Solution for a Snowy Situation

Earlier this week, several of my clients needed to make urgent updates on their WordPress powered websites to display a message about event scheduling changes due to the suspected substantial snow situation.

I created a quick solution to use for this snow event and for any similar weather disturbances that may occur later this winter.

Here is the summary of the solution I implemented:

In the active child theme’s header widget area I added a note widget. I created a link connecting the text in the note widget to a new page I created. (I picked a very creative title for the new page: weather alert.) The website manager can easily edit the new page anytime adding as much or as little text as needed to communicate the scheduling changes. The note widget text display is just a few words so it will not interfere with other areas in the header.

I also added a yellow background (using a CSS class) to the note widget to help draw attention to it.

Here is a demo so you can see how it’s done

Assemble the following ingredients for this WordPress project

  • Your website is a self-hosted WordPress powered website(not on WordPress.com)
  • The free NOTE plugin is installed AND activated in your WordPress dashboard
  • You are using a WordPress theme that has a header widget already available(I am currently using a theme called Symphony Pro)
  • A new PAGE has been created and published (no need to add to any navigation menu)

Optional: add a new class to your child theme’s style.css file to create a colored background.
Sample:
/*add yellow background to make the bad weather notice stand out*/
.highlight{
background-color:#F3F315;
}

If your theme does not have a header widget already available, you can take the steps to create a new widget area (note 1) or use one of the other ideas below:

  • If you have set your front page is to display all of your posts, you can create a post and make it a sticky post for the weather alert. Change the text of this post as needed over the bad weather months. A sticky post will stay at the top the list of your posts until you un-check the option.
  • If your theme layout has a sidebar available which displays on your front page, you can add a text widget with as much text as you need to communicate the schedule change. After the bad weather event has been resolved, move the widget to the inactive widget area until the next time you need it. When you need it again simply change the text and move it back into the active sidebar area.
  • If your front page is set up as a regular WordPress page you can add your organization’s scheduling changes in any available space in the main content area on the page. If you add new text, it might change the display of some of your other home page content. You can remove the text when the scheduling is back to normal.
  • If you have Conductor plugin (note 2) installed on your website AND your home page is controlled by the plugin, you can add a new note widget, regular text widget, or conductor widget to display at the top of the main content area. While this action will move all of the other content of your page down a bit, everything will return to normal when you remove the widget.

Notes:

(1) Creating a new widget area can be accomplished with some changes to your child theme template files and access to your website files via FTP. Remember to make a backup of your website before starting any changes.
(2) This is an affiliate link

2 thoughts on “Solution for a Snowy Situation

  1. Mike, thanks for checking it out. I hope you can find a use for Note plugin —even without additional snowfall this winter.

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