“This webpage is not available”. Here is every webmaster's nightmare. Just reading this sentence, I'm sure you feel a little panicky, right?
Next thing you know, your phone rings. On the other end of the phone, your client. He's pissed off. He asked you to make some additions to his site. You worked on it in a hurry.
And you just made a mistake. The reason? You missed a fundamental step.
If only you had bothered to set up a “Website under construction”, or “Site under maintenance” page before tinkering.
I think you all agree with me that it's a necessary step, right? Don't worry, it can happen to anyone.
Good news is that it's possible to avoid this issue – whether you are a webmaster or not, by the way – by using a WordPress Coming Soon plugin.
Now you're probably wondering, “Yeah, but which one?”
You should find what you're looking for in today's blog post. I'm going to present you 10 plugins on the topic. You will often come across them as “Coming Soon”, or “Maintenance”.
I tested these 10 plugins one by one. Strengths, weaknesses, ease of use, price: I'll explain it all to you.
And as a bonus, I'll show you my favorite ones. So stay focused.
Originally written in May 2018, this article was updated in December 2020.
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Why and how to use a Coming Soon plugin
What is a Coming Soon page on WordPress?
A Coming Soon Page, also known as a maintenance page, is a page that displays to site visitors to let them know that a site is temporarily unavailable. It is used to communicate about work in progress or the launch of a new version of a site.
When should you use a WordPress Coming Soon plugin?
In general, there are three use cases:
- Before officially launching a WordPress site or blog. This way you can work quietly and do your tests without exposing it all to your visitors. In short, you will disable your WordPress site, for them, and set up what is called a “coming soon site”. Understand: a site with an imminent launch.
- To carry out modifications on a site already in production. You will then create a WordPress maintenance page. The typical example is the one developed in the introduction: when one of your customers wants to make changes to their site, or update it.
- Before performing important updates such as installing a new version of WordPress, a plugin or a theme.
The easiest way to put your site under construction is to use a plugin.
If you're a master at coding, nothing prevents you from creating a custom one, to display a site under construction with HTML. But you're going to spend a lot more time there.
Finally, there are themes that offer ready-made WordPress Coming Soon page templates. There are hundreds and hundreds of them on the market, it is impossible to list them all here.
The keys to a good Coming Soon page
At the end of this article, you will be able to choose the plugin that suits you best.
You'll be able to create a customized page that will be displayed to visitors of your website/blog.
That's great. But concretely, what should you put on this page?
A WordPress site under construction should contain:
- A launch date: you can use a countdown timer for this.
- Icons pointing to your social networks to encourage sharing.
- An opt-in form to generate leads (potential customers).
- A design in accordance with your style guide (logo, font, colors, etc.).
- A visible call to action button. This can be, for example, a “Subscribe” button to your newsletter.
Now, let's move on to the test phase.
The 10 best WordPress Coming Soon plugins
As you can imagine, there are hundreds of plugins to create a page for a site under construction.
With Alex, we've chosen to present ten of them. I first conducted research to group together the most recurring ones. Then, I made a second selection based on 2 criteria:
- Updated less than 6 months ago.
- At least 20,000 active installations.
The links of the paid plugins below will most often be affiliate links. That is to say that if you buy one of these plugins, WPMarmite will get a commission. Beyond rewarding the research work, it allows us to buy licenses for the plugins we are testing for you. But beware: this selection contains both free and paid plugins. We remain impartial. And we don't hesitate to criticize paid plugins that are bad. Even if we don't win anything in affiliation, that's the game.
1. Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
Active installations: 1 million+
The champion. The king. Number one. Call it whatever you want. Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode is THE WordPress “Coming Soon” plugin.
The one with the most important number of active installations, according to the official WordPress directory. You read it right: over a million of them.
Its critics? Even if you look hard enough, you're gonna have a hard time finding any. Out of more than 4,000 reviews registered at the time of writing this article, 3,905 people had given it a maximum rating of 5 stars.
Brad, my collegue at WPMarmite, is one of the best salespeople for this plugin. “It does me a favour on every site I launch,” he explains. “Very complete, it has never stopped improving. I mean, it's awesome!”.
Speaking of improvements, let's note that the plugin underwent a very big overhaul in October 2020.
It took advantage of this to make a radical change in strategy, by now presenting itself commercially as a landing page builder.
In fact, the plugin is a swiss army knife that enables the creation of all kinds of pages with a marketing purpose: landing pages, sales pages, webinar pages, opt-in pages, etc.
Not forgetting, of course, Coming Soon and maintenance pages.
Let's dive into the features of this very popular plugin.
Pros of Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
- The countless options offered in the pro version. All the basics of a good WordPress Coming Soon page are there: contact form, background customization, timer, social network buttons, SEO and CSS management. You can also go much further thanks to numerous animation effects.
- Ease of use: the plugin is very easy to use. The drag and drop system to manage the area of its sections (titles, logos, forms, etc.) is well done. No need to touch the code to use the tool.
- Real-time visualization of your changes and online editing: you can edit your texts directly on the page, just like in a text editor.
- The ready-made demos – with beautiful design – to speed up the process of creating your Coming Soon page. However, there are very few in the free version (4 in total for Coming Soon & Maintenance pages).
- The possibility to create a secret URL for your client to access his site under construction. Great to show the progress of a project!
- Integration with many third-party newsletter services (Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Aweber, etc.). But only in Premium version.
What I liked less
- “I would have liked the plugin to use the customizer rather than a home-made interface” Alex had explained to me before this test. I agree with him.
- The fact that one is encouraged to get the Pro version of the plugin as soon as the free version is activated.
- The multi-purpose feature of the plugin makes it more complete, of course. But this also affects the price. The cheapest license is offered at $79 (use on 1 site), which represents a certain budget to create simple Coming soon pages.
Brad, you didn't lie. 😉 Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode does the job very well. Not to be missed in the paid version, it works with all WordPress themes.
Warning: if it helps in free version, it is necessarily (much) more limited (no social network buttons, no countdown, no contact form). To generate leads, go premium.
Download the plugin Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd:
2. WP Maintenance Mode
Active installations: 800,000+
After the famous Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd, here is another giant: WP Maintenance Mode.
It has no less than 800,000 active installations. On the other hand, it is rated less well (4.3 stars out of 5) than its competitor and does not have a paid version.
Pros of WP Maintenance Mode
- The essential features are there: contact form, countdown, social network buttons, newsletter subscription.
- The chatbot: a kind of virtual assistant that offers to collect your email address to let you know when the site is launched, or is back after a short maintenance time. That's original. As far as efficiency is concerned, we remain a little dubious, because it's quite intrusive. Judge for yourself.
What I liked less
- The absence of a preview button. If you wish to see the look and feel of your WordPress Coming Soon page, you must log out of your site or open the page on another browser. Not very easy to do, when you're making changes.
- It is not possible to change the element's location with the plugin. By default, the countdown is set before social networks, for example. If you want to change this, you will have to go through the code.
- There are fewer customization options. You can change the color of the text, and that's more or less all.
For a free plugin, WP Maintenance Mode is quite complete. Nevertheless, we regret not having complete control over the design of the page. It is also less intuitive than the Seed Prod plugin.
Download the plugin WP Maintenance Mode:
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3. Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode
Active installations: 90,000+
“A perfect Coming Soon page done in minutes.“ This is what WebFactory, the developer of this plugin, offers.
I won't hide it from you: I was attracted by this promise, as well as by the superb templates displayed on the WordPress directory download page.
Other advantages of Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode: it claims to be “simple + flexible”, and quick and easy to set up.
Pros of Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode
- The preview button of the Coming Soon page from the admin.
- The possibility to collect the email addresses of your visitors via Mailchimp. A rare option among the free plugins.
- You can choose the order of appearance of your elements (logo, text, form, etc.) via a drag and drop builder, and integrate your own HTML code.
What I liked less
- There are only 2 themes available for free. Nevertheless, you can change the background with a photo of your choice.
- You can only display a contact form if it is linked to a Mailchimp account.
- The useful options for any good “Coming Soon” page (social networks, countdown timer, progress bar, etc.) are only available in the Pro version.
The admin interface is pleasant to use and user-friendly. The plugin bears its name well enough: it remains minimalist. It is more suitable for use in maintenance mode.
For a site under construction unavailable for several days, the free version remains too light because it lacks essential options. For your information, the Pro version starts at $39/year for a use on 1 site.
Download the plugin Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode:
Active installations: 500,000+
In life, there are 2 categories of developers: Those who give extended names to their plugin (often for SEO purposes, to be found more easily on the official directory). Right Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd?
And those who play it minimalist. Hello people behind Maintenance!
This minimalism, we also find it on the admin of WordPress. Once the plugin is installed, you will find just a simple Settings page. Quite confusing.
Pros of Maintenance
- 4 different styles to customize the countdown.
- The plugin is easy to use.
- A visitor can connect to the site directly on the page, provided that he/she has been given user access. Ideal for showing the progress of your work to a client.
What I liked less
The plugin is very limited in terms of functionalities. Apart from the design aspect, you cannot integrate essential options such as a countdown timer or an opt-in form.
Maintenance had a Pro version when it was launched by the Fruitful Code team.
In the meantime, the WebFactory Ltd team took over the development of the plugin (WebFactory Ltd also takes care of… Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode and Under Construction): the Pro version then disappeared.
The free version of the plugin may be enough to work on the maintenance of your WordPress site.
For a “Coming Soon” page, on the other hand, it is too incomplete compared to the competition.
Download the plugin Maintenance:
5. Under Construction
Active installations: 400,000+
Are you looking for something to delight your visitors? Stay over here, I've got what you need.
Under Construction, developed by Web Factory, again, stands out by the design of its themes (backgrounds of your Coming Soon or Maintenance page).
Impossible to not recognize them, with their vectorial appearance. They're beautiful. Take a look at this example on my test site, below.
I prefer to warn you: limiting this plugin to its visual rendering would be simple.
And not only because it is extremely well rated (4.9 stars out of 5). Let's find out why.
Pros of Under Construction
- The graphic originality of the themes.
- The number of themes available in the free version: 34 in total.
- The possibility to include social network buttons.
- Ease and simplicity of use: it only takes a minute to create your page.
- The possibility to automatically deactivate the maintenance page at a desired date.
What I liked less
- No contact form, no countdown: the essential options are missing from the free version. Like many of its competitors.
A nice surprise. I didn't know about Under Construction before I tested it.
For some facelift on your site, the free version will be fine.
The Pro version looks very promising. It starts at $69 (use on 3 sites) with a lifetime license.
It can be a good deal, as it offers more than 250 templates and a drag and drop builder that allows you to create your own landing pages. If you use it, tell me about it in the comments.
Download the plugin Under Construction:
6. CMP – Coming Soon & Maintenance Plugin by NiteoThemes
Active installations: 100,000+
In the initial version of this comparison, I presented here the Easy Coming Soon plugin, which I wasn't really excited about.
In addition to having very limited options, its outdated back-end appearance didn't make me want to use it.
In the course of two and a half years, it has lost more than 10,000 active installations, going from 20,000 to 10,000, at the time of writing.
So it was no longer within my criteria, which gave me a good reason to find a replacement for it.
I chose CMP, developed by NiteoThemes, which sells both themes and premium plugins.
Coming Soon & Maintenance Plugin by NiteoThemes is one of the most popular plugins on our topic of the day.
It has more than 100,000 active installations and receives excellent feedback from its users (overall score of 4.8/5).
Let's see if all this is deserved.
Pros of CMP
- Ease of use.
- The classic options of any good “Coming Soon” page are present for free: social network icons, countdown timer, opt-in form, etc.
- You can act on many design-related points: background (image, video, color gradient, etc.), font customization with the use of Google Fonts (size, weight, spacing, line height, etc.).
- Setting to provide a customized URL to your customer if you want to show him/her the progress of work on his/her site, while leaving the maintenance mode active.
- Possibility to set up SEO settings (Title and meta-description tags, page visibility on search engines).
What I liked less
- You will find “only” 3 Coming Soon page templates in free version. To have more choices (22 templates in total), you can either get a single template ($12), or opt for a global pack at $49/year.
- There are only 3 services available to create an opt-in form (Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Get Response).
CMP is an intuitive and efficient plugin. I liked having a lot of options for free, options that are not always offered by its competitors (e.g. countdown, form).
One of the good picks in this test, without a doubt.
Download the plugin CMP – Coming Soon & Maintenance Plugin by NiteoThemes:
7. Under Construction / Maintenance Mode from Acurax
Active installations: 30,000+
What? Again the Under Construction plugin? Hey dude, are you messing with us?
Don't worry, it's not a joke. The WordPress plugins for sites under construction have very similar names. Take WP Maintenance Mode and WP Maintenance. So similar and yet nothing alike.
The Under Construction that I want to discuss with you is not a copy of the homonymous plugin number 5 of this article. Its full name: Under Construction / Maintenance Mode from Acurax.
Between the first version of this article and its redesign, the plugin lost 20,000 active installations. Is this a sign of poor quality?
Let's find out!
Pros of Under Construction / Maintenance Mode from Acurax
- The available options: the free version of the plugin offers a complete package (form, countdown, templates), which is very rare.
- The “Custom HTML” template: if you know how to code, you can create a custom Maintenance page from scratch.
What I liked less
- Previewing the page under construction is possible but not very intuitive. There is no dedicated button. You have to click each time on the chosen template to visualize the changes.
- The interface is not very readable. The blocks contain a lot of information, the font is small. You tend to get a little lost in it. And again, there are only two main tabs: general settings and appearance settings. Phew!
- There are indeed 5 templates proposed but I wasn't enthusiastic about their graphic rendering.
- There is no global Pro license that includes all possible options. The free version being well provided, you can “upgrade” it with 3 add-ons sold separately for $19.99. Among them, there are 4 new templates and the possibility to make the site accessible to your customers via a private URL.
Under Construction / Maintenance Mode from Acurax is an interesting plugin because of its multiple options.
Without paying a cent, you will be able to do almost anything: add your logo, a countdown timer, a contact form, your social network icons, set up SEO settings, etc.
The problem is that it is a bit archaic. It doesn't really make it pleasant to use.
Its graphical rendering remains basic, although it is true that you can add your touch by customizing it. In the end, it does the job. So why not.
Download the plugin Under Construction / Maintenance Mode from Acurax:
8. WP Maintenance
Active installations: 30,000+
Let's now discover a fully made in France plugin (we're French, remember? 🙂 ).
Since 2014, the plugin is still prevalent. It is regularly updated and improved. That's the first sign of seriousness.
Thanks to WP Maintenance, you will be able to create a personalized waiting page to maintain your site, or a Coming Soon page before its launch.
Pros of WP Maintenance
- The integration of the plugin's settings in your WordPress Dashboard.
- User-friendly and lightweight interface.
- The presence of a Codemirror script to better view the CSS code and customize it.
- The possibility to add a slideshow of images and preview the page appearance via the WordPress administration.
- The plugin is free.
What I liked less
- No contact form to get the email addresses of the visitors.
- We can also regret the lack of templates to help us from a pre-designed layout.
WP Maintenance is a simple and effective plugin. Pleasant to use in back-end thanks to a simple interface, it offers almost all the essential options for a good “Coming Soon” page: countdown timer, social network buttons, adding a logo, etc.
Not forgetting the activation of Google Analytics or an insert for a newsletter.
Download the plugin WP Maintenance:
9. Site Offline Or Coming Soon Or Maintenance Mode
Active installations: 40,000+
Note to Lego fans: no, we're not going to talk about figurines or interlocking bricks, despite what the presentation image of this new plugin on the official directory might suggest.
Let's stay in the field of maintenance and Coming Soon pages with a new one to study: Site Offline or Coming Soon or Maintenance Mode.
“Easy to setup and easy to manage” according to its developer.
Let's check if that's true!
Pros of Site Offline Or Coming Soon Or Maintenance Mode
- Relatively easy to use: the plugin offers a single page of settings to make your life easier.
- We appreciate being able to set up basic settings: page text, colors, font, logo, social network icons, countdown timer.
What I liked less
- The outdated appearance of the back-end plugin.
- The huge insert to entice you to get the Pro version. We've known more discreet…
- The very classic design of the maintenance page. It does the job, but not enough to make your visitors jump to the ceiling.
- We regret the absence of more creative templates. For this, you must switch to the Pro version ($19).
Site Offline Or Coming Soon Or Maintenance Mode does the job, it's true. But its rather outdated user interface and lack of templates place it behind its competitors in this test.
Download the plugin Site Offline Or Coming Soon Or Maintenance Mode:
10. IgniteUp – Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode
Active installations: 30,000+
We finish this review with IgniteUp. At first glance, the description of this plugin has nothing very original compared to the other plugins of this test.
But on a closer look, one element caught my attention though. The creators of IgniteUp argue that it is possible to design a page coming soon or maintenance in a minute.
That's all I needed to activate the beast and discover its nature.
Pros of IgniteUp – Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode
- 5 templates so you don't have to start from scratch.
- Possibility to customize a “secret URL” to forward it to your customers, if they wish to follow the progress of work on their site, while keeping the site in maintenance mode.
- It is appreciated to be able to benefit from the free version of a countdown on at least one template, a form to be able to collect the email addresses of your visitors, or social network icons.
What I liked less
- The basic design settings are present (e.g. colors, background, font) but, on the other hand, you can't change the text size without going through the CSS code. And to use animation effects or to add a video in the background, you will need to purchase one of the 5 additional templates offered individually (from $3.99 to $5.99), or in a global pack ($13.99).
- IgniteUp integrates with one third party newsletter service: Mailchimp only.
IgniteUp is a rather pleasant-to-use plugin, while embedding a minimum of “vital” options.
As for the statement that you can create a page in a minute, the answer is no. A few minutes will be necessary to customize a minimum according to your needs.
Download the plugin IgniteUp – Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode:
And the winners are…
The plugin I found the most complete is Coming Soon Page & Maintenance by Seedprod (pro version).
You will be able to use this Swiss army knife to create a WordPress Coming Soon page, as well as a maintenance page. As long as you invest a little money.
One of these three plugins will be fine if you want to perform a maintenance operation on your site.
Finally, I'd like to ask you two questions: do you see an interest in using a plugin to create an under construction/maintenance page? If so, which one did you choose for your site?
Please tell me why in the comments and share your findings and feedback.
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