How to Add a Cookie Banner to Your Website: No Code Required (With Templates!)

How to Add a Cookie Banner to Your Website: No Code Required (With Templates!)
Colin Newcomer
Colin Newcomer Jul 20, 2021 — 7 min read

You've probably noticed how it seems like every single website you visit nowadays includes some notification about using cookies. Now you might be wondering… does my site need one of those cookie consent notices? And if so, how can I actually create a cookie banner for my site?

The answer to the first question is “probably”. And as for the second question, that's what this post is all about!

In the rest of this post, you'll get a quick primer on whether or not your site actually needs a cookie consent banner. Then, we'll share a step-by-step tutorial for how you can use Getsitecontrol to create a cookie consent banner for your site without needing to have any special knowledge.

If your website receives visitors from the European Union, you probably need a cookie consent banner if you want to stay on the good side of European Union regulations.

Originally adopted in 2011 and expanded with the GDPR in 2018, the European Union's rules on cookies essentially require that you get “clear, informed consent” from visitors in order to use cookies that track user data.

That's technically not every single website, but with the popularity of tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, social media share buttons, and others, there's a fairly good chance that your website uses at least some tracking cookies.

So in practice, most sites that receive visitors from the European Union need a cookie consent banner. And in this global world, that's most sites — period.

Long story short…you probably need a cookie consent banner if you want to comply with the European Union's regulations!

The purpose of a cookie banner is to get informed consent to use cookies before visitors start using your site.

So you need to:

  • Display the cookie consent banner immediately upon a user's first visit.
  • Receive informed consent from visitors to use cookies. Usually, this is done by linking out to your privacy/cookie policy, as well as a button that indicates consent.

Ok, so you need a cookie banner. Now — where do you put it?

You can place your cookie banner wherever you want, as long as it's visible enough to attract readers' attention and get informed consent.

Let's start off with a few examples, and then we'll show you how you can duplicate any of these examples on your own site without needing to write a single line of code.

The Vinyl Factory uses a minimalistic bottom bar for its cookie consent:

The Vinyl Factory uses a bottom banner to display their cookie consent message

ASI, Advertising Specialty Institute switches things up by moving the cookie banner to the top of the page:

The ASI has placed their cookie banner at the top of a page

INUSUAL opts to show the cookie consent banner as a slide-in in the bottom left corner (you could just as easily switch this to the right):

INUSUAL uses a slide-in to display their cookie banner

If you like any of these examples, you can add them right to your website within a few minutes. Check out the gallery of cookie consent banners below and click the “See live preview” buttons to see them in action. Then select the one you want to place on your website and while in the live preview mode, follow brief step-by-step instructions.

Floating bar

Minimalistic bar

Minimalistic slide-in

Slide-in with image

Want to build your own banner? You can do that, too. Follow the step-by-step guide to creating a cookie banner below.

Now for the fun part — how you can create a cookie consent banner like those examples for your own website.

All four templates above are powered by Getsitecontrol, which is a tool that lets you add multiple popups to your website. Widgets can be floating contact buttons, email popups, online feedback forms, or…you guessed it – cookie consent banners.

Using a simple interface, you'll be able to customize your cookie banner's:

  • Placement
    Including all the examples above, plus more
  • Text
    Including an option to link to your privacy policy
  • Button
    Both the text and color of your button
  • Colors
    To match your site's design

And it also includes a special responsive mode that makes sure your cookie consent notice works great for mobile visitors, too. Here's how to use Getsitecontrol to create a cookie consent notification…

Step 1: Add Getsitecontrol to your website

While you'll do most of the work in the Getsitecontrol web interface, you'll first need to add Getsitecontrol to your website so that you can actually display your cookie consent banner once you publish it.

To do that, you'll need to create a Getsitecontrol account. Then, you'll need to add the Getsitecontrol code snippet to your site. If you're using WordPress, the simplest way to add the snippet is via the official Getsitecontrol plugin. It will handle the integration for you. For other sites, you'll need to manually add the code before the closing </body> tag on your site.

If you're not sure how to do this, the Getsitecontrol documentation has detailed tutorials for most popular platforms, including:

Once you finish the process, you can use the Install code button in your Getsitecontrol dashboard to verify that the code is working:

Getsitecontrol installation code

Now, you're ready to create your actual cookie consent notification!

The fastest way to add a cookie consent notification to your website is to start with a template. Log into your Getsitecontrol dashboard and click on the +Create widget button in your Getsitecontrol dashboard and then proceed to the Template gallery.

 gallery of cookie banner templates

Notice that cookie banner templates in the gallery already include some generic text, however, keep in mind that you’ll be able to modify both copy and design if you want.

When ready, select the template you like and follow the prompts on the right-hand side to add it to your Getsitecontrol dashboard.

Step 3: Change your color theme (optional)

Templates are available in two default color themes: black and white. However, if you want your consent banner's colors to match the rest of your site, you can do that using Theme settings. Getsitecontrol allows you to set the colors for:

  • Background
  • Button
  • Regular text
  • Button text

Getsitecontrol allows you to change your cookie banner color theme

You can also add an image from the gallery or upload one from your computer.

Step 4: Add your content

Now that you've got the style and location of your consent banner all figured out, it's time to adjust the consent message to your visitors. A generic text is already included, but you can edit it at your discretion. Plus, you’ll need to add a link to your cookie policy.

To configure your banner's content, open the text editing menu.

There's no requirement for the exact text that you use – but again, the goal here is to get “clear, informed consent”. So, here is an alternative copy you may want to make use of:

  • Title — This website uses cookies
  • Description — By continuing to use our site, you understand that we use cookies to improve your experience and collect analytics data. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.
  • Button text — I agree

Change the copy on your cookie banner using an intuitive text editor

You can see how your text will appear to mobile visitors if you switch to mobile mode below the preview window.

To avoid pestering visitors as they move around your site, you want to ensure that your cookie consent notice stops appearing after a visitor clicks the I agree button. To do that, you can use the Targeting tab.

Go to the Stop to display the widget menu and select +Add condition. Then, choose Closure.

Set proper targeting settings to make sure those who have accepted your cookie policy don’t see the banner again

In this case, the “closure” is the visitor clicking the button to consent to cookie usage. You don't need to change any other settings in the Targeting tab.

Now, you're pretty much done! All you need to do to make your cookie consent notice live is click the Save & Close button in the upper right corner to finish configuring the banner.

Then, choose the option to Activate now as suggested by the app:

Cookie banner activated

Once you do that, visitors should start seeing the cookie consent notice. And once they click the button to agree to cookie usage, they'll no longer see the cookie banner.

Keeping your website on the good side of the cookie consent law isn't something you need a developer for. By using Getsitecontrol and the principles outlined in this post, you can set up your own customizable cookie consent banner without needing to write a single line of code.

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about WordPress and digital marketing.

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