Troubleshooting Your First Popup

You created your first Popup Maker popup. Then, you bring up an incognito or private browser window and go to your site to test it out. But the popup doesn't show. What gives?

This guide covers the most common reasons why your popup doesn't show along with ways to troubleshoot them. 

Problems With Showing Your Popup #

The common reasons your first popup isn't showing are:

  • The popup isn't published or turned on (enabled). #
  • The popup doesn't have a trigger. #
  • There's a popup targeting condition that's blocking it. #
  • There's a CSS conflict that could also "freeze" your page. #
  • Your browser, WordPress, server, or CDN caches need clearing. #
  • There's a JavaScript error showing in the browser console. #
  • Another plugin or your theme has a code conflict (e.g., JavaScript error) with Popup Maker. #

Make sure your popup is published. When you edit your popup, check the Publish status and Popup Enabled toggle. The status should say Published, and the Popup Enabled toggle button should be on the right side with a green background color. Here's what those look like.

Besides having your popup turned on, the next must-have is a popup trigger. A popup trigger is what actually launches your popup. 

For example, the 2 most common triggers are the Auto Open trigger and the Click Open trigger. If you want your popup to display automatically, be sure you've got an Auto Open trigger for the popup. If you want your popup to display when someone clicks a link or button, make sure your popup has a Click Open trigger.

Visit our Add a Popup Trigger help guide to learn how to add a popup trigger to your popup.

To get a full list of available triggers, head over to our Complete List of Popup Triggers doc.

You checked that your popup is turned on and you've got the right popup trigger set up. All that looks good. But your popup still doesn't display.

You might have a targeting rule (or condition) that you forgot about or didn't set up correctly. 

Let's back up and review what we mean by targeting. Or, TL;DR: follow this step-by-step guide to check your popup's targeting conditions.

Remember when we learned earlier that triggers launch popups. Well, you use targeting to selectively load your popup to display on a specific web page. For example, you can target your popup to show only on the homepage, only for posts, and much more.

Now, let's look at a couple of examples of Targeting Conditions gone wrong:

Mistake 1) You only need a popup to appear on your About page when someone clicks on a Learn More link on that page. 

Here's the mistake. Your Click Open popup has a targeting rule for loading only on the Home Page instead of the About page. That means your popup won't show when you click on the Learn More link on your About page. 

The interesting thing is that your popup will load on your Home Page because of the targeting rule. But it won't appear there either because you don't have a click trigger set up on the Home Page to launch the popup.

Solution: Change your targeting condition to target the About page. Below, we changed our condition from Home Page to Pages: Selected > About. The popup can now display on the About page.

Mistake 2) You want your popup to display automatically only on posts and pages.

Here's the mistake. You have a targeting condition to load the popup only if you're viewing a post  AND a page. Since a post isn't a page (and vice versa) and you can't view a post and a page at the same time (and in the same tab), you'll never see your popup.

Solution: Change your AND condition to an OR condition. Below, we changed our condition from All Posts AND All Pages to All Posts OR All Pages. The popup can now display if you're on a post or a page.

Pro tip: If a popup doesn't have any targeting rules, Popup Maker (by default) loads the popup on every post/page on your site, whether you need it or not (most common usage). So, targeting rules allow you to selectively load a popup only where you need it. This is an awesome feature, especially for site owners worried about performance.

Here again, is the step-by-step guide to check your popup's targeting conditions.

If your popup doesn't show and your page "freezes," meaning that you can't scroll, there might be a CSS conflict on that page. Please try the CSS fix in our troubleshooting guide for this peculiar issue.

You might have done everything right. You saved all of your changes and published your popup. But you get nothing!

In this case, it could be your caches (yes, there is more than one cache to check). Don't fret. This is a super common problem. In fact, WordPress has a spectacular cache troubleshooting guide (probably the best one out there) just for this.

More on caching

Caches save a copy of a web page so that WordPress doesn't always have to build the page every time you want to view it. Caches can make your WordPress site faster, but they can drive you crazy when you make changes and want to see those changes right away.

A cached (saved) copy of your page can be in your browser, a cache plugin, your hosting's cache, a database cache, and even a CDN cache. Be sure either turn off all your caching or continuously clear all of your caches while you're creating and updating your popups.

Here's what a JavaScript error looks like.

When you try to display your popup, check your browser console to see if there are JavaScript errors. If you see a JavaScript error, make sure you take a screen capture of it or copy/paste it somewhere. Share the error with your web developer or our support team.

You can also follow the instructions in our next section to help you narrow down the JavaScript error even more.

WordPress has thousands of plugins and themes. A JavaScript error is bound to happen. The good news is that there are tons of help guides and support channels to help you troubleshoot JavaScript errors.

Speaking of plugins and themes, turning off all plugins except Popup Maker and any custom code and switching to the Twenty Twenty-One theme is a de facto standard for troubleshooting WordPress code conflicts.

Clip of turning off all plugins except Popup Maker

Video clip of turning off all plugins except Popup Maker

We suggest following WordPress's definitive Solve Problems With Plugins guide. If you need more details with best practices and even screen captures. have a look at How to Troubleshoot a Plugin or Theme Conflict.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.