When starting a new blog or doing maintenance on the existing one, you should consider creating an under construction page (also known as maintenance page). This page usually features a simple layout that holds only the most valuable information about you and your site. It can help you with the SEO and also save your dignity when you are experiencing problems with your site.
In case that users load your site while you’re still developing it or fixing problems, the chances are they could see an empty sheet, or maybe even a broken site that looks awful across all devices. If you have ever landed on an unfunctional website, you know how frustrating that can be. By not having an under construction page, those same visitors will assume that you just don’t care! Instead, a maintenance page will tell them what’s going on, and it will help them to connect with you through email or social media. It is both beneficial to you and your users.
We know what you think – it is easy to talk about developing new pages, but how do you create one? If you’re a WordPress beginner, creating a custom maintenance plugin will be out of your reach. But don’t worry; we are about to show you one of the best free plugins that will take care of your site in just a few clicks.
How to set up Under Construction Page plugin for WordPress
If you’re just starting a blog, this should be one of the first plugins to install. Under Construction Page will let you personalize a page in a matter of minutes while hiding your normal site, and you can have everything set up with just one click. Let us show you how easy and fun this can be.
Choose a professionally designed theme
After installing the plugin, you should navigate to Settings -> UnderConstruction where all the magic happens. One of the first things you should take a look at are all the themes you can use on the maintenance page. Skip the Main tab for a moment, and let’s focus on the design settings.
At the time of writing this article, there were more than 20 themes you can choose from. You will find some beautiful ones, indeed, and we love the fact that the developer publishes new images every fourteen days. After opening the tab, we were presented with a popup window which asked us about new themes we’d like to have. That’s a clear indication that the developer is thinking about adding new ones soon enough.
Just by selecting a theme from the list, your page will get its new design. But if you’re a bit more experienced user, you can scroll down and customize the theme by adding some custom CSS. By doing so, you can have any image and style you want, but be ready for some coding.
Add your content
A theme for itself won’t do much for you. Yes, it will look nice, but you still need to tell people what’s going on. You should also think of including some social media icons and contact information, so the Content tab is the next place to go.
Here you can add a title, description, and headline. Don’t skip that since it’s important both to your visitors and search engines. Below that, you will find a classic WordPress editor which allows you to write, include images and videos, etc. So far you won’t be able to use shortcodes generated by other plugins, but the developer is currently working on that feature. We can’t wait for the update, to be honest! You even get to show a login button so that admins and authors can easily get to the dashboard when needed.
Decide who can see the normal site
If you open the next tab, you will be able to control the access to your website. Just by selecting user roles or typing in usernames, you can allow specific people to see your regular site. This will be a must-have option if you’re working on new features or fixing your layout problems, for example. In that case, you want to be able to see your site while everyone else would still get the custom maintenance page you set up with the plugin.
Publish the page
Now that you have customized your maintenance page, you can go back to the first tab in settings. Here you can see a simple button that will publish the page. From the moment you change the status and save changes, Under Construction Page will take over and redirect users to a beautiful page with your information. Once you’re ready to publish your actual site or when you’re done with fixing problems, just switch back the status button. It’s easy as that.
Don’t forget to include Google Analytics tracking code if you want to know how many people saw your new creation. Also, if you are using the plugin just to cover up your work until a specific date, you can set the date & time and let Under Construction Page do the publishing for you.
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