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How to Hide Your WordPress Site Until It’s Ready

Posted by Stacey Corrin on November 20, 2020

There comes a time for every site owner where you’ll need to hide your WordPress site from the public until it’s ready. Doing so means you can hide your WordPress site while working on it and disguise changes until they’re polished and perfect for your audience.

But how do you hide your WordPress site until it’s ready? In this article, we’ll explain how to do just that. All so you can work away in the background and reveal changes when the time is right.

To help you navigate this post, here’s a table of contents:

  1. Install SeedProd landing page builder plugin
  2. Enable maintenance mode
  3. Design a custom maintenance page
  4. Publish your page

Before we get started, let’s think about why you might need to hide your website.

Why Might You Need to Hide Your WordPress Site?

We can think of plenty of reasons for wanting to hide your WordPress website from public view, so here are a few examples:

  • You might want to temporarily disable your WordPress site and hide it behind a splash page when changing WordPress themes.
  • If you’re testing new site features, restricting access to certain pages prevents visitors from experiencing errors.
  • Site visitors might experience technical issues, so you can put your website in maintenance mode until the issues are solved.
  • If you’re building a brand new website, adding a coming soon page allows you to work on your site until it’s ready.

The common theme with all these examples is they give you the power to choose when visitors can view your website. So no more broken graphics or plugin errors turning away your audience.

Instead, you can put up an under-construction page to let them know you’ll be up and running again soon.

So how do you go about hiding your WordPress site? We’ll cover that next.

Hiding Your WordPress Site Until It’s Ready

Want to learn how to hide a page in WordPress or hide your entire website? Then, keep reading.

The easiest way to temporarily disable your WordPress site is to put it into maintenance mode with a WordPress plugin. And for this, we suggest using SeedProd.

SeedProd best WordPress landing page plugin

SeedProd is the best landing page builder plugin for WordPress. It helps you build high-converting landing pages in minutes with the easy drag and drop visual builder.

SeedProd comes with a growing library of landing page templates to make getting started super easy, without needing any design experience. This allows you to create:

You can also limit access to your website while it’s under construction, and hide single pages in WordPress by activating the built-in Coming Soon, Maintenance Mode, and 404 pages.

With this in mind, let’s look at how to hide your WordPress site during development until ready using SeedProd.

Step 1: Install SeedProd WP Maintenance Mode Plugin

The first step is to get a copy of SeedProd. Once you’ve created your account, head to the login page to access your account dashboard.

From there click View License Key, Details, and Downloads as shown below.

Get your SeedProd license key from the SeedPod dashboard

Then copy your license key and click Download Landing Page Pro to save the plugin to your computer.

Download the SeedProd landing page, Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode plugin

Next up is installing and activating SeedProd on your WordPress website. If you’re not familiar with how to do this, you can check out this step-by-step tutorial to install WordPress plugins.

Upon activating the plugin, you’ll see a page asking you to enter your license key. If you recall, you copied this when downloading the plugin.

Enter your SeedProd license key

Simply enter your key and click Verify Key.

Step 2: Enable Maintenance Mode

To put your site into maintenance mode and temporarily turn off your WordPress site, click the SeeProd icon from your WordPress dashboard. This will take you to the SeedProd settings page.

Here you can create a maintenance mode page and make it active on your website (which we’ll show you how to do later).

But first, to enable maintenance mode, turn the toggle from the Inactive position to Active.

activate your maintenance mode page in WordPress

Congrats! You’ve hidden your WordPress site and learned how to hide your page in WordPress. Now let’s look at making your coming soon or maintenance page look a little more interesting to visitors.

Step 3: Design Your WordPress Maintenance Mode Custom Page

SeedProd makes it super-easy to design and customize maintenance pages in WordPress. And it’s important because it allows site visitors to still interact with your site even if it’s hidden.

Not only can you completely customize the entire look of your page in the visual builder, but you can also add the following landing page elements with SeedProds’ drag and drop content blocks:

  • Email Signup Form – For users to subscribe to your email list and get updates for when you’re live again.
  • Contact Form – Let people get in touch and ask questions through a modern WordPress contact form.
  • Social Profiles – Direct visitors to your social profiles for updates and engagement while your site is hidden.
  • Social Share Buttons – Encourage users to raise awareness about your new design or feature.
  • Countdown Timer – Give people a visual idea of when they can reaccess your main site.
  • Plus a whole lot more.

To begin designing your landing page, click the Set up a Maintenance Mode Page button.

Set up a miantenance mode page

You’re then asked to choose a theme for your page.

With a growing library of landing page themes and templates to choose from, there’s bound to be something that suits your needs. If there isn’t, you can always select the blank template to start from scratch.

Choose a maintenance mode landing page template

As soon as you’ve picked a theme, you’ll be taken to the drag and drop page builder.

Here you can add and remove page elements, customize all your pages’ design elements, and add a personal message for visitors. You can also upload a custom background image to match your branding.

Design your maintenance mode page in WordPress

For a full step-by-step guide to putting your WordPress site in Maintenance mode using SeedProd, check this out.

Step 4: Publish Your Page

When you’re happy, it’s time to publish your page. All you have to do is select the downwards arrow next to to the Save button in the top-right corner and click Publish.

Save changes and publish your maintenance mode page in WordPress

SeedProd will then show a lightbox popup notifying you that your page has been published.

Maintenance mode published notification

Then you can click the See Live Page button to see what your maintenance page looks like.

Hide your WordPress website with Maintenance mode splash page

But what if you really need to give access to someone who can’t log in to your website? There’s actually a pretty simple solution.

In the SeedProd Page Settings area, you can create a secret access link that lets people bypass the page hiding your WordPress site.

From the visual page editor, click the Page Settings tab along the top of your screen. Then click the Access Controls option in the left-hand panel.

On the right-hand side of your screen, you can create a secret phrase that is added to a unique bypass URL.

Bypass the WordPress maintenance mode page with a custom URL and password

Then you can send this URL to anyone you’d like to have access to your site without them seeing the construction page.

It’s also possible to add a password to your landing page. This will let you grant access to specific people, such as clients.

You can follow this guide to learn all about password protection in WordPress.

Below the Bypass URL section is the Bypass by IP area. This allows visitors from certain IP addresses to bypass your landing page automatically.

Bypass landing page by ip address

All you have to do is add each IP address on a new line in the field provided.

With everything set up, let’s take a look at how to disable maintenance mode in WordPress.

How Do You Turn Off WordPress Maintenance Mode?

If you’ve followed the steps above for using SeedProd to set up maintenance, the time will come when you want to disable it.

To turn off WordPress maintenance mode, head to the SeedProd settings page by clicking the SeedProd icon in your WordPress admin area.

Then under the Maintenance Mode section, click the toggle to turn it from Active to Inactive.

How to disable maintenance mode in wordpress

Now your site is no longer hidden from website visitors.

What if you don’t want to use a plugin to set a maintenance page? We have instructions for that next.

Enabling WordPress Maintenance Mode Without a Plugin

To enable maintenance mode in WordPress without a plugin, you’ll need to edit your theme’s functions.php file.

We’ve put together a code snippet you can use to make things a little easier. If you’re not familiar with how to do this, it’s best to ask your site developer to do this for you.

Simply edit your theme’s functions.php file and paste in the following code:

function maintenance_mode() {
 
      if ( !current_user_can( 'edit_themes' ) || !is_user_logged_in() ) {wp_die('Maintenance.');}
 
}
add_action('get_header', 'maintenance_mode');

To disable the maintenance mode and let users see your website, comment out the last line like this:

// add_action();

Since you’re familiar with hiding your WordPress site until it’s ready, how do you hide it from Google too? We’ll cover that next.

Hiding Your WordPress Site from Google

Hiding your website from Google is mainly done when you don’t want your site to be indexed in search engines. This stops your web pages from appearing in search results.

You can hide your site from Google using a plugin, or by editing one of your site files. Let’s take a look at each method.

Method 1: Hiding Your Site From Google With a Plugin

To hide your site from Google with a plugin, start by downloading and installing the All In One SEO plugin. Once you’ve activated it, head to any post or page and click Edit.

Then scroll to below the editor, where you’ll see the All in One SEO settings. To hide posts and pages from Google, scroll down to the section labeled “NOINDEX this page/post.”

Then click the checkbox to stop search engines from showing your post or page in search results.

How to hide your WordPress site from google with a plugin

Publish your changes, and your content for that specific post or page will be hidden from Google.

Method 2: Hiding Your Site From Search Engines Using robots.txt File

Alternatively, you can hide your Website from search engines by editing your site’s robots.txt file. This might be a little tricky for beginners, so only use this method if you’re sure you know what you’re doing.

You can edit your  robots.txt file by connecting to your site using an FTP client or the ‘File Manager’ in your WordPress hosting provider.

Then you’ll have to add these lines of code to your robots.txt file.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /your-page/

Make sure you replace ‘your-page’ with the URL you’d like to hide and save your changes.

And there you have it! You now know how to hide your WordPress site until it’s ready for public viewing.

SeedProd’s easy drag and drop page builder makes it so easy to hide your website, you can do it in minutes, with no coding required.

So what are you waiting for?

We hope you found this guide helpful. If you’re interested in building a sales page for your website, check this out.

And don’t forget to follow us on social media too. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook here.

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