LaunchPad, The WordPress Domain Parking Theme

LaunchPad, The WordPress Domain Parking Theme

If you’re like me, you like registering domains. It’s exciting. But what’s not exciting is watching your hosting company or domain registrar turn your name into an ad-farm while you’re getting ready to launch your next WordPress blog. If you didn’t know it, that’s called domain parking; a way for hosts and domain registrars to capitalize on all the underdeveloped domains out there. That’s why I came up with LaunchPad, the WordPress Domain Parking Theme. To explain: if this theme had a motto it might be, “I’m not your billboard.”

Now with most hosts offering one-click installs of WordPress—I recommend Fused Network—it couldn’t be easier to park your domain in style while you get your future blog ready. Just install WordPress, sign up for FeedBurner with email subscriptions (see instructions below) and you’re set! You get a professionally designed domain parking page—for free—that serves up an RSS feed link and a form for email updates.

But why bother? Well, let’s see what web design expert Mr. Meltdown, of Design Meltdown, thinks of “coming soon” pages like LaunchPad.

This type of landing page has dropped the annoying construction cones and replaced with relevant and useful features. Namely among this is a sign up form to be notified of an actual launch, beta release, or other significant milestone. And of course this is a great way to build a nice mailing list of people to market a new product to. After all, if they actually complete the form they are likely to be very interested. Link.

Sounds like a good idea to me!

LaunchPad Features

  • Theme Options Page
  • Integration with FeedBurner
  • Professional design and typesetting
  • GPL Licensed—it’s free and you’re free to mess with it.

LaunchPad Instructions

Using LaunchPad is simple, it installs like any other WordPress theme, but there’s a couple of things you’ll need to get ready beforehand.

Get a FeedBurner ID and Feedmail

For a theme that incorporates FeedBurner to build subscriptions before you’ve even started blogging, this one is necessary. Signing up for FeedBurner is easy and you were probably going to do it anyway. Visit and follow the instructions there. Once that’s done, login and visit your account page.

All you’ll need is the name of your FeedBurner feed address. That’s the text after “”. Copy it into a text file somewhere for easy reference.

While you’re here, sign up for Feedmail. Click the publicize tab and look for the Email Subscriptions link under services (as I write this, it’s the 4th item). Follow the setup instructions there—but don’t worry about pasting any code anywhere, LaunchPad does that all for you.

Credit has to go to Nathan Rice for showing me how to do this with his beautiful theme Elegant Blue. Thanks, Nathan!

Write your Welcome Post

When someone subscribes to your new blog with RSS they will be able to read any published posts. You don’t want them reading your “Hello World!” post. Write a simple introduction to your new blog that outlines it’s genesis and your goals so your new subscribers will have something to read.

Set Theme Options

Simply copy your feed name into the options page …

… and You’re Done! You’re ready to launch your blog with LaunchPad!

Tips for Launching Your WordPress Blog with LaunchPad

There is really only one crucial tip for making the most of LaunchPad: let people know you have a URL. WordPress themes don’t work magic. You still have to market yourself. I recommend doing it in stages. First let your immediate friends and family know, then send out word on any social sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Hello Kitty Fan Club, etc.) you’re a member of. Follow that up with a link on an existing blog—if you have one. If you don’t have a blog I recommend getting one—using LaunchPad while you’re getting it ready of course!

Speaking of getting ready, make sure you read Collis Ta’eed’s two part Building a SuperBlog series on NorthXEast (Part two is here). It outlines the steps Collis took when launching FreelanceSwitch and his advice will help anyone launch their blog successfully. Without my LaunchPad theme, even. Imagine!

View the live demo or download.



341 thoughts on “LaunchPad, The WordPress Domain Parking Theme

  1. Love it! I changed colors, added my own logo (had to lift the margin a bit on the ie.css to accomodate that) & added Facebook & Twitter links. (bird icon used by permission, noted in code.) Thank you!

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  4. Awesome Theme! With Social Media dominating everyones daily lives would you consider adding a “Twitter – Follow Me” and “Facebook” box? Food for thought … Thanks!

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  15. Hi Ian,

    If we consider the LaunchPad WordPress Theme – after registering a domain and activating the theme and then after customizing it using the Theme Options – > Deleting the Hello World Post – Writing a new post to introduce yourself or your company is just too much work !

    Another down-side of using LaunchPad WordPress Theme is that if you’re a developer and want to test your theme or plugin live – you cannot do that without disabling Launch Pad theme.

    Keeping these short comings of Launch Pad theme in mind, we have written the
    Custom Coming Soon Pages WordPress Plugin
    which allows you to display a Customized Coming Soon Page or Under Construction page to normal visitors (or even the regular members) of your WordPress website– while the Site Administrators see the fully functional website with the whatever theme or plugins you’re using as well as a fully functional Dashboard instead of the coming soon page!

    There are a lot of other features built into the plugin that anyone will find useful and pretty cool.. I’d love to have you try the Custom Coming Soon Pages plugin and listen to your feedback.

    You can read more about it on CSSJockey blog :

    Abhinav Sood / CSSJockey

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  18. Carl Celle says:


    I was having the same problem with Email Subscription as everyone else. I uploaded the theme that is hosted within WordPress instead of using the one that is available directly from this site.

    The theme available through WordPress is the old version while the latest version is located here. The problem was fixed once I uninstalled the old theme and did a fresh install of the new one.

    Ian – Can you update the theme on WordPress?

    Thanks for a great theme.

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  30. I really love this child theme, and I’m using it on a couple sites that I’m working on right now.
    What I’d love to see is a combination of this child theme with the Maintenance Mode plugin.
    What I really like about the Maintenance Mode plugin is that I can put it up, and let visitors know the site is being worked on, but I’m still able to see all the changes I’m making to a theme when logged in. This comes in handy when I want to show a client something before it goes live.

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  40. Please help! says:

    Dear Ian, very good theme, thank you.
    But I would like to edit something in it.

    I need an article and tags. below the orange line.
    Actually, would like to use not only for parking, also, as a “working theme”.
    Could you advice how to do it, please?
    Unfortunatelly, I am zero in coding.


    I mean,

    —————————————–orange line——————————-

    I need text and tags below, possibility to scroll down and see it

    anything anything text text anything anything text text
    anything anything text text anything anything text text
    anything anything text text anything anything text text
    anything anything text text anything anything text text
    anything anything text text anything anything text text
    anything anything text text anything anything text text
    anything anything text text anything anything text text

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