This is Lesson 5 in the Get Your Business Online Fast free video course – make sure to check out the rest of the lessons.
Now comes the exciting part – where you get to create a coming soon page that represents your business. Thankfully – the WordPress ecosystem has a really easy way of doing this without needing to touch any code or complex styling.
We are going to use a plugin called WP Maintenance Mode to create this page.
1. Installing the WP Maintenance Mode Plugin
Log into your website dashboard. This link is always your domain name followed by /wp-admin – for example constructios login screen is constructios.com/wp-admin
- From the WordPress Dashboard click on Plugins.
- Click Add New
- Search for “WP Maintenance Mode”
- Click the blue Install button
- Once installation is complete click the Activate
2. Turning on Maintenance Mode & Styling
Now that the plugin is installed we need access the settings page to turn on maintenance mode so anyone visiting your website will only see a professional holding page but you can still login and make changes.
- From the WordPress Dashboard Menu go to Settings
- Click on WP Maintenance Mode – this will bring you to the plugins main settings page.
- Change the status to Activated and scroll down to the end of the page and click Save Settings.
- Now open your website in another window or browser so you can see what it looks like if you are not logged in. If you don’t have another browser installed then you can use the incognito window in Chrome or view the website on someone else’s computer or on your mobile phone.
- You will see a very generic Maintenance Mode message that we will now change.
3. Styling Your Coming Soon Page
You can leave the rest of the General tab settings as they are.
Next we will move on to the Design tab.
- Change the Title of your page to suit your website.
- Change the Heading text and choose a color. Generally I recommend choosing white text on a dark background or black text on a white background, as these are easy for users to read. We are going to use white text on a dark background for this example, as we will have a dark photograph for our background.
- Text – If you want to add more information about your new website then this is the spot and you can style it like a Word document. Again – make sure the text color suits your style.
- Background: Choose from a solid custom color, an uploaded background like a photograph you upload yourself or one of their pre-defined images. We are going to upload our own dark background image. Tip: You can find images that are free to use with attribution at pixabay.com or more professional paid images at 123rf.com and shutterstock.com – links to all will be in the course links tab. You have to be careful that you have the right to use the image – check the copyright and/or give correct attribution. We will be covering this topic in more detail in the Graphics for the Web lesson later in this course.
- Click Save
Lastly move on to the Modules Tab and there are five modules that add some pretty great-extended functionality for you to choose from:
- Countdown: This adds a countdown timer to when your website will go live. I don’t tend to use this but if you have a definite date for your launch this might be a nice feature for you.
- Subscribe: This adds a form so people can leave their email to find out when your new website is going live. You can use the emails gathered here to send news and information to your clients and we will be showing you how to import them into a Newsletter service in the Marketing section of this course.
- Social Networks: If you have social networks that you would like to advertise – fill in this section. You can choose for the links to open in the existing tab or open in a new tab. If the link opens in the existing tab your user will have left your website but some people hate to be forced to open new tabs so this is a personal call.
- Contact: This is where your new custom email comes to play. You can show a contact form where your customers can send you a message and it will be delivered straight to your new email address.
- Google Analytics: If you have an analytics account set up – you can paste your analytics tracking code in here. If not – don’t worry about it – we will be covering Google Analytics in a lesson in the Marketing course.
Once you are happy with your changes – Click Save Settings and check out your new holding page to see if you need to make any changes.
4. Testing Your Sign Up Form & Contact Form
Make sure you test subscribing to your website, then go back into the WP Maintenance Mode settings, refresh the page to see that you have one new subscriber. You can download your subscribers as a .csv which you can open with Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel or equivalent.
Also send yourself a test contact message to make sure you are receiving emails. You might need to wait for your email to arrive as it is coming through your servers or refresh your connection as shown in the setting up your emails video.
You will not be able to see your changes if you are logged into your website so you will need to open it up in a new incognito window or another browser where you are not logged in. When you are logged in you will be able to see your website dashboard and how your website looks without the maintenance page.
5. Lesson Outcomes
Finally, you now have a brand new coming soon page that you can be proud to share with your family, friends and business colleagues.
What Next: Find out more about Online Presence Academy