The plugin works differently to the Quick Notice Bar plugin that I reviewed the other day. The plugin uses custom post types so instead of a simple settings area, you can add new notices via a notice section i.e. it works in the same way as adding posts or pages.
There are 5 settings you can configure for each notice. The notice can be switched on and off and you can only show it to logged in users if you wish. There are 10 colour schemes to choose from: blue, light blue, red, light red, orange, light orange, green, light green, light and dark.
When the notice gets closed you can choose whether the notice fades or slides away. Alternatively, you can use no effect at all. There are 24 option icons that can be used next to notices too, ranging from stars and arrows to PDF and Facebook images.
As you add notices via the post editor, everything that normally be added to a post or page can be added to your notice. This includes quotes, links, images and lists.
Unfortunately the default link colour is grey. This makes it difficult to see links in most of the colour schemes. The ability to change the colour of links in a future version would be welcomed though in the mean time I think all that needs addresses is the default link colour for each colour scheme. This is important as the majority of users will add links to their notices so that visitors are redirected to announcements etc.
Simple Notices Pro works a little differently to other notice plugins. Most notice bars have an icon that allows the user to hide the notice though the notice can be shown again by clicking on the icon again. This is useful for displaying retweet and Facebook like buttons and links to your latest blog posts. I don’t believe Simple Notices Pro was created for this. It was created for important messages for visitors or members that can be hidden once the user has read the message.
Whereas most notices push down the page content, Simple Notices Pro displays a notice over the content of the page. This usually obscures the site logo, advertising and top navigation links, and as a consequence, forces the visitor to view the notice. Once the visitor or logged in user closes a notice, it is never shown again. This is good for those of you who want to ensure that you don’t annoy your readers. I actually found this slightly frustrating when testing the plugin as I closed the notice to see the closing effect and I couldn’t see the notice again. I tried some simple things like updating the notice and changing it from published to draft to published again but the notice didn’t show. In the end I had to view the notice through Internet Explorer instead of Chrome. This is perhaps testament to how well the plugin ensures that users don’t see a notice again once they have closed it.
It’s difficult to compare Simple Notices Pro to other notice plugins as it doesn’t work in the same way as other alternatives. It works great as a way of reminding visitors of something specific such as scheduled downtime or a major announcement; rather than a tool to push traffic to posts and social media sites.
Pippin has been very responsive to member suggestions too so I suspect the plugin will see a lot of great new features added over the next few weeks such as only displaying the notice on certain categories, only displaying to unlogged in users and the ability to remove the close button so the notice remains visible at all times.
The plugin is free to members of Pippins Plugins. You can download the plugin by itself for only $6 but considering it only costs $6 to become a member for a month I recommend signing up as a member instead so that you get access to the other great plugins Pippin has released such as Restrict Content Pro. More information about the plugin can be found at the link below.
Link: Simple Notices Pro