Soonatra - ‘Coming Soon’ pages on Sinatra

20 Jul 2011

I was recently tasked with creating a “coming soon” page for a new project at work. The requirements were the usual:

  • Some description of the project features
  • A form to signup for an email list / invites
  • Display a few posts from an RSS feed
  • Show some screenshots of what we’re building to collect early feedback

We’ve also been increasing our focus on A/B testing (aka “split testing”), so I wanted a way to try out different headlines and see which angle users find most interesting.

This all sounds well and good, but it is very frustrating to take time away from the beginning of an exciting new project to invest in a page that will only be online for a few short weeks.

I decided I don’t ever want to do it again, so I created Soonatra.

Soonatra is a simple Sinatra based framework for creating these pages quickly.

Soonatra reduces the steps involved to:

  • Create a mailing list (we’re using Mailchimp)
  • Choose some colors/graphics that fit well with your brand
  • Write the page copy and set an RSS feed url.
  • Deploy to a free Heroku account and park your domain.

It is easy to extend and manage multiple themes thanks to Compass, and does not require a database, instead using Redis for RSS feed consumption and tracking A/B test results.

You can fork the git repo and have your site up and running in minutes.

See README.textile for all the juicy details.

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