Pop-ups vs. "sliders" or "bars" at top of page?

I was hoping to create a pop-up that would appear when someone first visits my site. The point would be to collect their email address so I can send them some free content/newsletter, etc. I searched for how to create one and I found results for a Gateway stack and an InfoBar stack. Neither of these is a true pop-up, though.

My question is twofold: are true pop-ups not in fashion anymore? And regardless, what’s the best way to create one?


You know those drop-crotch jeans that really irritate you when have to walk down the road behind some bowlegged numpty with half his arse hanging out? That’s what I would call an irritating fashion. Popups are just as irritating but I would hesitate to call them a fashion!

Anyway, I don’t know about you but I have never responded positively to a pop-up. Sliders like Gateway and InfoBar I find a little less intrusive but I wonder if any website visitor ever thought “Wow, great, another pop-up asking for my email address before I’ve even had a chance to check out the page!”

Nevertheless, if you select the Pop Ups category on StackCentral, you’ll find a few more pop-up stacks that will hopefully give you a little more choice!



Define “true pop-up”. Gateway definitely does have sufficient style settings available to create a popup window centred within the middle of the page, complete with an optional coloured background window shade. Did you download the free demo version to try?

By default Gateway is styled as an unobtrusive content container placed at the top of your webpage, for the usability reasons @Marten_Claridge has already explained. But if you want the pop-up to be more ‘in your face’ and harder to ignore when you land on the website, then the options already exist to make it more like that. It’s a very versatile stack.

Maybe a better approach is a window that pops up when visitors try and leave the page?



Depending on who you’re using to collect the email address, MailChimp offers pre-built sign-up prompts that can be put on your site to gather signups. They are, though, somewhat annoying (and there are likely more elegant options).

Thanks–I’ll look into that and see what they look like!

That’s very interesting–and unexpected. As I tried the demo, I kept thinking that this version doesn’t prevent the visitor from doing anything…it “warns” you before you close the window, but you can still close the window and be done with it–without interacting with the warning message. With pop-ups, you’re prevented from touring the site until you interact with it in some way–either by closing it or filling out the requested info. It’s a trade-off, with “annoyance” being the main difference.

@willwood, @Marten_Claridge Thanks, everyone. I’m an indie author and critical to my marketing platform is building my email list. That’s the real goal of sending anyone to my website at all–not to sell books, but to capture their info so I can (hopefully) turn them into a fan over time and count on repeat support/purchases. Obviously, I want to give something of value in exchange for the email address, but thought knowing my strategy might help.

@Bcokas — And you’re absolutely right, Bill, having a strategy is essential. In this instance, understanding the ‘annoyance factor’ of pop-ups means you can also have a secondary (more subtle) strategy within the body of the site to capture readers’ hearts, minds and info.


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