Prepare For Liftoff: Free Coming Soon and Launch WordPress Themes

Prepare For Liftoff: Free Coming Soon and Launch WordPress Themes

The time is approaching. Soon, you’ll be launching something special and you need to tell the world about it. Installing a “Coming Soon” WordPress theme can do the trick. They’re a great tool for building audience anticipation before you officially hit that launch button. Today we’re reviewing some of our favorites.

The bad news is… most themes of this nature come at a cost. :(

The good news is… after scouring through the WordPress theme directory, we’ve uncovered a bunch of great free options you can use for your coming soon or launch page. :D

In each mini review we cover what’s good about each one, their specific options/features, and which one might work best for you.

Then, when you do launch — BOOM! — the sky’s the limit.

Plugin vs. Theme: Which One Launches You Higher?

Before we continue, I recently published an in-depth article that provides useful insights on using coming soon plugins.

Inside I explain why coming soon pages are important and test several plugins. It’s worth reading as it goes hand in hand with the article you’re reading now.

In general, there are much more WordPress coming soon plugins than there are themes out there – all with varying specific features.

And as you’ll see, many of these themes do require additional help with their suggested plugins. Still, these coming soon themes have a standalone purpose.

After all, a theme might be the better way to go if you’re looking for the complete layout of your website to be geared towards launching.

Plus, a theme can work well if you’re after a simple coming soon/launch landing page – meaning you don’t necessarily have to install a whole bunch of plugin add-ons.

Use Both Coming Soon Themes and Plugins For Best Results

In my experience, both work best in unison together.

A standalone coming soon or launch theme can also be enhanced with a great plugin. Likewise, practically any theme can benefit from having a coming soon plugin.

It’s what suits your purpose the most efficiently.

What’s For Launch?

By the way, launching goes way beyond just websites.

A coming soon theme can also be a great tool to promote events like: A wedding, a new restaurant, book launch, online course, and much more!

Point is, no matter what type of site you plan to launch, a coming soon theme (like the ones below) can help you.

I’ve downloaded and tested all of the following free coming soon and launch themes. You won’t find any ‘fake’ reviews that are based solely off the theme website or description.

Let’s go through these and help you pick one that’ll put your next event/website into orbit.

  • Event Press

    Event Press by Nayra Themes is a free announcement and counting down until the “big day” theme. What’s impressive is all of the essentials are set up for you.

    It’s suited for webinars, seminars, the launch of your website, and much more.

    Living up to its name, this theme can especially be beneficial for events. It has all the essentials to make your celebration go off without a hitch.

    Grab some punch and an hors d’oeuvre and let’s check out this event – er, EventPress.

    After activating it, all the customization options are immediately available to you. However, they recommend that you install the Evento plugin that works well with this theme.

    Evento is great for customizing your landing page for specific holidays and more.

    Evento plugin.
    Ugly Christmas sweater, anybody?

    Now, let’s get this party started and check it out.

    EventPress customization page.

    The layout is great on this theme to get ready for an announcement of any kind. You’re immediately able to add a relevant header image and text.

    Directly below that is where you can add your organizer or other relevant information.

    What’s convenient is you don’t need to have a separate contact form plugin or anything else with this theme. It’s already set up for you in their system.

    That way if anyone has any questions or comments, they can quickly contact you. As you can see, even if it’s a website dedicated to sending well wishes for, let’s say a wedding, hey — that’s fine, too!

    EventPress contact form.
    The EventPress contact form.

    And, of course, if you’re counting down; whether it be for an event, website launch, or anything else — their countdown timer is easy to configure and set up.

    EventPress countdown.

    Maybe you have a fundraising event and you need to raise some dough. You can include a donations section on your landing page and make it happen.

    This feature is included in their PRO version, so you would have to upgrade to include.

    EventPress contributions.
    Example of a contribution page.

    The Pro version includes some additional features and support. However, for the basics, the free version might do the trick. It has all the elements of a great coming soon theme.

    I like its easy to use layout, default options, and its overall functionality and design.

    This theme can kickstart your upcoming event, build your email lists, countdown, and works great as an all-in-one theme.

    To see this theme in action, be sure to check out their live demo.

  • The Launcher

    With a name like that, it has to be good, right? The Launcher by Access Keys might be the coming soon theme you need to propel your website up to new heights.

    This theme was created specifically for launching…anything. And it lives up to its name. You have options of different vibrant themes to choose from once activated (a theme within a theme within a theme).

    It’s great to have the variety, and you can customize however you’d like.

    Launcher coming soon theme options.
    Several of the themes to choose from.

    All of them look nice and are effective. It’s worth sampling a few of them with a demo to see which one works best for you.

    The theme packs a punch with the assistance of the Access Demo Importer plugin. It has an option to install and activate it immediately.

    Launcher access plugin.

    A countdown timer is a feature that’s always beneficial to any coming soon website. It lets your audience know exactly how long they will have to wait until “it” happens and helps build anticipation.

    This theme makes it extremely easy to set up a countdown timer on the sidebar.

    Launcher timer settings.
    Configuring the countdown timer area.

    Other than that, there are lots of customization options. You can change the background images, add a video, adjust the fonts, and plenty more options to play with.

    Launcher example.
    Example of the timer I set up. 93 weeks is a long wait…

    It works best as a landing page. Adding any additional bells and whistles beyond the essentials (e.g. a contact form, timer, etc.) takes the focus off its main purpose: launching.

    You can view several demos of this theme in their live demos.

  • Landing Pagency

    Landing Pagency by ThemeEverest is a simple theme that’s recommended if you’re a creative agency, consulting business, or startup.

    There’s not a ton of customization features (e.g. contact forms, countdown timer, etc.), but all the essentials can be accomplished with plugins.

    It comes with the blog prominent on the landing page. You can adjust everything to fit your needs for a coming soon page, product promo, or event.

    Its simplistic look might be exactly what you’re looking for and customization is simple.

    Landing Pagency customization.
    The customization screen.

    This theme has no recommended plugins to accompany it. For a pop-up, we recommend using our Hustle plugin.

    And for additional forms, our very own Forminator can work well here as well.

    This theme also makes for a great opportunity to put your CSS knowledge into play. Like most themes, you can tweak it as you’d like.

    The nice empty canvas on this theme can provide anyone with CSS skills a chance to add a personal touch. Maybe a happy little cloud?

    Landing Pagency CSS.
    Where you can add additional CSS.

    There is an upgrade option as well. Here’s a comparison of the FREE vs PREMIUM versions:

    Landing Pagency free and premium comparison.
    A comparison list of FREE vs PREMIUM version of Landing Pagency.

    A lot of the premium options can be accomplished with a variety of plugins, good hosting, image SEO, and more. However, it may be worth the cost to upgrade if it has all the essentials you’re looking for.

    For a simple coming soon option, I was impressed with its quick editing options, default layout, and design. Sure, it doesn’t have a ton of features, but sometimes that’s perfect.

    Be sure to view their demo to see if it’s a great match for your purpose.

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

After you launched and your event is over — what next? Does the website come down?

That depends.

Something to keep in mind is themes are more of a permanent* option, so if you don’t have repeat events or promotions, it might make more sense to use a coming soon plugin instead (since they’re easily deactivated).

However, if you have reasons for keeping a coming soon theme (e.g. recurring events), then it’ll be nice to have a more stable website layout.

Coming in For a Landing (Page)

As you can see, most of these themes work best as a landing page. Are you ready to land on one?

They’re also all a little bit different.

For free options, there are slim pickings. However, there are a lot of options out there available for purchase.

The main thing is that your coming soon theme for WordPress is engaging and effective.

Or, instead of your campaign taking off, your visitors might takeoff… to another website.

What’s your preference: a coming soon plugin or theme? Have you had some experiences with either of them that have taken-off? Blast your thoughts in the comments below!

N. Fakes

N. Fakes Nathanael Fakes is a blog writer and cartoonist at WPMU DEV. He’s worked with WordPress for over a decade. Beyond WordPress, he’s a published author, syndicated cartoonist, and donut enthusiast. Connect with Nate on Instagram and learn more about his work on his comics website.