Use WordPress to Welcome Visitors

lee-erica-matthew.jpg, where are our manners. How rude of us to just jump right in and start posting and not give you some background about us. I think we were both just so excited about Epiblogger opening its doors that we just forgot our manners. Let me try this again.

Hello, my name is Lee Robertson and welcome to Epiblogger. The photo is a picture of me and my two year old daughter Erica and four year old son Matthew out having some fun in the snow on Boxing Day. I am 37 and live in a great community called Rosthern in Saskatchewan Canada. I have been involved in some kind of web project since 1994 when I created my first website for a non-profit. I have worked for non-profits, web design companies, large corporations and most recently I have been running my own web development and computer consulting business. I have been blogging for roughly two years with my Video Rambler family friendly YouTube blog and my webmaster blog that I started roughly a year ago.

These two welcome posts have me thinking about how to welcome people to your blog? The thing about a welcome is it makes people feel important that you took extra time to greet them. If you have ever bought anything at eBay or Amazon you have noticed how they greet you by your name or username. One of the great things about WordPress is how extend able it is. By adding in a few simple plugins you can have WordPress create special welcome messages to people depending on how many times they have visited your website or where they are coming from.

  • What Would Seth Godin Do? - This plugin adds a special welcome to new visitors to your blog and encourages them to subscribe to your RSS feed. You can customize the message to say anything you want though, and how many times a user is considered new. It uses cookies to determine if a user is new or not.
  • Hello Stumbler - I like to treat Stumblers special. Perhaps I am biased because it is my favorite social media that I use. Hello Stumbler will place a nice welcome message at the top of the post to welcome Stumblers to the page.
  • Digg This - I am not a big Digg user, but if you are interested in having your blog highlighted on Digg then you should have this plugin. If I recall it can be setup to only show once a post has been Dugg and if people are coming from Digg. It could probably also be modified to show a custom welcome to Diggers.
  • Reddit Button - Similar to the Digg This plugin. Offers Reddit users a button to click and can be setup to only display if people are coming from Reddit.
  • Berri Personalized Care - I have not actually used this plugin, but it looks like you can customize up to four message templates for different referrers. It is based on the rthanks plugin by Alamsyah Rasyid.
  • From RSS? - I have not personally used this plugin and just recently came across it, but it looks promising. You can then welcome your regular RSS subscribers special.
  • I wanted to add another plugin that offers readers that come from search engines a related post to the one they landed on, but I can’t find where I stored the link. If anyone knows what the plugin is called leave a comment and link.

Welcome Entrecard users with a custom message. perhaps you could tell people to piss off, although that would not be very welcoming would it.

<?php $entrecardurls = Array('',''); $urlcamefrom = array_change_key_case(parse_url($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'])); if (in_array($entrecardurls['host'],$urlcamefrom)) { echo 'Hello Entrecard User! Welcome to Epiblogger'; } ?> Place Entrecard Javascript here

There is one small pitfall to generating custom content to welcome people. It can create more load on your server. If you use WP-Cache 2.0 or WP Super Cache to help relieve the stress of a large Stumble or Digg then what can happen is the page with the special content can be cached and will show to all readers instead of just those readers coming from StumbleUpon or Digg.

What are some other ways that you can create a special welcome message for readers on your blog? Do you have any examples of blogs that offer you unique welcome that you like?

Update: Don’t you hate when you just write a post and then the next day you find more information that you really should have in the post. Today in my travels I came across two other plugins that you should look at if you want to welcome visitors.

  • Welcome Visitor! Reloaded - Appears similar to the Welcome Plugin but appears to use cookies to distinguish from new or previous visitors.
  • The Welcome Plugin - Looks like a very robust plugin to welcome visitors including the ability to welcome them by name and display their MyBlogLog avatar.

I will have to take a closer look at both plugins and try them out.

Categories: wordpress