Pop-up windows, advertisements on website — what instead of them?

hauerpower / webdesign studio
8 min readMar 11, 2019


Pop-ups became an unwanted element of blogs and websites. It is not important whether they cover the entire screen, only a half or if they are only small dots in the background — currently, their amount is too excessive. They significantly reduce the area of content on the given website after its loading, they force you to close them and they are irritating for a potential user.

When we go to a given website, first of all we receive pop-ups from push notifications, then information about cookies and finally, subscription to a newsletter. When we scroll down, the blog’s author proposes to sign up to his email list, then in the right bottom corner messenger window pops up and when we try to close the website — we get information with a request to visit his fanpage.

The result is that after visiting 3 websites, the user is tired and if we wanted to encourage him to perform certain action for us (e.g. purchase) — we can be sure that he will not do it.

In this text, we propose and indicate how to present and organise communication with the visitor in a more pleasant way, without flooding him from the very beginning with unwanted notifications in the form of pop-up windows.

Joining of consents on a website

GDPR — for certain people it is a positive change and a source of serious legal problems for others. We will receive as many solutions to this problem as the number of lawyers we ask. Some people have 4 checkboxes (as their lawyer advised) under the subscription to their newsletter while well-known x-kom has none.

Therefore, all suggestions that you can find here should be consulted with your lawyer. We cannot assume responsibility for every website and consent it displays.

How to display cookies consent while a website is loading?

Upon opening of our website, we are obliged to inform the visitor about our privacy policy, processing of personal data and cookies. You can find three solutions:

  1. Sidebar appearing on the bottom of the website,
  2. Pop-ups,
  3. Information in the website footer, invisible at first — only after scrolling down.

What solution can you choose for displaying cookies on your website?

Sidebar on the bottom of your website — small but with legible text and large, easy to locate “X” button is the best and the simplest solution to implement.

Certainly, one thing should not be done — you should not display a large pop-up taking up the entire size of your website. The most popular and in fact the only major internet browser in our country i.e.

Google has announced that there are several important rules to be taken into account by each website owner:

  1. Pop-up window cannot be displayed immediately after opening a website, in other words we cannot bombard the user with pop-ups.
  2. The window cannot be displayed while the website is loading — it should be displayed after some time.
  3. The user should not close the window in order to access the website.
  4. The size cannot be excessively large (e.g. should not cover the entire screen).
  5. The button to be used to close the window should be clearly visible.
  6. We should not cover the pop-up background — it should cover the website content to the smallest extent possible.

Advertising pop-ups

Bombarding the visitor every step of the way with pop-ups is not a good solution, therefore, let us leave it for the subscription to a newsletter. To display cookies, we can use a sidebar on the bottom of the website, which should not be executed in the code as a pop-up window but as an element that is visible from the start while the website is loading.

This solution is simple, the smallest sidebar at the bottom of the website as possible and in case there is more text than it can be seen, we will use a scroll bar. Meaning, in CSS the class should contain overflow: scroll;

This is how information about cookies should be presented. Additionally, when the user scrolls down, it should be folded e.g. to the left (as we read from left to right) so that it would not be distracting for the reader.

In this way, we can be sure that Google will not frown upon us, the user will have enough free space and we provided information that we use cookies according to the provisions of law. On the other hand, when the window becomes smaller on a small screen and it does not attract attention, we can be sure that it will not disturb the visitor with the performance of an action expected by us e.g. making a purchase or signing up for a training course via our website.

Pop-ups on a large screen — invite the user to act.

It is generally known that a pop-up window is the most effective method e.g. of subscription to a newsletter in an online store — it will be enough to emphasise that the client will obtain a 20% discount for his first purchase in the given online store.

What can we do when we have already attacked the user with a pop-up window after he opened our website but we want to inform him about something else? I suggest using the section on the right side of the screen, which is left unused on large monitors and on little ones (mobile user) it can be added as a sliding space on the right side of the screen.

This solution has its limitations:

1. Well coded and designed, it is effective but only on large screens (e.g. resolution of more than 1600 px in width). Before we spend time to implement it, it will be worthwhile to see Google Analytics to assess whether screens with such resolution are used by more than 30% of our visitors. In order to verify this, we go to Google Analytics Panel, then Audience -> Review. And we can find the “Screen resolution” option at the bottom.

How the Call to action bar (C2A) should look like to be interesting for the user?

The bar visible on the right side of the screen can contain any information but it is important that it should meet its specific purpose. To get you started, it would be better to see how it is done by others:

o2 portal
samsung poland
newspaper online
Poland the Times
onLine Games

As we can see, pop-ups can appear on the additional bar but they can be used for other purposes, such as:

  1. Logging in/Registration and invitation to quizzes
  2. Chat and invitation to issue opinions
  3. Confirmation of trust in the store/brand
  4. Leave for inserting advertisements
  5. Invitation to download mobile application
  6. Links to social media
  7. Invitation to read the next article

You should turn your attention to the fact that it is not important whether you use 100% of the space for your vertical C2A — it is important that your action should be concrete.

Let it be only an offer of promotion or contact — if you add too much to this bar — it will lose its point. It is one of the rules for creating C3A which should be always followed, meaning a clear message that we are sending to a potential customer.

Website with a lot of content — how to encourage the user to act?

A great idea for a converting box in the situation where we have high quality content on our website which is willingly read by the users, is the placement of a newsletter or information about promotion (you will easily establish this e.g. in Google Analytics by analysing the time spent on your website, provided that you do not have too many videos on your website, otherwise the results will not be sufficiently representative.

How to deal with the fact that we want to change it often but we do not want to edit all content? You can use e.g. shortcode in Wordpress or hacks in PrestaShop blog. Firstly, let us check how this problem is solved by others.


It is worth noting that if we want to directly place an advertisement, instead of such advertisement, for the owners of adblocks we can display e.g. an invitation to read another text.


However, you should remember that you must chose one out of two options:

  1. Strongly contrasting advertising material.
  2. Advertising material identical with the surrounding space — imitating the website (it usually gets less clicks but larger conversion).


Pop-up windows have, similarly as email marketing, survived several other solutions that were “more fashionable” at the given time (as e.g. RSS channels that are not remembered by the younger generation of internet users).

Then, they were to be threatened by push notifications and messenger bots. The result is that while push notifications work well in practice on corporate applications and encourage us to buy pizza at a discount, messenger bots are not a popular form of communication which quickly became similar to its telephone equivalent.

In our next entry, we will be searching for a solution as regards changing the standard email message into “more modern” forms of contacting the visitors and regarding methods of joining channels in order to obtain conversion.

Small clarification

It should be noted that the bar on the bottom of a website or on the side of a website or popping information about cookies visible on the entire screen are all the same — a popping window (div) with a code at the end of a website, however, for distinction purposes, we use pop-ups for popping windows displayed in the middle of a screen, which effectively prevent us from seeing the content of a given website.



hauerpower / webdesign studio

Tworzymy, projektujemy strony internetowe, zobacz na https://www.hauerpower.com [we design web in minimal ux/ui way]