Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins

Posted on November 25, 2014 by in Tips & Tricks | 21 comments

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins

Every site launch needs buzz. To have a successful launch it is best to stir up some excitement. Build hype. Make some noise. Take some names. Create readers before the site is even launched, and then make them look forward to it. Create potential users for your new product so that you can have a knowledgeable market to sell to the day the product is released.

And you can have your readers help you stir up that noise. Get them to talk about your new site on their blogs and social media networks. Get them to take it viral.

A good way to accomplish this is through the implementation of a countdown. The countdown makes site visitors look forward to the launch. It creates the “I can’t wait!” feeling that you want your readers to share.

What is a Countdown Page?

A countdown page is a single landing page with a timer and a message that your site or product is coming soon. It is also known as a Coming Soon page or Maintenance Mode. Your website will only display this one page. While the quantity of content on these pages should be minimal, it still needs to accomplish several things:

  • Display what the site or product is about
  • Show when the site or product will launch
  • Offer ways to follow you on social media
  • Include a Sign up for a newsletter
  • Create excitement

When Should You Use a Countdown Page?

The best time to use a countdown page is when launching a website or product. Countdown pages help create buzz for your launch. Any kind of release needs excitement. This includes:

New Websites

Rolling out a website can take time. A lot of time. So it would really stink if you spend your time planning and developing the site, only to find that when the site goes live, no one comes because no one knew about it. What happened to “if you build it they will come,” right?

Product Launches

There are so many books, apps, music, entertainment, movies, games, etc., to choose from on the market that it’s hard to capture the attention of the audience. A countdown page can generate excitement and strengthen a product release before the product or service launches. It can capture leads and help to build a sales network.

How to Create a Countdown Page Using a Plugin

There are many plugins that have a countdown timer. That’s easy, but just a countdown doesn’t create hype. It doesn’t capture leads, or generate followers. It doesn’t provide any information. To have a successful launch you need a plugin that captures leads and promotes social sharing. Here is a list of plugins that do all of these tasks and more.


Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Anticipate


Anticipate is Elegant Themes’ very own maintenance mode responsive plugin that gives you a countdown timer, a progress bar, an onscreen message, social media follow icons, an email notifications sign up form, and an elegant look. You can even add your own logo.

When you log in to your site, you see the regular site’s theme while everyone else sees the Anticipate screen. This way you see changes that you’ve made without having to worry about what anyone else sees. This is a simple and lightweight plugin that’s easy to use and looks great. You can set it and forget it and spend your time on your site instead of worrying about setting up your Coming Soon page. Let’s take a closer look at its features.

The Countdown

There is an animated countdown that counts the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until launch. You choose the date and time and it does the rest. There is a bar that displays the percentage you have completed. You type in the number for the percentage you want it to display.


Anticipate lets you select from all of your pages to create a slider for your visitors to see. They can scroll through each one if they want. You can choose which pages they can see, so you can create a page specifically for your Coming Soon news and include any links, media, images, text, etc., that you want. Using pages in the slider is what really sets this plugin apart from the rest.

You can have anything on the screen that you can have on a page. This is a great way to add a contact form, newsletter subscription form, video, images, etc. Since it can all be displayed on different pages using the slider, your visitors can see secondary information without disrupting the simplicity of your message in the first landing screen. This keeps you first impression, well, impressive.

Social Networking

You can include your URLs for Facebook, Twitter, and RSS. Readers can input their email addresses so you can send updates to them as you wish. This is a great way to build a following for your site’s social networks before your site is even ready to go live. It is also a great way to let them know when your site is live and helps ensure they don’t forget about you and return for your launch. The emails are stored in the database and can easily be exported if you want.


Anticipate is part of the $89 per year Developer package that includes access to all themes and plugins.

Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode

This responsive plugin shows a Coming Soon screen. On the front end this one displays your logo, the title that you’ve entered as the title of the page, the message you’ve written in the Coming Soon page, a countdown timer, a box to enter email, and icons for several social networks.

The back end contains lots of features and customizations. You can type in a link to the logo, type in the message, set a meta description for SEO, paste a link to the background image you want to use, choose font sizes and colors, choose the message screen location, set up a mailing list, set the links for social networks, etc. Once you log in, you will see the regular theme while users that are not logged in will still see the Coming Soon message.

This plugin has free and premium editions. Most of the basic features are available in the free edition. The premium edition adds a background slider, the ability to exclude pages and posts from displaying the Coming Soon message, the ability to set the message position on the screen, email notifications, and many color customizations. The free edition can be used on an unlimited number of sites and has free support. The Pro Version contains pro-level support and costs $10 for a single site, $20 for 5 sites, and $30 for unlimited sites.

WP Maintenance Mode

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - WP Maintenance Mode


This is another responsive plugin that gives you a Coming Soon splash page. It has fully customizable colors, a countdown timer, contact form, subscription form, social media icons, and the ability to exclude URLs. It has SEO, landing page templates, and works with multisite installations, with each site having its own independent settings.

For free, this plugin offers better than basic features. It has many social networks and the contact form is a great way to give readers a way to ask you questions or give you feedback.

Coming Soon Page

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Coming Soon Page


This responsive plugin from Easy Pie allows you to choose a background from the built in templates or you can upload your own image. It includes a customizable title, message, countdown timer, email collection, and social media buttons. You can upload your own logo and specify its size in pixels. You can even adjust the opacity of the contents box.

You can also export the email list as CSV for use with MailChimp, AWeber, and others. Social networks include Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. You can exclude URLs and preview from the admin panel. You can even customize with CSS if you want. You can choose the maintenance mode, either 503 or 200, for crawlers and bots to know your site’s maintenance status. Not bad for a free plugin.

WP WordPress Coming Soon

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - WP WordPress Coming Soon


This responsive plugin is available in both a free and a premium edition. While you’re logged in you will see the regular site while visitors will still see maintenance mode. The free edition shows a simple “site offline” message. It shows a message on the log in screen that tells you which mode the site is in.

It’s the premium edition that makes this plugin worth looking into. It adds backgrounds, social media, newsletters, and a countdown. You can write your own title for the the maintenance mode page, select a logo, write the text that visitors will see, upload backgrounds, adjust fonts, and more.

The backgrounds are displayed and changed every few seconds like a slideshow. The email sign up connects directly to your MailChimp account so you don’t have to export later. There are many social networks included like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can also configure the type of maintenance mode your site is in, so bots and crawlers will know your site is temporarily down.

The premium edition costs $19.99.

Responsive Maintenance Pro with Countdown

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Responsive Maintenance Pro with Countdown


This free responsive plugin has 6 different templates to choose from. You can use CSS3 animations, videos from YouTube, and images. It supports several social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It has a countdown timer and you can add your own logo. This one allows you to turn on and off the countdown timer and social networks independently. It supports multisite, BuddyPress, and WooCommerce.

Smart Maintenance and Countdown

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Smart Maintenance and Countdown


This is a free, responsive plugin with most of the features you expect: templates, countdown timer, social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), title, message, and contact information. This one doesn’t let you use your own logo, show a progress bar, or HTML, and there’s no way to capture emails to build your list. It’s a simple and free plugin that’s easy to use and it looks nice. If you don’t need the extra features this one is worth considering.

Coming Soon Landing Page

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Coming Soon Landing Page


This responsive plugin is available in both free and premium editions. The free edition includes a progress bar, 4 themes, custom HTML, HTTP 503 in the header (to alert bots the site is in maintenance mode), and RSS feed access.

The premium edition adds the functions you expect in a better Coming Soon page: a countdown timer, social icons, subscriber form to collect emails, MailChimp support, and another theme. The themes look top-notch.

The premium plugin costs $23.

Easy Coming Soon

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Easy Coming Soon


If you want to have the option of whether or not you have a countdown, and you still want to collect emails and have your visitors connect with you through social media, there’s the Easy Coming Soon plugin. This responsive plugin has both a free and premium edition. The free edition includes social media icons (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), a Coming Soon template, a subscribe feature so you can collect visitor’s emails, and Google Analytics. Those that are logged in will see the regular theme, while everyone else will see the Coming Soon message.

The premium edition adds SEO, Feedburner support, MailChimp support, countdown timer, progress bar, multiple templates, background image slideshow, YouTube video support, logo, more social media profiles (LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Yahoo, etc.), more email and newsletter systems (AWeber, Get Response, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor), custom favicon, custom CSS, and more.

The premium edition is $39 and can be used on unlimited websites and has 1 year of support and updates.

How to Create a Countdown Page Using the Divi Theme Without a Plugin

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Divi


If you want to create a Coming Soon countdown page without a plugin and still have all the bells and whistles, Elegant Themes’ Divi has you covered. Divi has special page-building features called Modules. Using the Divi Countdown Timer Module and Page Builder, you can create a Coming Soon page on steroids. Let’s take a look at a Divi module called the Countdown Timer Module.

The Countdown Timer Module

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - The Countdown Timer Module


Divi allows you to build the countdown within the theme itself. You can create a page and add any module to it that you want. This means you can provide information to your readers, use any email subscription form, display any type of media you want, and display icons to every social network in existence. You can even have multiple timers on the same page with information about each one individually.

Coming Soon Layout

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Coming Soon Layout


To build your Coming Soon page in Divi, create a page and select Use Page Builder, select Load Layout, and choose Coming Soon.

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - Coming Soon Layout 2


This module gives you the countdown timer, a module for subscribing, and a call to action. You can add, rearrange, delete, and copy any module, customizing this page any way you want.

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - countdown timer settins


Select the countdown timer’s settings and choose the title, date and time to countdown to, text color, background color, and make some CSS selections if you want.

Why You Should Use WordPress Countdown Plugins - divi countdown timer


Your Coming Soon page now has a countdown timer, a message, and contact us button. Your pages, logo, and social media plugins are still visible. So, everything else on your site works as normal. It even works with Elegant Theme’s Monarch social media plugin. You can use this as your landing page or any page you want within your website. Creating this countdown page took just a few seconds.

Wrapping Up

Using a countdown is a great way to create buzz for any release. They can let your visitors know about the website, product, or service, and get them to follow you on social media and share it with their friends, sign up to your newsletter, contact you to give you feedback, and built excitement for your release.

How about you? Have you used a countdown? Did you use any of the plugins discussed here or try the countdown module in Divi? Did I leave out your favorite? I’d like to hear about it in comments!

Article thumbnail image by Macrovector / shutterstock.com 

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  1. I am missing a countdown page for the new extra theme.

    • I came here to say this.

  2. Divi was released one year before. Then, during one year, you just upgraded the theme with options (one pager etc) to make Divi better but similar to templates on different market places … ah and prices increased. Well done, but I’ve chosen ET for the number of themes releasing 🙁 One theme per year, and waiting one other year to have a complete template, with all options, ok I move to Forest Theme 🙁

    • We have put a lot of effort into Divi, and that’s because it’s our most widely used theme. We want to continue to make Divi better, and that’s what we plan to do. Our new focus is on creating less products, but having each of those products be truly spectacular. We already have 87 themes, and creating a bunch more that are similar is scope doesn’t add much to our offering.

      • “Our new focus is on creating less products, but having each of those products be truly spectacular.”

        Sounds good to me

      • I agree with you Nick, adding more features to Divi is better than creating new theme. Why? Because DIVI virtually can do many things and very flexible compared to other elegant and non elegant themes. I am waiting more more modules added to Divi. Bravo….

        • I agree with Nick too. Creating fewer, high quality themes is a much better approach. As a developer, when you get to know a theme it cuts implementation time and produces a better quality product. There is nothing worse than a theme developer churning out inferior themes with ONE great feature in it. You are then left with the choice of learning the ins and outs of a new theme, just to use the new feature. The Divi development cycle is great, we can learn the theme in and out and then look forward to new features to enhance the theme. No need to re-learn and no need to reinvent the wheel. It just keeps getting better.
          Lets hope Extra follows the same path and does for posts, what Divi has done for pages.
          Speaking of Extra Nick, can we expect an early Christmas present? 🙂

    • Agree Antoine…we soon get our Extra, December is close right? Divi was released late last year. But em…I’d have expected more modules but Monarch and One Page released almost shut my gaff but I know what will permanently seal it and make me bark yes!

      More modules and design template for Divi
      …and EXxxxttttrrrraaaa…

      Cheers 🙂

  3. Hi Brenda
    Quick question about using the Countdown module in Divi.

    How do you make the “countdown module page” the default page for the site.

    I’m thinking more of a maintenance page situation rather than a coming soon page.

    In-depth post as usual.

    • Hello Keith,

      I just did this the other day (turnercreative.ca – you can see it works):

      1. From the WordPress sidebar choose “Settings”>”Reading”.

      2. In the “Front page displays” section choose “A static page”.

      3. If you’ve already created the page, then it should be an option for both the “Front page” and “Posts page” drop down lists. Select it for the “Front page” option and then click the “Save changes” button.

      Hope that helps!

      • Right…just like this http://butchersbakers.com/
        I used the blank template and use the coming soon module….

  4. Create your maintenance / landing page, and change the page template to “Blank Page”. This is going to remove everything but the sidebar, if you are using the WP Editor, you can remove the widgets from there, or use a widget login plugin to filter the pages. You won’t have this problem, if you construct this page with the Divi Page builder.

  5. It would be nice if the countdown module in Divi also had an option for a redirect and possibly dropped a cookie for evergreen sales. As of now, like a lot, but not, all of the countdowns when you reach the end nothing happens and the visitor is faced with snake eyes unless you’re on top of the timer.

  6. The value of ET is unmatched, the price is right, the support is amazing, the designs are beautiful, creativity is great, finally, Divi and ET will be with me for ever, I do not need another provider.

  7. Thanks for the plugins. Free and premium has their own pros cons. The Countdown plugin used mainly for email subscribers. They love your product – they will sign it.

    @Nick – Will your Writers, make an article about Random Page or Related post for ET themes without any WordPress Plugins.

    There are few of them. To avoid the load time of site, we can add codes and not all are codex ?

    Inside the Article or Sidebar showing Random/Popular post.

    Please !

  8. How could I use a countdown to a specific web event and have that event launch upon reaching zero? is there a way for the completed countdown to trigger an event on the page or some other hidden module to come alive at zero?

    • I agree. It’s very useful for example to hide discounts after timer has reached zero. And show another module.

  9. Perhaps you chaps at Elegant should use a countdown plugin so we know when the heck this proposed Extra theme is actually launching!!

  10. I started using Anticipate and I think it is nifty with the slider initiative but not mobile responsive and doesn’t give one the option to add his/her background image. Thanks for revealing other solution.


  11. Thanks. I don’t use countdown timers much, perhaps because I remember the early days of web design when every site had a little animated construction worker with a shovel and an Under Construction sign.
    But I do think they have a place if used right. Movie release etc.
    I have played with the Divi one—made a countdown to my dogs birthday. Up now at http://beta1.catfishcreative.ca to see how it works.

  12. Hi, thanks for the post but unfortunately it doesn’t address my question… which is this…
    How can I add a countdown for a limited number of products or services to my wordpress site?
    I am a shiatsu therapist and I only have a limited number of appointments available per day/clinic.
    For example I might have 4 sessions available at clinic 1 on Monday, another 4 at clinic 2 on Tuesday etc…
    Is there a plugin that will allow me to count down the number of available appointments at each clinic at any given time?
    I’ve been googling and searching the plugin database but so far have not found anything even close to this…
    Please help!!

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