Did you know that WordPress automatically posts a message to website visitors when you’re performing software updates? As Maddy Osman demonstrates, WordPress puts up a message saying your site is “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” instead of displaying your website:
While it’s great that WordPress has considered the fact that something could go wrong or seriously change your website during the updates process, that maintenance page is atrocious. Thankfully, there’s another way for you to handle this — and it’s not just something you use for brief moments when you manage WordPress updates.
There are a number of occasions when a “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” page makes more sense than leaving your WordPress website up for all to see. For example, when you’re:
- Building a brand new website.
- Rebranding a current one.
- Announcing the launch of a new feature or product.
- Performing serious maintenance in a crisis situation.
- During unplanned downtime (like after a security breach).
- Putting the website on hold to pursue other opportunities.
And, unsurprisingly, there are a vast number of WordPress coming soon plugins (and themes!) to help you create an impressive, yet temporary landing page for visitors.
In this post, you’ll see why and how coming soon page plugins for WordPress can be beneficial as well as learn which plugins and themes to use to create the perfect maintenance mode page for your site.
The Value of WordPress Coming Soon Pages 🎺
In the scheme of things, a Coming Soon or Under Construction page might seem easy enough to create. After all, it’s just one page to tell visitors the site isn’t ready for public consumption. Or is it?
A WordPress coming soon page can do a whole lot more than just tell visitors:
“Don’t go away! We’ll be back soon!”
Consider the following benefits:
Maintain a Presence
As you work on a website — rebranding it, repairing it after a breach, managing updates — it’s best to work in private. Imagine what would happen if you implemented live site edits piece by piece. You’d continually hear from the client (“why is this page only half-done?”) and from visitors (“I think there’s something wrong here”) before having a chance to get your work done.🔌 In some cases, your site can remain live while you manage updates in a local dev environment or on a staging server. In other cases, the state of a live website should just simply not be shared with the world yet. #WordPress Click To Tweet
You can still work on fixing or updating it in private, but the site itself needs to be pulled offline so as not to tarnish the brand’s reputation while it’s in flux.
An Under Construction or Maintenance Mode page would be helpful in such cases. So, when visitors happen upon it in search or from a referral source, they’re not completely put off by the downtime. Instead, they receive a message that assures them the site or page will be back soon, as the Artmill example (#10) shared by WishPond demonstrates.
Build Anticipation for the Site
There’s a reason why crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are so effective in helping startups get their businesses off the ground. It gives them a chance to share details of their idea, business, or products with consumers before anything is available for sale on the market. While the main purpose of Kickstarter is to raise money, it also gives businesses a way to build anticipation.
As CloudWays explains, a Coming Soon page is a great way to give the audience a solid first impression of a business and to really set the stage for what’s to come.
Plus, Coming Soon landing pages don’t just have to be for entire websites.
For instance, think about if a client were to reach out and say, “We’re launching a new product in about six months. Can you help us generate awareness and interest in it now?” You could tell them to turn to email or social media to work on that, but what about their website?
You could just as well put a Coming Soon product page on there. It could provide some light details about the product, announce a launch date, and get them prepared for what’s to come.
The Riveter offered co-working spaces for women, which unfortunately had to be shut down during the pandemic. Instead of removing the page from their site, they set up a spaces update page to keep readers aware of the situation and of what’s to come.
It’s a simple enough page announcing that they’re temporarily shifting focus to their online community. At least until people can meet IRL again.
Just be careful making any promises on your Coming Soon page. You don’t want to be too vague in what you share with visitors, but you also don’t want to overpromise.
Establish a Presence in Search
It’s never too soon to get a website to rank in search — so long as it provides value to those who encounter it. If you take time to build an informative and engaging Coming Soon page for a website, you can optimize it for search and send it out to Google for indexing.
When it comes to building awareness, you don’t want your client to be the sole one responsible for sharing a link to the Coming Soon landing page with interested parties. Put the search engines to work and start getting it on people’s radar now with an indexable page.
Building interest is just the first step in making the most out of your Coming Soon page. Why not take it one step further and give visitors a form to fill out.
Here’s another example from The Riveter, from before they shut down their spaces. This used to be their “Coming Soon” Dallas landing page:
As you can see here, they didn’t just say, “Give us your email address and we’ll tell you when to return to the site!” The relationship with the brand started then and there. Information was provided so that readers knew what to expect and they were given a legit reason to share personal details with the company that wasn’t even open for business yet.
If you can get the ball rolling now with a list of leads for your client, their website will do far better come Day 1 post-launch.
Build a Social Following
Another way to keep visitors engaged with a brand before a site is ready is to ask them to connect on social media. You’re going to do that anyway once the site is live, but you can start early by including social follow links on your Coming Soon page.
Again, just remember to make the “Follow” worth their while. You don’t want to just say “Launching soon!” and then slap some social icons underneath. Provide some information about what’s to come as well as what they can expect as they follow along on social media in the meantime.
Will the business provide progress updates? Will they be offering previews of the new product? Will early members get discounted access to the service or subscription?
Give them a reason to connect.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to do this, check out Dribbble for some examples. This one designed by AthenaStudio, for instance, includes some really cool and engage-worthy elements (including the social media piece):
You can get some more tips on best practices for designing a Coming Soon page from VisualModo.
Best WP Coming Soon Page Plugins 📃
There are some clear cases when you should be using a Coming Soon or Under Construction page for your WordPress website along with some obvious benefits for doing so. Now, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to create your page.
The logical place to start is with coming soon WP plugins.
Rather than have to build the page from scratch, these plugins provide the kinds of elements that help your page attract the right kind of attention and engagement. Video blocks. Social follow buttons. Countdown timers. Lead gen forms. And more.
Coming soon plugins can also help you post a notice for a variety of purposes:
- Coming Soon
- Maintenance Mode
- Under Construction
Here are the best coming soon plugins for WordPress:
1. Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
You can also learn more about the plugin’s interesting origin story from creator John Turner* on the LifterLMS podcast. He’s a fantastic human being who our Head Buff Joe has had the chance to hang out with at MicroConf and other WordCamps.
Or better yet, hear the conversation Joe had with John on the WPMRR podcast:
Inside the plugin, you can:
- Choose if you want to enable a Coming Soon or Maintenance Mode page.
- Add a logo, headline, and message — as long or short as you want.
- Create a meta title and description for the page.
- Add your Google Analytics code to track visits and engagements.
- Add your own scripts and HTML to customize the look of your page.
There’s plenty to do to the design as well:
- Set background color or image.
- Adjust the space your content takes up.
- Change the typography.
- Set different colors for different kinds of content — headline, text, and links.
With the premium version of SeedProd’s plugin*, you get even more:
- 50+ professional-grade themes.*
- Over 500,000 stock images.*
- Other add-ons like multilingual, urgency countdown, and email marketing.*
Most importantly, you get the ability to capture lead information like email addresses! That way people can leave their contact information if they’re interested in your future products or services. Once you launch your site, you can reach out to them directly.
With lead capture and contact form functionality that integrates into just about any other plugins you’re using, creating a pre-launch email list is as easy as pie.
They also have a free plugin if you don’t need all the bells and whistles.
2. Under Construction
Even if you don’t have a reason to tell visitors that your site is coming soon, you’re planning to do the occasional maintenance on the website, right? This Under Construction page plugin would be perfect for those occasions then — even if you’re only planning to take the site down for a few minutes.
Here are just some of the things you can do with it:
- Quickly toggle maintenance mode off or on.
- Connect Google Analytics.
- Choose from over a dozen themes or upgrade to get access to over 100.
- Handle all of your writing — for on-page content and SEO — in one place.
- Install the MailOptin plugin, integrate it with your email platform, and build subscriber forms and lead gen pop-ups to grow your email list.
- Publish a wide variety of social media plugins along with other contact options (e.g..Whatsapp, phone, email).
- Request support from the plugin developer from right inside the plugin.
In addition to being really easy to use and quick to set up, the Under Construction plugin has some of the most unique and creatively designed templates you’ll find!
Notice that small WordPress icon on the lower right part of the page? That’s where you and other admins of the site can log in while the site is in maintenance mode.
Truth be told, you’re not going to get anything like this with any other coming soon plugin for WordPress. That said, this might be more than you need, which is why a free plugin option might be the more logical choice.
That’s right: the Elementor page builder plugin* is a fantastic option for quickly putting your site into maintenance mode. While the free version of the plugin does come with Coming Soon page templates (see screenshot above), the premium version is the one you’ll want to use to make the most of this.
That’s because the basic version of Elementor doesn’t include all of the engagement and conversion elements you’re going to need. The Pro version includes elements like:
- Countdown timers.
- Call-to-action buttons.
- Share icons.
- Testimonial sliders.
- And more.
The Pro design templates include these upgraded features already, so you won’t have to spend as much time building out your pages.
4. Site Offline or Coming Soon or Maintenance Mode
The Coming Soon plugin is a robust solution for getting an offline/coming soon notice up on your WordPress website. That said, it still looks great even if you’re not able to tap into all of the templates or bells and whistles that come with the premium version.
Here are some of the things you can do with this plugin:
- Display or hide your logo.
- Write content for the page as well as metadata for its corresponding search listing.
- Change the colors, images, and element sizes on the page.
- Add a countdown timer and social media icons.
- Provide contact information, including your address, phone number, and email.
With the premium version of the plugin, you’ll get access to design templates and advanced features to help you build out a more thorough and engaging landing page experience. For example:
- Contact forms.
- Google Maps.
- Multi-page (just because the whole site isn’t ready, doesn’t mean you can’t still provide them with information “About Us” or “Contact Us”).
- Email integration and subscriber list management.
5. Coming Soon CountDown Responsive WordPress Plugin
If you’d rather use a coming soon page plugin with more stylish leanings, have a look at Coming Soon CountDown. As WPAll explains, this premium plugin is chock full of features and integrations that enable you to do anything you want with your coming soon page.
With the templates provided, you get your choice of:
- 2 kinds of layouts — one with a countdown and one with “middle magic” dynamic content.
- 2 kinds of countdowns — numbers or cycles.
- 10 color schemes.
- 10 background patterns.
- 10 transition effects.
- 6 color, image, or video background choices.
- 4 headline options.
- 10 social links.
- 9 email marketing integrations.
- Contact form.
- Lead gen pop-up.
- Additional pages.
6. 5sec Maintenance Mode
5sec Maintenance Mode is a premium WordPress plugin you may want to use to put a site under construction. There are two key differences between this plugin and its free counterparts:
- It’s 100% customizable. You can certainly start with one of their templates, but the design is yours to do with as you please.
- It includes the advanced features you’d otherwise have to pay a free plugin to give you access to.
To give you a sense for why you might want to use this coming soon plugin over the others, get a load of some of the templates.
This is the pink bunny countdown:
And this is the blue cookie progress bar:
There aren’t too many maintenance mode plugins that use a progress bar (or this much humor), so be sure to give this one a good look before you make your final decision.
And it’s got some fantastic reviews so users think it’s really easy to implement and is highly dependable to get the job done.
7. CMP Coming Soon & Maintenance Plugin by Niteo Themes
This Coming Soon & Maintenance Plugin by Niteo Themes gets high scores from Visual Contenting for offering a feature-rich solution. As one of the best free coming soon WordPress plugins — there’s so much you can do:
- Set a Coming Soon or Maintenance Mode page. Or redirect users to a different website entirely.
- Apply it to the entire site or just the home page.
- Quickly toggle your page on or off.
- Choose from one of a dozen CMP themes to skin your page.
- Customize the logo, content/message, background, fonts, colors, and add images or video.
- Enable Google Analytics to track traffic on the page.
- Add search metadata and turn search indexing on.
Plus, depending on which theme you choose, you can add and customize elements like:
- Image slider.
- Countdown timer (and set it to automatically switch to the live site when the timer ends).
- Subscribe form (and connect it to your preferred contact form plugin).
- Social media follow.
- Footer info.
What About WordPress Coming Soon Themes?
As you’ve already seen in the case of Elementor, sometimes a traditional coming soon plugin isn’t necessarily needed to create your page. Perhaps a stunning WordPress theme or design template will do the trick.
If you like the idea of not having to add another WordPress plugin to your site, look first at your own WordPress theme. It may already include a coming soon or maintenance mode template.
If it doesn’t, then try one of these premium WordPress themes and templates:
1. Coming Soon Teaser
The Coming Soon Sven Teaser template looks beyond the basic coming soon or under construction page formula. Instead, you can build captivating teaser experiences with HTML5 video, slideshows, Ken Burns slideshows, motivational quotes and clips, animations, and more.
For example, this HTML 5 video template begs visitors to go on a journey:
Upon completing the video or clicking the “Skip” button, they’ll find themselves with the opportunity to:
- Follow on social.
- Use the hashtag.
Another beautifully styled and animated WordPress coming soon template is called PHLY. It dubs itself as “versatile” and with good reason. Although the layouts of each template are similar in nature, they’re each uniquely designed and can be used in a variety of applications.
For example, this is a color block template with the subtlest of particle animations within it:
This one employs a soothing lava lamp-like effect:
This was designed with agencies in mind:
And this is for product launches:
And because this integrates with MailChimp, you can use these eye-catching coming soon pages to start collecting leads now.
Bientot is a responsive and absolutely beautiful WordPress coming soon template. Add video, animation, and slideshows to make it stand out even more.
Here’s an example of one of the templates. This is the main header that greets visitors:
The “Tell Me When” button then takes them to the timer:
A click of “Stay in Touch” moves them to the subscriber form:
You can see that it’s all here and it’s all beautifully done.
MOET may only come with a small handful of coming soon templates to choose from, but that’s okay.
What gives this WordPress multi-purpose template an edge is the fact that each one has a multi-scroll animation. This way, you’re not relegated to simply telling visitors that you’ll return soon.
Here’s an example of one of the home countdown pages:
With a single scroll, visitors could then see something like this:
With this template, you have a chance to engage visitors in a variety of ways — like informing them of what’s to come, asking them to subscribe for updates, signing them up for a pre-purchase, etc.
Mountain is a minimally designed, single-page coming soon template for WordPress. What’s particularly neat about this simplistic template is that it comes with 20 different variations, each with its own kind of unique design or animation:
- Basic video or image background.
- Wintry snow-falling animation.
- Low-poly animation.
- Constellation animation.
- Particle animation.
- Rainbow squares animation.
- Rain animation (as in the following example).
What the templates do not show is that, yes, you can include a countdown timer, but you can also add a subscription form to capture leads.
Wrapping Up 🎀
If you have any reason to pull your site down, or you know it’s going to take a while to get a new site up and running, don’t leave your visitors hanging. Just as you wouldn’t want to leave them in the clutches of a painfully slow-to-load site or one that’s been hacked, you also don’t want them to enter a site that’s not ready for public consumption.
By using a coming soon plugin for WordPress (or theme), you can put a beautifully designed page up in place of the website in no time. And with contact forms, countdowns, social media sharing, eye-catching animations, and even SEO included in most, you can keep visitors connected to the brand even when a working site is unavailable. If you don’t have time to do all of this, guess who’s got your back?
Who would’ve thought publishing a Coming Soon or Under Construction page to your WordPress site could be so valuable?
Want to give your feedback or join the conversation? Add your comments 🐦 on Twitter.