WordPress plugin: What Would Seth Godin Do

Seth Godin advocates using cookies to distinguish between new and returning visitors to your site:

One opportunity that’s underused is the idea of using cookies to treat returning visitors differently than newbies. It’s more work at first, but it can offer two experiences to two different sorts of people. (Source: In the Middle, Starting)

I built this WordPress plugin to implement Seth Godin’s idea. For WordPress users it reduces the “work at first” to almost nothing. Installation is simple:

  1. Download the WWSGD WordPress plugin and unzip it.
  2. Copy the what-would-seth_godin-do folder to your WordPress plugins folder.
  3. Activate the plugin in the Plugins panel.
  4. Customize settings in the Settings panel.

By default, new visitors to your blog will see a small box above each post containing the words “If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!” After 5 visits the message disappears. You can customize this message, its lifespan, and its location. Your visitor must have cookies enabled.

New visitors will appreciate some context and background information about your site. This is your chance to offer them a special welcome and invite them to become permanent subscribers!

DOWNLOAD the What Would Seth Godin Do WordPress plugin

I can be reached at richard AT richardkmiller DOT com. I appreciate comments and suggestions.

(I have not tested these.)

375 replies on “WordPress plugin: What Would Seth Godin Do”

Hi Richard,
This is a great plug-in.

I’m using the plug-in to show a sales page for a product at the top of all posts and pages.

Is there any way to have the WWSGD box show above the posts/pages headline?

I am using Thesis as the theme.

Thanks for any direction.



Really great plugin! I am having a bit of trouble with it though. I am using a fairly modern WP (3.01) with thesis 1.8 as my theme. I am having some inconsistent results with the way that the box appears. I have the same code in the before/after, and the default of 5 visits. When I load up the site, the box appears. However, when I click into any post, it does not appear. Do I have something set wonky? Thanks!


Hi Richard,

I installed your plugin in my site and provided a first message but it appears on the main blog page only. If I click on any post to visualize it separately…No message! This is also true if I load a post directly. I’ve also tried to put a higher number on the visits and to tick “posts and pages”…
I’m using Thesis 1.7
Any hints on where the problem may be?

Thank you in advance,
— Janet

great plugin! thanks for sharing!!
(and a special thanks for replying to all the comments you get.)
one quick question. is there a way to show the message for new visitors before the post but the message for returning visitors after the post?
greetings from Guatemala.
Thanks for doing this for us, I have a small tiny request though. I’m tryign to implement this on my website, and the welcome message is used to direct the view to a sales page on the website.. However the WWSGD message still appears on the sales page, which looks weird.. Is there any way to specif what pages the welcome message appears on?

The sales landing page is on one of the “pages” of the wordpress blog. I’d like the WWSGD to still appear on the blog posts, homepage, search page, tag pages, catogiries pages etc.

Great plugin!
Would it be possible to activate the cookie only when a user visits a specific page on your blog/site, so that after visiting that page the welcome message would disappear?
I’ve been looking for a plugin that does this and yours is the one that came the closest.
I’m currently using the plugin with wordpress.


Hi Richard,
i love love this creation of yours.
I have installed this plugin to my as yet unlaunched self hosted WP Blog
see link above
my groovy IT son tested it for but the RSS goes nowhere.
I sent him your code, he said yep mum it’s all there and added…
‘its what’s in the /blog/feed folder that is missing’.
can you guide me as to what I need to do?
Mostly I learn all these things my self but son is my backup.
(a friend has same onhers and it goes nowhere also. she is also on WP)
I have several 4 Richards in my life and they are all cool guys,
Hi Richard,

I’ve seen this great plugin on Katie Freiling’s website and many others – and it shows on the blog posts in the top right side of posts.

However when it’s on a site I’m working on, it shows as a wide bar across the top of pages (about page).

Please could you let me know how to create a smaller more square box like Katie’s site? It’s not obvious from the plugin customisation area, nor from the comments I’ve read on this website.

Many thanks

Hi Richard.
I liked the idea of the plugin and have installed it.
I wanted it to show in every post but not on the other pages.
I have defined the home page as a landing page for an optin, and the blog posts I have defined to be shown on a blog page.
I have defined in the plugin setup that the iframe will show only on posts.
I find it though, only on the blog page, but not in each individual post.
How can I define it to appear in each post, except for doing what I did?
Thanks for your help
I’m having just the opposite problem that some are having. The Box shows up on the main index page, but not on the individual posts. I have been fighting with this for 2 days. When I add the template tag to the posts, all I get is a big empty box. I am using the Thesis theme.

Any ideas?

Hi Richard I wonder if you could help me?

I’ve installed your wwsgd plugin, unfortunately it displays on all pages no matter what settings I choose with the message “you’ve visited a few times and I would appreciate your thoughts on this post, why not comment?”.

This would be great, however I never wrote this message, I left it blank in the options page!! It appears after 4 visits (refreshes). I’ve tried resetting, no good, cleared cache, uninstalled, wiped line form sql database, no idea where it is coming from. If I try to reinstall it posts both the welcome message and the leave a comment message making a real mess!
Any help at this stage would be gladly appreciated….

Richard – I have found an easy work-around for my suggestion. This will only work when you don’t use the “message to returning visitors”. I simply added the query marked with ***** to your code (near the bottom of the file):

function wwsgd_get_the_message()
global $wwsgd_visits, $wwsgd_settings;


if ($wwsgd_visits <= 1 == $wwsgd_settings['repetition'])
return $wwsgd_settings['return_visitor_message'];


if ($wwsgd_visits <= $wwsgd_settings['repetition'] || 0 == $wwsgd_settings['repetition'])
return $wwsgd_settings['new_visitor_message'];
return $wwsgd_settings['return_visitor_message'];

Thank you Richard for your answer.
Are you still updating your great plugin so that there is any chance that this feature might be added?
Or do you think I could do this by modifying the php-file? (I have almost no programming background)
As a blog reader, I find these kind of messages really annoying.
When I see these messages, I will actually stop from subscribing to the RSS, simply as I feel I am getting pressured into it.
@Miklas, thanks for the tip.

@William, at the moment there are not multiple tiers, but that is indeed an interesting idea.

@Jim, there’s currently no way to exclude the plugin on specific pages, but I daresay that is the most request feature. Coming soon.

@Doc, does the plugin work correctly with other themes?

Richard, your plugin is really great. I’m using it on my website without any problems.
One thing I noted is that unfortunately Google often takes the text from the WWSGD notification as a snippet in the SERPs. This is not really great news, as the first thing the reader gets to know about my site in Google is something like “Thank you for visiting. Please subscribe to our newsletter…”

Would it be possible to add an option to WWSGD which would disable showing the message on the very first visit? This would remove the problem, and any visitor looking at more than one page would still get to see the message…

Hi, I saw this question a couple of times now but with no reply. Is it possible to dissable the box from showing on just a single page? I would like to keep it up on all of my posts and pages except my contact page. I was looking into adding a custom word press field to disable similar to adding the custom field name=”tweetmeme” value=”false” to turn that plugin off on individual pages but to no avail with wwsgd.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Is it possible for one to alter the code to include more messages? For example: 1 message when a user visits 5 times, another with 10 times, another with 100 times and so on?
Great plugin. One slight fault, the return visitors message doesn’t show live links on the category or search excerpts pages. I use the Atahualpa Theme by BytesForAll, whether that affects it I don’t know.

For me, it could either be fixed or just have a button to not let the message show on category and search result pages.


FYI: I had to uninstall the plugin because the rss feed is not correct and shows as a broken link on the feed — we are running wordpress 2.9.2, is it working for anyone else? We also have wishlist member installed, if that might be causing a conflict?

Hoping we can get this worked out so we can use this plugin, its a great idea and does just what we are looking, so once we can get the custom message to show, I can reinstall it! Looking forward to your help.

I am trying to customize the rss feed message that displays using the options as Melissa says above, but the new message changes are not showing up – it still shows the default message – and the rss feed link that shows by default is not correct – it shows the update message in the admin but the actual site pages do not reflect the changes – help!

Anyone else having this problem, I tried downloading the patch that was referenced, but that is a broken line – how do we get it to work?

Hi Richard. Thanks for this great plugin. My theme is not designed work with this nice plugin. I’ll have to add some code manually to set the message above the post/page. Can you please give me some ideas of what I should drop where? TXS
I can’t get the feed url changes to stick – I’ve tried the following with no luck!

new_visitor_message’ => “If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!”

thanks for your help

Surprised that no one here mentioned this idea. I checked through WordPress and didn’t see any function like it, and this plugin was so close that I figured I’d mod it for my needs.

Basically created a is_return_user() function. Now, based on the logic in this, I can do anything I want in any template or plugin conditionally based on the is_return_user() function, which is phenomenally useful. For example, I have a home page for a client that has a pre-loader the first time you go to it…which is great, because content is pre-loading…but I don’t want every page to pre-load, nor do I want someone who has already visited the home page a few times to have to sit through it when it’s already loaded! A simple if(!is_return_user() && (is_home() || is_front_page())) and it works perfectly!

Thanks for the great work on this.

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