"Why should I make my site live if it's not complete?"
A common concern among many new site owners is how complete their site is before they share it with new visitors. What most of them don't realize is that your website will never be finished; there will always be opportunities to update it. Keeping your site updated is good from a design perspective, as well as an SEO and content perspective. With that in mind, you should try to avoid creating a "coming soon" page.
The message you are sending by putting up a "Coming Soon" or "Under Construction" page:
- you are unsure of how to compose your content
- you are unsure of how to describe your business
- you don't consider a website a business tactic that is worth your time
It is not necessary to draw attention to the fact that your site is incomplete. If you have already publicized your site's URL, then people will expect something when they visit.
TIP: If you want to work on your site without exposing the pages to the public, simply hide the page from your navigation menu or consider using password protect.
If you are in no rush to get all of your pages up, but still want visitors to leave with the right impression, consider making a one-page site. Single page websites are a great alternative for busy site owners. All you need to do is provide your business's most vital information, for example:
- Brief description of your business
- Contact form / contact information
- Hours of operation
- A few great product images
This way, your visitors can walk away with something as you complete the rest of your site and you don't even have to apologize for not being "finished."
Click through for a brief tutorial on creating a single-page site.
- Build A One-Page Site
To get started, try to select a simple, narrow theme that supports minimal content. For this tutorial we are using "Designstar."
Add your header. This doesn't have to the be full header for your final site, but choose an image/logo that best suits your business and the chosen theme.
We placed a small business description on the left with a contact form on the right. In the brief text on the left, the visitor is invited to check out the project portfolio or send a message even though the full website is still in progress. This is a lot better than simply publishing a page that says "coming soon."
TIP: The quickest way to create even columns is to use the columns module.
For the short portfolio we used the Photo Gallery module. Visitors can click each gallery thumbnail for a closer look at the photo's details.
The page is almost done but could use a few more details to make it look a little more professional. Remember, your business's website is like an office; the impression you give your visitors is a professional one. For the footer of your single page site, add details the reinforce your brand and professional presence, for example:
- physical address if your business has one
- icons that connect to your official social media accounts
A final note: There's nothing wrong with letting your visitors know that more features or pages are coming soon, but creating a single page with a brief summary of your business and contact info takes no time.