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News Ticker definition


News Ticker (© JiSign / Fotolia.com)

News Ticker (© JiSign / Fotolia.com)

Do you want to make your website more interactive and informative? If so, then you should seriously consider adding a news ticker to it. The modern-day version of the age-old ticker tape, a news ticker can provide a lot of value for your website. Want to know more about this handy feature? In this article, we’ll highlight important things you should know about adding a news ticker to your website’s homepage.

Ticker tapes were created back in the later part of the 1880s. Their purpose was to transmit information related to stock prices via telegraph lines. Given the emergence of technology, it might seem as if there isn’t much use for a ticker tape; however, quite the contrary is true. Today, the traditional ticker tape has been given a modern update and is used to transmit important information via websites. They can be incredibly powerful tools for a website, as they share important information that website visitors may want to know. They can also make a website more interactive and boost the authority of companies that use them.

Want to know more about using a news ticker for your website? Keep on reading to find out some important information about these handy tools.

How Can News Tickers Be Used on a Website?

If you’ve ever walked down an urban street, ridden on mass transit or have watched television, there’s a pretty good chance that you have seen a ticker tape, or a news ticker. These electronic ticker tapes are often displayed along the sides of large buildings, on the bottom of TV screens, or on electronic timetables in train stations and airports. They are also being increasingly used on websites.

These tickers are commonly placed on the homepage of a website and serve an important purpose: to share valuable information. Some examples of the type of information news tickers can be use to display include:

  • Storm-related emergencies; for example, flash flooding or blizzard watches
  • Transportation delays or cancellations. They are an excellent way to let the public know about any issues that may arise with trains or airline transportation.
  • Outages of IT systems that are either planned or unexpected
  • Power outages
  • Information related to a company that changes frequently, such as call volumes or share prices
  • Teasers or hooks for news stories

When it comes to a website’s home page, news tickers are most commonly used to share emergency information, IT alerts, or important news and information that relates to a business or industry.

Some of the most acclaimed news organizations in the world use news tickers on their websites.

Benefits of a News Ticker

News tickers can offer several benefits for a business’ website, as well as those who visit the website. Some of the most notable advantages that are associated with placing a news ticker on a homepage include the following:

  • They share pertinent information, such as emergencies or any other valuable news that website visitors would be interested in knowing.
  • They draw attention, not only to the information that they present, but to the website itself.
  • They are a quick and easy way for website visitors to obtain information.
  • They can boost the credibility of a website and a company, as they share valuable information that website goers find useful, therefore making the site a valuable source.
  • They can improve interaction that website visitors have with a website and with a company.

Disadvantages of News Tickers

While there are definite benefits associated with news tickers, like everything, there are also some disadvantages. Some of the negatives of using a ticker tape on a website include:

  • Making the website appear too busy.
  • Distracting visitors from other pertinent information that the website contains.
  • Some stakeholders may try to monopolize the information presented in a news ticker for their own gain, which could potentially impact their efficacy.

How to Get the Most Out of a Website Ticker Tape

If you are thinking about adding a news ticker to your website’s homepage, there are some things that you are going to want to take into consideration before you do so that you can get the most out of it. These considerations largely apply to the design of the ticker tape, but they also apply to the content that is displayed in the tape.

Some important things that you should take into consideration when designing your ticker tape.

  • The positioning. Make sure that the positioning of the news ticker is right. Usually, these tapes are located near the top of a home page, either on top of or underneath the navigation. This placement makes them easy for website visitors to see and prevents them from drowning out other content.
  • The size. You should also think about the size of the ticker tape. A size of one line is ideal, though two lines may be acceptable. Anything larger than that would likely be too much and would take over the rest of the information that is featured on the homepage.
  • Don’t leave it empty. If there isn’t any information to display in your news ticker, remove it from your homepage. An empty ticker will negatively impact the appearance of your website and be distracting. It could also potentially cause your visitors to click off of your site.
  • Make it pop out. In order for a news ticker to be seen, it has to have a different visual appearance than the rest of the homepage; however, it should also be readable. Use colors that and font that differs from your homepage to make it stand out, but make sure that you are choosing options that aren’t visually unappealing; for example, gray font on a black background can be difficult to read.
  • Be wise with graphics. If you’re going to include graphics with your ticker tape, make sure you do so wisely. Some graphic images may not appear properly on a news ticker.

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