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Summary:

This isn’t so much a full web app review as it is an announcement to heighten people’s awareness of a big no-no in web work. It’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, since I think people are getting better at avoiding […]

launchsplashThis isn’t so much a full web app review as it is an announcement to heighten people’s awareness of a big no-no in web work. It’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, since I think people are getting better at avoiding this particular pitfall, but nothing annoys me (and clients) more than visiting a site and finding nothing but an “Under Construction” or “The site is currently being redesigned” page. In all likelihood, unless the page being visited is for a hotly anticipated new product from a major company, your visitor will never come back.

There’s one sure way to stay out of trouble, and that’s to wait to launch your web site until you actually have some content in a presentable form to show people. If, for whatever reason, you can’t wait that long (maybe your client wants to build the sort of anticipation normally reserved for companies like Capcom and Apple, for instance), then your placeholder should be functional rather than static. That’s where LaunchSplash comes in.

Picture 11With this new web app, you can quickly and easily create a standby splash page to help visitors feel like they haven’t completely wasted their time by visiting your site, and help make sure they actually come back when you do have something to show off. It only took me two brief screens and all of about 30 seconds to create this, which is infinitely better than a static page with, say, an animated .gif of a hard hat and construction tape.

Picture 12Built in to every LaunchSplash page is a mailing list that people can sign up for to receive updates about your web site. You can track sign-ups at the LaunchSplash site via your Page Editor. You can also tweak your template, colors, graphics, and even the CSS of your page to make it match your brand image. You can even use Google Analytics or any JavaScript traffic tracking snippet to check your site’s visitors, all from a visual dashboard — handy if you’re not HTML-savvy. If you already have your own domain, you can map it to LaunchSplash’s servers to display your preview page automatically.

With their basic free plan, you can create up to two Launch pages, and access all the free templates. Upgrading to one of their three paid plans ($5, $15 and $25 per month) will get you access to special “Premium” templates and the ability to create more simultaneous launch pages. I don’t see why you’d need more than one, unless you’re a lazy web designer who really likes to procrastinate, but maybe that’s their target market. Regardless, the free account is a great idea if you’re not able to set up your home on the web just yet, but want people to be able to go somewhere and see something on the web that refers to you or your brand.

What do you think of the LaunchSplash app?

  1. Nice find Darrell – this is indeed simple to set up with pretty handy functionality built right in. Definitely one to put in the toolbox.

    SB

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  2. That’s just a WordPress site they are setting up using the free Launchpad theme. No need to go with a fee plan if you need more than 2. Just set up WordPress (one-click setup comes with almost all hosting accounts), download the free Launchpad theme and activate it. Takes about 2 minutes. Then you can use your own domain name and not a subdomain on “comingsoooon.com”

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  3. one of paul graham’s secrets to the success of new start-up companies is to “start with something minimal”. basically, no construction sign, but don’t build something so solid that 1) it’s way past its prime, 2) hard to change. i like the idea of a functional placeholder – keeps your clientele happy i bet.

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