You’re having a new website built, or a redesign, and you have your domain already. What should you do with it while you wait for your new website to be finished?
Do you already have a website live online?
If so, it’s usually best to leave it up until your new site is finished. Then you bring the new site on all at once.
You can blog about the new one to build anticipation, or even add a note saying, “Our new site will launch on August 1st!” However, you don’t want to be that site which has had a “New site coming soon!” for months or years. It makes you look as though you lack follow through.
If you have the domain but don’t currently have a site, you can also have a “Coming soon!” page. In my experience, leaving those up for a long time seems to be bad from an SEO perspective. However, an attractive “under construction” page can be encouraging to people looking for you if it really is temporary. Many people look for companies now simply by typing in the name of your business plus “.com.” If you’re a bit late getting online and people are looking for you, having a “Coming Soon” page is better than nothing.
Coming Soon pages
Make sure your “Coming Soon” page has these elements:
- the name of the company
- the logo
- the contact information
WordPress has Coming Soon plugins that allow you to create a Coming Soon page while you’re working on your website behind the scenes.
- Coming Soon is the most popular. It does its job. No muss, no fuss.
- Easy Coming Soon does a good job of collecting visitor information and connecting them with your social media. It looks good with one great photo or graphic.
- Site Offline Or Coming Soon Or Maintenance Mode is not a great title, but this one does offer a countdown function. Only have a countdown if you are really going to respect that planned launch date.
A temporary website
You can also have a temporary website. We’ve done blogs for people while they’re getting their websites ready. The domain gets the benefits of blogging and of having an active website, and you can build anticipation.
Once you have your basic theme built, you can launch the blog page as your homepage, using the “Show latest posts” option in the Reading settings. When the rest of the pages are built, switch the the “Static page” option, create your menus, and launch all the rest of the website.
What not to do
- Don’t start linkbuilding with an “Under Construction” page — you won’t be successful and you can hurt your chances for getting those links after you launch.
- Don’t work to bring people to your website if it’s truly not a good site. Instead, put the energy into getting your house list in shape for a strong push after the new site goes live.
- Don’t allow a poor-quality park page at your domain. You don’t want an ugly site with shady ads associated with your domain in people’s minds — they may not come back later to see the wonderful thing you later came up with. If your hosting company insists on using a park page, consider the temporary option discussed above.
If you know that it’ll be a fairly long time till your site becomes live, you can use your company Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media to represent you until the big day.