I gave some advice recently to someone who’s website wasn’t quite ready. They owned the domain, they had the hosting organized, but because their website wasn’t ready they just let the webhost default page stay there.
To me that’s a waste of valuable online real estate ! why advertise your host when you are paying them and it should be YOU getting the benefit if anyone happens to come across your site.
So what do you do?
Well for a start,don’t put up one of those annoying “under construction” banners, if anything is going to drive people away from your website that will. It also gets frustrating if you put a “come back on the 20th” and by the 25th you’re still not ready !
You need to be able to find those people who have visited, before you are ready to launch. You need to be able to contact them and let them know when you are open for business. You need to start building a relationship with them right now.
So if your website isn’t ready, use the time to start building your all important contact list. Put up a simple page telling people about your upcoming website and include an opt-in form for them to add their email address to be notified when the site is up and running. Don’t make it a complicated sign-up process, two fields are all that is necessary, name and email. (Do make sure it’s a double opt-in to show people that you won’t tolerate spam)
Putting a page like this on your domain will serve two purposes, not only will you start to build up your contact list, and have a ready made database of potential customers to announce the launch of the site to. It also means that you won’t be under as much pressure to put a particular launch date on the site and then start to get stressed when you over-run and visitors are met with every stretching dates.
So remember every page on your website should have a purpose, even when the website isn’t ready!