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How to build a memorable "coming soon" page while your site is under construction
The ‘website coming soon’ zone — every website owner has been there. Even more so now that every business and professional needs a website, and it has become much easier to build one. But sometimes you’re not ready to launch the site just yet — perhaps the website is still under construction, maybe you just invested in a design overhaul, or perhaps you’re just doing some general website maintenance.
In any case, it’s important to understand that the internet never sleeps. If you need to take your current website offline or you’re still building it, the prudent thing to do is to create a ‘coming soon’ or ‘under construction’ page. It’s like a temporary placeholder that notifies your audience about what’s to come. The beauty of an under construction page is that it can still add value to your business even when your website is temporarily offline.
At the end of this post, you’ll know the fundamental features of a memorable ‘coming soon’ page for your website, as well as how to create one. You’ll also find a selection of our top picks for simple yet effective under construction templates that you can personalize for your website. Let’s get to it.
What is the Under Construction page?
This is basically your go-to page whenever you need to take your website offline and work on it. You can think of it as a personalized landing page for your visitors informing them why your website is offline. This is much better than them trying to access your site, and their browsers keep returning error messages.
An under construction page is mostly used for comprehensive site-wide changes, such as redesigns, content revamping, the addition of new functionality (like in eCommerce), and general extensive site maintenance.
What about a coming soon page?
A coming soon page is the go-to landing page for a new website that is being built. Perhaps you already purchased the domain name and are already sharing it on social media or with your friends, but the site is still being developed. People wanting to visit your site at that time should be greeted by a well-designed coming soon page.
Of course, the website owner can also use an under construction page, but the coming soon message may be preferable since it can generate more excitement. That’s why it’s not uncommon for some coming soon templates to even have a countdown timer on the page, so visitors know when the site will finally go live.
The benefits of an under construction/coming soon page
Is it worth putting in the effort to create a coming soon or under construction page for your website? Absolutely! Here are a few benefits you can get:
- Provide your site visitors with context — If you already have a decent website following, it’s important to provide your audience with context as to why your site is not accessible at the moment. Just this one page can improve customer experience and protect you from losing customers.
- Maintain your website’s analytics and online performance — If your website suddenly goes offline for a prolonged period, its analytics and performance may be impacted.
- Generating interest in an upcoming product or service — A coming soon page can help attract interest into a pending product or service that you’re looking to add to your website. It automatically serves as a great marketing tool to generate excitement about what’s to come.
- It can build brand awareness — Your new website may not be ready yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t promote it. A coming soon page serves as an excellent tool for promoting your website. On the page, you can include links to your other pages on the internet, such as your business’s social media links.
- Lead generation — A coming soon/under construction page is already a landing page, which means you can use it to generate leads by including the right content. For instance, you can include a subscription form to collect pre-sign-up emails. This way, you already have subscribers by the time you launch the site.
The point remains that an under construction or coming soon page is a great way to assure some transparency to your website visitors and generate hype for what’s to come. As a website owner or administrator, you need an under construction page, even a basic one. So how do you go about it?
Main features to include in an under construction/coming soon page
Basically, what are the questions that an under construction page should answer? It all comes down to your users and why the website is not online in the first place. The key is to prepare for these questions in advance and write down short, clear answers on the page. These include:
Why can’t I use this website?
Naturally, this is the first thing a visitor wonders when they land on a website that has been taken offline. It’s like going to your favorite retail store on a Monday noon and seeing the ‘closed’ sign at the door. You’ll want to know why it’s closed. Whatever your reason(s), be clear and concise. Let it be one of the first things people see when they land on the page.
When can I use the website again?
The next thing people want to know after your ‘why,’ is when they can get back to using your website again? You can get creative with the message. For instance, utilize a countdown timer or progress bar on the page. Many coming soon page templates have this functionality. If not, you can simply give a straight answer — “we’ll be back on this date. Thank you for your patience.”
Of course, you’ll need to be strategic with your planning here. Make sure you pick a date that you’re absolutely sure you can deliver on. No one likes excuses. It is better to put a further date and be thorough with the work than pick a near one and then have to rush through things and make mistakes along the way.
Is your company already in business?
Most people see your company and website as one and the same. Therefore if the site goes down (probably for maintenance), they could assume that your company is down too. In reality, your website is just one aspect of your company, albeit an essential one.
Your coming soon message should let visitors know if your company is still operating as usual. For example, if you set up an eCommerce site for your physical store, you could include the message that your store is still open to visitors and look forward to serving them through the physical shop.
Where else can visitors find more information about your brand?
This is where those social media links come in handy. An under construction page can help redirect your web traffic to your other online pages. Using the same example as the eCommerce site, you could ask your web visitors to do their shopping on your Facebook page, Instagram shopping, or any other suitable outlet.
Other important elements to include in a coming soon page
- Visual elements — Background imagery and attractive color gradients can help your coming soon or under construction page to draw focus to the important message. Add your logo and any other trendy branding elements. If you’re doing a website redesign, maybe you could use the new design’s color palette as a sneak peek into what visitors can expect.
- Contact information — It’s important to maintain communication with your audience even when your website is temporarily offline, perhaps even more so. Have your contact information boldly listed on the page and let your potential visitors know how to best reach you.
- Call-to-action (CTA) — Now that you’ve explained why your site is displaying the under construction page, make sure your visitors know what to do next. That’s basically what CTAs are all about.
- Keywords — If you’re building a new website, you won’t have to worry about dropping on search engine rankings. However, for existing websites going through a temporary downtime, SEO may be impacted if it is offline for a prolonged period. Your under construction or maintenance mode page could include some relevant keywords, so your site stays relevant to search engines.
How long can a website remain in “coming soon” mode?
This is mainly a business decision. There’s no standard for how long a website should display a coming soon or maintenance mode page. Of course, the earlier the better is a cardinal consideration here.
If it’s a brand new web design, you could probably afford a few weeks, but still, you want to get it completed as soon as possible, as each day you don’t have an online presence is one day of missed opportunities to expand your market.
Building your under construction page
Like any web page, your under construction or coming soon page must be user-friendly. If you’re using a popular content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you can create your new web page the same way you would any other new page. Click on “Add New” and begin customizing.
Depending on the level of customization, you might need some knowledge in HTML5, PHP, custom CSS coding, and other programming languages. Put some thought into the background image and typography as well. Remember, your under construction page is supposed to enhance the user experience. Add the other elements like contact forms, subscription forms, logo, etc.
Using an under construction website template
If you’re not that web savvy, you could always use an under construction site template or plugin. There are many of these user-friendly tools available, and all you need is a little bit of customization to set up your page.
An example is the Under Construction plugin for WordPress. You only need to install this plugin and then start customizing the page design even without prior knowledge of how to use an HTML template.
Choose a theme and start adding your content. The free version has somewhat limited customization features. For instance, you cannot upload your own image, but you can in the pro version. Still, you can add exciting color schemes, background images, custom contact forms, and even parallax effects.
When you’re done with the design, simply toggle on the “Under Construction Mode” button, and your new coming soon page becomes the new temporary homepage for the website.
Our top picks for under construction website templates
Time Up - Coming Soon Specialty Page
If you’re looking for a responsive HTML template for your business website, Time Up is a great place to start. It’s fully customizable with various elements, including image slideshows, color schemes, clean gradients, movable backgrounds, JS countdown timer, and many more. You can also add About us and Contact us pages, as well as social media buttons.
Sooner Specialty Page
There is another responsive one-page template. What makes it stand out is its animated background, which is a great way to add dynamics and draw attention to any web page. It is also possible to include other movable elements, such as animated text and countdown timers. The company has a friendly support team so you can always reach out if you ever get stuck.
Coyote - Responsive HTML5 Coming Soon Template Landing Page Template
This easy-to-use template is great for building coming soon pages. Background styles are as varied as they come, plus you get to choose between light and dark versions. The template is designed using modern programming technologies such as Bootstrap Sass, HTML5, and CSS3, making it all the more functional.
WP Maintenance Mode
This is one of the most popular under construction mode tools for WordPress. Functionality is excellent with subscription forms, timers, social media icons, typography, contact forms — all customizable. It’s easy to install and is compatible with all WordPress themes.
A well-designed coming soon page is a must-have whether you’re building a brand new website or doing small site maintenance. This can save you a lot of hassles, stay connected to your audience, and even maintain SEO relevance and ranking.
Of course, the most important thing is that the work gets done quickly so you can get your website online as soon as possible. B12 can help!
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