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A Quick Guide on WordPress Maintenance Mode

A Quick Guide on WordPress Maintenance Mode

When running your WordPress site, it is possible that you need to adjust and make some changes to the site. If so, you have to make the whole site inaccessible to your visitors for a while. Otherwise, people might be bothered by the bad and weird browsing experience. This practice can be viewed as putting your site into the maintenance mode. If you have little or no idea of it, you can check the following quick guide on WordPress maintenance mode.

Note that this guide mainly talks about when you need to carry out this practice and how to do this.

The Situations to Start the Maintenance Mode

In fact, there are a lot of situations that require you to put your WordPress site into this special mode. In the following, we’d like to list the common scenario.

  • Change the website design – If you want to change the theme of your site or make some modifications to the layout and design of the page appearance, you need to start the maintenance mode. After all, when changing your website design, you may need to finish a lot of customization settings. If you do not want to confuse your visitors with different looks for different pages, the maintenance mode is a must-do step.
  • Perform the update – When performing the website update for the WordPress core, installing and upgrading the plugins and updating your site templates, you have to put your site into this mode.
  • Configure the unfinished website – It is possible that you set up your WordPress site on a live domain name. If this site is not ready yet, you’d better not to make it available to the public with the maintenance mode.

Maintenance Mode

How to Start the Maintenance Mode In WordPress

In fact, WordPress has a default feature for activating the maintenance mode This script will generate the .maintenance file automatically when you run an update for the plugins, themes or the WordPress core files. The file will be created in the root of WordPress installation and showcase the maintenance message when people enter your site during the update.

This built-in feature is fine if you start the minor and short website update. However, if you need to take the time to make the changes on your site, you’d better use the related plugins for doing so. Here, we highly recommend you to think about the use of the WP Maintenance Mode plugin.

This plugin can activate this mode for your site easily and showcase the maintenance message in any way you prefer. Even, you can generate the coming soon page easily using this special tool.

Set Up the General Settings for the Maintenance Mode Plugin

Firstly, you need to enter the plugin configurations page from the Settings tab of your admin panel. Here, from the general settings part, you can activate the maintenance mode by setting the plugin status to “Activated”. Not that this plugin allows you to exclude some special pages or IPs from the maintenance mode. You simply need to enter these options in the Exclude box.

General Settings for WP Maintenance Mode Plugin

Next, you need to finish some extra settings based on your needs. For instance, you need to decide whether to allow the search engine robot to bypass the maintenance mode of your site. Personally speaking, we do not recommend you to do so, for this choice may affect your website ranking to some extent.

In addition, when your site is inaccessible to the common public, you can still allow some people to enter the front-end or the back-end of your site. These people can be your website co-workers or the content contributors. Note that the site admin has the access all the times.

Besides, if you want to show the notice or message when this mode is activated, you can choose the value of “Yes” for the Notice option.

Decide the Design of the Maintenance Mode Message

The default message of the maintenance mode achieved by this plugin might be simple and plain for you. In this case, you can go to the Design part to make some changes on the default message. Here, you can change the message content, including the title, heading and the main text.

In addition, you can change the background color scheme for the better display.

Maintenance Mode Message Design

Add Some Other Contents on the Maintenance Mode Message

Only showcasing the lines of plain text might be boring. Here, you can go to the Modules part to add some extra options. For instance, you can display a countdown, along with the right starting date and the remaining time. The countdown color can be decided by you.

Add Countdown in Maintenance Mode Message

In addition, you can showcase a subscription button. This way, even your site is inaccessible, you can enlarge your subscriber base with ease.

Add Subscription in Maintenance Mode Message

Lastly, you can display some contact methods such as your social network accounts and the email address.

Add Social Network in Maintenance Mode Message

The sample maintenance mode page looks like the following.

Maintenance Mode Message


Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.