Whats the value of a coming soon page you may ask? As a website developer, my answer is: everything!
When I first discovered WordPress (more years ago than I care to mention) I didn’t use coming soon pages, I relied upon the fact that no one would know the URL yet (for a new website), and therefore no one would see the masterpiece whilst it was ‘in-progress’. About 3/4 years ago, when I started getting more serious about WordPress as a website building platform, I started to take the prospect of using an ‘under construction’ page more seriously.
This led me to do some serious digging and I uncovered a few great plug-in’s to handle the job, one from SeedProd called ‘Coming Soon Page, Under Construction & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd‘ and one from WebFactory called ‘Under Construction‘. These free add-on’s allowed me, as a developer, to put up a wall to the outside world whilst the website was in development.
When I look at websites that others are building using WordPress at the moment it seems less and less people are using these features when developing with WordPress and are leaving their sites ‘half-baked’ open to every man and his dog to view.
This got me thinking about privacy and testing, now this might not be the most interesting subject, but I think putting this wall up during development is crucial to allow you time to build the entire website. This not only allows you to keep the launch a secret and surprise, but also stops people seeing the website in a ‘half done’ state and then giving feedback on parts of the website that are yet to be completed and are not ready for viewing. We as creative people all want our clients and audiences to see the finished articles in all their polished glory, they generally don’t release half finished films to the cinema for a good reason!
The lesson here is to use one of the great free add-on’s made available to you via the WordPress plugin store and create you’re very own ‘coming soon’ page today!