How to Put Your WordPress Site in Maintenance Mode

Do you want to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode? The maintenance mode allows you to display a user-friendly notice to your users instead of a broken site during website maintenance.

It also allows you to safely perform any maintenance task while making sure that people who need access to the website has the access.

In this article, we will show you how to easily put your WordPress site in maintenance mode. We will also show you how to make your maintenance mode page more pleasant, helpful, and user-friendly.

putting your WordPress site in maintenance mode

Why and When You Need to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

Normally, you can work on customizing your WordPress website without having to put it in maintenance mode. You can perform minor tweaks, publish new content, update themes and plugins without any downtime.

However, sometimes you may need to work on your website for a longer period. Like when you are manually setting up a new theme or configuring a new plugin that changes the behavior of your website. During this time your website may appear broken to your users for a period of time.

If your website has a lot of traffic, then you don’t want your users to see a broken website because it creates a bad user experience and give them a poor impression of your brand.

A common way to deal with this situation is by setting up a staging website. This allows you to work on your website under a test environment and push the changes to your live website when you are done.

Some of the top WordPress hosting companies offer 1-click staging websites, such as Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine.

You would still need to setup maintenance mode, but it will be for a very short period of time.

If you’re not using a staging site, then you definitely need to put your website under maintenance mode because you’re applying changes on the live website. This allows you to remedy the bad user experience problem.

Putting your WordPress site in maintenance mode allows you to show a user-friendly notification, alternative links to visit, and provide a timeframe for when the maintenance will be done.

Having that said, let’s take a look at how to easily put your WordPress site in maintenance or under-construction mode.

We will show you two different plugins to create coming soon or maintenance mode pages. You can choose the one that works best for you.

Video Tutorial

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If you don’t want to watch the video tutorial, then you can continue reading the text version below:

1. Setup Maintenance Mode using SeedProd Plugin

SeedProd is a premium WordPress plugin that comes with beautiful designs and guaranteed support.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the SeedProd plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Coming Soon Pro page to setup coming soon or maintenance mode page.

Enable maintenance mode status

First, you need to select the status. You can select ‘Enable Coming Soon Mode’ or ‘Enable Maintenance Mode’. You can also select redirect mode which allows you to simply redirect your users to some other website.

After choosing maintenance or coming soon mode, click on the ‘Save all changes’ button.

Next, you need to click on ‘Edit Coming Soon/Maintenance Page’ button. This will open the SeedProd theme customizer.

Select a maintenance mode page template

You will now see a list of beautiful ready-made templates that you can use for your maintenance or coming soon page.

Click to select a theme and SeedProd will show customization options for the theme.

Theme options

From here you can easily add your own logo, background, change content, add email subscription form, social sharing buttons, countdown timer, progress bar, etc.

SeedProd also supports all popular email marketing services. You can simply select your email service provider and set up a signup form by following on-screen instructions.

Email sign up form

Once you are satisfied with the changes, don’t forget to click on the save button to store your changes.

Your maintenance mode will only be visible to users who are not logged in. You can now visit your website in a new incognito browser tab to preview your maintenance mode page in action.

SeedProd preview

Controlling Website Access for Logged in Users

By default, SeedProd will display your maintenance mode page to all visitors who are not logged in. All other users will be able to log in as they would normally do and continue browsing your website.

However, if you run a membership website or an online store, then logged in users would include subscribers and customers as well.

To select who can access your website during maintenance, first go to Settings » Coming Soon Pro page. Now scroll down to the ‘Access Controls’ section.

Who can access your website during maintenance mode

From here you can select a method to bypass maintenance mode. You can enter a secret key which can be used as a password with the website URL.

You can also set a cookie, which is not as effective due to caching issues. You can use IP addresses if your users have a static IP address, most users don’t have it.

The most effective method is to simply select the user roles that can access the site. You can exclude user roles created by your WordPress membership plugin or the eCommerce plugin.

Once you are satisfied with the access controls, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save All Changes’ button to store your settings.

Exclude Specific Pages from Maintenance Mode

Another great feature of SeedProd is that it allows you to selectively include or exclude pages from maintenance mode. This comes in handy in many situations when you may need to allow some users to access certain pages.

For example, If your website uses a custom login page then you would want to exclude it from maintenance mode. If you provide customer support via email, then you may want to exclude your contact form page as well.

To exclude pages simply head over to the plugin’s settings page and scroll down to the ‘Advanced Settings’ section. From here you can selectively include or exclude URLs by entering one URL at a time.

Exclude URLs

After entering the pages you want to exclude or include, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save All Changes’ button to save your settings.

If you want to use SeedProd on an under construction website, then see our guide on how to easily create coming soon pages in WordPress with SeedProd.

2. Setup Maintenance Mode Using WP Maintenance Mode Plugin

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Maintenance Mode plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to go to Settings » WP Maintenance Mode to configure the plugin settings.

WP Maintenance Mode

The plugin’s setting screen is divided into five tabs. By default, you will see the General options tab.

The first option under General is Status, which is set to Deactivated by default. In order to put your WordPress site into maintenance mode, you need to set it to ‘Activated’.

If you want search engines to be able to see your website while it is in maintenance mode, then you need to set ‘Bypass for Search Bots’ option to Yes. If you have an established website, then we recommend setting this to Yes.

WP Maintenance Mode allows you, the administrator, to have full access to your website during the maintenance mode. This means that you can see the working website and login to your WordPress dashboard.

You can specify which user roles should be allowed to access the front and backend of the website while it is in maintenance mode. By default, it is set to Administrator only.

Other options on the page are self-explanatory. Once you are satisfied with the settings, you need to click on the Save settings button to store your changes.

Creating Your Own Splash Page for Maintenance Mode

WP Maintenance Mode allows you to create beautiful landing pages to display during maintenance mode. To create your splash page, simply click on the Design tab on the plugin’s settings page.

Design your maintenance page

First, you need to provide a title, heading, and content to display on your maintenance page. If you are creating a coming soon page, then you can change the content accordingly.

Next, you need to select the text color and background type. You can choose from the background color, choose a pre-defined image, or upload your own background image.

Once you are done with the settings, don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Adding Countdown and Newsletter Signup on WordPress Maintenance Page

If you are putting WordPress in coming soon mode or just want to let users know when your site will be up, then you can use a countdown timer module that’s included with the plugin.

You can set it up by going to the Modules tab on the plugin’s settings page. From here you can select a start date and enter the remaining time.

Adding a countdown timer

You can also allow users to subscribe and be notified when your website is back online. These users will be notified via the plugin, and they will not be subscribed to your email marketing list.

Subscribe to be notified

You want to make sure that your WordPress site is able to send emails. For more details, see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue to test and fix WordPress emails.

Next, you can also add links to your social media profiles in the coming soon mode or maintenance mode page. Simply enter your social media profile URLs, and the plugin will automatically display the social buttons.

Add social media buttons

Optionally, you can also enable Google Analytics and add your tracking ID in the plugin settings.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

WP Maintenance mode also allows you to set up a pre-programed live chat bot which includes an interactive conversational help box. You can use this feature to politely ask users if they would like to subscribe.

Manage bot settings

If you enable the bot, then it will hide the maintenance mode content you had set in the General settings page. This is how the chatbot would look on your website.

Chatbot preview

If you are collecting user data through the signup forms on your maintenance mode or coming soon mode page, then you would want to make it GDPR compliant.

You can do this by switching to the GDPR tab on the plugin’s settings page. From here you can enable the privacy module and select your privacy policy page.

GDPR settings

You can now visit your website in a new browser window with the incognito mode, and you will be greeted with your maintenance mode or coming soon page.

Preview of the maintenance mode page

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily put your WordPress site in maintenance mode. You may also want to see these examples of maintenance page ideas that you can use on your website.

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