Billboard is a micro-landing page built out as a plugin so it can be used with any theme to display a “Coming Soon” or “Maintenance” page.
Billboard is managed entirely from the Customizer in WordPress so you can preview your changes in real-time.
Installing the Plugin
Installing Billboard should be familiar if you have ever installed a plugin manually before.
- Download Billboard from the Downloads section in your account. The file saved to your computer will be named in this format:
If you don’t have an account, you will need to make a purchase first.
In Your WordPress Admin Panel
- Navigate to the Plugins → Add New screen
- Click the Upload link next to the “Add Plugins” screen title
- Click the button to find and select the plugin zip file you saved to your computer
- Click the Install Now button to upload and install it
- If the plugin installed successfully, you will see a link that says Activate Plugin — go ahead and click it
If you can’t find a zip file after downloading the plugin, it may have been unzipped by your browser automatically. This usually occurs when using Safari on Macs. You can either rezip the plugin folder, download the file with another browser, or read the instructions for changing that setting here.
After activating the plugin, navigate to Appearance → Customize in your admin panel to access the Customizer. The top panel in the Customizer should be Billboard, which is where you can find all of the settings for managing the plugin.
The Identity section contains the options related to your brand: Logo, Title and Tagline. It’s also possible to display only a logo by checking the box to hide the title and tagline.
The Content section is where you manage the content and layout.
The default “Signature” layout centers the logo, title, and tagline in the middle of the page and hides any content. Once you add content to the editor, try adjusting the layout to see how the various options affect the display.
The Social Menu location in Billboard allows you to display links to your various social media profiles as icons. Each menu item should be added as a custom link. Billboard will automagically display the correct icon based on the link URL. For example, a link like
http://twitter.com/audiotheme/ will display a Twitter icon because the theme has detected it is a Twitter URL.
The following icons are bundled in Billboard for use in your Social Menu: Amazon, Apple/iTunes, Bandcamp, Facebook, Flickr, Google Play, Google+, Instagram, Last.fm, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Rdio, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tumblr, Twitter, Vimeo, WordPress, and YouTube.
The player in Billboard relies on the Cue plugin. Cue gives you the ability to easily create and manage custom playlists.
Once Cue is activated, go to Playlists → All Playlists and click the “Add New” link by the Playlists screen title. After creating a playlist in Cue, you can select it in the “Playlist” dropdown in the Billboard → Content section in the Customizer.
The Design section allows you to change the maximum width of the logo and set a background color or image.
Changing the background color causes the text on the page to automatically adjust to make sure it contrasts with the chosen color. When a background image is set, a slider is also available to overlay a color over the image to ensure your content is readable.
The Fonts section provides built-in support for a few handpicked Google fonts.
If you have a Typekit account and would like to use the fonts included in one of your kits, you can follow the documentation for integrating custom fonts for Typekit.
Finally, the Settings section is where you manage who should see the Billboard page. By default, the Billboard page is only visible in the Customizer. To make it visible on the frontend, choose one of the available options:
- Visitors only – Only visitors who aren’t logged in will see the custom landing page, while authenticated users will see the active theme.
- Everyone – The custom landing page will override the active theme for everyone, including authenticated users.
Enabling maintenance mode will send a 503 HTTP status code to let search engines know the site is temporarily unavailable and prevent them from indexing temporary content. Maintenance mode should usually only be enabled for established sites with existing content.
For additional details, read how to handle site maintenance correctly for SEO on the Yoast blog.
Even when the Billboard is enabled, RSS feeds will still be accessible. Checking the “Limit feed access to logged-in users” checkbox will prevent visitors from accessing them.
Sometimes it’s helpful to allow certain visitors without an account to bypass the Billboard page and view the site, for instance, when requesting support. Instead of creating a temporary account, add their IP address to the text area to give them access.