Are you looking for maintenance page ideas for your WordPress site? While nobody likes putting up a maintenance page, sometimes adding a maintenance page becomes unavoidable. In this article, we will share some creative examples of different types of maintenance pages. We will also show you how to easily add one to your WordPress site.
Why and When Do You Need a Maintenance Page in WordPress?
Normally you can do most things on your WordPress site without ever taking it down. However, there are some situations when you will need to put your site in maintenance mode to avoid any conflicts.
How to Create A Maintenance Page in WordPress?
Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » WP Maintenance Mode page to configure plugin settings.
Here you can add a background image, choose design options, and add your custom message to the maintenance mode page.
For detailed instructions see our step by step guide on how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode.
Now that you know how to create a maintenance page in WordPress, let’s take a look at different types of maintenance pages that you can create.
Examples of Maintenance Pages from Across The Web
Maintenance Pages are not visible to your users for a long period of time, but they definitely have an impact on how users see your brand.
Ugly error pages generated by your servers can adversely affect your brand image. On the other hand, a creative maintenance page can be memorable and strengthen your brand identity in user’s mind.
Here are some examples of how popular brands use their maintenance mode pages to achieve this.
1. Short and Sweet
Instead of giving detailed explanation to your users about what’s going on, you can keep it short and simple. This approach avoids confusion among your users and delivers the message effectively.
One of the best examples of this is probably Twitter’s famous ‘Fail Whale’.
There are many variations of this famous illustration. Twitter has also used the Fail Whale as their overcapacity page and 404 error page for sometime.
This confused their users as the error message didn’t properly communicate the issue. You should always use a different page as your 404 error template. Here are some examples of great 404 page examples.
Another example of short and simple is Atlassian’s maintenance page.
2. Be Compassionate
Its frustrating when users want to visit their favorite website and they can’t. You need to acknowledge the inconvenience caused by the maintenance, apologize for the trouble, and promise that you are working hard to bring the website back as soon as possible.
Check out this maintenance page from GitHub. It starts with an apology and then offers a way for users to check the status.
3. Be Humourous and Entertaining
Downtimes are annoying, and your users may feel angry about it. A little humor can go a long way.
Here is how Product Hunt used cat puns on their maintenance page.
Patreon used their mascot and if you look closely, then you can notice that the little fox had a little accident.
Tumblr used a photograph of earth as seen from International Space Station with their maintenance mode message.
Flickr used this image for their maintenance page.
4. Familiar Look and Feel
Using your brand’s logo, colors, and style makes a maintenance page more effective. Unlike your live website, user attention is way more focused on the message, and it is a good opportunity to build brand recognition.
Apple does a great job with this.
5. Countdown for Return
Adding a countdown timer to your maintenance page makes it look more alive. It also builds anticipation among your users.
However, if you don’t want to add a timer, you can still add the time when your site is expected to be back online.
Here’s an example for how Etsy did it on their maintenance page.
6. Progress and Updates
Most popular websites use Twitter during scheduled maintenance to keep their users updated. Some of them also add the status updates right on the maintenance page.
Here’s an example of how Upwork’s adds live updates to their maintenance page.
Tips for Scheduled Maintenance on Your WordPress Site
When working on a live site you are losing visitors and potential customers every minute your website is down. Here are some tips that will help you do it more effectively.
1. See your Google Analytics reports to find out the least busy hours on your site and then use them for maintenance.
2. Send out an email to your email list about maintenance schedule earlier. This way you regular users will not be taken by surprise.
3. Make sure your maintenance page offers users a quicker way to get in touch using Twitter, Facebook, etc.
4. Most importantly, make sure your website is back online as soon as possible.
We hope this article helped you find inspiration for your maintenance page. You may also want to see our guide on how to create beautiful coming soon pages in WordPress.