Whenever I create a new WordPress website, one of the very first things I do is set up a ‘coming soon’ screen. If you’re building your own site, it’s something you should be doing too.
Any links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, which means if you buy through them I might get a small commission (that will probably be spent on pretty fonts). This is at no extra cost to you and I only share products and services that I use and love.
There are actually a bunch of benefits, so let’s take a look:
You can choose when to reveal the new website
Your website can take anything from a week or two, to months to build, depending on how complex it is, and how much time you can devote to building it. If you’re working it a little bit here, a little bit there, around your normal work, it’s going to take a lot longer than if you can set aside a full week or two to only focus on creating the site.
You don’t want people to see it until it’s totally perfect. Because if a potential client lands on a half-finished site, they don’t know if it’s still under construction, or if you just have a really rubbish, messy site.
So a coming soon screen lets you hide the work in progress so you can reveal it only when it’s ready to be seen. That way you look like the awesome, professional business that you are.
You can use it as a marketing tool
While you’re tinkering away in the background, getting your content and graphics just right, your coming soon screen can be building some hype around the launch of your new site.
Use the coming soon screen to give people a small taster of what to expect from the new site. And capitalise on their interest by adding a subscription form. Start growing your email list now, and you’re already ahead of the game. You can start emailing them to start delivering value now and get them as excited about the new site as you are.
You could even add a countdown timer to the screen to show people how soon the site will launch.
To help your SEO
Google and the other search engines only want to send people to high quality websites. So you don’t want them to see your half-finished site in case they think it’s a rubbishy spam site.
Just as you want to hide it from public view, it’s best to hide it from Google until it’s ready. So that what the search engines see is the high quality, useful site, worthy of being pushed higher up search results, rather than being hidden away where no one will ever find it.
How do you add a coming soon screen to your website?
Adding a coming soon screen to your WordPress site is super easy. There are a bunch of plugins out there which you can use to set up a coming soon screen in just a few minutes.
My favourite is Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd, which is free from the WordPress plugin directory.
It’s really easy to set up a simple coming soon screen and it even has a ‘maintenance mode’ you can use after your site has launched. That’s handy because websites are never really ‘finished’. There will always be something you want to change, some new content to add, and the maintenance mode means you can make your changes in private without the public seeing your work in progress or any mistakes.
And if you need more advanced features, there’s a premium version of the plugin* that includes things like more design options, including a realtime page builder, easy email marketing integrations, social sharing, and more.
You might also like: Essential plugins for your WordPress website
Showing a half-finished website to potential customers is a fast way to lose them, so when you’re setting up your site make sure you’re using a coming soon screen. It’ll protect your reputation, and create a buzz around the launch of your new site.
Need help setting up your WordPress website?
Check out my free email course, Website in a Week, which will take you through all the boring and scary bits of creating a site, leaving you more time for the fun bits, like creating your kick-ass content: