Engage Your Visitors Using Splash Pages in Drupal 7Engage Your Visitors Using Splash Pages in Drupal 7
Chances are when you launch your site you are not feature complete. Often times it is best to get a site launched as quickly as possible and then work on adding additional features down the line. However, this creates a problem: how do you engage your visitors and let them know about new features?
This day in age you can't guarantee that users will land on a specific page. Content-rich sites might have a hard time targeting their calls to action to help people learn about new features, especially if they already have their CTA's carefully chosen on the site. One way of dealing with this is by using splash notifications. This method might have some contention in the web community because you have to slightly disrupt the initial user experience in order to deliver your information, but if your message is paramount to your future user's experience, then I would say it is an acceptable tradeoff.
Today we're going to be setting up a basic splash page using a lightbox version of the Splashify module.
You can see above that I mocked up a simple subscription message. My call to action is going to take users to a sign up form, but remember that your splash page will function like any other normal Drupal page, so you can embed forms, fields, or any other type of information that you need to. This means you have some powerful options when it comes to your call to action, because simple tasks can actually be done directly on the splash itself. In my case we are going to stick with a basic embedded image that links to a separate form page. Head over to /node/add and create your content. You should plan ahead to make sure your message width is slightly narrower than your actual site (e.g 600px for a site whose width is 960px, or 70% width for a fully responsive site). That way when the lightbox appears it is clear that your regular site content is behind. A simple click on the lightbox close icon or the background will close the window.
Go and grab Splashify, Libraries, and Colorbox modules and set them up as per the readme instructions for each. Install your modules on your Drupal installations and then and pop over to /admin/config/system/splashify. Note that while I'm not going to make any changes to my Colorbox settings, you should feel free to tweak those as you need to (/admin/config/media/colorbox).