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How to Put Your WordPress Site in Maintenance Mode

Do you want to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode?

Maintenance mode allows you to display a user-friendly notice to your visitors 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 still have 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, and 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.

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.

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If you’d prefer written instructions, just keep reading.

1. Set up WordPress Maintenance Mode using SeedProd Plugin

SeedProd is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to create completely custom Coming Soon pages, Maintenance Mode pages, custom 404 pages, and even full marketing landing pages. It’s the best landing page builder for WordPress, used on more than a million websites.

There’s also a premium version of SeedProd that offers more premium templates, advanced customization features, and marketing integrations.

But to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode, you only need the free version of SeedProd.

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

Once the plugin is installed and activated, navigate to SeedProd » Pages and click ‘Set up a Maintenance Mode Page.’

Set up a maintenance mode page

The next step is to build the maintenance page that visitors will see once you enable maintenance mode.

You need to start by choosing a pre-made template or start from a blank template. To select a template, hover your mouse over a thumbnail and click the check icon.

Choose a maintenance page template

This will open the SeedProd drag & drop WordPress page builder where you can customize any element.

You can also add new content elements by dragging blocks from the left panel.

SeedProd visual editor

For example, you might add your own custom logo, background, email subscription form, social sharing buttons, countdown timer, progress bar, etc.

Once you are satisfied with your changes, click on the ‘Save’ button.

Saving maintenance page

The final step is to enable the WordPress maintenance mode. Simply visit SeedProd » Pages in your WordPress dashboard and toggle the maintenance mode to ‘Active.’

Enable maintenance mode in SeedPro

You can now visit your website in a new incognito browser tab to preview your maintenance mode page in action.

Controlling Website Access for Logged in Users

By default, SeedProd will display your maintenance mode page to all visitors who are not logged in.

Anyone with an account will be able to log in like they usually do. This includes membership website subscribers and online store customers.

To select who can access your website during maintenance, you’ll need to edit the maintenance page settings. Simply visit SeedProd » Pages and click the ‘Edit Page’ button under Maintenance Mode.

Edit maintenance page

Inside the SeedProd builder, you need to click Page Settings at the top of the page, and then select the Access Controls tab.

Maintence mode access controls

From here you can select methods to bypass maintenance mode. You might use a cookie, allow certain user IP addresses, or give users a secret bypass URL to get passed the maintenance page.

The most effective method is to simply select the user roles that can access the website.

For instance, adding the administrator role will make it so only the administrator will be given access to see the regular website.

Maintenance mode access by role

You can also include or 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’ 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.

You can include or exclude specific pages by adding any URLs under the Include/Exclude URL settings.

Exclude URLs from maintenance page

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

This method uses another popular plugin WP Maintenance mode. It allows you to quickly setup a simple maintenance mode, but their design builder functionality is not as powerful as SeedProd.

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, 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 blog 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 our guide on how to create custom pages in WordPress, and our comparison of the best business phone services to allow visitors to contact you while your website is under maintenance.

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Reader Interactions

83 CommentsLeave a Reply

    • If the user is logged into your site they should see the content or SeedProd does have the option for a password for viewing the content. If you take a look at SeedProd’s documentation you can see the current method for how to set this up :)

      Admin

  1. i followed your advise and put my website on maintenance mode but i now want to undo the maintenance mode (my situation changed and i did not do any maintenance tbh). To disable the maintenance mode i tried to go to the admin area
    but it takes me to the website and does not display admin login page from where i can disable the maintenance module(MM).
    please help, how to reverse MM and get back the website live.

  2. How do I allow access to a select group of people/friend/family to help me test my website before I take it out of maintenance mode?

    • You should be able to create a test user for them to log in and see the site while it is under maintenance.

      Admin

  3. I installed the plugin and after activating it worked on Safari but I can not get any other browsers to bring up the under maintenance page. Tried on a Mac, PC and iphone – website opens as normal. Any additional suggestions?

    • You may want to ensure you are not logged in to your site and the caching on your site has been cleared as those are the most common reasons not to see the page

      Admin

  4. Hi! I installed this plugin, but when it updated, it must have logged me out, and now even through trying to access the /wp-admin, it says now found and I can´t access my website! What can I do??

  5. Great! I really wondering to know about WordPress maintenance. You have maked my work easy by sharing this article. Such a helpful content. Keep sharing!!

  6. thanks for the post, i would like to know if i activate the plugin for 1 month , then what will be impact on seo ?. will my website keywords position get down or will remain same kindly answer it ,
    thanks a lot

    • If Google is unable to crawl your site for a month your SEO will likely take a hit that as it recrawls your site will begin to bring your SEO back up

      Admin

  7. Hi, I want to put ONLY mobile site into maintenance / contruction state. How would I do that, I am running the free version. Thanks in advance. Regards.

  8. Why does a plugin have to be downloaded for every little thing?
    Is there not a simple built in function in WordPress to put the site in maintenance mode?

    • WordPress is designed for many types of sites and not all sites need a maintenance mode which is why there isn’t one by default at the moment.

      Admin

    • You can add a simple function to your theme or child theme (functions.php)

      // Activate WordPress Maintenance Mode
      function wp_maintenance_mode() {
      if (!current_user_can(‘edit_themes’) || !is_user_logged_in()) {
      wp_die(‘Under MaintenanceWebsite under planned maintenance. Please check back later.’);
      }
      }
      add_action(‘get_header’, ‘wp_maintenance_mode’);

      It isn’t very customizable and will take out the whole site (unless logged in). No excluding certain pages, and might not be a “Beginner Friendly” option, etc..

      • @JBERG, thank you. For those that try it, make sure the single inverted commas paste correctly. I needed to replace them for the script to work.

    • If you reach out to the support for the plugin you are using they should be able to assist with the exclusions not working.

      Admin

  9. I am currently working on a website and using WP Maintenance mode and everything has been working fine. Suddenly, I can’t view my website in maintenance mode again. Everything is stuck in WP Maintenance mode. I have to deactivate WP Maintenance plugin before I can see my website. How do I fix this?

    • If the plugin is preventing you from seeing your back end then you would want to reach out to the plugin’s support and they can likely either fix the problem or let you know what needs to be changed.

      Admin

    • You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for if they have a recommended method, otherwise you could add it using the HTML editor for the page with that plugin for now.

      Admin

  10. It worked on mobile but not on desktop. I’ve tried incognito mode on several browsers and computers… Any suggestions?

  11. I use WP Maintenance Mode plugin.
    My URL now shows the maintenance page, but only when I am not logged in. It shows the normal blog when I am logged in. What happens?

  12. A couple of quick questions please – Where exactly does the information collected in the Manage Bot tab get stored. How do I see the information collected by the BOT?

    Thanks

    Tony

  13. I can’t get it to work.

    I have followed instructions perfectly.

    What am I doing wrong? Nothing fancy, just deactivate while I build.

    Thanks.
    Joyce

  14. Well, you missed out a tiny but important piece of information, that to even install the WP Maintenance Plugin, you need to have a business plan with WP. I was misled to try this article and even registered for your free videos and plugins when I don’t even have a business plan.

  15. I have activated the maintenance mode through the dashboard in WordPress but the website is still online and everything is shown ?

    I used rookie theme. please tell me how can the solve?

    • First logout from wp then it works or use another web browser if you don’t want to logout.

  16. Hi! I was really excited to find this plug in to display a coming soon page while I build my site. I followed the directions. Changed all the settings as described BUT now my site will not load at all. I can work on it from the back end no problem from my dashboard but when I have others go to see how the splash page looks, it wont load. Please help!

  17. Hello – how long after saving it as “activated” will it take for the front end to display the message? I am still able to see and navigate around the website, even though I have the maintenance mode set to active.

      • I read that here and tried that. After a solid 2 minutes of nothing happening, I tried with a different browser and still nothing. Thing is its not just my computer that it won’t open on. My phone (not logged in), my room mates computer, and other friends too. Some get a 504 error code. Some get ‘safari could’t open bc server stopped responding’ type message. :( Any other suggestions?

  18. Hi there,

    I was wondering whether its only administrator roles that can edit the site while in maintenance mode?

    I am running Dokan and WooCommerce and would like my users (vendors) to be able to upload products even when in maintenance mode? is this possoble or do i have to give them administrator access?

    best regards,

    Christabel

  19. I’m disappointed by the content. It’s a great article about a plugin, but I found it by searching for “wordpress enable maintenance mode”. I’m about to upgrade a site to version 4.8, manually. My first step will be to disable all of the plugins — including WP_Maintenance_mode. Your solution won’t work for me.

    It would have been nice if you’d at least included a link to how to put a site into maintenance mode without a plugin.

  20. Hi, I recently started a blog and installed wp through the host service now when I click to visit my site it shows site under construction. Can you help Me please asap

  21. A very nice plugin indeed.
    But be aware!
    Suppose you put your site in Maintenance Mode with this plugin and you are going to update WordPress.
    At some point in the update process you will still get the standard WordPress ‘Maintenance message (‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.’). After WordPress is done updating, the Maintenance Mode page from the plugin returns.
    I think that this is the case with most of these Maintenance plugins.

    • Hi Toon,

      I was wondering, how do you go around this then? I’m about to use a maintenance plugin but I’m afraid I’d break my site.

      Best,
      Honey

  22. Hello, WPBeginner
    Please, is it recommended to delete the plugin after the plugin’s purpose has been fulfilled?
    Thanks

  23. Hi there. Looking for some help, please. I put my site into maintenance mode using these instructions, but now I can’t get out of it. I don’t have a direct WordPress log in, I made the site in WordPress through the host site. And now I can’t edit the site at all.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you
    Nicole

  24. hi i put my page in mantic mode but now i can not access it at all i do not even have the blue tool bar to select options please help i click on my web site and all it does is take me to the mainanace page

  25. Looks like a nice plugin, but it seems problem on this where is go You subscribed Emails. how can i check this email ids.

  26. Very nice article once again…

    I have one question though.
    I installed the plugin. I configured it as I wanted but I can’t find something to preview my “Under Construction” Page.

    thank you in advance.

  27. Super easy to set up, love it. However, it looks great on desktop but a mess on mobile. It supposed to be mobile responsive??? Am I missing something? Thanks

  28. Hi,

    Im stuck in maintenance mode and I can’t seem to access my site and work in the background. I obviously haven’t set a switch or checked a button. could you help me access my site?

    Regards,

    Nicola

  29. I follow your instruction and the maintenance sign did not show up on my site and my site is still active. Is there another way that I can bring my site down

    • I have the same problem.
      I have tried 4 different maintenance mode plugins and I can’t get any of them to work. My site is still active. Help

  30. Hi,

    Very clearly written post – I wish I had read it before activating the plugin. I don’t seem to be able to log back into my account. I just have this blank screen with the ‘under maintenance’ message and nothing else. Any change you could advise me on how to get back into my account? Thanks a million! Anita

  31. Thanks once again for a great resource wpbignner.

    Your site has helped me out many times by giving advice on the best way to solve wp problems. I’m a wordpress designer and developer and many times I have had to find quick solutions to problems at short notices from customers. Today was one of them. There are many wp plugins new and old for the same function and you get confused what to select. In times like that I always first do a google search for wpbeginner articles. :)

  32. Superb post buddy, i never know about it that we can set our blog on maintenance mode, this way i can save my traffic who came from search engine or referral for 1st time on my blog.
    Will surely try this and will let you know about outcomes.

  33. Seems like u just screwed up with this plugin! all the functionality off the old plugin is deleted

  34. This is great but it is better to have a separate cloned server like a staging server where you can put all your tests and not to worry about putting your website offline

  35. Will it automatically be showm eg. when upgrading plugins or will that still tricker the normal ‘maintenance mode’ message?

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