Want to warn visitors when they are leaving your site?

Displaying a popup with a leaving notice is a great way to let your visitors know that they are leaving your site while giving them a chance to stay back. 

How to Display a Leaving Notice Popup For External Links on WordPress

Adding a leaving warning popup to your site is easy if you know what tool to use. In this article, we will show you how to add a leaving notice popup using a plugin called FireBox

But first, let’s discuss a few basic questions that you may have like which websites need a leaving notice popup, what are the benefits of using one, and how a leaving notice popup works. 

Let’s get started. 

Benefits of Adding Leaving Notice on External Links 

By displaying an external link warning message on your external links, you are likely to experience the following benefits: 

  • Informing visitors when they are leaving your site is a decent thing to do. It leaves a good impression on your visitors and could be a stepping stone for building trust. 
  • A leaving warning makes it clear that the visitor is going to an external site which means your website is not responsible for the content the visitor is exposed to.
  • The leaving notice gives visitors a chance to choose to stay back on your site which may prove to be helpful in reducing bounce rates. 
  • On some websites leaving for an external link could mean being logged out of one’s account. On such sites, a confirmation leaving notice can prevent unintended visitor behavior and improves the site navigation experience. 

These are the benefits of displaying a leaving notice popup on your WordPress website. In the next section, we will discuss whether all websites need a leave notice.

Why Do You Need a Leaving Notice For External Links

Typically websites like government organizations, investment firms, banks, and eCommerce sites are required to warn users when they are leaving the site. 

This is because many websites will log you out of your account when you leave the site due to security concerns. Upon returning to the site, the visitor may find themselves having to log in to access their account. 

Another reason visitors are informed when they are leaving a site is so that they aren’t surprised when they end up somewhere else.

If that’s the case then most websites can add an external link disclaimer popup for external links. But unlike government organizations, investment firms, banks, and eCommerce sites, leaving notice is not mandatory for most websites. 

How Does a Leaving Notice Popup Work

Before we show you how to add a leaving notice popup to your WordPress website, let’s take a quick look at how such popups work.

A website leaving notice popup consists of a warning along with two buttons. The warning lets visitors know that they are leaving the site and the two buttons offer the choice to either leave or stay back on the site. 

Like any other popup, the leaving notice popup too has a trigger or cue for when to appear. These popups appear as soon as a visitor clicks on an external link found anywhere on the site.

Here’s a leaving notice popup that appears when someone clicks on an external link on our demo site:

Preview of an external link notice popup for WordPress

As you can see visitors have the option to click on “Continue” and leave the site to go to an external site or they can click on “Stay” to stay back on the site. They can also select the cross sign to remain on the site. 

In the next section, we will show you how to create a similar popup on your WordPress website. 

Create a Leaving Notice Popup For External Links 

To create a leaving notice popup, you will need to take the following steps:

  1. Install and activate FireBox
  2. Create a leaving notice popup and
  3. Check trigger point

Let’s dive deeper into each of the steps and learn how to implement them on your WordPress site. 

That said before you begin, take a backup of your website. The steps that you take in this tutorial are not super risky but in the past, something as commonplace as installing a new plugin has broken many websites. A backup is a safety net for when things go wrong. Therefore take a backup before proceeding with the steps below. 

1. Install & Activate FireBox Plugin

The first thing you need is a plugin that will help you create and setup up a popup on your WordPress website. 

There are plenty of popup plugins to choose from but few offer prebuilt templates for leaving notice popups. FireBox is one such plugin. 

The plugin has many prebuilt popup templates like terms and conditions, cookie consent, contact form, and of course leaving warning popups. 

If you want to take a quick look at the leaving notice popup, also called the external link popup, then check these demos. It’s worth noting that with the free FireBox plugin you can use only one external link template. To be able to access all the templates, you will need to get the premium version of the plugin. 

Download the free FireBox Popup Builder from here. Or the premium one from here

Install and activate the plugin on your WordPress website. 

If you are using the premium plugin then you will need to activate the license key by going to FireBox > Settings > License Key. Enter your license key and hit the Activate License key button. 

Enter your license to activate all WordPress External Link Notice Popup Templates

For this tutorial, we are using the free version of the plugin.

2. Create a Popup Displaying Leaving Notice 

After the plugin has been activated on your site, it’s time to create a popup. 

On your WordPress dashboard, go to FireBox > Dashboard > New Popup. A pop-up library will open with a search bar on the right. 

In the search bar, write “external link notice” and all the external link warning message popups will appear. 

Most of them are premium popups except the one called “External Link Notice Pop-up.”

Select the popup and it will reveal an Insert button. Click on it and it will take you to the popup editor.

The popup itself can be used out of the box, but if you want to make modifications to the text or the buttons, go ahead and use the popup editor. It works just like the Gutenberg editor

3. Check Trigger Point

Now that the popup is published, you would want to make sure that the popup appears only when the reader is clicking on an external link. 

The external link popup template automatically sets the trigger point but we still recommend checking it. 

On your popup editor scroll down to Behavior > Trigger Point and check if the External Link Click option is selected. If not, then go ahead, select it, and hit the Publish button at the top of the page. 

By the end you should have a leaving notice popup that looks like this:

As you can see creating a popup using the FireBox plugin is not very difficult and it’s not too time-consuming. That said if you need any assistance, these documents will help you. 


Displaying an external link popup ensures that your visitors are warned about leaving the site and they are given a choice to stay back on the site. 

Creating a popup is made easy by plugins like FireBox as it has prebuilt leaving notice templates to choose from. The templates are good to go out of the box but you are free to modify them according to your needs. 

Besides, FireBox is a complete popup solution which means there are tons of other types of popups that you can implement on your site just as easily. 

You can position them anywhere on your site, detect visitor behavior and show relevant popup messages, and use the built-in analytics to find out how the popups are performing, among other things. 

Give FireBox a spin!


Technical Writer

Sufia Banu is a freelance WordPress content writer with a background in marketing and SEO. Through her writing, she helps WordPress businesses draw targeted traffic and generate higher leads and sales.