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Create a website alert: How to highlight important information on your website in a time of urgency

The websites we create for schools, camps, and after school programs need to have a way to alert website visitors to important information. This includes school closures due to snow days, registration period opening for camps and classes, and other announcements. Nonprofits also need this functionality to draw attention to upcoming fundraisers, special needs or closures.

website alert annoucement
A bar at the top of the website is a good way to make an announcement.

Website Alert Widget

During this time of crisis in our country, we have been updating websites with information on how COVD-19 is impacting our client’s organizations. It is important to provide clear, accurate information and to make it prominent. To do this, we use the website “Alert Bar” we create on all our websites. This is a widget where it is easy for clients to add a message on their own, and if necessary, link to a page or blog post. This has been very helpful on our client sites.

website alert widget
website alert bar

Pop Up Message

In some cases, it is a good idea to also use a pop-up message to ensure website visitors do not miss the urgent message. We have used pop-up messages on a few websites, and keep the information up to date. We set the pop-up to only show the first time a visitor comes to the site, which is managed by using the cookies. A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. This allows the browser to identify someone if they return to the website. This is helpful to avoid showing the pop-up message multiple times to repeat website visitors. In the case of COVID-19 messaging, we set this to one day, since the message is updated frequently.

Email and Social Media

It is also important to keep your mailing list up to date with information. In addition to website messaging, send a similar message in an email. You should also share updates on social media.

Communicate and Support Each Other

In a time of crisis, the likes of which our country has not seen before, communication is critical. Keep in touch with customers, clients, and colleagues to ensure that everyone knows the steps being taken to address health and safety concerns.

This is a scary time. Keeping in touch and sharing information is helpful in reassuring our communities that we are paying attention and that we care.

It is likely that we will all suffer in some way as a result of this pandemic. We care about each other and know that saving lives is most important, however, our businesses will almost certainly have a setback. During this time and once this crisis is over, we have confidence in our ability to help each other recover and get back to normal.

Please reach out if there is anything we can do to help.

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