Why You Should Know About Coming Soon Pages

Whether you’re launching a brand new website, changing your WordPress theme, or just making a few tweaks behind the scenes, a coming soon page is an important tool in your website toolbox.

In fact, it’s one of the recommendations we email new <em>press customers about most. When you buy a new theme—from us, or from anyone!—it’s likely you want to take a few hours/days/weeks to get things customized, familiarize yourself with the settings, and generally make sure everything looks great before taking your theme live. Unless you duplicate your site on a staging site on your host server (a post for another day!), the only way to make customizations to your new theme is to activate it. But in the interim, you might not want your readers to see a half-customized site, nor all the changes happening behind the scenes. That’s where a coming soon page comes in!

WHAT IS IT?

coming soon page gives you a place to send people as you build your new site, and you can even use it to promote your social media accounts and gather emails before you launch! A coming soon page is also a great way to notify your visitors that you’re making site updates, so you can make changes without users seeing your work in progress.

HOW DO I GET IT?

Our favorite plugin for creating coming soon and maintenance pages is Seed Prod Coming Soon Page and Maintenance Mode. We use the Pro version on our site and for our clients, but they offer a free version as well that’s perfect if you need something up quickly, or for a short period of time.

Pro Version

What do we love about the Pro version? It syncs with MailChimp, our favorite mailing list provider, and makes it easy to build a gorgeous page without digging into code. It’s a great option if you’re launching a brand new site and need to create a customized landing page leading up to your launch, but don’t want to spend a ton of cash having it professionally designed and developed. You can add background images, customize your text, and add simple calls to action in their easy-to-use editor!

Free version

The free version has a simple interface for uploading your logo and a simple “Be back soon!” message. It’s perfect for a maintenance page while you change your theme or make tweaks behind the scenes. However, note that customizations are limited, so you won’t be able to brand your coming soon page with colors or fonts that match your brand identity. But it’s a perfect solution if you think your site will only be “offline” for a couple days, or maybe a week or two.

Whether you use the pro version or the free, we love that this plugin lets you edit your live site while still communicating to readers what’s going on, so you can always make a good impression. And don’t worry — with our straightforward theme customizer, it won’t take you too long to setup your new <em>press theme and show it off to the world!

How to find (and successfully work with!) a professional photographer for your blog

Whether you write a blog or simply read them, you’ve probably noticed most of your favorites have one thing in common: beautiful visuals. It should come as no surprise that gorgeous, professional-looking photographs feel practically requisite for today’s blogger.

Today I wanted to chat a little bit about the practice of bloggers working with professional photographers, how to find one in your area, and what you can expect to pay to shoot content for your blog. We’ll also go over four ways to get gorgeous, low-cost (or free!) photos for your blog.

Here’s the lowdown:
Keep reading “How to find (and successfully work with!) a professional photographer for your blog”

Everything You Need to Know About Plugins

One of our favorite features of WordPress is that you can find a plugin to do pretty much anything you need for your site. In fact, we consider several (free!) plugins to be essentials additions to any blog! But, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility.

We know how it goes: you have a new feature in mind, and you find several in the WordPress plugin repository that just might fit the bill. But you won’t know for sure unless you try it out! So you install a few plugins, play around, get everything to look and work how you want, and move on with your life. Then, one day something breaks — and you have no idea what or why.

Spoiler alert: it probably has to do with your plugins. We’ve seen it time and time again — when something isn’t working as it should, 9 times out of 10, it’s a plugin issue. But that doesn’t mean all plugins are bad! It just means you need to be smart about how you use them. Today we’re teaching you everything you need to know about using plugins on your blog.  Keep reading “Everything You Need to Know About Plugins”