Domain parking WordPress themesBlog, Freebies 0 Comments
So you’re planning on launching a new site. The second step after research is buying a domain name and probably hosting (if you don’t have one already, obvious).
You want to use WordPress as your CMS because all of its cool features and that’s a great choice.
But it will most likely take you some time until you get your site online – especially if you’re planning on launching a blog. While working on it, you start marketing it already, so you’ll have an audience when you go live – you leave comments on other sites, tell people about it and so on.
But when people come to your soon to be launched site, all they see is a parked domain page – either blank or filled with ads. That’s not very helpful now is it?
Visitors lose any interest in your site simply because it’s telling them…well, nothing.
So wouldn’t it be cool if you could have a launching soon page, where you could say that the site is under construction and have them take action?
Using WordPress themes (and an optional plugin), this couldn’t be easier.
In this article I want to share with you 5 different, very useful WordPress themes: Domain parking themes.
1. CSP – Coming Soon Page for WordPress
CSP is a design by Orman Clark that was turned into a WordPress Theme by Modforest. It features Feedburner integration, HTML5 markup, CSS3 and jQuery enhancements, as well as a beautiful theme option panel where you can customize the theme to your liking.
This is a free theme created by Ian Stewart.
It allows you to offer your visitors the chance to subscribe to RSS, so they get updated when you launch.
Here are LaunchPad’s features:
- Theme Options Page
- Integration with FeedBurner
- Professional design and typesetting
- GPL Licensed—it’s free and you’re free to mess with it.
All you need to do is get a Feedburner ID, set it in the theme options and you’re done.
3. Ice Breaker
Ice Breaker is another free theme for domain parking, built by Custom Theme.
The call to action for visitors is similar to LaunchPad (RSS), but this one goes a step further: you can ask people to follow you on Twitter.
So obviously, you need to have two accounts set-up: one for Feedburner and one for Twitter.
Ice Breaker features:
- Widget Ready
- 4 Color Schemes – these can be changed in the theme options page.
- Logo PSD File
- WordPress 2.8 Compatible – requires WordPress 2.8 or above. Lower versions will not work.
- GPL Licensed – you are free to do whatever you want with it.
- IE6 Compatible – what more could you want?
The author has even set up some tutorials on the release page, so that you can easily understand how the theme works and how you can modify it.
UnderCon is created by Shopping Themes, and it is a straight-to-the-point domain parking theme – offers RSS subscriptions via email or a feed reader.
What’s so different about it? Well, I think it’s all in the simplicity of the theme – there are no colors/details to distract a users attention. Ok, maybe except for the cow
UnderCon theme features:
- Customizable title, description and logo under theme option page.
- Use Feedburner for email subscription and delivery.
- Free. Released in GPL license.
As I said, very simple. And effective
5. Changing Room
Built by WordPrezzie, this would have been my favorite theme of them all, if it weren’t for the use of the Blueprint CSS Framework – it’s a personal point of view, there’s nothing wrong with the theme. It’s actually quite cool, but I just don’t get along with that CSS framework – I prefer 960GS.
Changing Room features:
- Colour switcher (choose between red or blue)
- Theme options page.
- FeedBurner RSS and Email support
- Fully valid code (would you expect anything less?)
The developers have also written a full guide on how to use and customize it, on the release page.
6. WP Blueprint
This is an interesting concept by Eliseos. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across a demo page
Besides the unique and suggestive design, WP Blueprint has a cool countdown which you can set in the theme options page. Of course, all other “regular” features are included.
WP Blueprint features:
- Countdown manager
- Integration with FeedBurner
- Integration with Twitter
- Works in all major browsers, Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE7 and IE8
- Valid XHTML
- Blueprint CSS Inside
- Theme Options Page
I really like the idea to include the countdown – however, from a design point of view, less tech-savvy persons might be challenged in adapting this theme to their own brand.
So there you have it. 5 WordPress theme to announce your upcoming site.
Now I bet you’re asking yourself: “OK, but if I want to work on my live WordPress install while showing people one of these themes?“
Meet Theme Test Drive
This is a plugin that allows a logged in user to see a theme of their choice, while showing regular (not logged in) visitors a different theme.
So you would just show one of the above themes to regular visitors, while showing yourself the actual theme your site will use. This way you can work on a live WordPress install while knowing that visitors will be seeing your launching soon page.
Last, but not least, I would like to share one more cool plugin on the subject.
Bonus: Maintenance Mode Plugin
Maintenance Mode is a plugin that displays a customizable launching soon page – it’s a different approach, so if you’re more comfortable with installing a plugin for a domain parking page instead of an actual theme, I highly recommend it.
In conclusion, I’d like to ask you: are you using this approach prior to launching a new website? Furthermore, what do you think these themes are missing out on?
Please share in the comments below.