10 Different CSS Animated Links

CSS Animated Text Links

CSS animations stand out as a powerful tool to enhance user experience and add a touch of creativity to websites. Among the many elements that can be animated, links are particularly interesting due to their pivotal role in navigation and user interaction. Animating links can not only improve the visual appeal of a website but also make the interface more intuitive and engaging for users.

In this blog post, we'll explore 10 different CSS animations for links. These examples will range from subtle hover effects to more complex animations, offering a variety of styles to suit different design needs. Whether you're a seasoned web developer or a beginner looking to spruce up your projects, these animated link effects can provide inspiration and practical techniques to take your web design to the next level.

Each example will include a code snippet and an explanation to help you understand how the animation works and you’ll also get to see to a preview of each animation by hovering over the link. OK, let’s get started with our collection of CSS animated links.


1. Underline Slide

CSS
a.slide-underline {
  position: relative;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
}

a.slide-underline::after {
  content: '';
  position: absolute;
  width: 0;
  height: 2px;
  bottom: 0;
  left: 0;
  background-color: #3498db;
  transition: width 0.3s;
}

a.slide-underline:hover::after {
  width: 100%;
}
Result

Explanation:
This animation creates a sliding underline effect when hovering over a link. The ::after pseudo-element is used to generate the underline, which initially has a width of 0. On hover, the width transitions to 100%, creating a sliding effect. The transition is smooth thanks to the transition property, making the underline appear to grow from left to right beneath the text.


2. Color Fade

CSS
a.color-fade {
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
  transition: color 0.3s ease-out;
}

a.color-fade:hover {
  color: #e74c3c;
}
Result

Explanation:
This effect changes the color of the link on hover, creating a smooth transition from one color to another. The transition property is used to animate the color change over 0.3 seconds, providing a subtle yet effective visual cue that the link is interactive.


3. Gradient Background Swipe

CSS
a.gradient-swipe {
  position: relative;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #fff;
  background: linear-gradient(45deg, #e74c3c, #3498db);
  -webkit-background-clip: text;
  color: transparent;
  transition: background-position 0.5s, color 0.5s;
  background-size: 200% 100%;
  background-position: right bottom;
}

a.gradient-swipe:hover {
  background-position: left bottom;
}
Result

Explanation:
This animation adds a dynamic swipe effect to the link's background gradient, making the text color transition simultaneously. Initially, the gradient is clipped to the text using -webkit-background-clip: text, rendering the text itself transparent to let the gradient show through. Upon hovering, the background-position shifts, creating the illusion of the gradient swiping across the text. The transition for both the background position and the text color ensures a smooth effect, highlighting the link with a colorful and engaging visual cue. This effect is particularly eye-catching and can be used to draw attention to specific calls to action or important links on a webpage.


4. Text Shadow Pop

CSS
a.shadow-pop {
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
  transition: text-shadow 0.3s ease-in-out;
}

a.shadow-pop:hover {
  text-shadow: 1px 1px 2px #3498db;
}
Result

Explanation:
On hover, this animation adds a shadow to the text, making it appear as if it pops out of the page. The text-shadow property creates the shadow effect, and the transition ensures the shadow appears smoothly, enhancing the link's prominence and interactivity.


5. Border Bottom Reveal

CSS
a.border-reveal {
  position: relative;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
}

a.border-reveal::after {
  content: '';
  position: absolute;
  width: 100%;
  height: 2px;
  bottom: 0;
  left: 0;
  background-color: #3498db;
  transform: scaleX(0);
  transition: transform 0.3s ease-in-out;
}

a.border-reveal:hover::after {
  transform: scaleX(1);
}
Result

Explanation:
This animation reveals a border underneath the link on hover. The ::after pseudo-element creates the border, which initially has a scaleX value of 0, making it invisible. Upon hovering, the border scales to its full width (scaleX(1)), creating a reveal effect. The transition provides a smooth scaling animation.


6. 3D Flip

CSS
a.flip {
  display: inline-block;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
  perspective: 1000px;
  transition: transform 0.5s;
}

a.flip:hover {
  transform: rotateY(180deg);
}
Result

Explanation:
The 3D flip animation makes the link perform a half rotation along the Y-axis on hover, creating a flipping effect. The perspective property adds depth to the rotation, and the transform property is used to apply the rotation. The transition ensures the flip is smooth and noticeable.


7. Pulse Glow

CSS
a.pulse-glow:hover {
  text-decoration: none;
  animation: pulse 1.5s infinite;
}

@keyframes pulse {
  0% {
    box-shadow: 0 0 0 0px rgba(52, 152, 219, 0.5);
  }
  100% {
    box-shadow: 0 0 0 10px rgba(52, 152, 219, 0);
  }
}
Result

Explanation:
This animation creates a pulsing glow effect around the link. The @keyframes rule defines the pulse animation, which varies the box-shadow to create a glowing effect that expands and fades. The animation is set to run infinitely, drawing attention to the link continuously.


8. Background Slide

CSS
a.background-slide {
  display: inline-block;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #fff;
  padding: 10px 20px;
  position: relative;
  background-color: #3498db;
  transition: color 0.5s;
  overflow: hidden;
  z-index: 1;
}

a.background-slide::before {
  content: '';
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  left: -100%;
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
  background-color: #e74c3c;
  transition: left 0.5s;
  z-index: -1;
}

a.background-slide:hover::before {
  left: 0;
}

a.background-slide:hover {
  color: #000;
}
Result

Explanation:
This CSS snippet creates a sliding background effect for a link. The link initially displays with a primary background color. A pseudo-element (::before) is used to create an overlay with a different background color, which starts off-screen to the left of the link. Upon hovering, this overlay slides in from the left to cover the original background completely, changing the link's visual appearance. The color transition ensures that the text color changes appropriately to remain visible against the new background color. This effect adds a dynamic visual element to interactions, making the link more noticeable and enhancing the user experience on the webpage.


9. Circle Reveal

CSS
a.circle-reveal {
  position: relative;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
  overflow: hidden;
  transition: color 0.3s;
  z-index: 1;
}

a.circle-reveal::before {
  content: '';
  position: absolute;
  top: 50%;
  left: 50%;
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
  background-color: #3498db;
  border-radius: 50%;
  transform: translate(-50%, -50%) scale(0);
  transition: transform 0.3s ease-in-out;
  z-index: -1;
}

a.circle-reveal:hover::before {
  transform: translate(-50%, -50%) scale(1);
}

a.circle-reveal:hover {
  color: #fff;
}
Result

Explanation:
This animation reveals a circular background on hover, changing the link's color to ensure readability against the new background. The ::before pseudo-element creates the circle, which scales from 0 to 1 on hover, creating a reveal effect. The transition effects both the transformation and the color change, making the interaction smooth and visually appealing.


10. Vertical Flip

CSS
a.vertical-flip {
  display: inline-block;
  text-decoration: none;
  color: #000;
  perspective: 1000px;
  transition: transform 0.5s;
}

a.vertical-flip:hover {
  transform: rotateX(180deg);
}
Result

Explanation:
Similar to the 3D flip effect, this animation rotates the link along the X-axis, creating a vertical flipping effect. The perspective property adds depth to the flip, while the transform property applies the rotation. The smooth transition makes the flip visually striking and engaging.


These 10 CSS animated link effects offer a range of creative possibilities to enhance the interactivity and aesthetic appeal of web projects. By incorporating these animations, web developers and designers can create more engaging and visually interesting websites. Remember, while animations can add a layer of polish and interactivity, they should be used judiciously to ensure they complement the user experience rather than detract from it.