You just installed your brand new WordPress theme on your server, and you are ready to set it up. Assuming that you don’t have a staging or local environment to test thing out, your “under construction” website will actually be live, frustrating those very first visitors that would potentially get engaged with your blog or business.
This is when the Under Construction plugin comes handy. A free plugin that allows you to create a custom maintenance / Under Construction / Coming Soon page that you can easily switch on and off easily and hassle-free.
First impression with Under Construction Plugin
The name of the plugin is quite straight-forward, but to be honest I was not expecting such a straight-forward and intuitive user experience when I tried to set up a landing page. This is an ideal plugin for any user level. Easy to use for the beginner, and time-saving for the experienced.
Intuitive and easy to use
The plugin really achieves to provide you a great looking Coming Soon page for your WordPress site, without even tweaking it’s settings much. However the interface is well designed, with a native WordPress touch an feel, and grouped settings that are logically divided in four tabs.
As you will see below, the process of setting up the Under Construction page has no-learning curve, and only takes minutes. If you also take a look at the positive reviews that have already been submitted in the plugin repository, you easily understand that the plugin lives up to the expectations of 60,000+ active users.
One thing that really grabbed my attention as a designer was, well, the quality of the page templates the plugin offers. With really great executions of vector-based concepts, that are relevant to the case, you can choose to import any of 18 exceptionally pre-designed templates without spending time to design your Coming Soon page instead of setting up your WordPress theme.
Creating an Under Construction page
For this post I practically managed to set up a Under Construction page, under 3 minute.
Selecting the template
Under the Design tab, I selected one of the 18 available templates. I liked one with a green look and feel that caught my eye, and looks ideal for a website or brand with a similar orientation.
Social Icons Setup
If you already have active profiles at Social Networks, you can add those too, and the related icon will be added in your Under Construction page. I quickly went through a basic setup to add some icons in my design.
Next thing I need to do is to simply add some content to replace the one that is set by default. The plugin is so plug-and-play that already provides placeholder text, so it is ok if you want to skip this one. However I added some custom text and a custom Headline to spice things up.
Enabling the Under Construction page
Last thing I need to do is to simply enable the Under Construction page.
You can switch the page on and off from the Main tab, and you also have the ability to set an end date and time if you are an automation freak like me. Last but not least, the plugin provides and extremely useful field to plugin in your Google Analytics Code.
The finished page
With minimal tweaking and set up, I manage to get a page like the one below. Quite good if you ask me, but I need to tweak some colors, and use some fonts that I am going to use at my upcoming website for consistency. Let’s do it in the next step.
Customizing further with a little CSS
Another great thing about this plugin is that it allows you to easily add some custom CSS and tweak the elements of your page design. At the bottom of the Design tab, you will find a handy Custom CSS field, where you can add some custom styles.
In our case I replaced the default fonts, and tweaked the color of a section’s background. What I ended up with is below, and the designer in me is now 100% happy.
You might want to check a number of related blog posts at wploop.com blog where you can find plenty of articles around Under Construction plugins and their importance in the user experience.
- How to activate WordPress maintenance mode
- Best Maintenance Mode plugins for WordPress
- Don’t let visitors see a broken site while you’re doing maintenance
The Under Construction plugin is relatively new, and looks to have a very promising future. As an overall experience, I would say it is the quickest way to set up a good looking Under Construction page for your visitors.
Very friendly and easy to use, totally a winner if you want a quick but effective solution for an Under Construction page, and do not want to sacrifice quality in design. Go check the plugin at the WordPress Repository and setup your WordPress theme knowing that your visitors do not leave frustrated.