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How to Put Your WordPress Site in Read Only State for Site Migrations and Maintenance

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How to Put Your WordPress Site in Read Only State for Site Migrations and Maintenance

Managing a multi-author blog is a hard task on its own. It gets even harder during the maintenance times and site migrations. We have helped migrate numerous multi-author blogs to different hosting account, and the single biggest challenge was to keep everyone from making any new changes. We had to notify everyone multiple times to make sure that everyone got the memo. Well, recently we discovered a way to put WordPress in a Read-Only state which essentially freezes your entire site for all users on the backend. Meaning no changes are allowed thus making the maintenance and migrations much smoother.

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

First thing you have to do is install and activate the Code Freeze Plugin. Upon activation it shows a warning on all pages saying “Code Freeze is in effect. All Changes during this period will be lost”.

Code Freeze Screenshot

The plugin temporarily does the following while activated:

  • Disables adding/editing/deleting new content, media, themes, etc.
  • Disables installing/activating/deactivating/updating/deleting all plugins (except this one)
  • Disables new comments/trackbacks on all content items
  • Removes the QuickPress widget and notices to upgrade core or plugins
  • Provides notice to dashboard users that any changes will be lost
  • Provides generally “read only” access to the dashboard

Note: the only plugin you can deactivate is Code Freeze while the Code Freeze is activated.

This plugin is essential when you start the data migration process as well as when you are changing DNS. This plugin does not make any database or site changes. It also has no settings. It is definitely going in our MUST HAVE for moving a site.

Get Code Freeze Plugin.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So how about the FILE WRITE permissions? Let’s say the WP site is under attack, then how do i lock the any WRITES to the file systems?

  2. Kevin says:

    Thanks for writing on this plugin. I wondered if such a thing would be generally useful and I’m glad to see that, even if its use remains rather niche, it is useful to some people.

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