ARE YOU READY FOR A COUNTDOWN?
Every site launch needs buzz. To have a successful launch it is best to stir up some excitement. Build hype. Make some noise. Take some names. Create readers before the site is even launched, and then make them look forward to it. Create potential users for your new product so that you can have a knowledgeable market to sell to the day the product is released.
And you can have your readers help you stir up that noise. Get them to talk about your new site on their blogs and social media networks. Get them to take it viral.
A good way to accomplish this is through the implementation of a countdown. The countdown makes site visitors look forward to the launch. It creates the “I can’t wait!” feeling that you want your readers to share.
What is a Countdown Page?
A countdown page is a single landing page with a timer and a message that your site or product is coming soon. It is also known as a Coming Soon page or Maintenance Mode. Your website will only display this one page. While the quantity of content on these pages should be minimal, it still needs to accomplish several things:
- Display what the site or product is about
- Show when the site or product will launch
- Offer ways to follow you on social media
- Include a Sign up for a newsletter
- Create excitement
When Should You Use a Countdown Page?
The best time to use a countdown page is when launching a website or product. Countdown pages help create buzz for your launch. Any kind of release needs excitement. This includes:
Rolling out a website can take time. A lot of time. So it would really stink if you spend your time planning and developing the site, only to find that when the site goes live, no one comes because no one knew about it. What happened to “if you build it they will come,” right?
There are so many books, apps, music, entertainment, movies, games, etc., to choose from on the market that it’s hard to capture the attention of the audience. A countdown page can generate excitement and strengthen a product release before the product or service launches. It can capture leads and help to build a sales network.
How to Create a Countdown Page Using a Plugin
There are many plugins that have a countdown timer. That’s easy, but just a countdown doesn’t create hype. It doesn’t capture leads, or generate followers. It doesn’t provide any information. To have a successful launch you need a plugin that captures leads and promotes social sharing. Here is a list of plugins that do all of these tasks and more.
There is an animated countdown that counts the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until launch. You choose the date and time and it does the rest. There is a bar that displays the percentage you have completed. You type in the number for the percentage you want it to display.
Anticipate lets you select from all of your pages to create a slider for your visitors to see. They can scroll through each one if they want. You can choose which pages they can see, so you can create a page specifically for your Coming Soon news and include any links, media, images, text, etc., that you want. Using pages in the slider is what really sets this plugin apart from the rest.
You can have anything on the screen that you can have on a page. This is a great way to add a contact form, newsletter subscription form, video, images, etc. Since it can all be displayed on different pages using the slider, your visitors can see secondary information without disrupting the simplicity of your message in the first landing screen. This keeps you first impression, well, impressive.
You can include your URLs for Facebook, Twitter, and RSS. Readers can input their email addresses so you can send updates to them as you wish. This is a great way to build a following for your site’s social networks before your site is even ready to go live. It is also a great way to let them know when your site is live and helps ensure they don’t forget about you and return for your launch. The emails are stored in the database and can easily be exported if you want.
WP WordPress Coming Soon
This responsive plugin is available in both a free and a premium edition. While you’re logged in you will see the regular site while visitors will still see maintenance mode. The free edition shows a simple “site offline” message. It shows a message on the log in screen that tells you which mode the site is in.
It’s the premium edition that makes this plugin worth looking into. It adds backgrounds, social media, newsletters, and a countdown. You can write your own title for the the maintenance mode page, select a logo, write the text that visitors will see, upload backgrounds, adjust fonts, and more.
The backgrounds are displayed and changed every few seconds like a slideshow. The email sign up connects directly to your MailChimp account so you don’t have to export later. There are many social networks included like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can also configure the type of maintenance mode your site is in, so bots and crawlers will know your site is temporarily down.
The premium edition costs $19.99.
Responsive Maintenance Pro with Countdown
This free responsive plugin has 6 different templates to choose from. You can use CSS3 animations, videos from YouTube, and images. It supports several social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It has a countdown timer and you can add your own logo. This one allows you to turn on and off the countdown timer and social networks independently. It supports multisite, BuddyPress, and WooCommerce.
Smart Maintenance and Countdown
This is a free, responsive plugin with most of the features you expect: templates, countdown timer, social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), title, message, and contact information. This one doesn’t let you use your own logo, show a progress bar, or HTML, and there’s no way to capture emails to build your list. It’s a simple and free plugin that’s easy to use and it looks nice. If you don’t need the extra features this one is worth considering.
Coming Soon Landing Page
This responsive plugin is available in both free and premium editions. The free edition includes a progress bar, 4 themes, custom HTML, HTTP 503 in the header (to alert bots the site is in maintenance mode), and RSS feed access.
The premium edition adds the functions you expect in a better Coming Soon page: a countdown timer, social icons, subscriber form to collect emails, MailChimp support, and another theme. The themes look top-notch.
The premium plugin costs $23.
Easy Coming Soon
If you want to have the option of whether or not you have a countdown, and you still want to collect emails and have your visitors connect with you through social media, there’s the Easy Coming Soon plugin. This responsive plugin has both a free and premium edition. The free edition includes social media icons (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), a Coming Soon template, a subscribe feature so you can collect visitor’s emails, and Google Analytics. Those that are logged in will see the regular theme, while everyone else will see the Coming Soon message.
The premium edition adds SEO, Feedburner support, MailChimp support, countdown timer, progress bar, multiple templates, background image slideshow, YouTube video support, logo, more social media profiles (LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Yahoo, etc.), more email and newsletter systems (AWeber, Get Response, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor), custom favicon, custom CSS, and more.
The premium edition is $39 and can be used on unlimited websites and has 1 year of support and updates.
How to Create a Countdown Page Using the Divi Theme Without a Plugin
If you want to create a Coming Soon countdown page without a plugin and still have all the bells and whistles, Elegant Themes’ Divi has you covered. Divi has special page-building features called Modules. Using the Divi Countdown Timer Module and Page Builder, you can create a Coming Soon page on steroids. Let’s take a look at a Divi module called the Countdown Timer Module.
The Countdown Timer Module
Divi allows you to build the countdown within the theme itself. You can create a page and add any module to it that you want. This means you can provide information to your readers, use any email subscription form, display any type of media you want, and display icons to every social network in existence. You can even have multiple timers on the same page with information about each one individually.
Coming Soon Layout
To build your Coming Soon page in Divi, create a page and select Use Page Builder, select Load Layout, and choose Coming Soon.
This module gives you the countdown timer, a module for subscribing, and a call to action. You can add, rearrange, delete, and copy any module, customizing this page any way you want.
Select the countdown timer’s settings and choose the title, date and time to countdown to, text color, background color, and make some CSS selections if you want.
Your Coming Soon page now has a countdown timer, a message, and contact us button. Your pages, logo, and social media plugins are still visible. So, everything else on your site works as normal. It even works with Elegant Theme’s Monarch social media plugin. You can use this as your landing page or any page you want within your website. Creating this countdown page took just a few seconds.
Using a countdown is a great way to create buzz for any release. They can let your visitors know about the website, product, or service, and get them to follow you on social media and share it with their friends, sign up to your newsletter, contact you to give you feedback, and built excitement for your release.