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If it isn’t obvious from the multiple ads around the site, I’m both a fan and affiliate of Elegant Themes, Nick Roach’s great little development house. His most recent WordPress utility, Anticipate, is something worth talking about. If you’re in the middle of redeveloping a WordPress site (be it corporate, personal, whatever) and you want to work on it and preview it while giving the outside world something else to look at, Anticipate is the awesomesauce you’ve been looking for.

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What it does is put up a nice, highly customizable countdown page on your WordPress site’s home page. You can configure the clock and counter and all that, plus have some sliding content that will act as a placeholder so people have something to read. On top of that, you can slap up your newsletter signup, social media stuff, etc., all the usual things you’d expect of a site in pre-launch mode.

What makes this plugin awesome is this, however: while the rest of the world sees the landing page with all of your coming soon fanciness, you’re able to log in and work on your new WordPress site, screw it up, break the existing theme, etc. and no one will ever know. You can submit it to the rest of your team and as long as they log into your WordPress site, you can collaborate and hack your new WordPress site together. You’ll preview it live on your web host as if it were actually live, which means you can test all your plugins and other functionality. Heck, your site can remain permanently stuck in committee redesign as long as someone remembers to keep adjusting the clock on the Anticipate plugin.

Anticipate is part of the Elegant Themes membership, so you get all their blog themes as well as the plugin for $40/year. I can’t recommend this plugin enough if you’re going to be doing any kind of WordPress-based site launch. Go buy it.

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