I love WordPress and the chances are if you are reading this post, you have a WordPress site too.
Until recently Landing Pages were a pain in the backside if you lacked technical skills. If you have a premium theme like Genesis or Thesis, then a landing page plugin isn’t actually essential. It’s a nice to have plugin for your site. If you use a free theme and are limited by your technical skills then landing page plugins are one way to overcome your restrictions.
But let’s start at the beginning…
What is a Landing Page and why do I need one?
A landing page is a page on your blog or website without distractions. It’s a page where you direct your traffic to, in the hope that they will take a specific action.
Why do you need one?
If you are selling a service or a product you need a landing page. This page can be a sales page, and opt-in page or a video page. It could even be a combination of all three. As I said earlier, these pages have one goal – to focus the reader to take a specific action. You can see a selection mine here:-
As you can see each page is a WordPress page, and each one looks and feels different with a unique call to action on each one. As a visitor lands on the page they are guided to take the action that I would like them too. If you are serious about your marketing ROI, then landing pages are something you need to explore.
If you blog on a regular basis, you will start to create a develop your own landing pages. Quite simply you need effective pages that convert better and that’s where the WordPress landing pages come in to play.
Can’t I just remove the sidebars and create a landing page that way?
Sure you can.
Under your post content area you’ll see a section called layout settings:
You can chose the option, if your theme allows it, and create your own landing page.
The drawbacks to creating your own landing page?
You may not have that option with your theme.
You may not be able to remove your header or your menu / navigation area - You don’t want your visitor landing on the page and then immediately moving off onto another page that caught their eye.
For experimenting and perhaps creating your first landing page (for subscriber optins perhaps?), removing the sidebars is a great start.
WordPress landing page plugins
I use three… yep… three.
First off let me just say the chances are you don’t need three landing page plugins on your blog or WordPress website. It depends what you need them for. All three that I mention here are used for a specific purpose, and are not comparable, but I will explain their differences and you can decide which one you need, because you do need landing pages on your blog or WordPress website.
Premise is a premium landing page plugin and membership software. It’s at the top end of the market and has a lot of functionality and features:
- Membership software
- Copywriting guidance and advice
- Social sharing options
- Easily optimised
- Works on any WordPress theme
- Split testing ability
- Graphics library
At $165 it’s more than a lot of people are prepared to pay, but when you break down the costs of each component and (another) plugin for membership sites, it’s actually very reasonable. It’s worth the price for the graphics library alone.
What I love about Premise
- Page scrollers… yep, you can have a tabbed top landing page
- It’s all Aweber integrated, so you can construct a landing page very swiftly
- The copywriting advice
- You can use on unlimited sites
- Additional educational seminars added throughout the year
What I don’t like about Premise:
- A steep learning curve if you aren’t very technical
- I’ve had Premise since it was launched and I’ve never, ever managed to get the social sharing aspect to work correctly for me.
- I’m still figuring out the membership options
In the defense of Premise, there are detail instruction on their site and some videos that I’m sure if I spent a day getting to grips with, would mean these wouldn’t be issues for me. If you have the required skills / time, then Premise should be at the top of your to-buy list.
Instabuilder is a newish landing page product that came onto the market October 2012. If you’ve taken a look at the Twitter Account management page you’ll see how if differs from Premise.
Instabuilder comes with over 20 different page backgrounds built in, has several page layouts and has some really cool functionality…
- Delayed content option for video landing pages
- Viral download options (similar to social sharing / content lockers)
- You can even have music (a paid upgrade to Instabuilder) on your landing page.
- Exit redirects
- One time offers
- The ability to show a mobile friendly page if some is viewing on a mobile device.
- Did I mention the music option? Yes, you can have landing pages with music that autoplays upon opening.
- Both posts and pages can become landing pages
I think there may even be graphics thrown in, but I’m not sure. There are a lot of settings to work around, for all I know it could help ET dial home
What I dislike about Instabuilder.
- Manual plugin updates.
- Sometimes I can’t recall how to remove an aspect of the landing page and have to root around for 30 mins working it out…
Price, I have no idea how much the Instabuilder plugin costs now. When I purchased it it was $27 with a $27 upgrade for the music option. It’s probably more than that now. It’s still a good plugin and can be used easily, although it is tempting to go nuts with it.
3. Paper Template
Paper Template is another WordPress Landing page plugin. Unlike Premise it doesn’t come with a graphics library, so for my example page I’ve wasted 8 minutes digging through files to find some cartoon graphics that I’d got just for this occasion…
You can see the entire page here – Paper Template Review Landing Page
For $7, Paper Template is a cheap and effective landing page plugin. The Copywriting content is an okay framework for getting the basics of your landing page up and ready. It looks more like a traditional “internet marketers” landing page, it may have more configure-ability that I’ve yet to find.
Good points – it’s fast. It took me 14 minutes to create the sample page for this post.
What I don’t like…
Lack of graphics but for $7 I’ll get over it ;), that sounds rather flip and for that I apologise. Paper Template is a great addition to the above plugins as well as a landing page plugin in its own right.
So what which WordPress Landing Page plugin do I recommend?
All of them.
Each one of them fulfills a need that I have on this, and my other sites.
If you are on a budget, Paper Template will work just fine. You’ll find hacks and workarounds, but ultimately it will do the job of creating a decent landing page. If you have more cash to spare then Premise is a good investment, the copywriting advice is excellent and with a bit of playing around you’ll be able to create some superb landing pages. Instabuilder is the perfect middle ground product, if leaving money on the table (by not having a landing page) isn’t a problem, then go and sign up to their waiting list