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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 show a user-friendly notice to visitors instead of a broken website. You can also control exactly who has access to your site while you’re working on it.

In this article, we will show you how to easily put your WordPress site in maintenance mode.

How to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode

Why and When You Need to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

A lot of the time you can make changes to your WordPress website without having to put it in maintenance mode. For example, you can publish new posts, update WordPress, and install new plugins without any downtime.

However, sometimes you may need to work on your website for a longer period. For example, you might want to completely redesign your WordPress blog.

Some changes are also riskier than others, such as setting up a new plugin that changes your website’s behavior. While you’re making the change, your website may appear broken to your users.

You might even lose data that’s created during this period. For example, if you’re making major changes to an online store, then you might lose any new orders that customers place.

If your website gets lots of visitors, then you don’t want them to see a broken website.

One solution is to set up a staging website so you can work on your site in private.

Many of the top WordPress hosting companies offer 1-click staging websites, including Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine.

If you don’t use a staging site, then it’s crucial you put your website into maintenance mode.

An example maintenance mode, created using SeedProd

Instead of a broken website, visitors will see a helpful maintenance page that lets them know what’s happening.

You might even suggest some alternative actions that visitors can take, such as following you on social media or joining your email list.

An example 'under construction' page

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

Video Tutorial

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If you’d prefer written instructions, then simply use the quick links below to jump to the method you want to use.

Method 1. Set up WordPress Maintenance Mode using SeedProd Plugin (Recommended)

The easiest way to create a completely custom maintenance page is by using SeedProd.

SeedProd is the best landing page builder for WordPress, used on more than a million websites. It allows you to create beautiful coming soon pages in WordPress, improve your 404 page, and even design unique landing pages using drag and drop.

There’s a premium version of SeedProd that comes with more than 180 professionally-designed templates and blocks. However, you can put your site into maintenance mode using the free SeedProd plugin, so that’s what we’ll be using in this guide.

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.

Upon activation, go to SeedProd » Pages. In the ‘Maintenance Mode’ section, click on the ‘Set up a Maintenance Mode Page’ or ‘Edit page’ button.

How to set up maintenance mode in WordPress

The next step is building the page that visitors will see when you enable maintenance mode.

You can either choose a ready-made template or start with a blank design. We’re using ‘Down Maintenance Mode’ in all of our images but you can use any template you want.

To select a template, simply hover your mouse over that design’s thumbnail and then click the ‘checkmark’ icon.

SeedProd's ready-made maintenance templates

After selecting a template, you’ll be taken to the drag-and-drop builder, where you can start customizing the maintenance mode page.

On the left side of the screen, you’ll find blocks and sections that you can add to your design. The right side of the page is the live preview.

A professionally-designed maintenance page

Most templates already have some blocks, which are a core part of all SeedProd designs. However, you can add more blocks to your maintenance page by dragging them from the left-hand menu and then dropping them onto your design.

For example, you might add your own custom logo, videos, contact form, and more.

Adding blocks to a custom page design

The options you see may vary depending on the other plugins you’ve installed on your WordPress website. For example, if you have RafflePress then you’ll be able to run a contest on your maintenance page using the Giveaway block.

To customize a block, simply click to select that block in your layout. You can then change the block using the settings in the left-hand menu.

To start, click to select the ‘Contact Us’ button in the live preview. In the left-hand menu, you’ll see a ‘Link’ field, which shows ‘mailto:john@example.com’ by default.

Customizing the CTA button

This means the button will open the visitor’s default email app with the ‘To’ field already filled in as ‘john@example.com.’

To use your own business email address instead, simply type that address into the ‘Link’ field. Make sure not to delete ‘mailto:’ as this opens the visitor’s default email app.

Capturing leads with SeedProd

You can also make other changes to the button, including using a different alignment, button text, and changing the button’s size.

To remove a block from your design, simply go ahead and click on it. You can then select the trash can icon.

Deleting blocks from a WordPress custom page design

You can now continue customizing the template by adding new blocks, removing any blocks you don’t want, and making changes in the left-hand menu.

When you’re happy with how the maintenance page looks, it’s time to publish it. Go ahead and just click the ‘Save’ button.

Designing a custom maintenance mode page

After that, you can enable maintenance mode at any point and show visitors your custom maintenance page by going to SeedProd » Landing Pages.

Here, click on the switch in the ‘Maintenance Mode’ section so that it shows ‘Active.’

Activating maintenance mode in WordPress

Now, if you visit your website in an incognito browser tab then you’ll see the custom maintenance mode page. The Maintenance Mode won’t show for you because you’re logged into the site.

When you’re ready to relaunch your site, simply go to SeedProd » Landing Pages. Under ‘Maintenance Mode,’ click on the slider to turn it from green (Active) to grey (Inactive).

Removing the under construction page

Now, anyone can access your WordPress website.

Controlling Website Access for Logged-in Users

By default, SeedProd will show the maintenance mode page to all non-logged-in users.

Anyone with an account will still be able to log in. For example, subscribers on your membership site and customers on your WooCommerce store can still access their account.

However, you may want to change who has access to your site while it’s under maintenance. For example, if you’re developing a site for a client then they may still need access so they can monitor your work.

You can change the access controls by upgrading to SeedPro Pro. After upgrading, simply go to SeedProd » Landing Pages and then click ‘Edit Page’ under Maintenance Mode.

Editing the WordPress maintenance mode settings

This will open the SeedProd page builder.

Here, click on ‘Page Settings,’ followed by ‘Access Control.’

Controlling who can access your site in maintenance mode

To start, activating the ‘Exclude Default’ slider is a good idea. This will give visitors access to URLs that have the terms login, admin, dashboard, and account, which will stop people from getting locked out of their accounts.

You might also allow users with specific browser cookies to get past your maintenance page. Just be aware that if you enable the ‘Bypass Cookie’ toggle then it may not work if you’re using a WordPress caching plugin.

With that being said, we recommend selecting the user roles that can access your site while it’s in maintenance mode. To do this, click on ‘Add Role’ and then select any role from the dropdown menu.

Controlling access to your site using SeedProd's access controls

You can also include or exclude user roles created by your WordPress membership plugin or an eCommerce plugin.

When you’re happy with the access controls, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your settings.

Exclude Specific Pages from Maintenance Mode

SeedProd Pro also lets you include or exclude specific pages from maintenance mode. This comes in handy if you need to allow some users to access certain pages.

For example, if you have a custom login page then you would usually 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 do this in the ‘Include/Exclude URLs’ settings. Simply choose between ‘Include URLs’ or ‘Exclude URLs’ and then enter your links into the box.

Excluding URLs from maintenance mode

When you’re happy with how the maintenance page is setup, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your settings.

Method 2. Setup Maintenance Mode Using WP Maintenance Mode Plugin

Another option is to use the free WP Maintenance Mode plugin. This is a great choice if you want to create a simple maintenance mode page. However, this plugin uses the standard WordPress Page and post editor, which isn’t as powerful as SeedProd’s drag-and-drop builder.

The 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 can choose between a ‘maintenance’ and a ‘coming soon’ template. Since we want to create a maintenance mode, click on the ‘Website is under maintenance’ template and then select the ‘Continue’ button.

The WP Maintenance Mode WordPress plugin

You will now have the option to join the WP Maintenance Mode email list.

You can simply go ahead and click ‘I’ll skip for now, thanks.’

The WP Maintenance plugin email list

WP Maintenance Mode will now go ahead and create a simple page using its built-in template.

To see this page, simply click on ‘View page.’

Creating a custom 'under construction' page for WordPress

This opens the template in the standard WordPress post editor.

Note: Unhappy with this default template? You can find other WP Maintenance Mode templates by going to Settings » WP Maintenance Mode in the WordPress dashboard. Then, click on the ‘Design’ tab.

You can now make changes to the design in exactly the same way you edit a page or post.

Designing a custom page using the WordPress page and post editor

The template has a few social media placeholders that you’ll want to link to your own pages.

Simply click each of these icons and then type the URL into the little bar that appears.

Adding links to your social media page

When you’re happy with how the maintenance page looks, click on the ‘Update’ button in the content editor to save your changes.

Now you’ve designed your page, it’s time to configure your maintenance mode settings by going to Settings » WP Maintenance Mode in your WordPress dashboard.

You can then click on the ‘General’ tab.

The WP Maintenance Mode plugin's settings

By default, search engine bots can’t see your site while it’s in maintenance mode. This can hurt your WordPress SEO and may affect where your site appears in the search engine rankings, especially if you’re going to be doing maintenance for a while.

That’s why we recommend opening the ‘Bypass for Search Bots’ dropdown and choosing ‘Yes.’ This will allow any search engine crawlers to bypass your maintenance page.

Bypassing the search bots

As the site admin, you can access your WordPress dashboard and website while it’s in maintenance mode. However, you may want to grant access to other user roles.

You can give users access to the WordPress dashboard by opening the ‘Backend’ dropdown and then choosing a user role from the list.

Allowing access to your WordPress dashboard

To give visitors access to your public-facing site, use the ‘Frontend’ dropdown instead.

Similar to SeedProd, you can exclude certain pages from maintenance mode so they’ll always be accessible to visitors. For example, if you have a booking form then you may want to make this page available even when the rest of your site is down for maintenance.

To exclude a page, simply add its slug to the ‘Exclude’ box.

Excluding URLs from 'under construction' mode

If you use Google Analytics to track visitors to your WordPress website, then make sure you click on the ‘Modules’ tab.

You can then open the ‘Use Google Analytics‘ dropdown and select ‘Yes.’

Setting up tracking with Google Analytics

Then, simply add your tracking ID to the ‘Tracking code’ field.

There are lots more settings that are worth looking at, and most are self-explanatory. When you’re happy with how maintenance mode is set up, click on the ‘Save settings’ button to store your changes.

Now, you can activate maintenance mode at any time. Simply select the ‘General’ tab and click on the ‘Activated’ radio button.

Activating maintenance mode in WordPress

You can then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Save settings.’ Now, if you visit your site while in an incognito browser tab, you’ll see the maintenance page.

When you’re ready to take your site out of maintenance mode, simply go back to the ‘General’ tab and select ‘Deactivated.’ Then, simply click on the ‘Save changes’ button and your website will once be available to anyone who visits it.

How to Add a Chatbot to Your Maintenance Mode Page

Chatbots allow you to interact with visitors, record information about them, and even do lead generation in WordPress.

The WP Maintenance Mode plugin has a simple pre-programmed live chatbot that you can use to ask visitors if they would like to subscribe to your email list and get notified when your site is out of maintenance mode.

A lead generation chatbot

To see how the chatbot is set up, click on the ‘Manage Bot’ tab.

By default, this bot is named Admin but you can change this by typing a new name into the ‘Bot Name’ field.

Customizing the maintenance chatbot

You may also want to add an avatar, which will appear in the chatbot popup.

After that, you can see the pre-programmed conversation under ‘Customize Messages.’

How to create a custom chatbot in WordPress

You can change any of these messages but the default settings should be a good fit for most WordPress websites.

To make the chatbot live, go to the top of the screen and click on the ‘Activated’ button.

Activating the WordPress chatbot

As always, don’t forget to click on ‘Save settings’ to store your changes.

Now if you visit the maintenance page in an incognito tab, you can talk to the chatbot.

A chatbot pop in WordPress

If you’re collecting user information through a chatbot or maintenance page, then it’s important to make sure your site is GDPR compliant.

We hope this article helped you learn how to 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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??

  4. 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!!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

  10. 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?

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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?

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

  22. 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

  23. 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

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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. :)

  31. 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.

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

  33. 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

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

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