How to Put WordPress Site in Maintenance Mode?

To keep a website functional and up-to-date, it must be maintained regularly. You may need to put your website in maintenance mode to avoid having a faulty website, whether updating the site’s appearance or correcting a back-end issue.

This post will show four distinct ways to put a WordPress website site into construction mode.

It will also explain how maintenance mode works and what you can do to ensure that people return to your WordPress site once it is done.

What Is WordPress Maintenance Mode, and How Does It Work?

WordPress maintenance mode is a setting that is applied to a website while it is under changes that may cause it to break.

When your WordPress site is online, you may make minor changes like updating or publishing content. If you’re working on more significant changes, though, it’s best to take it offline to avoid making a bad impression.

The URL shows a screen with a message about your site’s status when it is in WordPress maintenance mode. The message usually explains why the website is offline and includes an estimation of when it will be live again.

The WordPress maintenance mode is activated by using the wp maintenance function and saving the message to a .maintenance file. When the construction is finished, you may tell WordPress to remove the maintenance file, and your website will work as usual.

Another reason to use WordPress maintenance mode is to be ready for a new website. You may make a Coming Soon screen with WordPress maintenance mode. Users will get information about the next website and when they should come when they enter your URL.

How Will Maintenance Mode Affect Your Website’s Visitors?

How to Put WordPress Site in Maintenance Mode?

A WordPress site may not perform properly or appear to be broken during maintenance. This can lead to a bad user experience, as users may begin to doubt the website’s credibility or security, negatively impacting future traffic.

WordPress comes with a splash page and a simple default maintenance mode. It is, however, only an HTML page with the text “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance.” Check back in a minute.” which looks rather dull.

The user experience is improved by having a custom maintenance mode page. It allows you to customize your message as well as the overall style to suit your brand.

Creating a staging environment might also help you save time when it comes to WordPress maintenance. It’s a separate copy of the website where you can work on changes without affecting the actual site.

You’ll need to push the update to the actual website once you’ve finished working on the staged website, and all changes will be made automatically without any downtime.

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Why Is It Necessary to Enable WordPress Maintenance Mode?

A maintenance mode isn’t required for all websites. Changes to your site’s overall functionality, such as managing content, fixing a minor bug, or changing blog material, will have no impact. As a result, doing them while the site is up and running is safe.

More important modifications, like adding new plugins or changing themes, might, however, have an impact on how your site works. In such cases, it’s best to switch your site to under construction mode to reduce the chance of it crashing while it’s live.

Here are some more reasons to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode.

Avoid a Bad Impression

A broken or non-functional website might create a bad impression on your visitors for a long time. People may lose trust in the validity of the company, which can impact traffic and conversion rates.

Various WordPress plugins allow you to customize the maintenance page to match the look of your website. This will not only inform customers when the site will be available soon, but it will also give the company a more professional and organized look.

Minimize Security Risks

Another reason to use maintenance mode is to keep your WordPress site secure, especially while you’re fixing security issues.

For example, if a malicious link is detected on your website, it’s best to take it offline until the issue is fully removed rather than risk visitor safety.

Create a Coming Soon Page

WordPress maintenance mode may be used to advertise or promote a site that is currently under development.

While working on the site, you may use the same WordPress under construction plugins to display a Coming Soon splash page. Simply switch off the maintenance mode after the site is completed and welcome visitors to your new website.

4 Ways to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

Activating WordPress in maintenance mode doesn’t have to be difficult.

While some solutions need some coding changes, WordPress maintenance mode plugins make this possible with only a few clicks.

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1. Using the SeedProd Plugin

SeedProd is a plugin for creating landing pages. With its drag-and-drop builder, you can quickly create landing pages for “Coming Soon” and “Maintenance” modes.

This plugin comes in a free version and a premium plan that costs $39.50 per year.

First, get the plugin and install it. Go to the plugin dashboard once it’s been activated.

The modules for setting up the “Coming Soon” and “Maintenance” pages, as well as the buttons to activate them, will be visible. There’s a section at the bottom where you can manage your landing pages.

To create a maintenance mode landing page, go to SeedProd’s landing page templates library and select a maintenance mode template. It will take you to the drag-and-drop builder, where you will be able to customize the template. To save your changes, click Save.

Click the Add New Landing Page button in the landing pages area to add new landing pages. In the Page Settings area of the builder, you can also rename the page title and URL.

Turn on the maintenance mode by clicking the Activate button on the plugin’s dashboard while creating the maintenance page. You’ll see the message Maintenance Mode Active at the top right corner of your WordPress admin page when it’s activated.

2. Using the WP Maintenance Mode Plugin

You may activate maintenance mode with the WP Maintenance Mode plugin without touching a single line of code.

First, download and install the WP Maintenance Mode plugin. Once activated, select Settings -> WP Maintenance Mode from the WordPress dashboard.

There are five tabs on the Settings page: General, Design, Modules, Manage Bot, and GDPR. Let’s have a look at these tabs in more detail.

General

At the top, you will find the Status section. You can activate or deactivate WordPress in construction mode from here.

If you activate the Bypass for Search Bots feature, search engines will be able to access your website during maintenance.

Finally, the Back end Role and Front end Role options let you choose which user roles have access to the backend when the system is in maintenance mode. Only the Administrator will be able to change this setting if you don’t set it.

Design

This is where a splash page is created. To start creating a splash page, enter your title into the Title (HTML element) area. Then, to customize the maintenance message that will show on the screen, enter the Heading and Text.

After that, you may change the splash page’s background color. To make the website more visually appealing, you may also use a custom background image.

Modules

You can set the starting and remaining times for the countdown timer here. Once your website is functional again, your visitors will be notified.

Connecting your social media accounts to the splash page is done in the Modules tab’s next section. Insert your social media account link into the corresponding slot, and the plugin will then automatically show the social media icons on the maintenance page.

Manage Bot

To attract new subscribers, provide an engaging subscription form. In a word, the idea is that when a user enters the maintenance mode page, they can have a conversation with a bot. 

There are a total of ten customizable messages with four response options. This method can be used to collect the users’ names and email addresses.

Go to the Modules tab and select Export as CSV under Subscribers to download the list of subscribers.

GDPR

This tab contains the GDPR compliance settings. If you collect data from the splash page’s subscription form, you’ll need to set this up.

GDPR is a European Union (EU) policy that requires businesses to protect users’ data and privacy. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in a fine of either €20 million or 4% of the company’s annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

While the current version of WordPress complies with the GDPR, there are a few actions you need to do to ensure that your website is completely compliant as well.

First, you’ll need to activate the GDPR status located in this tab. Then, link the Privacy Page and create acceptance checkboxes for the contact form and subscribe form. If you haven’t set the Privacy Page, go to Settings -> Privacy to set one up.

Once the configuration for GDPR is complete, click Save settings, and your maintenance mode is ready for use.

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3. Using the WP Maintenance Plugin

WP Maintenance is yet another WordPress under construction plugin that allows you to customize your site’s maintenance landing page.

From the left sidebar, visit the plugin’s settings once it’s been installed and active. There are nine sections available:

  • General. This is where you’ll find the button to enable maintenance mode and configure the landing page message.
  • Colors & Fonts. Customize the appearance of the landing page. Edit the background color, text color, and fonts to make them suit your branding. Keep in mind that there’s no drag-and-drop builder or visual editor, so you have to make these changes manually.
  • Pictures. Add a header image and a background image. In addition to that, you can add a pattern picture and a slider. 
  • Countdown. Enable countdown and set the launch date and time. There’s also an option to automatically disable the under construction mode at the end of the countdown to make your website live.
  • CSS Style. Contains the CSS sheet of the maintenance page. If you wish to customize the page by inserting custom CSS, do so here.
  • SEO. Settings for enabling SEO, editing the page’s meta title and meta description. You can also add a favicon from here.
  • Social Networks. Add social network accounts to the under-construction landing page. This helps to direct users to your social media pages should they need more information. 
  • Footer. Enable the footer to the maintenance screen and customize the text. There’s also an option to add a link to the dashboard.
  • Settings. Contains additional settings, including enabling theme maintenance page, deleting custom settings upon plugin deactivation, and displaying server error codes.
4. Using a Custom Function

Important! This method requires the editing of the functions.php file. Before you begin, we strongly advise you to make a backup of your WordPress site.

1. Go to Appearance -> Theme Editor in your WordPress admin panel. A list of theme files will appear on the right side. Choose Theme Functions, which will open the functions.php file in the editor and allow you to edit the code.

2. At the end of the file add the following code:

// Activate WordPress Maintenance Mode
function wp_maintenance_mode() {
if (!current_user_can(‘edit_themes’) || !is_user_logged_in()) {
wp_die(‘<h1>Under Maintenance</h1><br />Website under planned maintenance. Please check back later.’);
}
}
add_action(‘get_header’, ‘wp_maintenance_mode’);

This will activate the default maintenance screen for WordPress. You may, however, change the HTML message that appears on the screen by changing the code.

Find the wp die function on the fourth line of the code, followed by the HTML code in parentheses. You may change the message in this HTML text to whatever you wish. “The website is under scheduled maintenance,” for example. Please check back a minute”

3. Click Update File

4. Once finished, remember to remove the code from the functions.php file to make the website live again.

Also Read: How To Fix a Slow WordPress Site And Pass Core Web Vitals?
Also read: 14 Ways to Improve WordPress Performance Without Plugins.
Also Read: How to Fix a 502 Bad Gateway Error on Your WordPress Site?
Also read: How to Change the WordPress Database Prefix to Improve Security?

Conclusion

There are several options for putting your WordPress site in maintenance mode and constructing a temporary replacement page.

Whether it’s using a WordPress plugin, web hosting control panel, or tweaking a WordPress file, choose the one that suits your personal needs and technical skills.

Go ahead and alter the code if you feel yourself to be rather tech-savvy. After all, both ways end in the same thing: a maintenance page for your site’s visitors.

Keep in mind that the under-construction state is important more for maintenance. You may also use the maintenance mode to build an appealing “Coming Soon” page the next time you want to launch a website.

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