Hello Bar Installation Nightmare and WordPress Plugin Heartache

Over the past few weeks I fell victim to SoS (shiny object syndrome). It was over the navigation bars found at the top of some websites (example 1 and example 2) that attract users with a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.

In other words, it provides a really simple way to build an email list. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

I found that most sites use Hello Bar to work their magic. I quickly signed up thinking this was going to be so EASY…

Unfortunately, signing up at the Hello Bar website and creating a Hello Bar worthy of inclusion on my site was the extent of my success. Why you ask?

The painful reminder that no two WordPress themes are alike started to set in. I’m sure that Hello Bar works for 95%+ of WordPress sites out there, but the fact of the matter is it doesn’t work on mine. To the tune of creating a 200+ pixel white space area where my header should be…

Not ideal. Not my plan. Not any fun.

The thing about Hello Bar is because it’s supposed to be easy there’s not much documentation on the site. Heck, you can’t even find anything about pricing on their site which leads you to believe it’s free (it’s not) so I found myself begging for their support staff.

Buffer's blog using Hello Bar

The Hello Bar staff turned around my inquiry quickly, first to tell me to activate the theme so they could inspect the results and second to crush my nav bar email collection machine dream.

“This is an issue with conflict of styles. The styling on your page is overriding the Hello Bar styling and causing the large white space. Sorry but there isn’t anything we can do on our end to correct this issue.”


I quickly went into Chrome’s web developer tools and the WordPress backend to see if I could solve my own problem. After all, I’ve done this dozens of times throughout all sorts of WordPress themes.

Nothing I tried produced results and my site still had a gross amount of white space at the top. I deactivated and activated other plugins one at a time to see if anything fixed the issue. Nope.

My site with Hello Bar installed.

Well…that doesn’t look right?!?!

Don’t get me wrong there are other alternatives available that offer a similar functionality to Hello Bar and I installed a couple of them (Attention Grabber & ManyContacts Bar) and found they do work on my site. Go figure right? Alas, I haven’t kept any of them activated because none are as aesthetically pleasing as Hello Bar. :/

When I know what I like then I don’t settle for 2nd place.

WordPress themes are funny little things. I recently had a $40 slideshow gallery plug-in (SharePrints) not work for one of my client’s themes because the theme hadn’t been updated by the developer in over 18 months. That’s a lifetime in the WordPress universe. I was able to get a refund, but the point is you can never be 100% certain a plugin will work with your site.

I do know I’m happy enough with my current theme to not want to change simply for the use of one plugin. It’s not worth that in my opinion. With any luck another developer will come along and create an even better version of Hello Bar. Until that day comes though, I’m SoL.

By | 2016-10-17T14:41:19+00:00 July 17th, 2014|Web Related, Wordpress Wednesday|3 Comments
  • chrisrcooper

    You could go the DIY route if you’re still dealing with this, Brant. Here’s a guide that’s pretty straightforward and combines the MailChimp plugin: http://www.daymuse.com/blogs/guide-hello-bar-alternative-wordpress-mailchimp

    • Thanks Chris. I’ll check that out in more detail later tonight. I’m using the SumoMe version right now, but things could always be improved right? Take care!

  • Taryn Ikenouye

    Hi! I was having a similar issue and it was solved by adding the following to your CSS:

    #hellobar_container {
    display: block !important;

    Hopefully this helps someone else, too.