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 style our Shop the Post plugin with CSS

While all of our plugins are built to display beautifully in any of our themes, we know many of our customers use themes from other shops — and have put a lot of hard work into getting that theme to look just right. By the time you discover us, your theme is sitting pretty, and while you still long for that extra bit of functionality our plugins provide, it’s a bummer they don’t match your current theme perfectly. Sound familiar?

Today, we’re showing you how to style our popular Shop the Post plugin to blend seamlessly with your site. Consider this post a great jumping off point for adding styles to our other plugins, too! This tutorial will be helpful if you’ve added the plugin on to a theme you bought elsewhere, OR if you’ve customized an <em>press theme with your own brand fonts and colors, and need the plugin to match.

Whether or not you use <em>press plugins, this tutorial is worth a read for any blogger, as this process applies to many other WordPress plugins! And if you’re not sure how to use CSS to style your site, be sure to check out our post on CSS basics before reading this one.

Keep reading “How to style our Shop the Post plugin with CSS”

CSS basics to improve your blog design

Naturally, as your blog represents you, you want your blog design to be gorgeous and unique. That’s why we created our Color Pack and Font Customizer plugins, so that you can choose a unique combination of fonts and colors to suit your style, without messing with code. But some of you love taking customization a step further to add site touches that are uniquely you. Today we’re sharing CSS basics to help you improve your blog design, with a step-by-step example of how to change the ‘read more’ buttons of our Presidio theme (and our process can be used with any theme, not just <em>press!).


What is CSS?

A quick primer for those of you who are new to code: CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it’s what gives your site, well, styleA line of CSS consists of two elements: the selector, and the declaration. The selector is the site element you wish to change; the declaration is the change you wish to make. Let’s take a look at a bit of code from our Presidio theme:

h2 {
    font: 30px 'IBM Plex Serif', serif;
    letter-spacing: .05em;
    font-weight: 200;
}

In this code, the h2 is our selector, and the font, letter-spacing, and font-weight lines are our declarations. This sets the font styling for any line in the WordPress post editor using Heading 2, or the <h2> tag. Keep reading “CSS basics to improve your blog design”