Create website announcement bars to notify visitors about updates

Create website announcement bars to notify visitors about updates
Nina De la Cruz
Nina De la Cruz 4 min read
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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 which might not be the best solution for some websites, notification bars come in quite handy in most cases.

Below, we’ll show you how to create website announcement bars and slide-ins to notify visitors about important updates.

For instance, if you need to add a COVID-19 notification, it may be a sticky announcement bar like this one:

An announcement bar notifying visitors about a new blog postSee live preview →

Or, you may want to place a slide-in banner that appears from either side of a webpage:

An announcement slide-in banner about covid-19See live preview →

Hit the See live preview link to see any of these widgets in action. As you activate the preview mode, follow the simple instructions to add them to your website right now. You’ll be able to modify the content in the dashboard if you need to.

Want to create a notification banner from scratch instead? Keep reading this article. We’ll show you exactly how to do that with zero technical knowledge using the Getsitecontrol popup builder.

Should you place a sticky bar or a slide-in?

The choice depends on how important it is to drive attention to your message.

A notification bar placed at the top or bottom of a page is the #1 choice among website owners. Such a bar will stay in sight even when a visitor scrolls up and down the page, it allows for including a sufficient amount of information, and the user experience interruption is minimal.

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. Check out this guide to find out how to install widgets to your WordPress site.

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

  1. Sign in to your Getsitecontrol dashboard.
  2. Click +Create widget and choose Promote content. Select a webpage position and a template and click Choose & customize.
  3. 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.
  4. If you’d like to change the look of the template, you can do it on the Appearance tab: change the colors for the widget and, if necessary, its size and paddings.
  5. Save the widget using the Save & close button and activate it on the website.

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.

A notification bar for displaying cookie policySee live preview →

Starting the year 2018, displaying a cookie consent message has been one of the most popular use cases 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:

  • Target first-time visitors to show them the cookie policy on your website
  • 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

A sticky bar to notify users of a Chrome extension launchSee live preview →

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

A slide-in widget notifying site visitors about free shippingSee live preview →

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

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