How To Decide Which PWA Elements Should Stick

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How To Decide Which PWA Elements Should Stick

How To Decide Which PWA Elements Should Stick

Suzanne Scacca


As the number of website visitors and shoppers grows on mobile, it’s important to consider how small additions to your design will encourage them to do more than just research and browse. One of the elements I think mobile designers — for PWAs and mobile websites — need to do more with is the sticky bar.

What exactly do I mean by “more”? Well, I mean using the fixed navigation bar at the top or bottom of a mobile site for more than just navigation or branding.

Today, I’m going to show you some creative uses for sticky elements in mobile design, so you can help more of your visitors to take action.

Sticky Element Inspiration For Mobile Design

Think about the main challenge we face when it comes to mobile. While users are more than willing to take their first steps on a website or PWA from their mobile devices, conversion often happens on desktop (if they remember to do it at all).

When used properly, fixed elements can encourage more mobile visitors to take action right where they are. And this works for all kinds of websites.

1. Make the Top Sticky Bar Useful

The sticky bar at the top of your mobile site shouldn’t just be there for branding.

That said, I get that it can be tricky using that space when the logo may end up comprising a good chunk of that space. But if you design it thin enough, you can stack another banner beside it. Just make sure it’s useful.

The Lancome PWA is an interesting example because it simultaneously does this well and poorly:

Lancome sticky bars

Lancome has three sticky bars at the top of its PWA. (Source: Lancome) (Large preview)

There are three sticky bars at the top of the PWA:

A banner promoting a special offer,
A standard navigation bar,
A secondary navigation bar with shop categories.

The two navigation bars are great. Together, they don’t take up too much space and they make it much easier for users to find what they’re looking for and to complete their purchases. However, that promotional banner is not very well executed.

For starters, it’s too big and demands too much attention. Secondly, there’s no way to dismiss the message. It just stays there, stuck to the top of the PWA, no matter where the visitor goes.

If you’re going to use a sticky bar to promote an offer — no matter its size — give your users the option to move it out of the way if it’s irrelevant or if they’ve already collected the pertinent details from it. is another e-commerce web app that takes advantage of the top sticky bar. This one, however, doesn’t waste the space with distracting elements. sticky navigation and search uses a standard navigation bar and sticky search bar on its PWA. (Source: (Large preview)

On the home page, attaches a sticky and voice-enabled search bar to the top of the page. This is great as it caters to a number of visitor types:

Visitors that prefer to use the standard navigation from the menu.
Visitors that prefer to type a quick search to the exact item they need.
Visitors that want to use their voice to search for something.

It checks off all the boxes.

In addition to providing a great search experience for its store, also customizes this sticky element as visitors go deeper into the site: sticky Sort and Filter provides shoppers with a sticky Sort and Filter bar. (Source: (Large preview)

As shoppers peruse product pages, the sticky search bar becomes a Sort and Filter bar that follows them down the page. For big online stores, this is a useful tool so mobile users don’t have to scroll all the way to the top to adjust their search results.

The top sticky bar isn’t just useful for e-commerce stores as you’ll see in the rest of the examples in this article. However, when it comes to mobile, there’s a greater opportunity for e-commerce sites to pack extra value into this space, so take advantage of it.

2. Add a Bottom Navigation Bar with Quick-Tap Actions

Okay, so we’ve established what makes for a good sticky top bar. But what about a bottom bar? Is it even necessary?

One of the benefits of designing a PWA instead of a mobile site is that we can give it the top and bottom wrapper. But it’s not always needed. I’d say as a general rule of thumb to include a bottom bar when there are commonly used actions you want users to have easy access to.

Let’s start with an example that’s a mix of the good and the eh: Twitter.

Twitter sticky bottom navigation bar

Twitter places its sticky navigation bar on the bottom of the PWA. (Source: Twitter) (Large preview)

Twitter has chosen a different placement for its navigation bar. While the sticky bar at the top provides a place to access user settings, the bottom is for:

Visiting one’s news feed;
Searching for posts, people, hashtags, etc.;
Checking on notifications and direct messages.

For a social media app, this design makes a lot of sense. It’s not as though users are going to spend much time updating their settings, so why not put it out of the thumb zone and keep the regularly used elements within reach?

The issue I take with Twitter’s sticky elements is the click-to-tweet button (the big blue button in the bottom-left). While it’s not high enough to cover content being read at the top of the page, it does cover part of it down below.

It’s awfully reminiscent of those floating social icons that used to cover content on mobile. You don’t really see that anymore and I think it was for that exact reason.

If you’re thinking about adding a free-standing sticky element of your own to your site, make sure it doesn’t cover any content. Twitter may be able to get away with it, but your brand might not.

As for other examples of bottom bars, let’s turn our attention to the Weather Channel PWA:

Weather Channel PWA sticky bars

The Weather Channel PWA uses both a sticky top and bottom bar. (Source: Weather Channel) (Large preview)

What’s nice about the top bar, in particular, is that it prioritizes the user experience instead of its own branding. Once a visitor enters their location, the rest of the site’s content is personalized, which is great.

As for the bottom navigation, Weather Channel has done a really nice job with this. Similar to how Twitter places commonly used buttons in its bottom bar, the same idea is present here. After all, it’s not as though Weather Channel visitors are coming to the site to read about Dover Federal Credit Union. They want to get precise predictions for upcoming weather.

Now, the two examples above show you how to use the bottom navigation bar as a permanent fixture on a mobile site. But you can also use it as a custom feature on your internal pages as job search site The Muse does:

The Muse bottom sticky bar

The Muse uses a sticky bar to shortcut various actions visitors might want to take. (Source: The Muse) (Large preview)

This bottom sticky bar appears only on job listings pages. Notice how it doesn’t just say “Apply”.

I’m willing to bet The Muse designer spent time studying its user journey and how frequently job seekers actually apply for a position the first time they see it. By including “Email Myself” and “Save” buttons in this action bar, it addresses the fact that job seekers might need time to mull the decision over or to prepare the application before filling it out.

So, while you can certainly use a sticky bottom bar as a type of secondary navigation for commonly-clicked pages, I’d also suggest looking at it the way The Muse has: by designing a sticky bar that’s tailor-made for your own user’s journey.

3. Simplify Order Customization with Sticky Elements

Remember the days when you’d have to call up your local restaurant to place an order for delivery or when, gulp, you had to actually visit a store to buy something? Online ordering is an amazing thing — but it could be even better if we set up our mobile sites and PWAs the right way for it.

Again, I want to start with an example that kinda gets it right.

This is the PWA for MINI USA:

MINI USA PWA car customization

Users customize their Mini Cooper on a page with an oversized sticky element. (Source: MINI USA) (Large preview)

This is what users go through when they want to customize their car before purchasing. Looking at it from this screenshot, it looks nice. You can see the car in its customized state along with the updated price.

However, that entire section — down to the “Review” and “Save” buttons — is fixed. That means that all customization takes place on about a third to a quarter of the screen down below. It’s not an easy customization experience, to say the least.

While the customization screen needs some work, it’s the final Review screen that is done nicely:

MINI USA sticky action bar

The MINI USA Review page adds a sticky action bar to the bottom. (Source: MINI USA) (Large preview)

Here the top bar has gone back to a normal size while a new action bar has been added to the bottom. This is similar to what The Muse does to streamline the next steps with job applicants. In this case, MINI gives potential customers the ability to choose one of a number of options, even if they don’t lead to an immediate sale.

There are other types of PWAs and mobile sites that can and should simplify the online ordering process. Like MINI, Uber Eats uses custom sticky elements to help users put together their orders.

Uber Eats sticky menu

Uber Eats includes a top menu navigation bar in its PWA. (Source: Uber Eats) (Large preview)

When a user has selected a restaurant to order from, a sticky menu bar appears at the top of the page. This is especially useful for lengthy menus as well as to help users quickly navigate to the kind of food they’re jonesing for.

Assuming the user has found an item they want, the next page removes the top sticky bar and adds an “Add to Order” button/bar instead.

Uber Eats “Add to Order” button

Uber Eats places an “Add to Order” button at the bottom of its web app. (Source: Uber Eats) (Large preview)

This way, the distraction of other menu categories is gone and now the user only has to focus on customizing the selected item before placing it in the cart.

Again, what this comes down to is being able to predict your users’ steps before they even get there. You can use either the top or bottom navigation to aid in this process, but it’s best to place initial steps in a sticky top bar and later steps at the bottom as they near conversion.

4. Display “Sidebar” Widgets On Digital Publications

Without a sidebar on mobile, you might try to tuck the widgets that would otherwise be there at the bottom of your content. But unless you know that your content is going to be read all the way through and that visitors will keep scrolling for more, there’s no guarantee they’ll see anything you put down there.

So, when it makes sense to do so, use sticky bars to add only the most essential sidebar-esque content.

Let’s take Inc., for example.

nc.’s sticky bars and elements

Inc.’s PWA comes with a sticky subscription bar, banner ad and secondary hamburger menu. (Source: Inc.) (Large preview)

There are three sticky elements that appear around Inc.’s articles:

A subscription form (which can be dismissed),
A banner ad (which cannot),
A floating hamburger menu.

The first two elements are fine since at least one of them is dismissible. However, the floating hamburger menu is problematic since it covers part of the content. Considering this is a content-centric site, it’s probably not a good idea to cover any part of the page.

The only way we might be able to excuse the placement of this fixed element is if it were to add extra value to the content. However, all it does is give readers more articles to read:

Inc. floating hamburger menu

Inc.’s floating hamburger menu contains more articles to read. (Source: Inc.) (Large preview)

The goal on any content website is to get visitors to actually read the content. But if you’re presenting them with other options straight away, you’re only giving them more content to get distracted by.

The concept of this floating menu is a good one, but the execution isn’t great. I’d recommend displaying it as visitors get at least 75% of the way down the page. That way, it only comes into view when they should be looking for related content to read.

As for publications that get the sticky elements right, look for ones that keep it simple.

The New Yorker, for instance, does a nice job of using the sticky navigation bar and a darker, less distracting bottom bar to promote its subscriptions:

The New Yorker sticky bars

The New Yorker uses sticky bars to promote its paid subscriptions. (Source: The New Yorker) (Large preview)

If it’s important to you to get subscribers for your publication — especially paid ones — this is a good way to make use of the fixed bars on mobile.

If, instead, you’re more focused on getting the word out about your content, then a sticky bar like the one The Billings Gazette uses would be better:

The Billings Gazette sticky social bar

The Billings Gazette prioritizes sharing over subscribing of its content. (Source: The Billings Gazette) (Large preview)

This is really well done. Social media sharing options are limited to the ones that make the most sense for mobile users. The same goes for the other share options here: WhatsApp, text, and email. When clicked, the corresponding app opens, so readers don’t have to use their browser sharing options or copy-and-paste the link.

In all honesty, I’m not sure it should be an either/or. I think you could use the top bar to promote your subscription so long as it’s easy to dismiss. Then, the bottom bar could be used for sharing links. Just make sure one of the bars moves out of the way so you can maximize the reading space.

Wrapping Up

Bottom line? It’s time to start using your sticky mobile elements for more than just storage of a logo, hamburger menu or search bar.

As we’ve seen here today, the key is to figure out what your users need most from you. Then, use your sticky elements to build a shortcut that makes a difference in their experience.

Smashing Editorial
(ra, yk, il)

How to change the font in your Instagram bio

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When you know how to change the font in your Instagram bio, you can tailor your profile to your heart's content. But how is it done? Luckily it's quick and easy to customise your Insta profile, and you're in the right place to learn how to do it.

Having the right font for your Insta handle is just one element of crafting the perfect Instagram bio, but you need to pick your font wisely to make it work. If you need some inspiration, check out our list of free fonts to help you decide on the type of font you might like. You can then use one of these Instagram font generator tools  to customise your own text styles (more on this below).

Your Insta bio should be short and sweet – stick to a few carefully chosen key words rather than long sentences – and include any relevant links to other accounts you manage, as well as any relevant hashtags. The odd emoji is also good for breaking things up and adding a bit of personality and colour, but don't go overboard or your bio may become hard to read.

Follow Creative Bloq on Instagram

You should also consider that changing your Insta bio involves the use of unicode characters, which are often not accessible for people who use screen readers, so you definitely don't want your whole bio in a different font. Most people just use them for their name, or perhaps a small part of their description.

Changing the font in your Instagram bio from the Insta standard is a quick and easy adjustment that can really make your feed stand out, and it's very easy to switch it back at a later date if you change your mind. It's also free. Want to give it a go? In this post we'll show you how to change the font in your Instagram bio in just two easy steps.

01. Choose your font

How to change the font in your Instagram bio: fonts for instagram

The options in Fonts For Instagram range from the simple to the emoji-studded

There are various font generator tools that can be used on Instagram. You can try Instagram Fonts, Insta Fonts or LingoJam, for starters. You could also experiment with Cool Symbol, although the interface is more cluttered than the other options. 

Type in the text that you want to change, and the tool will come up with a list of fonts that can be used in Instagram, showing you how your text would look in each. Some fonts are pretty simple, while some use emoji and symbols – with varying degrees of success – and others have so much going on they are almost impossible to read. 

Once you've found the font for you, copy it.

02. Paste in Instagram

Gavin Strange uses typography to highlight his name

Open Instagram, and go to Edit Profile, then paste in your new font. Click Submit and you are done. If you don't like the look of the font you've chosen, you can easily go back to step one and choose another.

If you'd prefer a wider selection of fonts, check out the iOS Fonts – for Instagram app. 

To see other Instagram hacks, including how to add line breaks to your bio or posts, see our post on Instagram hacks.

Read more:

7 ways to boost Instagram engagement5 steps to an irresistible Instagram bioHow to turn on Instagram's Dark Mode

How to Divert Traffic Using IP2Location in a Next.js Website

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How to Divert Traffic Using IP2Location in a Next.js Website

This article was created in partnership with IP2Location. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

In a world where online commerce has become the norm, we need to build websites that are faster, user friendly and more secure than ever. In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a Node.js powered website that’s capable of directing traffic to relevant landing pages based on a visitor’s country. You’ll also learn how to block anonymous traffic (e.g. Tor) in order to eliminate risks coming from such networks.

In order to implement these features, we’ll be using the IP2Proxy web service provided by IP2Location, a Geo IP solutions provider. The web service is a REST API that accepts an IP address and responds with geolocation data in JSON format.

ip2location website

Here are some of the fields that we’ll receive:


We’ll use Next.js to build a website containing the following landing pages:

Home Page: API fetching and redirection will trigger from this page
Landing Page: supported countries will see the product page in their local currency
Unavailable Page: other countries will see this page with an option to join a waiting list
Abuse Page: visitors using Tor networks will be taken to this page

Now that you’re aware of the project plan, let’s see what you need to get started.


On your machine, I would highly recommend the following:

Latest LTS version of Node.js (v12)

An older version of Node.js will do, but the most recent LTS (long-term support) version contains performance and debugging improvements in the area of async code, which we’ll be dealing with. Yarn isn’t necessary, but you’ll benefit from its faster performance if you use it.

I’m also going to assume you have a good foundation in:

React Hooks

As mentioned earlier, we’ll be using Next.js to build our website. If you’re new to it, you can follow their official interactive tutorial to quickly get up to speed.

IP2Location + Next.js Project Walkthrough
Project Setup

To set up the project, simply launch the terminal and navigate to your workspace. Execute the following command:

npx create-next-app

Feel free to give your app any name. I’ve called mine next-ip2location-example. After installation is complete, navigate to the project’s root and execute yarn dev. This will launch the Node.js dev server. If you open your browser and navigate to localhost:3000, you should see a page with the header “Welcome to Next.js”. This should confirm that we have a working app that runs without errors. Stop the app and install the following dependencies:

yarn add yarn add next-compose-plugins dotenv-load next-env @zeit/next-css bulma isomorphic-unfetch

We’ll be using Bulma CSS framework to add out-of-the-box styling for our site. Since we’ll be connecting to an API service, we’ll set up an .env file to store our API key. Do note that this file should not be stored in a repository. Next create the file next.config.js. at the root of the project and add the following code:

const withPlugins = require(‘next-compose-plugins’)
const css = require(‘@zeit/next-css’)
const nextEnv = require(‘next-env’)
const dotenvLoad = require(‘dotenv-load’)


module.exports = withPlugins([

The above configuration allows our application to read the .env file and load values. Do note that the keys will need to have the prefix NEXT_SERVER_ in order to be loaded in the server environment. Visit the next-env package page for more information. We’ll set the API key in the next section. The above configuration also gives our Next.js app the capability to pre-process CSS code via the zeit/next-css package. This will allow us to use Bulma CSS framework in our application. Do note we’ll need import Bulma CSS code into our Next.js application. I’ll soon show you where to do this.

Obtaining API Key for the I2Proxy Web Service

As mentioned earlier, we’ll need to convert a visitor’s IP address into information we can use to redirect or block traffic. Simply head to the following link and sign up for a free trial key:

IP2Proxy Detection Web Service

ip2proxy trial key packages

Once you sign up, you’ll receive the free API key via email. Create an .env file and place it at the root of your project folder. Copy your API key to the file as follows:


This free key will give you 1,000 free credits. At a minimum, we’ll need the following fields for our application to function:


If you look at the pricing section on the IP2Proxy page, you’ll note that the PX2 package will give us the required response. This means each query will costs us two credits. Below is a sample of how the URL should be constructed:

You can also submit the URL query without the IP. The service will use the IP address of the machine that sent the request. We can also use the PX8 package to get all the available fields such as isp and domain in the top-most package of the IP2Proxy Detection Web Service.

In the next section, we’ll build a simple state management system for storing the proxy data which will be shared among all site pages.

Building Context API in Next.js

Create the file context/proxy-context and insert the following code:

import React, {
} from ‘react’

export const ProxyContext = createContext()

export const ProxyContextProvider = (props) => {
const initialState = {
ipAddress: ‘’,
countryName: ‘Nowhere’,
isProxy: false,
proxyType: ”

// Declare shareable proxy state
const [proxy, setProxy] = useState(initialState)
const prev = useRef()

// Read and Write Proxy State to Local Storage
useEffect(() => {
if (proxy.countryName == ‘Nowhere’) {
const localState = JSON.parse(localStorage.getItem(‘ip2proxy’))
if (localState) {‘reading local storage’)
prev.current = localState.ipAddress
} else if (prev.current !== proxy.ipAddress) {‘writing local storage’)
localStorage.setItem(‘ip2proxy’, JSON.stringify(proxy))
}, [proxy])

<ProxyContext.Provider value={[ipLocation, setProxy]}>

Basically, we’re declaring a sharable state called proxy that will store data retrieved from the IP2Proxy web service. The API fetch query will be implemented in pages/index.js. The information will be used to redirect visitors to the relevant pages. If the visitor tries to refresh the page, the saved state will be lost. To prevent this from happening, we’re going to use the useEffect() hook to persist state in the browser’s local storage. When a user refreshes a particular landing page, the proxy state will be retrieved from the local storage, so there’s no need to perform the query again. Here’s a quick sneak peek of Chrome’s local storage in action:

chrome local storage

Tip: In case you run into problems further down this tutorial, clearing local storage can help resolve some issues.

Displaying Proxy Information

Create the file components/proxy-view.js and add the following code:

import React, { useContext } from ‘react’
import { ProxyContext } from ‘../context/proxy-context’

const style = {
padding: 12

const ProxyView = () => {
const [proxy] = useContext(ProxyContext)
const { ipAddress, countryName, isProxy, proxyType } = proxy

return (
<div className=”box center” style={style}>
<div className=”content”>
<li>IP Address : {ipAddress} </li>
<li>Country : {countryName} </li>
<li>Proxy : {isProxy} </li>
<li>Proxy Type: {proxyType} </li>

export default ProxyView

This is simply a display component that we’ll place at the end of each page. We’re only creating this to confirm that our fetch logic and application’s state is working as expected. You should note that the line const [proxy] = useContext(ProxyContext) won’t run until we’ve declared our Context Provider at the root of our application. Let’s do that now in the next section.

Implementing Context API Provider in Next.js App

Create the file pages/_app.js and add the following code:

import React from ‘react’
import App from ‘next/app’
import ‘bulma/css/bulma.css’
import { ProxyContextProvider } from ‘../context/proxy-context’

export default class MyApp extends App {
render() {
const { Component, pageProps } = this.props

return (
<Component {…pageProps} />

The _app.js file is the root component of our Next.js application where we can share global state with the rest of the site pages and child components. Note that this is also where we’re importing CSS for the Bulma framework we installed earlier. With that set up, let’s now build a layout that we’ll use for all our site pages.

The post How to Divert Traffic Using IP2Location in a Next.js Website appeared first on SitePoint.