Sometimes a cool glitchy, distorted effect is the perfect addition to your web design. Maybe you’re creating a tech site, a developer’s portfolio, or something completely experimental. Distortion effects are an unconventional but interesting way to grab visitors’ attention with a unique animation.

We’ve collected some glitchy CSS effects for you to use today. They’re free to copy or study as a learning tool, and they range from text and image glitch effects to hover distortions to trippy background animations. Whatever you’re looking for, one of these effects has the inspiration you need.

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Pure CSS Glitch Effect

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Pure CSS Glitch Effect
by Felix Rilling (@FelixRilling)
on CodePen.

CodePen Challenge: Color Pop

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CodePen Challenge: Color Pop
by Johan Lagerqvist (@lgrqvst)
on CodePen.

Trippy CSS Effect

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Trippy CSS effect
by kryo (@kryo2k)
on CodePen.

Glitch Photo Filters CSS

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Glitch Photo Filters CSS
by Sergey (@canti23)
on CodePen.

Perspective Split Text Menu Hover

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Perspective Split Text Menu Hover
by James Bosworth (@bosworthco)
on CodePen.

Clean CSS Glitch

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Clean CSS Glitch
by Piotr Galor (@pgalor)
on CodePen.

Creepy Squiggly Text Effect with SVG

Example of Creepy Squiggly Text Effect with SVG

Text Shuffle & Distort

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Text shuffle & distort fx
by Blaz Kemperle (@blazicke)
on CodePen.

Glitch CSS

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Glitch CSS
by Iliuta Stoica (@iliutastoica)
on CodePen.

Infinite SVG Triangle Fusion

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Infinite SVG Triangle Fusion
by Rob DiMarzo (@robdimarzo)
on CodePen.

Glitch Effect in CSS

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Glitch effect in CSS
by Thomas Aufresne (@origine)
on CodePen.

Buttons with Trippy Background Animation on Hover

Example of Buttons with Trippy Background Animation on Hover

Trippy – CSS only

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Trippy – CSS only
by Emmanuel Lainas (@RedGlove)
on CodePen.

Laser Text Animation

Example of Laser Text Animation

Glitch Text

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Glitch Text
by Chase (@chasebank)
on CodePen.

Oddly Satisfying CSS Only Triangle Animation

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Oddly satisfying CSS Only triangle animation
by eight (@eight)
on CodePen.

Paint on Heat Distortion

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Paint on Heat Distortion
by Matt Popovich (@mpopv)
on CodePen.

Trippy Squares – Left to Right Wave

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Trippy Squares – Left to Right Wave!
by Praveen Puglia (@praveenpuglia)
on CodePen.

Glitch Clock

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Glitch Clock
by Constantine (@museum404)
on CodePen.

Glitchy and Psychedelic CSS Effects

There’s something simply awesome about an unusual distortion effect. Using them correctly can help you make an awesome website that people will love to explore. Too much distortion can be an eyestrain, but a cool trippy background animation or some glitchy text can pull the whole design together.

You also should be careful with implementing too many CSS effects onto your website. Too many animations can lead to a slowdown. If you find your website loading slowly, this guide can help you cut down on bloat and let you keep your awesome new effects.

Next time you’re making a dark website, a site with tech or programming focus, or a page you want to be unconventional and unique, try out one of these free glitchy CSS effects. You’ll love the character it can bring to a design.

Written by Brenda Stokes Barron

Brenda Stokes Barron is a professional writer and blogger and The Digital Inkwell is her personal brand. You can often find her typing furiously at her local Starbucks. (Yes, she's that person).