Be honest, if I visited your website TODAY, would I find a ‘coming soon’ or ‘under construction’ page?
Follow up question…
How long has your site been ‘under construction’ for?
If you did a search, you’d have no trouble finding thousands of articles and blog posts outlining why every website needs a ‘coming soon’ page, and all the best practices for building one.
But in today’s video, I’ll be sharing a few reason why it might actually be time that web designers break up with this rule, and what to do instead!
Ok, so I don’t know about you, but I love to snoop around people’s sites.
Not to be judge-y or weird or anything…simply because I love seeing all the creativity out there. You can have hundreds or even thousands of people essentially trying to sell the same thing, but their all managing to do it in a totally unique-to-them way.
So yah, if I come across a new designer’s link, you can bet I’m searching it!
But do you know what I find more often than not when I land on a new web designers domain? You guessed it. A ‘coming soon’ page.
Cool. No problem. I make a mental note to check back later to see the finished design because now I’m intrigued and I have to know how it ends.
3 weeks later what do I find? A ‘coming soon’ page.
3 months? Nope. Still a ‘coming soon’ page.
If this is you, I want you to know you’re not alone, and that I’m not here to poke fun. I’ve totally been there.
So why is this so common?
What was perfect last night (and had us so excited we stayed up until 3AM working it) is suddenly all wrong this morning.
So rather than using our next work session to add in all those last little finishing touches so we can hit launch like we planned, we get stuck revisiting the same pages and sections over and overing, analyzing and second-guessing every background photo, button, and bit of text.
If this is you, then there are two things I want you to know about your website, and really about design in general:
It will never be finished.
You should launch it anyway.
Your website can’t do diddly squat for you if no one ever sees it.
And you can’t measure what’s working in your design vs. what’s not working if you never put it to the test.
So if you’ve secretly been hiding behind a ‘coming soon’ page because you worry your site isn’t perfect, or that your business will not take off the minute you hit publish…
…this is your sign to throw your hat in the ring, launch before you feel ready, and put your website to work for you now, not 3 months from now.
Web designers aren’t the only ones who tend to ‘procrasti-plan’ in their business…
Your clients are doing the same thing when it comes to having their website built.
They are worried are going to choose the wrong style, the wrong platform, or—their worst nightmare—get taken advantage of by a stranger on the internet claiming to be an expert.
No matter how much they are drooling over your designs on Instagram, if another designer of similar talent and style is making it easier for them to book a call and get started right away, then that’s pretty much their decision made for them.
So option 1 is to make sure that your ‘coming soon’ page includes a way to book a call, but again, the better option would be just to take the time it takes and commit to launching the thing!
You might be thinking “but I’m so busy working with clients, I don’t have time to work on my own website.” A sort of ‘cobbler’s kids have no shoes’ situation…
But I want to you to think about the projects you are currently keeping busy with. Are they your dream clients? And at your dream rates?
And the only way for you to get that long-term ball rolling is to get your site launched TODAY!
If your site is not quite ready, you may be using a ‘coming soon’ page to point people to where they can find you in the meantime, inviting them to connect with you on Instagram or other social channels.
So again, unless they can book a call or access the information they need to know in order to book with you (like your pricing and packages) then a ‘coming soon’ page may not actually be serving your new design business.
No matter how cutesy or on-brand your ‘coming soon’ copy is!
Many new designers will also share website link before it’s ready in the hopes that any clicks or traffic it gets will help boost their SEO while they wait to officially launch.
Another common reason for creating a ‘coming soon’ page is to collect email addresses so that you have a list of potential clients ready to sell to when you do officially launch your next product or service.
But in the age of spam and inbox overwhelm, nobody is signing up for your newsletter.
You have to be offering something of real value in exchange…trading their super secret contact deets for something so amazing they’d probably have to pay money for it if they went somewhere else.
So I guess if you are going to do a ‘coming soon’ page, featuring a valuable freebie opt-in gift isn’t a bad way to go, but again, still better would be to launch what you have so at least visitors have reason to stick around your site when they get there.
So we’ve talked about all the reasons a new web designer may want to skip the ‘coming soon’ stage and dive straight into launch mode…
But what about the established designer doing a site refresh?
Rather than close up shop and throw up an ‘under construction’ page, why not duplicate the pages you want to refresh and quietly work on those in the background where your site visitors are none the wiser.
Or if your entire site needs an overhaul, start a new one from scratch while leaving your current one live until your new site is ready and it’s time to transfer that domain.
People who otherwise might have read your blog, or viewed your portfolio, or headed straight for your ‘book now’ button are now bouncing the moment they land on your non-functioning ‘under construction’ page, so you could be throwing away a huge chunk of time, energy, and resources you spent on marketing in the past to drum those inquiries and traffic up in the first place.
Now obviously if your entire business model or target market has changed, it won’t much matter that you are missing out on these visitors because they are no longer the people you’re hoping to reach with your website.
So in this case, I’d probably refer you back to reason #1, and challenge you to just launch the thing ASAP.