk Gavor

Slider Revolution high priest on the mission to find the line between not enough coffee and just a little too much coffee. Same with beer.

For any inquiries or additional resources related to this blog post or else, please don't hesitate to comment below or email me at dirk@stage.rvsldr.com.

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