Dear website owners…

OK, I get it. You need to run adverts to fund your site. And you don’t like people running ad blockers.

But taking over the whole page with a demand that a casual visitor whitelists your site right now before they can see the single page they’ve been referred to by a link is, frankly, obnoxious. It’s the level of intrusive annoyance that made so many of us start using ad blockers in the first place. When we had to wait for what seemed like ages for a page to render because it was struggling to load the uninteresting advert that somebody decided was best placed in the middle of an article.

You see, if I find a site useful, and it’s one I come back to even occasionally, and its advertising isn’t so badly placed as to make the site unusable, I’ll happily add it to my whitelist.

But if you prevent me from seeing so much as one article without covering the page with an overlay and trying to teach me how to whitelist you, I’ll go elsewhere.

Just. Stop. It. A prominent notice asking regular visitors to consider adding you to their whitelist is much more likely to encourage the behaviour you’re after and much less likely to make people leave and never come back.

And the same goes for annoying boxes asking me to sign up for updates that pop up while I’m reading. They make me want to not bother finishing what I’m reading and never visit your site again.

I’m not mentioning any names, because this nonsense is way too prevalent – but I’ve seen an identical pop up from a few regional/local news sites.  These are sites I’ll only visit when a link takes me to a specific article…

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