When you’re building a new website or online store, there’s a lot that needs to happen behind the scenes before it’s ready for the world. You don’t want to have to wait until launch to start marketing and building interest, which makes a coming soon page a very valuable asset to have.
With a coming soon page you can create an enticing page that is ready to show to the world. This page serves as the face of your website while you’re busy building behind the scenes.
Coming soon pages give you a way to build buzz, grow an email list, and even test ideas before the official launch day comes.
Below you’ll learn about what a coming soon page is, and a handful of reasons and scenarios where you’ll want to build one. Finally, you’ll learn how you can quickly and easily build a coming soon page in WordPress, step-by-step.
What is a Coming Soon Page?
First, we’ll get started with a little clarification, as you’ll hear coming soon pages referred to by multiple names.
There are two different types of coming soon pages:
- The first is a traditional coming soon page, which tells your visitors that a new website, app, store, or project is launching soon.
- The second is a maintenance page. This lets your visitors know that your site is currently undergoing routine maintenance or technical difficulties.
Sometimes maintenance pages can be used when you’re making visual changes to your site as well. Instead of making these changes to a live website, you put up a maintenance mode page until the changes are complete.
You may also hear coming soon pages referred to as pre-launch pages.
But, no matter what words you’re using to describe your page, they all serve the same general purpose: to help garner interest, gain user feedback, collect email addresses, and give visitors a place to go while your website is being developed or updated.
Unlike other pages on your site, coming soon pages are temporary. They’re like an appetizer you can offer your visitors while the real meal is being made.
For example, here’s a simple coming soon page created with the SeedProd Coming Soon plugin for a website that could currently be under construction:
Here’s another super simple coming soon page created with the same WordPress plugin. You’ll notice that your coming soon page doesn’t have to be incredibly in-depth to be effective:
Reasons to Use a Coming Soon Page
A coming soon page gives you a temporary way to send traffic to your website while you’re busy in the backend building it.
As you’ll soon learn, coming soon pages serve a variety of purposes, from giving you peace of mind while working on your site, to helping generate leads, assist with the website migration process, and let you easily test new ideas.
Here are a handful of the most common reasons you’ll want to use a WordPress coming soon page:
1. Generating Leads Before Launch
The last thing you want to hear when you launch your website to the world is crickets. You can avoid this fate by strategically building an audience while your website is still under construction.
One of the best ways to do this is to start building an email list before you launch.
A coming soon page is a fantastic way to do this. Since it’s basically a landing page, you can offer an incentive for people to join your list (more on this below). Then, you can start building a relationship with your new subscribers right away through email.
2. Building Up Buzz and Hype
If you don’t have an existing audience or following to tap into when you launch, you can use your coming soon page to build this initial hype.
For example, maybe you use your coming soon page to host a compelling giveaway, or you give away some great resources in exchange for an email address or social media post.
Essentially, a coming soon page presents an idea. If your idea is compelling enough and you give your visitors a reason or incentive to share, you can naturally build hype around your launch—even if you’re starting with no audience.
3. Testing Website or Product Ideas Quickly
You can create a coming soon page rather quickly. Depending on your existing WordPress skills, you can have a coming soon page live in a couple of hours.
Then, with this skeleton of a product or idea created you can start sending traffic to it to see how people react.
If you’re not sure about the direction you want to take with your website, or you have a few different branding ideas, then this can be a fast way to test them and get real-world feedback.
This way you know that when you launch your website you’re building something that people want, and not something you “think” people want. This will make a big difference in the success of your website.
Alternative Uses for a Coming Soon Page
Beyond the main reasons above there are two alternative reasons you’ll want to use a coming soon or maintenance page.
1. Using a Coming Soon Page During Site Migration
Coming soon pages can be used during a website migration. For example, let’s say you built your site using a website builder, but now you want to switch over to WordPress.
If you want to start building your WordPress site but don’t want to take down your current site until it’s complete, then you can use a coming soon page to bridge the gap.
The process for this is pretty simple. You install WordPress on your new site and install a coming soon page plugin (we discuss this in the final section). Then, you can build your new site completely in the background. You’ll have full access to the WordPress dashboard and the theme customization options.
Once you’re finished building your new site, just turn off the coming soon plugin, and forward your domain that’s pointing to your old site to your new one.
This process allows for a seamless and stress-free site migration experience.
2. Creating a WordPress Staging Environment
Another use of a coming soon plugin is when you’re doing routine maintenance or making changes to your site that you don’t want your visitors to see.
So, instead of trying to make these changes during the light of day you can activate a coming soon plugin and create a simple page that lets your visitors know you’re making changes to your site, and it’ll be back online soon.
Before you make changes to your site, one thing worth doing is installing a staging area plugin. This allows you to essentially create a cloned version of your site that you can work on.
With this kind of plugin activated, you can test out new changes without affecting your original site. You can also preview any changes in real-time. This gives you the freedom to test out design ideas and implement new features without the fear of breaking your existing site.
What Should You Include in a Coming Soon Page?
Coming soon pages look different depending on their purpose. For example, if you’re trying to gauge interest for a new website you’re launching, this will look different than a maintenance mode page.
However, regardless of the purpose, most coming soon pages will have some similar elements.
Here are the most common elements of a coming soon page:
- A message that announces what, exactly, is coming soon
- Your website logo and a color scheme that matches your branding
- A timeline of when this project will go live, maybe even with a countdown timer to launch
- A sign-up form to collect visitor email addresses before launch
- Links to anywhere else you can be found online, like social media profiles, or existing projects
Let’s break down the details of some of these sections:
What’s actually “coming soon” and why does it matter?
Coming soon pages, when done the right way, can be incredibly valuable. They not only allow you to build buzz before you launch your website, but they can also give you feedback into whether or not your idea is worth pursuing.
Make sure your page offers enough information so that your visitors know what’s coming soon. Curiosity can be a great way to get people intrigued about your new project, but they’ll need enough information to be curious in the first place.
For example, is it a website that will help gardeners find the best natural products for their gardens? Or maybe you’re creating a website that shows dog owners how to best care and train their pets?
Whatever your idea you’ll want to have a compelling headline, along with a brief description.
Ask yourself, why would this website matter for these new visitors? What’s in it for them?
By teasing your idea you’ll be able to get valuable feedback from your visitors before launch. This will help with your positioning, messaging, and even design before you launch the final version of your site.
Finally, it can be helpful to include a countdown timer. Nearly every WordPress coming soon plugin will give you the ability to add a countdown timer to your site. These timers can help to build buzz and give your visitors something to look forward to.
Also, if you’re using your coming soon page to generate leads, then this timer can give people a deadline to join your list. This leads us to the next section.
Generate leads by offering an incentive
Adding an email signup form to your coming soon page is a great way to start building your list before you launch. However, if a visitor is already checking out your coming soon page you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure they stick around.
A great way to do this is to offer an incentive for a visitor to join. For example, in exchange for their email you could offer things like:
- Access to early bird pricing (if you’re opening an eCommerce store)
- A free guide or set of resources
- A free coaching or consulting session
- The chance to win a contest (if you’re running a giveaway)
Once you get their email list you can stay in touch with them, ask for feedback on your idea, inform them about the launch timeline, and more.
By building an email list before you even launch you can avoid launching to a crowd of zero. Instead, you’ll have a ton of people excited about your new project and can help to spread the word.
Give visitors a way to get in touch and spread the word
You don’t have to wait until you launch to get valuable feedback from your visitors. Right from the very start, you should encourage your visitors to get in touch with you to share any questions, ideas, or concerns.
By opening this line of dialogue early on you can improve the quality of your website and ensure you’re building something your visitors want.
This can be as simple as including your email on the coming soon page. Or, you can engage in dialogue later on, if you collect their email address.
These initial people to support your project can be your biggest advocates in getting the word out. So, you’ll want to treat them like gold.
Another element you might want to add is a way for your visitors to share your coming soon page with their audience. This can be as simple as having a handful of social media icons. Or, try offering an incentive for sharing, such as entry into a contest you’re running.
How to Create a Coming Soon Page in WordPress
By now you should be well versed in what goes into a WordPress coming soon page. You should have a thorough understanding of what you’re going to include on your page, as well as what the overarching goal for your page will be.
Here’s how you can create your own coming soon page in WordPress:
1. Find the Perfect WordPress Coming Soon Page Plugin
When you’re using WordPress there are always a dozen plugins you can choose from for any task you want to accomplish, or feature you want to add.
For adding a coming soon page to your site one of the best is called Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd. This plugin has both a free and premium version and has all the features you need to create an epic coming soon page. You can even use this plugin to create a simple website maintenance mode page as well, if that’s your goal.
This plugin will help you quickly create a coming soon page on WordPress. You can even customize the page with CSS if you want it to match the design of your new site.
For the rest of this tutorial we’ll be using the Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd plugin, so to follow along you’ll want to use the same plugin.
2. Install and Activate the Plugin
To install the plugin you’ll need to login to your WordPress dashboard. Once you’re in the backend of your site navigate to Plugins>Add New.
Then, click ‘Add New’ and search for Coming Soon SeedProd, and install the plugin that looks like the one below.
Once the plugin is activated you can access the plugin settings by clicking on the ‘SeedProd’ icon on the left-hand side of your dashboard. If you have a lot of plugins installed, you might have to scroll to find it.
3. Configure Your Settings
For the sake of this tutorial, we’re using the free version of the SeedProd plugin, which will be more than enough for most users. However, if you want access to even more features, then you can upgrade to the premium version as well.
The first thing we’ll do is navigate to the ‘Design’ tab. Here we can customize how the coming soon page will look. At the top, you’ll notice the theme selection options (note that this is only available for those using the pro version).
If you scroll down you’ll notice Background, Content, and Text options. By customizing these we can set a background image or color, set the content width, and text colors. If you know CSS, then you can add that to truly customize your page.
Once you’re satisfied with the design, let’s move over to the ‘Content’ tab.
This is where we’ll be adding the logo, page headline, and content. Spend some time with this section as this is the most important aspect of your coming soon page. Create a compelling headline and body copy that entices your visitors to learn more and get excited about your project.
You can also embed an email sign up form into this section as well. However, you’ll need to embed it with a shortcode or HTML form, as the free version isn’t equipped with integration abilities right out of the box (for instant integration, simply upgrade to the Pro version).
Finally, at the bottom of this tab, you can optimize the SEO settings for your page. This is how your coming soon page will show up in the search engines. Although the chances of ranking are pretty low (on a brand new website), it can be helpful if you’re going to have your coming soon page up for a while.
You can add your Google Analytics code to this section as well. This can be helpful if you’re going to be trying a ton of different traffic generation methods and you want to see which marketing approach is the most effective.
4. Enable Your Coming Soon Page
Once you’re satisfied with the design of your page and the copy, it’s time to make it live.
To do this you’ll need to be back in the ‘Content’ tab. Then, under the ‘General’ box select the ‘Enable Coming Soon Mode’ option.
You might have noticed that once you turn this option on, nothing changes in the backend. But, now whenever someone comes to your site all they’ll be able to see and access is the coming soon page.
When you’re logged into your site you’ll be able to see the version of the site that you’re working on. So, if you want to see what your visitors see when they access your site, then you’ll need to log out and maybe even view your site through an Incognito browser tab.
With a coming soon page enabled, you now have the freedom and time to build your site as you see fit. Let your coming soon page do the work for you, while you build your perfect website in the backend.
Once you’re finished with your design, just return to the same tab and turn the option to ‘Disabled’ and your site will be available for the world to see. Alternatively, you can also deactivate and uninstall the plugin.
Moving Forward with Your Own Coming Soon Page
As you can see, a coming soon page can be a very valuable addition to your website. It gives you time to build your site as you see fit. You won’t feel rushed to build your site or make design changes while the world can see your site.
Plus, by using a coming soon page the right way you can help to build buzz for your new project, generate leads before launch, and even make the website migration process less stressful.
For this tutorial we used the free version of the SeedProd Coming Soon plugin. However, you can use any plugin you wish that has similar features. The specific plugin you choose doesn’t matter as much as it having the features you require and you being able to use it easily.
You’re now ready to unlock the power of a coming soon page for your website. Hopefully, the tips above will get you moving in the right direction and one step closer to your website building dreams!