In addition to giving you a high level overview of the steps for setting up your first landing page, you will discover the more popular landing page plugins available at this time. I will also explain what a plugin is, how to install it, and give you some insight on whether to go with a free or paid plugin option.
Even if you are planning on having someone do the work for you, it’s best to know your options and have a basic understanding of the process so you can make the best decision for yourself at this time in your business.
So first I will answer a few of the questions I get from many people who are considering building their first landing page.
What are the first steps I should take to build my landing page?
It’s important for you to develop your landing page on your own platform. By that I mean set up an account with GoDaddy, Bluehost, or other reputable hosting provider. Register your domain name and set up hosting in that account. Do not get caught in the trap of setting up everything on someone else’s platform. You will regret it within a couple of years or sooner. You’ve got to own your stuff!
- Step 1 – Purchase your domain.
- Step 2 – Set up your hosting account.
- Step 3 – Install WordPress
- Step 4 – Install your landing page builder plugin
How much does it cost to set up a landing page?
It depends. Your investment will vary, but you can plan on spending around $120 annually for your landing page including annual domain name renewal and hosting.
There are several advantages to using a landing page builder plugin including providing you with ready-made templates and opt-in boxes; speeds the development process; and helps ensure you have a professional looking landing page.
What is a Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software that integrates seamlessly with WordPress to add new features and extend the functionality of your website. You can install most plugins for free. And some are offered as a free version with a more robust paid version available. Generally the free version will suffice for your landing page needs.
How to install a Plugin?
You can install/uninstall plugins from the admin area of your dashboard. Once you have purchased your domain name, set up your hosting account, and installed WordPress, login to your WordPress Dashboard by going to yourdomainname.com/wp-admin. Once you are logged in, select Plugins from the menu options on the left side of the screen. You will see the plugins that are currently installed. WordPress installs a few by default.
To add a new plugin or search for a plugin, click on the Add New button at the top of the page. Type in “landing page” in the Search plugins… box on the right side of the page. This will give you a list of landing page plugins. Or you can type in the name of the plugin you are searching for to get that specific plugin.
When you locate the plugin you want to install, click on the Install Now button to the right of the plugin. Once it’s installed, click Activate and it’s ready to use. Most will add an option on the left side of your dashboard for the plugin.
Before installing any plugin, you want to make sure it is compatible with your current version of WordPress. Read the reviews and check to see how long it has been since the plugin was last updated. This will save you headaches down the road.
You also want to make sure it integrates well with your current email service provider. Since the main purpose of your landing page is to collect email addresses and build your list, you will want to check to see if it works with your email service provider.
Landing Page Builder Plugin Payment Options.
Some of the landing page builder plugins have an annual fee. For example OptimizePress is $99 annually and Thrive Architect is $67 for one license and $97 for five licenses which includes unlimited update and 1 year of support. They also offer an annual membership option that not only gives you access to Thrive Architect, but gives you access to all their online marketing tools.
The main advantage of using a paid plugin is having the unlimited updates. I have been burned a couple of times using a free plugin that did not provide updates or support. Then after a couple of years, it is no longer compatible with the new updated version of WordPress. And in one case, the company that built the plugin went out of business. So not only did I not have support, the website eventually quit working and I had to rebuild it almost from scratch.
I’m not saying never go with a free plugin option, but make sure you are using a plugin that has been around a while, is up to date, and has good support. All of them have their pros and cons. All of them have their nuances. You will need support or have a question at some point.
WordPress Landing Page Builder Plugin Options
There are actually dozens of landing page builder plugins, but this will give you a high level overview of the more popular plugins at this time.
Thrive Architect is a paid plugin I use in my business and for client landing pages. I like the ease of use and the professional looking templates they provide. Their pricing is reasonable. You can purchase one license for $67 and five licenses for $97. This is a one-time fee that gives you updates and support for 1 year. You can pay a small fee at the end of the year to continue support. I’ve been very happy with the support I’ve received even though it is email only.
OptimizePress does not offer a free version. Pricing starts at $99/annually for 1 site. I also use OptimizePress in my business and really like the features, such as 40+ mobile responsive, conversion optimized landing page templates and easy to create opt-in forms. It also integrates well with many email service providers such as Constant Contact, Convertkit, GetResponse, and others. I actually used OptimizePress to build this website. It has it’s pros and cons, but overall I’m happy with it for now.
Elementor is a free WordPress plugin, although they have a paid version that provides a little more functionality. The free version will do most anything you need to do as far as building a landing page. I have used the free version before and really like the functionality and ease of use. But ease of use is relative. If you are a techy person, it will be easier than if you have never seen a website before but it’s still doable. As with the others, Elementor will replace your basic WordPress editor and give you a visual interface to design your website live. If you are on a tight budget and want to do it yourself, it’s definitely worth checking out Elementor.
Leadpages starts at $25 per month. You can host your landing page on their platform (which I do not recommend) or use their plugin on your own website. I used Leadpages a few years ago and wasn’t that impressed with their platform given the pricing. But I can see they have made several improvements since I last used it. So it may be worth checking out. They offer a free 14-day trial. But you do have to enter your charge card information, so make sure you cancel before the 14-day period is up so you don’t get charged if you decide it’s not for you.
Beaver Builder starts with a $99 annual subscription. I have not personally used this platform, so I am just going by their loyal following and the exceptional reviews. I have run across several impressive landing pages built with Beaver Builder. They offer a demo. Since their interface is somewhat similar to other landing page builders, this will give you the opportunity to actually experience a landing page builder platform.
WordPress Default Themes is another option. When you install WordPress, it will automatically install several themes. Twenty Twenty is one of the more popular free themes you can use to build your landing page. Most professional email service providers have a form plugin you can install on your WordPress website to collect email addresses. For example, Constant Contact has a Constant Contact Forms Plugin you can use to set up an opt-in form to your website. I did not get into the difference between a plugin and theme here. There is some overlap between the two and that is a discussion for another day. Just know you can build a landing page using the basic functionality that is included in basic your WordPress install.
In addition the above landing page builder plugins, many email service providers offer a landing page option. Although these are generally very basic, they may still serve your needs to get started. Constant Contact, Convertkit, and Aweber are among the providers that now offer landing page options. So it you are already using an email service provider in your business, it is worth checking out those options.
Bottom line…do your research and find the best option for you right now at this point in your business. You can always change it later. There is no perfect solution or one size fits all when it comes to landing page builder plugins. There is just the perfect solution for you. Remember fast implementation is key to success in your business. Learning and researching don’t pay the bills! Get started and learn as you go. Believe me…you will never figure out everything before you get started. You learn by doing and gaining experience.
All the best,