Review: Using Hello Bar Solo On a WordPress Blog

Review: Using Hello Bar Solo On a WordPress Blog

I recently bought and installed the Hello Bar Solo┬ánotification bar on Omega Web and I must say that I love the plugin! I was using a free WordPress plugin called Viper Bar, but it wasn’t displaying properly and it lacked customization that I so desperately need. After getting so frustrated that I simply gave up, I decided to buy Hello Bar Solo and here’s what I think.

Pros:

The Solo Version Is Fully Unlimited

Hello Bar SoloOne of the major benefits of buying the JavaScript file vs the code that you easily copy and paste is the fact that it’s truly unlimited. I can install this Hello Bar on an unlimited amount of sites and receive an unlimited amount of clicks for a one-time payment of $29. The Hello Bar Pro version starts at $4.95 per month but only limits you to 100 clicks per month. If you receive a lot of traffic and could potentially have a lot of people clicking a link on your Hello Bar, you will have to pay more ($12.95 for 500 clicks, $29.95 for 2,500, and so on). Being able to make a one-time payment of $29 will definitely pay off in the long run.

I Can Make Any Customizations I Want

Because they give you the .js library, you can customize Hello Bar to do whatever you want. You can link three bars together to display a new message every 30 seconds, you can change the color of the bar depending on the user, you can display your Twitter and Facebook follow/like buttons… Whatever you can dream up and create with JavaScript, you can include in your Hello Bar.

Cons:

The Hello Bar Solo Version Requires Coding Knowledge

I know enough JavaScript to get by, but if code scares you, this version is not for you. Everything your Hello Bar does has to be hard-coded into your WordPress theme files. In other words, this notification bar doesn’t have a settings panel like most WordPress plugins where you can enter whatever you want it to say in a friendly box. Changing or creating a new Hello Bar requires going into Appearance > Editor and editing/adding code in your footer.php file. Once you have this set up for the first time, it’s not hard to change, but if you mess up when you’re installing it, you could potentially break your entire theme. I suggest that you read the official WordPress installation guide before making the decision to purchase.

Verdict

Overall, I really like the plugin. It allows me to share links, important posts, social media like/follow buttons, MailChimp subscription boxes, etc. It’s annoying that I have to hard-code the entire thing into my theme, but you’re only purchasing a .js and a .css file. This plugin is not an official WordPress plugin and has to be installed by uploading the .css and .js files to your server via FTP and calling them in your theme, so basic coding knowledge is necessary.

Honestly, the only reason I bought the Hello Bar Solo option was to save money. At almost $5 a month, the Hello Bar Pro would become more expensive than the Solo version after just seven months (assuming that you are getting less than 100 clicks every month). If you’re just looking to try it out or have no coding experience whatsoever, I would suggest getting the Pro version instead of Solo.