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website barsEach and every second, we are bombarded by lots of information from all different kinds of media around us. It’s so easy to get lost among the noise that our best way to survive is by learning how to ignore almost everything.

This is bad news for information publishers. Attention is now an expensive commodity. Today, a blog post has to compete for a reader’s attention not only with posts from other blogs but also with posts from within the same blog.

While fighting other websites and blogs requires ammunition of a different kind, stealing attention on your own site is much easier. One tool that enables you to do that is “The Hello Bar“.

Say Hello To The Bar

The Hello Bar is a web tool that will help you create a simple “attention grabbing” bar at the top of your site. It’s just a bar with one line of text and a link. But since normal humans have the tendency to read from the top to the bottom, the bar will be the first thing that they see.

You can write anything on the bar and make it as eye catching as possible (or not) with the use of color. If your line is interesting enough, you can be sure that your visitor will click on the link to follow through. It’s a simple but smart concept.

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Hello Bar is currently in closed beta stage and only accepts invitation-based signups. But if you’d like to try it, we have good news for you. You can visit the site and use invitation code: “makeuseof” (sans quote, case sensitive) to sign up. The code is limited to 100 signups so you’d better hurry.

website bars

You can enter the beta key after signing up.

website bars

Each new user gets 5 invites to share, so maybe those who are able to grab one of the limited 100 seats can share their invitation codes to the less fortunate using the comments section below.

website bar graphics

Let’s Get Started

To start building your bar, click the “Create New” button.

website bar graphics

The first thing you should do is give a name to your bar. You could use your website name as the bar name or short description of its usage. Since you are allowed to create several bars, the names should be able to give you a hint which one is which.

website bar graphics

The next step is to choose whether you want to use your own sentence in the bar (Manual) or put an RSS Feed in it (Feed).

hello bar

If you choose the Manual way, you can edit your line in the “Message” field, write down the “Link Text” and the “Link URL” that you want to use.

hello bar

Even though it’s possible to write more than one sentence, it’s advisable to keep your sentences short and effective – something like a Twitter‘s tweet. In fact, you could also use your tweets to update the content of your bar by checking the “Allow Twitter Updates” box.

Next, choose the color combination that you want to use: the Bar, Text, and Link color. You can also choose the Font Style that you prefer to use: Serif or Sans Serif.

hello bar

The result of your bar can be seen in real time in the “Preview” box. And if you choose “Feed“, all you have to do is to put the Feed URL of the RSS feed that you want to use (but you still can edit the “Appearance” box to your liking).

03g Create - The Hello Bar - Feed And Save.jpg

There are a few other things that you can adjust under the “Settings” button, such as the “Wiggle Effect“, “Positioning” and “Tab Display“.

05 The Hello Bar - Settings.jpeg

Don’t forget to click the “Save” button after you are done tinkering with the bar.

The Hello Bar will give you the code to embed in your site with the instruction to place the code after the “<body>” tag. When you hover your mouse over the code window, a “Copy” button will appear. Just click the button to copy the whole code.

04a The Hello Bar - Script.jpg

You can manage all the bars that you’ve created from the “Manage” tab in the main page. This includes the ability to turn an individual bar on and off, acquire the code again, and delete an unwanted bar.

06 Hello Bars - Manage.jpg

There’s also the “Stats” tab where you can check the “success rate” of your bar(s).

11 Stats - The Hello Bar-1.jpg

A Site With A Bar

The process of adding the bar to your site should be pretty straightforward. If you are capable enough to build a website, you should know how to insert code after the “<body>” tag. WordPress users can use the “Editor” on the sidebar menu under the “Appearance” tab.

07a WP Editor.jpg

But novice WordPress bloggers might be a little intimidated by the thought of editing HTML code. Moreover, different themes have different ways of organizing their elements. You have to look for the specific item where the “<body>” tag resides, and changing the theme means re-editing the code.

An easier and friendlier method to do this is by using a plugin called “Insert Codes“. You can search and install the plugin right from your WordPress Plugins menu. After installation, open the “Insert Codes” settings and paste the Hello Bar code into the “Blog Footer” field.

09 Insert Codes - WP Plugins.jpg

Even though the name is “Blog Footer“, the code will be inserted before the closing “</body>” tag, just like the doctor’s order.

And this is how the bar looks in my WordPress blog.

09c Hello Bar Result.jpg

If you set your bar to be auto-hidden in the “Settings” menu, it will turn into a small arrow lid on one corner of the page.

10 Hiding the bar.jpg

There are many possibilities of using the bar to get your visitors’ attention. It could serve as a simple announcement, featured post, or even as a marketing tool.

What do you think about this tool? Would you use it on your website? Do you know any other alternatives? Share your thoughts using the comments below.

  1. Bangkok
    December 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    happy in Nice http://barbangkok.info Thank for Visits

  2. Todd
    December 24, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Can I pleeeeaaase have an invite? todd@spundoo.com :)

  3. Dario
    December 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Anyone have any invites left?

  4. Karyonweb
    December 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Some one please send me a invite for hello bar i really need it

  5. Chromewavesradio
    December 21, 2010 at 12:02 am

    also looking for an invite...chromewavesradio at gmail. thanks!

  6. Anonymous
    December 17, 2010 at 6:35 am

    4dDOTjasonATgmail
    please send invite and ill keep this thread running by sending out the invites i get to those who follow. P.S. ill let you know if I used your invite so if I get more than one its not wasted.
    Thank you. :)

  7. vangelsg
    December 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

    4dDOTjasonATgmail
    please send invite and ill keep this thread running by sending out the invites i get to those who follow. P.S. ill let you know if I used your invite so if I get more than one its not wasted.
    Thank you. :)

  8. Blasius Kawalkowski
    December 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    please invite me too!

  9. Rakesh Narang
    December 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    This is really a very good addon for any website, people must makeuseof it because I think it would increase blog or website's performance.

  10. Rakesh Narang
    December 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    This is really a very good addon for any website, people must makeuseof it because I think it would increase blog or website's performance.

  11. Bald Daddys
    December 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Does anyone have an invite to share? I just signed up with them but would love to get my hands on this to promote some holiday sales before the holidays are over. If someone does, please send it to balddaddys at gmail dot com.

  12. Mike
    December 14, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Saw the hello bar on Tim Ferris blog. I would love to add to my blog.

  13. Tessiewatson
    December 14, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Anyone have an invite that they could please share with me? I would love to use this feature on my website http://www.longhornfashions.com

    My email address is tessiewatson@gmail.com

    Thank you very much!

  14. thurana
    December 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Hi,

    Tina and me has used up all of our invites. Maybe you could try asking one of the other guys who got the invites from us. Or you could also try to sign up directly to the Hello Bar website. They usually give away invites regularly.

  15. Chirodc632001
    December 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Tina,

    Would you happen to have an invite I could have? chirodc632001 at gmail dot com.

    Thanks!

    Brady

  16. Halim Boumadani
    December 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Hi, Can you please send an invite? thanks!

    • Halim Boumadani
      December 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm

      my email is halim.boumadani at gmail dot com please DONATE a key lol

  17. Sourish
    December 12, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Hi Tina , I need one :)

    • Anonymous
      December 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

      If you can't get any invite, you could try registering directly to the site and wait for them to send you one. They usually give away invites every week.

  18. Nixgrafix Webdesign
    December 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Any1 got any left ?
    nic at nixgrafix dot com

    x

  19. Nixgrafix Webdesign
    December 11, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Any1 got any left ?
    nic at nixgrafix dot com

    x

  20. Anonymous
    December 11, 2010 at 3:57 am

    For those who are still looking for invites, you could try to register directly to Hello Bar. AFAIK, they give away invites regularly (weekly if I'm not mistaken).

  21. Joe Engel
    December 11, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Sorry, I forgot to mention my email address is joeseomrktng aatt gmail (dot) com

  22. Joe Engel
    December 11, 2010 at 12:23 am

    ANYBODY HAVE AN INVITE FOR ME PLEASE??? =) Thanks in advance!

  23. Sunny
    December 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Please send me an invitation email! I want to test and use hellobar! :D email - sunnystudio at asia dot com

  24. timmyjohnboy
    December 9, 2010 at 10:35 am

    If Tina's out of invites, I've got some I'm giving away at timmyjohnboy.com

  25. thurana
    December 9, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Hi,

    Both me and Tina don't have any invite left. Maybe you can try asking one of the people who got the invites above.

  26. Jun Baranggan
    December 9, 2010 at 4:53 am

    would appreciate an invite too Tina. jbaranggan at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      December 9, 2010 at 6:55 am

      Hi,

      Both me and Tina don't have any invite left. Maybe you can try asking one of the people who got the invites above.

  27. Jake
    December 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Can I have one please jake at matizmo.co.uk thanks!

  28. Jake
    December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Can I have one please jake at matizmo.co.uk thanks!

  29. Pubudu@TechHamlet
    December 8, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Can i also have an invite please? Hope im not too late :D

  30. Brentgetsfit
    December 6, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Hi,

    Any chance of an invite? brentgetsfit at beachbodycoach dot com

    Thanks :)

  31. Eddie Gear
    December 4, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Hi thurana,
    I finally managed to get the bar to work. I added https: in the link and it appears on my site now.
    Thanks for the reply.

  32. Eddie
    December 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Hi,
    The bar does not get displayed on my site when I add the embed code below the tag. Any help is much appreciated.

    • Anonymous
      December 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

      The problem is usually incomplete code. Maybe there's a missing character or two where you copy-paste the code. That's all I can think of for now.

    • Eddie Gear
      December 4, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Hi thurana,
      I finally managed to get the bar to work. I added https: in the link and it appears on my site now.
      Thanks for the reply.

  33. Eddie
    December 3, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Hi,
    The bar does not get displayed on my site when I add the embed code below the tag. Any help is much appreciated.

  34. Mani Viswanathan
    November 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Could you mail me an invite ?

    Email : mani0993[at]gmail(dot)com | Thanks :-)

  35. thurana
    November 30, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Hi TechGyo,

    Have you got your invite from Tina? If you haven't, I could send you one. You could email me jthurana at makeuseof dot com

  36. Michael Fill
    November 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Would like to give this a thorough test drive! mf at memfill dot com

    • Anonymous
      November 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      Hi, I've sent you an invite.

    • Brentgetsfit
      December 6, 2010 at 6:41 am

      Hi,

      Any chance of an invite? brentgetsfit at beachbodycoach dot com

      Thanks :)

    • Anonymous
      December 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

      I've sent you the invite.

    • BrentGetsFit
      December 6, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Got it, thanks! :)

  37. @TheMsj
    November 29, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Kindly send an invite to msj14031992@gmail.com - TheHotShot.Org

  38. Pankaj Gupta
    November 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Great Explanation and today I got approval from hellobar.. :)

  39. Paritosh
    November 28, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Looks to be attractive. Couldn't get an invite, will wait for them to release it officially.

  40. Matt
    November 28, 2010 at 7:57 am

    would love to get a code from someone. saw this on a favourite blog today and thought wow, so clean and simple! matt @ irealtyvictoria.com

  41. Matt
    November 28, 2010 at 6:57 am

    would love to get a code from someone. saw this on a favourite blog today and thought wow, so clean and simple! matt @ irealtyvictoria.com

  42. Kashish Kaushik
    November 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Can I Have One ? kashish.kaushik [at] live.com

  43. monchee
    November 27, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Dear kind soul, may I also have an invite? its -> me at monchee.me

    • Tina
      November 27, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Done!

      No more invites left!!!

    • monchee
      November 27, 2010 at 1:23 am

      Thank you very much!

    • Tina
      November 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      I'm now officially out of invites. Can someone else take over and watch this thread please? Maybe one of the lucky recipients?

    • Kashish Kaushik
      November 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

      Can I Have One ? kashish.kaushik [at] live.com

  44. Tina
    November 27, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Done!

    No more invites left!!!

  45. monchee
    November 27, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Dear kind soul, may I also have an invite? its -> me at monchee.me

  46. Tina
    November 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Done.

    Unfortunately, I have no more invites left!

    Please sign up with Hello Bar and wait for them to share an invite with you. This usually happens once a week. If you are desperate for an invite, you can also leave a request in the comments here.

  47. Jwsmith42
    November 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Hello, could someone email me an invite? jwsmith42 at students dot tntech dot edu
    Please and thank you!

    • Tina
      November 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      Done.

      Unfortunately, I have no more invites left!

      Please sign up with Hello Bar and wait for them to share an invite with you. This usually happens once a week. If you are desperate for an invite, you can also leave a request in the comments here.

    • Mani Viswanathan
      November 30, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Could you mail me an invite ?

      Email : mani0993[at]gmail(dot)com | Thanks :-)

    • Anonymous
      December 1, 2010 at 12:34 am

      Hi, I think Tina is out of invites. But I've sent you one.

    • Mani Viswanathan
      December 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

      Thanks thurana. I have signed up with that invite.

    • Eightptpixel
      December 2, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      would love one Tina: eightptpixel at rogers dot com

    • Rob Woodbridge
      December 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      Any chance you have any invites left for the Hello Bar? Thanks Tina either way :) rwoodbridge at gmail dot com

    • Chirodc632001
      December 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Tina,

      Would you happen to have an invite I could have? chirodc632001 at gmail dot com.

      Thanks!

      Brady

    • Anonymous
      December 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      Hi,

      Tina and me has used up all of our invites. Maybe you could try asking one of the other guys who got the invites from us. Or you could also try to sign up directly to the Hello Bar website. They usually give away invites regularly.

  48. Jwsmith42
    November 26, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Hello, could someone email me an invite? jwsmith42 at students dot tntech dot edu
    Please and thank you!

  49. Tina
    November 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Hey Martin,

    sorry for the delay, somehow I missed the notification for your comment.
    Your invite was sent. Enjoy!

  50. Tina
    November 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Namit,

    please eMail me for an invite. - eMail address removed since I have no invites left -

  51. Namit Gupta
    November 24, 2010 at 10:37 am

    This will be really useful. I want to put it on my blog. Please provide me with an invite if anyone has. Thanks :-)

    • Tina
      November 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      Namit,

      please eMail me for an invite. - eMail address removed since I have no invites left -

    • TechGyo
      November 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

      Hey Tina, mee too.. I've mailed you :)

    • Anonymous
      November 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm

      Hi TechGyo,

      Have you got your invite from Tina? If you haven't, I could send you one. You could email me jthurana at makeuseof dot com

    • TechGyo
      November 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for the quick response! I got it activated without beta key. I'm wondering how :) Anyways thanks for the help! you guys rock

  52. Croyachting
    November 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Tina, can you send the invite to me as well on email guletcroatia (at) gmail.com
    or email I've used for login to post this comment
    Thanks
    Martin

  53. mrarlen
    November 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I need a key, please share one... thanks.

    • Tina
      November 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm

      Just found out that I can only send invites via eMail. Since you posted your comment using Twitter, I can't see or find your eMail address. You can either post your eMail address here (not recommended) or eMail me [edit] - no invites left - [/edit] and I'll send you an invite.

    • Croyachting
      November 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Tina, can you send the invite to me as well on email guletcroatia (at) gmail.com
      or email I've used for login to post this comment
      Thanks
      Martin

    • Tina
      November 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      Hey Martin,

      sorry for the delay, somehow I missed the notification for your comment.
      Your invite was sent. Enjoy!

  54. Tina
    November 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Great tool! I used something similar based on javascript on my old site, but it wasn't as easy to edit and apply.

    If anyone finds that the MakeUseOf invites are gone, post here and I'll share my code.

  55. Tina
    November 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Great tool! I used something similar based on javascript on my old site, but it wasn't as easy to edit and apply.

    If anyone finds that the MakeUseOf invites are gone, post here and I'll share my code.

  56. rdezso
    November 19, 2010 at 5:36 am

    I am definitely going to be using this on my site...thanks guys

  57. Anonymous
    November 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Just a quick correction: the developer has updated the beta code into "makeuseof" (sans quote). So please use the correct one. Thx.

  58. StayAclassyamerica
    November 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm
  59. StayAclassyamerica
    November 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I just use this, http://meerkat.jarodtaylor.com...

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