The first thing you want to do after registering a new domain is throw in a ‘Coming Soon’ or ‘Under Construction’ page. Not only does this look professional, but it allows you to start building your social following or newsletter subscriber list.
Combined with a live count down to your launch date, it’s your first step in warming up potential visitors for your new site while you finalize it. Just remember to enter a realistic number in your count down (unlike me!). Luckily, these counters don’t count negative days, but you can’t keep extending it forever of course.
Below you’ll find a list of 14 of the most beautiful, funny or practical coming soon WordPress themes and plugins. I have compiled a combination of both free and low priced themes and plugins, with a demo link if available. Some of these are ready-to-go for use with WordPress and there are also a couple of stand-alone templates that I thought were worth including.
See You Later
See You Later is the replacement of the very famous (and formerly free) WooThemes Placeholder theme, which is the one I use on one of my own sites. WooThemes turned it into a paid ‘Coming Soon’ plugin, adding three additional themes along with parts of their quality framework. You can link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as to your RSS feed and email address.
Launcher is, in my eyes, the coolest ‘Coming Soon’ theme around. Why? It has a moving rocket! Just move your mouse over the demo, and you’re sold. You can include your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the ‘Subscribe’ button will subscribe people to a FeedBurner account (but you can also disable it). I liked it enough to put it up on one of my own sites.
If you want to put up something really fun, MyCountDown is a great theme. I couldn’t catch the full effect in one screenshot, so please do check out the demo. It has one of the most creative countdown timers. It also has a contact form, you can use popular WordPress widgets, and link to all popular social accounts. It’s a bit pricey, but if you’re building a technical site, your visitors will love this one.
Lexiity is a responsive theme with a modern, stylish design with different colors to choose from. You can link to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest accounts, but you might need to put on your glasses to find the icons. It also allows for a newsletter subscription form, which integrates with MailChimp. You can also include some clickable buttons.
Felice is a perfect ‘Under Construction’ theme when you’re building a fashion related website. It uses soft colors in the demo, but you can change these in the back-end. The theme is responsive and comes with a nice progress bar instead of a counter. You can link to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts.
Touchdown is a non-WordPress ‘Coming Soon’ theme, and I just had to put it in this list. For only $4 (!) you can have this great looking ‘Coming Soon’ page. Just because you’re running WordPress, doesn’t mean you can’t drop this in along side it. You can use a full page image as a background, or even a YouTube video. It uses a counter and you can display 14 different social accounts. Using a YouTube video as a background is really unique and gives you the best ‘Wow!’ effect of all these themes. It also has some information sections at the bottom.
Back to normal with LaunchTime. This is a theme with quite a detailed counter, in case you plan to work on your site for years. It features a prominent email signup box along with a link to all popular social media accounts (that is if you call MySpace popular).
If you’re the king of social, this is your go-to theme. You can include links to 24 (!) social media accounts. It is a stand-alone layout (not a WordPress theme) and has a beautiful way for you to display some pictures. Just check out the demo and hit the ‘Preview Gallery’ button to see what I mean.
Launchpad is actually a plugin and not an ‘Under Construction’ theme, but it works the same way. It is a responsive theme with the ability to add your Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and Tumblr accounts. You can also add a newsletter signup box. You can configure various backgrounds, colors and fonts. It’s also good to see that even a theme developer forgets to extend his counter every once in a while.
TimeVille is one of the best cartoon based ‘Under Construction’ themes. Its intended audience may be a bit limited because of this cartoon style, but it’s the best theme if you’re into it. It is a non-WordPress theme and comes with the option to connect five social accounts and your email address (which I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re a big fan of spam). It is a responsive theme (which is very nicely done) and has some hidden gimmicks if you wait long enough.
SeedProd is by far the most professional ‘Coming Soon’ plugin while looking quite stunning as well. It has multiple newsletter signup integrations (11 to be exact) and a bypass link for clients (so they can see the theme you’re actually working on). You can not only link to all the popular social media accounts, but show their respective counters as well. It also comes with tons of design settings. And after you’re done building the definite theme, you can keep using it for making landing pages.
This is an awesome non-WordPress theme for just $6. Not only is it gorgeous to look at when you do nothing, wait until you click the navigation on the right. How’s that for a first impression? It may take a bit of time to set it all up, but who cares when the end result is this great?
inTime is a simple yet effective WordPress ‘Coming Soon’ plugin. In the demo it is used as a ‘Domain for sale’ page, which is quite clever. You can link to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Vimeo (which is a bit of an odd choice). You can also incorporate a YouTube video as a background if you like and there’s the option to include some about information (the little + at the bottom).
I will conclude this list with another breathtaking non-WordPress theme. It is not the most user friendly theme (all elements are too scattered) but it is awesome to look at. You can use a full image background or a YouTube video, and especially the video in the demo is worth a watch (just be patient). The theme also has an overlay (right navigation) which you can use to tell people a bit more about what’s coming. All in all, a beautiful theme to end this list.
I would always recommend using a ‘Coming Soon’ page when you are working on your site. And with these themes and plugins, you can go from either cartoonish to absolutely stunningly gorgeous. Not all of these themes are WordPress themes and plugins, which means some require some time to set up. Don’t let that keep you from using these though (it’s simple to run them alongside your WordPress install), or at the very least checking them out for inspiration.