As a website owner, you sure want to have a way to publish eye-catching announcements and stay confident your visitors won’t miss them. Unlike web push notifications that might not be the best solution for some websites, notification bars come in quite handy in most cases.
In the article below, we’ll show you how to create website announcement bars (or slide-ins as an alternative) to notify visitors about important updates using GetSiteControl widgets.
Here is what they may look like:
A floating bar placed at the top or the bottom of a webpage is without a doubt the #1 choice among the majority of website owners. It stays in sight even when a visitor scrolls down the page, allows for including a sufficient amount of information, and doesn’t interrupt user experience.
At the same time, if you ever need to slightly nudge visitors in the direction of your announcement, a slide-in appearing from the left or the right bottom corner of the page might be a better option.
Both widgets will perfectly serve for:
- displaying a cookie consent message on a website
- announcing upcoming changes
- driving visitors to a specific page
- informing first-time visitors about the onboarding process
- displaying shipping information for selected locations
Creating website announcement bars and slide-ins: a step-by-step guide
First off, if you’ve never heard of GetSiteControl before, it works on any website platform and doesn’t require coding. So, yes, if you’re on WordPress and you were looking for an announcement plugin, GetSiteControl is your guy too. Just find it in the WordPress plugin repository and install it to your admin dashboard.
If you’re using any other website platform, you’ll just need to paste a tiny code snippet before the closing
</body> tag. Learn more about the process here.
Now, here is how to add an announcement bar to a website
- Open your GetSiteControl dashboard
- Click Create widget and choose Promo
- On the Appearance tab, choose a color theme and a position for your widget. You can simply apply the colors of your website to achieve a matching effect. If you decide to go with the slide-in, you can also add a custom image or choose one from the gallery at this point.
- On the Content tab enter your message to website visitors and add the URL of the page you want to open when someone hits the button
- Save the widget and activate it
Notification bar examples
Because of its versatility, GetSiteControl makes a one-stop-shop announcement tool. Not only it allows you to create professional-looking notification bars, but there are also many customization features helping you target select audience and apply triggers to control the widget. To give you a better picture, let’s look at the following examples and the widget configurations they require.
Starting the year 2018, displaying a cookie consent message has been one of the most popular usecase for GetSiteControl notification bars. And because it is so relevant for practically every site on the web these days, we’ve published a detailed article on how to create a cookie banner backed up by real-life examples. Definitely check it out if you haven’t got one on your website yet.
Meanwhile, we leave the copy and the design up to you, from the technical standpoint, here is how to set up a cookie notification bar to maintain great user experience:
- Place “OK” or “I agree” on the button as an indication of user consent and select to close the widget upon click
- Make sure you don’t show the widget repeatedly after a visitor has clicked on the button
Use announcement bars to inform visitors about updates
Whether you’ve published a new blog post, planning website maintenance over the weekend, or have launched a new solution – there is a good reason to place a notification bar and keep your visitors in the loop. In the example above, a company is targeting Chrome users with the news that is relevant to them, and here is the configuration that could be used for their purposes:
- Display the notification bar at once
- Stop displaying the widget after the user performs the action or after showing it 3 times, whichever happens first
- Target only website visitors using Chrome
- The button leads to a blog post covering the details
By the way, this works for publishing corporate news on the Intranet as well. All you need is to specify the pages where the widget should be shown.
Personalize notifications about special offers and shipping
Now, let’s say, you have an ecommerce store and you want to use personalization for encouraging more people to take advantage of a time-limited offer. To do that, you can create an announcement bar that will be relevant to a visitor’s location or a product that’s being viewed.
In the example above, we’ve used a slide-in as an alternative and it has been set up to:
- Appear after a visitor spends 5 seconds on a page
- Only be displayed to visitors from Philadelphia, PA
- Lead to a landing page created for this campaign