If you want to promote a product, service, or other opportunity that your website visitors might be interested in, then in most cases, you are better off creating a landing page, instead of just a normal post or page on your website.
Typically, a landing page won’t include the logo, header menu, sidebar, and other elements that are included on the rest of the posts and pages of your website. This blank canvas then gives you a great opportunity to promote your offering to your visitors, without any of the extra features of a typical web page drawing attention away from your message.
Although some WordPress themes include a landing page template, and you have the option of coding one yourself, there are also a number of free landing page plugins available that can help you add an effective sales page to your website.
In this post we will take a look at one of the better free options available for creating a landing page on a WordPress website. Also, just in case you want to create a coming soon page for your site, we will also be taking a look at free plugin that can help you create a page to keep your visitors in the loop, and allow them to join your launch notification email list.
Choosing a Free WordPress Landing Page Plugin
While there are a number of free options for creating landing pages in the WordPress plugin directory, after trying a few of them out, most of these plugins leave a lot to be desired.
Nearly all of the free options can be enhanced by upgrading to a premium version. This typically gives you access to additional landing page templates, as well as the ability to easily add more elements, such as email opt-in forms to your landing pages. While this is model is common with WordPress plugins, in this case, the core features of the free landing page plugins weren’t very useful.
However, amongst the free landing page plugins, there was one option that had potential, and that was Parallax Gravity – Landing Page Builder.
Creating a Landing Page with the Parallax Gravity plugin for WordPress
As mentioned, the weak point of many of the free landing page plugins for WordPress, is that they lack usable templates, with the more well-designed options only available to those who upgrade to the premium versions.
This free plugin gets around the issue of only including poorly designed landing page templates, by not including any templates at all.
That might sound like a negative. However, in reality, it simply means you have to create your own landing page, rather than taking the easy way out and relying on one of the poorly designed bundled templates. This gives you an opportunity to ensure your landing page meets your requirements and tastes, rather than settling for a lacklustre freebie.
Thankfully, unlike some of the competition, the landing page builder interface of the Parallax Gravity plugin is fairly easy to use.
The landing pages consist of multiple sections. You are free to create as many sections as you like on a page. Each section functions as a horizontal row, which spans the full width of the browser window. This replaces the website header, sidebar, and footer areas. The individual sections each can have their own background colour or background image if necessary.
Furthermore, you can add content to each section using the WordPress editor. This allows you to not only add text and images, but also format that content in the same way you would regular post content.
The plugin includes a number of useful shortcodes that allow you to easily divide the sections – or rows – into columns. This makes it straightforward to add a large image with some text to accompany it, side by side, on the same row.
Once you’ve created your landing page, you can then link to it from your site’s menu or from within posts and pages. You can also link to the new landing page from an external website, such as Facebook or Twitter.
If you’d like some more features to help you produce better results, you can always upgrade to the premium version. For $16, you get access to more controls for customizing the design of your landing pages, as well as user analytics to see how your pages are performing.
Parallax Gravity gives you a way to create pages, without any of the traditional elements of a WordPress website. By removing the sidebar, header, and footer areas, you can let your visitors focus on the contents of the landing page, without being distracted.
Creating a Coming Soon Launch Page
If you are more interested in collecting emails before your product or service launches, then a coming soon plugin might be a better option.
One free plugin that makes it easy to create this type of landing page, is the Coming Soon CC plugin. Although this plugin only includes one rather basic template – with the rest being reserved for premium users – the template can be easily customized to meet your needs.
The default template is fully responsive. This means your mobile visitors can comfortably access the page, and then join your mailing list if they wish.
As you can use the WordPress editor to customize the default landing page, there really is no limit to what type of content you can display. This makes Coming Soon CC a versatile choice that could be easily re-purposed into a more traditional sales page or landing page builder tool.
The default landing page template includes a place-holder for displaying links to your social media profiles, an email newsletter subscription form, with the ability to simply collect the email addresses, or add them to your MailChimp mailing list. Through the plugin settings, you can also add Google Analytics tracking code to your coming soon page in order to find out more about your visitors.
The interface for the plugin makes use of the native WordPress UI. This means anyone familiar with WordPress already, should have no trouble creating an attractive coming soon page with this tool.
While a traditional landing page tool would allow you to display your sales page in addition to the rest of your website content, this isn’t the case with Coming Soon CC. This is because once activated, it instead acts as the home page of your website.
However, displaying the coming soon page alongside the rest of your website content is a feature of the pro version. This, combined with the attractive templates and easy page editing capabilities, helps to make Coming Soon CCP Pro well worth considering, for anyone shopping for a low cost, premium landing page builder plugin.
As you now know, landing page builders is one of the few areas where WordPress is particularly under-served, when it comes to free plugins.
Therefore, if you want to create an attractive sales page to promote your offerings, you will either have to invest some extra time and effort in creating a professional looking design with the free Parallax Gravity plugin, or invest some money and upgrade to a premium option.
If you have any questions about creating a landing page for a WordPress website, or recommendations of a suitable tool, please share them in the comments below.