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How to Create a Welcome Gate in WordPress

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Are you looking to add a welcome gate to your WordPress site?

Using a welcome gate is one of the highest-converting email list-building techniques in the market. It instantly captures the user’s attention and helps you boost conversions.

In this article, we will show you how to create a welcome gate in WordPress without affecting SEO.

How to create a welcome gate in WordPress

What Is a Welcome Gate?

A welcome gate is a full-screen call to action that appears before a user can see any content. Often, WordPress website owners use it to quickly grab users’ attention and display a targeted offer to build their email lists.

Traditional welcome gate techniques simply redirected users to a new page. Since users do not see anything else on the screen except for a call to action or an advertisement, this ensures maximum conversion. Sounds great, right? However, here is the catch.

Redirecting users to a page they didn’t request is bad for your site’s WordPress SEO and user experience. Google penalizes websites for redirecting users instead of showing them the requested content.

However, modern WordPress welcome gate plugins allow you to maximize conversions without affecting your site’s SEO. Let’s look at how you can create them for your website.

Adding a Welcome Gate to WordPress Website

The best way to add a welcome gate in WordPress is by using OptinMonster. It is the best WordPress popup plugin and lead generation solution on the market.

It allows you to create high-converting optin forms such as welcome gates, exit-intent lightbox popups, scroll-triggered slide-ins, floating bars, and more. You can also do A/B testing, page-level targeting, and gathering conversion analytics.

You can read our complete OptinMonster review for more details.

OptinMonster is a paid service, but WPBeginner users get an exclusive 10% off with the OptinMonster Coupon code: WPB10. You’ll need at least the Basic plan to use the Fullscreen Overlays to create a welcome gate.

First, you’ll need to visit the OptinMonster website and sign up for an account. Simply click the ‘Get OptinMonster Now’ button to get started.


Once you have purchased OptinMonster, you need to install and activate the OptinMonster WordPress plugin. For more details, please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The plugin lets you connect your OptinMonster account with your WordPress website.

Upon activation, you’ll see the welcome screen. Go ahead and click the ‘Connect Your Existing Account’ button.

Connect your existing account

Next, a new window will open, asking you to connect your WordPress website.

You can click the ‘Connect To WordPress’ button to continue.

Connect OptinMonster to WordPress

After that, you’ll need to go to OptinMonster » Campaigns from your WordPress dashboard.

Here, you can click the ‘Create Your First Campaign’ button.

Create first OptinMonster campaign

Next, OptinMonster will ask you to select a campaign type and template.

Since you want to create a welcome gate, go ahead and select the ‘Fullscreen’ campaign type. From here, you can choose a template for your campaign.

Choose fullscreen campaign type and template

After selecting a template, a new window will open.

Go ahead and enter a name for your campaign and click the ‘Start Building’ button.

Click start building

This will launch the drag-and-drop campaign builder.

You can add blocks from the menu on your left by simply dragging and dropping them onto the template. For example, there are blocks for adding images, buttons, videos, and more.

Edit your welcome gate campaign

Besides that, you can click on the existing blocks on the template to customize them further.

For instance, you can click the template’s call to action (CTA) button to change its text, alignment, color, and more.

Edit existing blocks

When you are done, click the ‘Save’ button at the top.

Displaying Your Welcome Gate Campaign in WordPress

Timing is crucial when you want to display a full-screen welcome gate. Unlike other solutions available on the market, OptinMonster provides a wide range of behavioral controls that help you boost your conversion rates.

First, you’ll need to switch to the ‘Display Rules’ tab at the top.

Next, you can select different types of rules to show your campaign. For instance, you can display the welcome gate when a user spends a certain amount of time on the page.

Time on page display rules

Similarly, you can also show the campaign as an exit gate.

By selecting the Exit Intent display rule, the popup will open just as the visitor is about to leave your website. This helps convert abandoning visitors into leads and customers.

Choose the exit intent option as the display rule

Next, you can choose where your welcome gate will appear.

For this tutorial, we will use the default setting that shows the campaign on all the pages when a user spends at least 5 seconds on the website.

OptinMonster display rule

After that, you can go to the ‘Publish’ tab at the top.

Then, change the Publish Status from Draft to Publish.

Publish the welcome gate campaign

Once that’s done, you can click the ‘Save’ button at the top and exit the campaign builder.

After that, you will see the WordPress Output Settings for your campaign. Go ahead and click the Status dropdown menu and change it from Pending to Published.

Change the output settings to publish

Don’t forget to click the ‘Save Changes’ button when you are done.

Your full-screen welcome gate is now live on your website. You can check it by opening a new window under incognito mode and visiting your website.

Welcome gate popup preview

Helpful Resources for Creating WordPress Popups

Here are some additional helpful guides on creating different types of popup campaigns on your site:

We hope this article helped you create a welcome gate in WordPress. You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to start an online store and our expert picks of the best WooCommerce plugins.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

13 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Paul Nicholson says

    Nice article. A welcome gate on our Bar website offering 20% off next meal on signup did excellent.
    I would say that drove almost 30 signups a day and very few would claim the discount.

  3. Abir Kr. Paul says

    Thanx WPBEGINNER… It was quite Helpful.Can you people discuss about how to create a complete online shopping system including simple and variable product.

  4. Jayne says

    Totally agree with last few comments. I will leave immediately if I’m asked to sign up before I’ve even seen what the site has to offer. How do I know if I’m going to like it before I’ve even seen it.

    I also particularly hate being asked to signup to a newsletter when I’m already a subscriber. Surely there’s a way around that???

  5. Heather Harman says

    Interesting article. But are welcome gates any different from Landing pages? As a newbie to email marketing, It ‘s probably also worth mentioning that your don’t receive anything other than optin forms on the standard package.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      No they’re different.

      Welcome gates as demonstrated in the article above are call-to-action that’s displayed as an overlay vs landing pages are separate pages.

      A welcome gate is something that overlays on top of a landing page


  6. Jer Trihouse says

    Good article. Can you go a bit deeper regarding Google’s policies and discuss some strategies for using OptinMonster on specific Pages and Posts when employing WordPress?

    If Google ranks your site on Page 1 of organic and PPC search results, how do I reduce risk of experiencing penalties or banning?

    • Editorial Staff says

      Hi Jer,

      OptinMonster allows you to control who sees the fullscreen and when. If a user is coming from Google on a specific page (PPC), then you can turn off Fullscreen.

      For organic results, it doesn’t impact them.


  7. Bob Barr says

    I absolutely abhor having a welcome gate fire upon entering a site. Probably the quickest way to get me to leave a site and never return (besides auto-playing music) is to block me from seeing the site’s content. Asking for my email address before I’ve even gotten my first glimpse of the site is particularly irritating to me.

    • LeAllyson Meyer says

      I agree with Bob. When I see a welcome screen that requires me to leave my email address when I have not even determined if the site is of interest to me, it irritates me. It is presumptuous for me to think people will want to receive my email newsletters when they haven’t even read anything on my site yet.

    • Bruce Maples says

      I agree. I’m seeing these on more and more sites, and they are becoming more and more annoying. I would love to get more newsletter signups and site signups — who wouldn’t? — but the ongoing in-your-face annoyance is enough to make me abandon the site.

      Even worse? The sites that throw up the popup asking me to subscribe to their newsletter, when I already subscribed on my last visit. I understand that it’s probably very difficult to know that — but it is still annoying.

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