Thanks to their dubious reputation as annoying distractions, you may be reluctant to create website popup and popover ads for your own website. Fear not however, there’s lots of evidence that popups increase online conversions in everything from newsletter signups to sales. (Just search for “are pop up ads effective” on Google.) There are businesses use them to great effect without alienating either existing or potential customers.
So with that concern out of the way, here’s a guide for creating website popup and popover ads of your own. Below, you’ll find 5 website popup definitions you need to know before you get underway. Following that, we’ll list 20 of the best website popup creation tools so you can get started.
5 Website Popup Definitions You Need to Know
2 Types of Popups
Popup is the generic term used for website popups. More specifically, they are the type of popup that appears on top of your current browser page. Popups can appear like a highlighted image, however, they can also extend from any side of a webpage including the top and bottom.
Popups used to appear in new browser windows or tabs, but these days they’re typically modal, which means that they run as part of the page your visitor is browsing and cannot be blocked by popup blockers.
A pop under is a type of popup that appears in a new window underneath the web page you’re currently browsing. They’re less obtrusive since they open in a new window. However, they’re also more easily blocked by popup blockers.
3 Ways to Trigger Popups
A time-driven popup appears after a visitor is on your site for a set amount of time, giving them some space to learn what your site is about before being hit with an ad or offer.
The behavior driven popup appears after a certain condition is met. For example, a behavior-driven popup may appear after a visitor gets to their third page on your site, scrolls 66 percent down one of your pages or opens a specific page.
The exit popup shows itself when a visitor browses to a site different than yours. It behaves just like a regular popup and is a great opportunity to extend a special offer to entice visitors before they’re gone.
20 of the Best Tools to Create a Website Popup
Whether your website was built from scratch or on a platform such as WordPress or Drupal, you’ll find a tool that fits your needs in the list below.
One point of interest: Many email service providers (e.g. AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) offer their own version of mailing list signup popups. We have not included them in the list below, so you may want to head over to your provider to learn more about what types of sign-up form options they provide.
Best All-Round Popup Tools
While they offer integration with many of the top website hosting platforms, these tools can also be used on stand alone websites.
PopUp Domination is like the Swiss-army knife of popup tools. Offering both a WordPress plugin and a stand alone solution that can be plugged into any website, the tool enables you to easily build popups with your choice of behaviors and design. You can also choose from a gallery of pre-built templates.
As shown above, WisePops aims to make it easy to create and deploy website popups. The tool offers integration with many of the most popular website hosting platforms including WordPress, Drupal and others. One nice touch: WisePops enables you to target your popups at visitors based on source, frequency, browser and device (e.g. “only show to first time visitors from Facebook”).
Best WordPress Plugin Popup Tools
The next group of tools was created to specifically work with WordPress websites.
Some of these tools are free with paid upgrades for additional features. Some are premium, which means you need to pay up front. We’ve indicated which is which for each tool.
Popups – WordPress Popups
The free version of Popups – WordPress Popups offers most of what your business will need including conditional rules and filters. When your needs grow, the premium upgrade will help this tool grow with you.
From the get-go, PopupAlly offers numerous features and templates for free. Upgrading to the Pro version adds more functionality and a bigger collection of templates.
WP Popup Plugin
An easy-to-use popup plugin, WP Popup does a lot out of the box and offers even more, such as conditional rules, after a premium upgrade.
A premium WordPress plugin, OptinMonster offers display rules, targeting options and much more. One standout feature is the many different types of popups from regular center-of-the-screen popups to footer bars and even WordPress sidebar widgets.
Ninja Popups for WordPress
Ninja Popups for WordPress is a robust premium plugin that offers more options than you may ever need. Its standout feature however, is the number of built in integrations it offers with both email service providers and social media networks.
The premium plugin PopupPress has taken the popup and added multimedia. With the ability to display popup sliders and videos, this plugin is a real attention grabber.
Unlimited Pop-Ups WordPress Plugin
With nine types of plugins, 66 animation styles and unlimited design options, the premium Unlimited Pop-Ups WordPress Plugin has a huge number of features for designing a popup.
Indeed Smart PopUp for WordPress
Claiming over 100+ features, the Indeed Smart PopUp for WordPress premium plugin is one of the most fully complete WordPress popup plugins available. Options include targeting, templates, display rules and even mobile device optimization.
Best Stand-Alone Website Popup Tools
adPopup Pro for jQuery
adPopup Pro for jQuery is a premium popup tool for any website that offers a hefty number of features including options for design, display rules, targeting and more.
ScreenPopper is a web-based tool that anyone can use to create website popups no mater their level of technical expertise. In this tool, you’ll find targeting, display rules, design and even analytics. And for beginners, they offer a package where they’ll manage your popup campaigns for you if you like.
Best Top-of-the-Page Popup Tools
As shown above, Hello Bar is a specialized type of popup that appears as a bar across the top of a webpage. It’s a handy way to draw attention to your newsletter signup, featured content or an upcoming event. This tool offers display options such as scrolling the bar so it’s always at the top of the webpage. There’s also a toggle that enables you to control whether the bar can be hidden by visitors or not. Here again the tool also offers analytics for better insights into your visitors’ behavior.
WordPress Notification Bar
An alternative to Hello Bar, the WordPress Notification Bar plugin is a free customizable top-of-the-page popup tool.
Best Bottom-Popup Tools
The first of our popup from the bottom tools (see image above), Qualaroo is a pioneer in capturing customer feedback. Using this tool, you can quickly create a popup to capture a variety of information. Qualaroo even has a huge library of questions compiled for you to use based on your needs.
Though we’ve listed WebEngage in this section, it actually does more than just popup from the bottom surveys. In fact, the tool also offers feedback forms that scroll in from the side and notifications that get pushed to visitors about specials, sales and more. The included display rule and visitor targeting options offer even more versatility.
A real smarty, Servicate enables your site to capture customer insights which then trigger automated responses such as targeted question sequences and calls to action. So this gives users a variety of actions.
In addition to bottom-popup surveys, LeadConverter offers several different types of popups including top-of-the-page, over the page, discount offers and more. It even enables you to engage website visitors directly using a dialog popup similar to the one shown below. Add in targeted messaging, browsing history tracking for each visitor and additional analytic and this tool provides a variety of insights to your business.
FeedbackDaddy is the only tool in this section that offers a free level of service. Similar in many ways to Qualaroo, this is the tool for cash-strapped businesses to use as they get used to creating website popups.
No matter what kind of site you run for your business, popups can increase conversions and gather insight about your visitors and potential customers. Be sure to pick the kind of popup that best fits your site’s needs.
Computer Photo via Shutterstock
I won’t wade into the debate over whether they’re effective (because I’ve seen plenty of data that says they are) but I personally hate them. It’s a tough spot for me as a marketer.
I’m afraid I don’t like them either. I find them intrusive. However, if there’s data to support their effectiveness, I can understand why some people choose to do them.
Robert and Ebele,
I hear ya’, but for me it’s situational. When I’m on my laptop I don’t mind them so much, but on my iPad or iPhone, they’re hard to close, a fact that raises their annoyance factor significantly.
I do like the trend towards smaller, less obtrusive pop ups – they’re much less distracting.
Totally get why they’d be more annoying on an iPhone/iPad, Matt.
I really don’t like pop-ups of any size, including smaller ones. But again, I buy why people do it as they must get a fairly good response rate.
Robert: I say the same thing. I am not a fan of pop-ads, so I haven’t used them on my sites. I think it is like a megaphone shouting in your ear, or a sticker in your face.
Would you welcome a visitor to your home like this?
But it is good to know the mechanics of it… 😉
Wouldn’t it likely be more correct to say that you didn’t like them when they’re used in annoying ways. I’m sure there’s many ways they’re used where you probably didn’t make a mental note of it because it didn’t bother you and were maybe even useful to your experience.
I have to admit that these pop-ups are starting to get attention again. I remember the time when people have developed an immunity to this. It is a good thing that it now looks better.
I agree – the look, feel and operation of pop-ups are becoming less intrusive without loosing their effectiveness – a good thing indeed.
I started using SumoMe’s free pop-up tools and am really happy with how my conversions have increased. The one that has had the higher conversion rate is the Scroll Box, which follows the reader down on the right side. You can also disable the popups on mobile and landing pages which is really helpful, also.
I like the look look of scroll box, too – thanks for the heads-up. While I was checking it out on SumoMe, I found yet another free popup tool, List Builder so, thanks for that, too!
Thanks for popping up WisePops here, we definitely LOVE pop-ups so won’t go into the debate either 🙂 but feel free to get in touch should you – really – want to discuss this!
Tracy already mentioned it, but you forgot List Builder by SumoMe.com! Great list!
Wisepops is the worst. They offer no support. And their facebook page reflects this. You can email them, facebook them, tweet them and never get a response.
I got to this page by Googling “popovers ads need to die.” I was wondering if there was an official movement yet. I happily boycott any site that throws one of these in my face as I’m scrolling. Like you said, if the data shows it’s effective, it’ll keep happening. It is my intention to push that data in the opposite direction. I’m doing this for you, internet! <3
WisePops are really disappointing, I ‘m using this popup builder now: http://sygnoos.com/wordpress-popup/
It works great and the support is everything!
I am currently using hello bar and its been very effective. I did notice a spike in conversions when adding it to my site. It can be annoying only if its repeated every time you visit and on every page but the great thing about some of these services they let you customize the settings where you don’t have to show it on every page and for how long.
I have used Ninja Popups in the past but now I am fan of ConvertPlug plugin which offers all the features provided by OptinMonster at the Price of just $26
I represent Morning Train, a web agency in Odense. Morning train has developed a free pop-up software program that you can check out here: http://www.morningcatch.dk.
It is an easy-to-use software that allows you to make pop-up windows for your website for free. It offers several forms of signup forms that can be scrolled. Used to measure your SEO score or newsletter enrollment form.
Morning catch can be integrated with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager and gives you the opportunity to get 15% more leads about your user.
Go to http://www.morningcatch.dk and try it yourself. It requires no coding knowledge and is very easy to use.
Hi Sophia, thanks for taking the time to post. This looks like the best popup plugin I’ve found that’s free, I will give it a try. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this amazing article. It provides access to the entire world of popups! I think. Exactly, you covered everything in this article. I found a ckear cut vision regarding the popups, types and tools to make them. I will sure make use of this information. Thanks a lot.
The tools mentioned are great ones. We also recently published a similar web app which allow to send pop-up messages and polls to websites. It is so simple to use yet offers great functions. Please give it try at https://pollmi.com
I like use pop ads but it’s better work with shorte. st service as a additional earning option.
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