Now store and rotate up to 5 global slot messages

Now store up to five global slot messages and rotate them according to the priority you want!

What are slot messages?

Remember, a slot message is where a randomly chosen product grid slot / cell has its contents replaced with an optionally linked image.

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What are global slot messages?

A global slot message is one displayed in all eligible product grids across your site in real time. You set them up in the NiftyGridZPro page of your Admin panel settings.

setting up global slot messages
admin settings page: setting up global slot messages

Eligible product grids are those:

  • with 4 or more products in them
  • ones without their own slot message in their shortcode
  • ones without slot messaging switched off in their shortcode

How does rotation work?

In real time

It’s all about choosing which of the slot messages to display – and doing it in real time.

You see, whenever someone visits a post / page of yours with a NiftyGridZPro shortcode, then NiftyGridZPro gets kicked into action to do its stuff.

Part of that stuff is checking if Global Slot Messaging is switched on and, if it is – and this grid is elligible for them – then it randomly chooses a message and displays it in a randomly chosen position (slot) in the grid.

How a slot message is chosen (rotated)

Think of a lottery draw. Each of the 5 possible global slot messages has its own weighting, a number you give from 1 to 9. That’s the number of its tickets that get thrown into the hat.

Once all tickets are in the hat, one is drawn at random.

Say you have two global slot messages set up. You give both a weighting of 1. Both get one ticket in the hat, so there’s a 50/50 chance of each being drawn.

Say instead, you give a weighting of 1 to the first and 2 to the second. The first gets one ticket in the hat and the second gets two tickets. There’s now a 33% chance the first gets chosen and a 66% chance it’s the second that sees the light of day.


Simple! Now go up there ^^ and page through the grid to see the rotation of the global slot message. You’ll get a new randomly chosen one (rotation) every time a new page of the grid is shown.

At the time of writing, we’ve got got 4 messages set up, 3 are for Halloween, each with a weighting of 1, and the other one is the announcement about the release of V3 of NiftyGridZPro. That’s 8 tickets in the hat.

That last one we’ve weighted at 5 so it’s got a 5/8 chance of being shown each time. The others (flappy bats, frankenwalker and happy halloween) each have a 1/8 chance of being shown.

Setting up and using Global Slot Messaging

You can also think of it as message / promotion injection.

Here’s a 7 min 30 sec YouTube video taking you through the steps and showing the results. It covers:

  • Swtiching global slot messaging on and off
  • Setting up your own global slot message
  • How to prevent a particular post’s/page’s from showing global slot messages
  • How to set up a specific slot message using your post’s/page’s grid shortcode

Here it is:

If we’ve currently got global messaging switched on, you’ll see the current one in the grid below 🙂

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Important points to remember

  • Global slot messages are real-time
  • Only eligible grids will display your global slot message
  • Product grids with fewer than four products in them aren’t eligible
  • Product grids with a slot message defined in their shortcodes aren’t eligible
  • Product grids that include use_message_slot=0 in their shortcode options aren’t eligible
  • The position a slot message displays in a grid is chosen randomly each time

Turn that on its head and you should get that every product grid that makes no mention of slot messages in its shortcode will automatically display the global one (as long it has four or more products in its grid).

Great feature – how can I use it?

The bare facts are that you get to define the web address of an image you want to display and the web address it gets linked to.

Armed with those two facts, here’s some obvious examples

  • Feature a different designer or brand store from time to time
  • Announce major Zazzle promotions and link either to Zazzle’s suggested landing page or to their coupon page
  • Feature your own specific product when you launch a new design
  • Provide an affiliate image/link for, say Amazon, or wherever else you might affiliate
  • Promote other pages of your own site
  • Make a short campaign in the run up to special holidays (hello “Halloween”!)
  • You could even sell that “ad space” to who you choose

We’d love to hear about ways you’d use it, so if you don’t mind sharing, drop off a comment 🙂

Free NiftyGridZPro version now released with new features

We’ve now made the new version features available in the free version of the NiftyGridZPro WordPress plugin.

Now you can try out global slot messaging for yourself! Download and installation instructions are here

We’ll be announcing details on release for the paid license version a little later. Watch this space.

New NiftyGridZPro enhancement for easy global slot messages

Another enhancement for the next release – an admin settings page.

(A global slot message is one that appears in a random position in every (qualifying) grid. A qualifying grid is one that has four or more products in it AND doesn’t have its own slot message set up in its shortcode.)

This is for global defaults – those that apply to every grid that doesn’t override them with options set in their shortcode.

The new NiftyGridZPro settings screen for global defaults
The new NiftyGridZPro settings screen for global defaults

You can now set your associate/referral id here. Once set here, you no longer need to put yours into each post’s shortcode. Though saying that, the shortcode builder still needs it and must include it in its generated code (for backwards comaptibility reasons).

Best of all, this new settings screen let’s you set your global slot message in real time!

So basically, it broadcasts your new marketing message in real time right across your site. It’s so easy to do, you might have one in the morning, a different one in the afternoon and one for the evening!

Global Slot Message

We wanted to add a really effective way of using a slot message globally. By that, we mean that any product grid created by NiftyGridZPro should automatically use this global slot message.

Remember, a slot message is an image (optionally linked to a destination) that is displayed randomly in a product grid, temporarily replacing what was in that position already.

We’ve managed that now by setting the feature on by default – with default slot message settings all set up for the Happy Halloween one you see across the site. Like here amongst the cute puppies 🙂
(Edited later to add: It was too early for that message, so it’s now a flapping bats teaser …and now it’s about the V3 release of NiftyGridZPro!)

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With a default of it being switched on, you’ll need to remember to switch it off on any grids where you don’t want it. Note that it won’t be shown on any grids with fewer than four items.

The great thing about this approach is that when it’s time for a different marketing message, for example in the run up to Christmas, we only need to change the defaults. Then, bam, it’s suddenly spread across the entire site.

And to switch the global slot message off entirely, it’s just a case of changing the default for the feature to off.

So changing the defaults via the admin settings panel is the solution to setting a global marketing message in one simple step.

Cool 🙂


As usual, here’s the shortcode used for the grid – note that there’s no mention of a slot message as that’s all done via the default options already set.

[niftygridzpro use_only_product_names_in_titles=1 title_font_size="12px" title_alignment="center" cell_max_width="180px" description_length="60" search_term="cute puppies" page_size="9" product_background_color="#ffffff" allow_interaction=1 show_visitor_search_form=0 tracking_code="ngrdz_blg_ungp_slotmssg1"]

Of course, if you visit this post in the future, it won’t be a Happy Halloween message, it’ll be about something else appropriate for the time.