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 a free tool to create a cookie consent banner for your site without needing to have any special knowledge.
What Type Of Websites Need A Cookie Banner, Anyway?
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.
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.
So...long story short...you probably need a cookie consent banner if you want to comply with the European Union's regulations!
Here's What You Need To Include On Your Cookie Consent Notification
So you need to:
- Display the cookie consent banner immediately upon a user's first visit.
Three Great Examples Of Cookie Banners In Action (You'll Learn How To Recreate All Of These!)
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.
1. The Bottom Bar Cookie Consent Banner
Beyond The Barre uses an attention-grabbing bottom bar for its cookie consent:
2. The Top Bar Cookie Consent Banner
Decksender switches things up by moving the cookie banner to the top of the page:
3. The Slide-In Cookie Consent Banner
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):
How To Create Your Own Cookie Banner Without Writing A Single Line Of Code
Now for the fun part - how you can create a cookie consent banner like those examples for your own website.
All three of those examples use GetSiteControl, which is a free tool that lets you add seven different "widgets" to your website. Widgets can be live chat boxes, email opt-in forms, surveys, 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)
- 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 free 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 go to Site settings → Install in your GetSiteControl dashboard to verify that the code is working:
Now, you're ready to create your actual cookie consent notification!
Step 2: Create A New Promo Widget
To display your cookie consent notification, you'll use GetSiteControl's Promo widget.
To create a new promo widget, click on the Create widget option in your GetSiteControl dashboard and then select Promo:
Step 3: Choose Your Cookie Banner's Location
First off, you should choose where to position your cookie banner using the Position options.
While GetSiteControl gives you nine different position options, typically the best approach is to use one of these four positions (highlighted below):
- Top bar
- Bottom bar
- Left slide-in (gives you the most space for text content)
- Right-slide (gives you the most space for text content)
These positions are still attention-grabbing and able to display the full text, but they don't completely take over your visitor's experience like a modal popup would.
For cookie consent notifications, you should also avoid the four options on the right as they only display their text content after a visitor clicks on them.
Step 4: Choose Your Color Theme
You probably want your consent banner's colors to match the rest of your site. To control that, you can use the Colors area to set the colors for:
- Regular text
- Button text
If you're not sure how to choose colors that work together, you can use the Apply theme option to help. All you need to do is select a single color that matches your site. Then, GetSiteControl will automatically configure all the other colors so that they work well together:
Step 5: Add Your Content
Now that you've got the style and location of your consent banner all figured out, it's time to actually write the message to your visitors.
To configure your banner's content, go to the Content tab.
There's no requirement for the exact text that you use - but again, the goal here is to get "clear, informed consent".
Here are some recommendations for how to configure the content settings to best achieve that:
- Button text: I agree
- Target URL: Leave this blank
*if you use a top bar or bottom bar, you won't be able to add a description, so you'll need to add all of the text to the Title field.
You can see how your text will appear to visitors using the live preview on the right side of the interface.
Step 6: Control When Your Cookie Consent Notice Appears
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 Behavior tab.
Under the Stop to display the widget options, select the box for under the following conditions. Then, choose after the user performs the action:
In this case, "the action" is the visitor clicking the button to consent to cookie usage.
You don't need to change any other settings in the Behavior or Targeting areas.
Step 7: Activate Your Cookie Consent Banner
Now, you're pretty much done! All you need to do to make your cookie consent notice live is click the _OK_ button at any place in the interface:
Then, choose the option to Activate now:
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.
Adding A Cookie Consent Notice Doesn't Have To Be Difficult
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.
Click here to head to GetSiteControl and get started today!