A useful tip I picked up when I started blogging was to put a clock to any task at hand. If you’re anything like me and keep putting things off until the last minute, you should give it a try.
Whether you’re starting a new website or going into maintenance mode with your existing website, put a clock to it. Not just on your table, but as a countdown timer on the website for visitors to track. That way, you will keep visitors informed, as well as commit yourself to a deadline. You can use a countdown timer on your website to:
- Launch a new website.
- Inform visitors that the website is in maintenance mode.
- Generate interest for a new product launch.
- Run a contest.
- Mark an important milestone.
- Register for a webinar/ seminar / social gathering.
- Make special offers for a particular period of time.
- Build up excitement for any event.
- Create a sense of urgency or scarcity.
If you are running a WordPress website, there are many nifty plugins that can add a timer to the website. Countdown timer plugins are commonly used in Coming Soon or Maintenance Mode pages to keep visitors informed when the site will be back up.
You can often find countdown timers on the landing pages of a soon-to-be-launched app or product, or on the pre-launch pages of a website. These pages are designed not only for the sole purpose of keeping time, but also to collect email addresses and capture leads. These pages promote the brand and help to spread the word through social media.
Some popular landing page & coming soon plugins that include countdown timers:
- Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
- 5sec Maintenance Mode by WebFactory
- WP Maintenance Mode
- Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode by halfdata
- Coming soon and Maintenance mode
- Launchpad – Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode Plugin
- Verde – Responsive WordPress Coming Soon Plugin
The plugins intended for landing pages are usually comprehensive and are geared towards increasing conversion rates. You can find out more about landing page plugins in our previous post Create Effective Landing Pages With WordPress Plugins. Or if it is landing page themes that you are looking for, read up this post 30 Best Landing Page WordPress Themes.
In this post, I will stick to plugins that seek to harness the chief function of a timer – Keeping Time.
1. Plugins To Add Countdown Timers Easily To Your Website
Countdown WordPress plugin
Countdown WordPress plugin will help to add a perfectly functional countdown timer to a widget or to any post / page in just a few minutes. The user friendly backend and the fully responsive design ensure that you can have a timer on your website without any coding on your part.
I was able to add a simple timer in my sidebar near the Comments Section without a hitch.
You can add any number of timers, so you can have multiple campaigns or contests running together at the same time. The day and time, right down to seconds can be keyed in, and you get to pick the action to be taken after expiry of the countdown.
With the premium version of the plugin, the background color, buttons for timers and 39 animation effects are available.
jCountdown Mega Package for WordPress
A jQuery plugin that allows you to customize to a great degree is jCountdown Mega Package for WordPress. You can change the settings and view them in preview mode before accepting the changes. Use it to create, start, stop or destroy a countdown.
Script the plugin to execute any action at the end of the countdown. Time can be displayed in many styles – Flip, Slide, Metal or Crystal.
CountDown Pro WP Plugin
Two versions – Electronic and Circular are available. Multiple timers can be set up on the same page and a logo can be added. Auto reset option and CallBack option (to be executed at expiry) can also be configured.
POWr Countdown Timer
POWr Countdown Timer is a cloud based timer that you can use to edit on a live web page. With the help of the POWr Editor, you can edit the design and contents of the timer directly on the live site. View the changes as they happen on your live site.
To use the plugin, you need to create an account with POWr, where you can access all the plugins by the author.
Use this plugin to count up to or to count down from an event, or to keep track of recurring events (like every minute a tree is cut). The timer can be animated in different ways. Size and spacing can be adjusted and the text can be in any language.
With the premium plugin, you can eliminate branding and enable auto reset features.
Soon Countdown Pack
Soon Countdown Pack, is another plugin that counts up from a date or counts down to a date. 15 preset templates and an embedded Visual Builder help you get the look you want for your counter.
Choose from 3 clock faces – Flip, Matrix and Text – each with its own animations and customization options.
If you have no need for a countdown at any time, the counter will set itself in clock mode. The timer can be synchronized with the server time.
2. Countdown Timer Plugins for Specific Tasks
Seamlessly adding real time countdowns to your events couldn’t be easier. Just install the EventOn plugin and the add-on to have options for custom countdown times with options for custom text, timer expirations actions (such as hide the event, or blackout), custom colors and more. The Countdown add-on also works great with lightbox event views (displaying a static version of the timer).
WooCommerce Sales Countdown
If you want to kick start a sales campaign, you’ll be glad you stumbled upon WooCommerce Sales Countdown, an add-on for WooCommerce. Multiple timers can be added, so you can show each product with its own timer. Users can then see how much time they have left to buy that product.
This add-on can show the time left for a campaign to start. The timer can be inserted in the WooCommerce product or category page, or in the sidebar widget area. You can figure the options for this plugin from within WooCommerce and it works well with WooCommerce compatible themes.
Delivery Countdown Timer
Delivery Countdown Timer will display how much time is left for ‘next day delivery’ of WooCommerce products. The timer is based on WordPress default timezone.
It will display all the days of the week, but you can opt to hide certain non delivery days, such as weekends.
Coupons and Flash Sales: Coupons for single products and flash sales is a part of the sales strategy of most online stores. WooCommerce Coupons Countdown can help to add countdown to individual coupons in a WooCommerce powered store. This extension for WooCommerce will show customers when the coupons will expire. Try out Woo Sale Revolution: Flash Sale+Dynamic Discounts for setting up flash sales with countdown timer. It is possible to attach various sale conditions and rules to the sales.
3. Plugins That Utilize The Urgency Factor To Boost Sales
Page Expiration Robot
With Page Expiration Robot, every visitor who comes to the site sees their own countdown, creating an impression of scarcity. One time offers, open only for an extremely short period can be made to each and every visitor exclusively.
Cookie based visitor-by-visitor expiration can be set. This hurries visitors to make a purchase before the offer expires. Automated time limited offers can be run everyday and all day long.
When the countdown reaches zero, visitors are automatically redirected to any page you specify. A final notice, something like ‘now or gone forever’ can be flashed. By picking time zones from the dropdown selector, close offers in selected cities.
Evergreen Countdown Timer
Evergreen Countdown Timer also personalizes the countdown timer for each and every visitor. It integrates well into your email marketing funnel. It works on the principle that scarcity drives the demand for a product.
The premium version offers countdown for spots / seats / tickets alongside the timer and tracks visitors using cookies and IP addresses. Unlimited evergreen countdowns with automatic time reset is also part of the premium version.
Countdown Dynamite creates timers for each and every visitor automatically. It works well for one time offers. When the offer expires, it is hidden away and the visitor is directed to any url your specify.
Besides cookies, the plugin uses IP addresses to identify the visitor. So, even if the cookie is deleted, the visitor will continue to see the original expiry deadline.
This plugin allows you to carry out some forceful marketing strategies. Like, offer an affiliate product coupled with a bonus if purchase is made within the deadline, or add an offer to a sales letter urging recipients to buy by deadline.
Countdown timers deliver the necessary impact with minimum effort. They allow the webmasters to guide the visitors’ attention directly to where they want it to be focussed. They can make a difference to any time bound activity on your website.
Try them out on your website and let us know in the comments below if they worked for you.