Notification Bars for WordPress

One important part of blogging or running an online business involves getting visitors to notice your most important items or content. Using a notification bar at the top of the site is a great way to draw the visitors’ attention to something specific. It could be an announcement for a new product, an important customer service announcement, a link to a popular blog post, a call-to-action for subscriptions or opt-ins, or any number of things.

Notification bars are often used by bloggers as an alternative to using a popup, which can be more intrusive to visitors than a notification bar. For example, on this blog we’re currently using a notification bar to promote our free e-book that is a bonus for anyone who signs up for our email newsletter. Notification bars can be highly effective, and WordPress users have a number of different options for setting up their own notification bar.

Hello Bar

Hello Bar

Hello Bar is probably the most popular option, and it was also one of the first notification bars available. Hello Bar is not specific to WordPress, it can be used with static websites and other CMSs as well. While the other options on this list are WordPress plugins, Hello Bar is not a plugin, which adds a few steps to the setup process. With Hello Bar you can customize the look of your bar (colors, textures, fonts), run a/b tests, and get statistics. A limited free plan is available, although it only allows you to get 25 clicks per month to the link used in your Hello Bar, which is less than 1 click per day. For this reason, the free plan is not a viable option for most people.

If the free plan doesn’t work for you, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to be able to use Hello Bar. Pricing starts at $4.95 per month for up to 100 clicks. Pricing goes up to $49.95 per month for up to 7,500 clicks. Using a monthly fee and basing the price of the number of clicks doesn’t make a lot of sense, in my opinion. As you will see in just a minute, there are several other good options that involve only a low one-time fee and will not place any restrictions on the number of clicks. There are also free options that lack features of the paid options, but still can be a good option when working with a tight budget.

Foobar

Foobar

Foobar is a feature-rich WordPress plugin that offers plenty of customization options. We use Foobar here on the Vandelay Design Blog to display our notification bar, and I highly recommend it. Unlike Hello Bar, Foobar can be purchased for a one-time fee of $14. Also, since it is a WordPress plugin, it is very easy to set up from the WP dashboard.


You can create an unlimited number of different Foobars, and you can choose the specific one to use on any post, page, or category. This makes it possible to create notification bars that are highly relevant to specific content, which should increase its effectiveness. You can totally customize the look of your Foobars, including colors, height, shadows, and fonts. You can also enter custom CSS if needed.

NotifySnack

NotifySnack

NotifySnack from SnackTools is not a WordPress-specific option, but it can be used on WordPress-powered websites. Both free and paid options are available. Once logged in to their site (you’ll have to create a free account first) you can create your own notification bar very easily. You’ll get options about colors and styles, and they have several pre-made themes that you can choose.

WordPress Notification Bar

WordPress Notification Bar

WordPress Noticiation Bar is a free plugin that includes basic features to set up your own notification bar. You can create your own call-to-action message and button, and choose the colors for your bar.

Notification Bar

Notification Bar

Notification Bar is a similar free plugin with basic functionality. Create your own message, choose from 5 color schemes, and it hides automatically after 7 seconds.

Notification Bar Plugin

Notification Bar Plugin

Notification Bar Plugin is available for a one-time purchase of $17. You can create an unlimited number of notification bars, use them on any page or post, use social icons, add custom HTML, and more. Of course, you have full control over details like colors and font size. One cool feature is that you can extend the bar to show a larger amount of text or images.

attentionGrabber

attentionGrabber

attentionGrabber is a WordPress plugin that can be purchased for a one-time fee of $12. You can create unlimited notifications, fully customize the appearance of your bars, use multiple fading messages, and more. It includes a click counter for each bar so you know how many visitors are clicking on the links.

Simple Notices Plugin

Simple Notices Plugin

Simple Notices Plugin is a free WordPress plugin from Pippin’s Plugins. It allows you to post a simple notification message to your site. A Pro version is available for $8, and it includes features for additional customization.

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9 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • marie, April 11, 2013

    Wow. This is a great resource that covers a website’s notification needs. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • karen, April 11, 2013

    I hope none of these premium notification bars come from Envato / Code Canyon! I’ve just had the unhappy experience of finding that they do not support their customers. After paying $25. for a plugin- the developer removed it. Their policy: if it was removed 5 days or more after purchase – then tough luck to you! This is shocking, considering Envato keeps 50% of the developer’s fees! Even the famously greedy Steve Jobs only takes 30% from app developers at the iTunes store!

    • Steven Snell, April 11, 2013

      Karen,
      Some of them are from CodeCanyon, including the one we use here, FooBar. There is some risk in buying from a marketplace like the Envato sites, but to be honest, the same risks apply if you are buying a WordPress plugin from the seller independently. I’ve bought several plugins over the last few years only to have the developers shut down their site or stop maintaining it. There’s always a risk that a theme or plugin seller could stop maintaining their product if it isn’t making them enough money. For this reason I try to avoid using plugins for essential functionality. I wouldn’t consider a notification bar to be essential because the site would still function fine without it. I’m not trying to say that your point isn’t valid because it is a valid point, I’m just saying that avoiding Envato/CodeCanyon doesn’t mean that you won’t experience the same issues.

  • karen, April 11, 2013

    Steven, I hear you. Of course there’s always the risk. But when a marketplace like Envato / Code Canyon shears 50% off of thousands of developers fees and spends a good bit of it on their happy shiny image burnishing – I found myself quite unhappily surprised by their lack of happy, shiny support. And afterwards, I thought, just as you said, that buying products there was no safer than buying from and individual developer – just a tad more dangerous due to the shiny happy image burnishing they can afford to do.
    My experience with them made me feel the same why I feel about big banks gobbling up the small. .. and we all know how that ended!

  • Ivan, April 14, 2013

    Great post!

    If I want people to just inquire about the service by leaving just their URL, email, phone and name – what one would you suggest to use please?

    On a WP site where there obviously is a need for some call to action on top! :)

    • Steven Snell, April 15, 2013

      Hi Ivan,
      Any combination of a notification bar an a contact form would work. Set up a page with the contact form, and then use the notification bar to lead visitors to the page.

  • Bertrand, April 24, 2013

    Hey Steven,

    Great article and very interesting feedback in the comments. As someone who runs a software company myself I can understand how some freelancers can not offer support past the initial 6 months, or in the extreme case above, 5 days.

    The issue is supporting a plugin which is not bringing a steady ammount of sales is virtually mission impossible for individual developers. There is just not enough cash in the bank.

    In our case we have multiple monthly paying customers for some of our products so this allows us to always have enough to cover some of our development costs for the products that don’t sell as well.

    Back on topic, my favourite notification bar plugin (so far) would be HelloBar, it ticks most of the boxes and it boasts an excellent design.

    This said we have released another notification bar plugin called InfobarWP (http://infobarwp.com), which comes with built-in analytics, split-testing and other cool features you might want to check out! I’m planning to make it the best of its kind over the next year, we have updated it twice since release and are now working on improving the front end.

    Thanks and all the best Steven,

    Bertrand

  • Tony, July 21, 2013

    NotifySnack seems promising. Although there seems to be issues displaying the bar in IE8, it’s pretty good for a free service.

  • Shrinivas, September 24, 2013

    Hi Steven, good collection of notification bars.. Recently we have developed a responsive notification bar plugin for WordPress, hope to see our “Fluid notification bar” plugin in the list above..

    http://masterblogster.com/plugins/fluid-notification-bar/

    Thank you.