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How to Put Your WordPress Site into Maintenance Mode (The Easy Way)

Posted by Kaveri Bharali on December 2, 2020

Wondering how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode?

Adding a WordPress maintenance mode page to your site is a great way to hide broken pages from your visitors while you tweak your theme, plugins, content, or anything else in the backend of your website.

But most importantly, it saves your website from potentially losing search engine rankings by notifying them that your site is temporarily down for maintenance.

So instead of indexing your broken site, Google skips indexing any changes on the site that are not complete. This also saves your SEO from being affected.

This article will tell you how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode quickly and easily.

Why Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

Normally you can customize your website without having to activate WordPress maintenance mode. Small tweaks like publishing content and updating a WordPress theme or plugin won’t require any downtime.

But sometimes, you’ll need to work on your site for a little longer. For example, when you’re configuring a new theme or plugin that changes your website’s nature. At this time, your site might appear as broken to visitors for a longer period of time.

If your site has a significant amount of traffic, you won’t want users to see your site broken. This is because it hurts their user experience and gives them a poor impression of your business.

Website owners often deal with that situation by working on a staging website, usually including WordPress hosting. This lets them iron out any issues before pushing the changes to their live website. However, you’ll still need to put up a WordPress maintenance mode page for a short time, so visitors know what’s going on.

If you’re not using a staging site, you should definitely enable maintenance mode as you’re making changes to your live website. This lets you solve the user-experience issues you might otherwise face.

When you put your site in maintenance mode, you can show user-friendly notifications, links to direct visitors to other information, and a time-frame for when your site will be available again.

So how do you put your WordPress site in maintenance mode? Follow one of the methods below.

1. Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode With a Plugin (Easy Way)

Your first plan of action should be to install a WordPress maintenance mode plugin. With so many around in the WordPress repository, you can pick any maintenance plugin of your choice.

For this article, we’ll be using the SeedProd landing page builder plugin.

SeedProd best WordPress landing page plugin

For this article, we’ll be using the SeedProd landing page builder plugin.

SeedProd is the best landing page builder for WordPress with coming soon and maintenance mode functionality.

It comes with a growing library of professionally designed landing page templates and guaranteed support so you can get up and running as quickly as possible.

SeedProd landing page templates

Some of the types of pages you can create includes:

You can also gather leads and subscribers while your site’s down for maintenance by adding optin-forms, giveaways, and contact forms to your maintenance page so visitors can sign up for notifications when your site’s back up.

Many people get confused between the Coming Soon mode and Maintenance mode. Coming soon pages are generally used on websites that are not live yet and still under construction.

On the other hand, Maintenance Mode should be used on already established sites that are currently inactive due to maintenance, like switching your WordPress theme or other big changes that can take a while.

So let’s check out how to use this plugin to enable WordPress maintenance mode.

Step 1: Install the SeedProd Maintenance Mode Plugin

First, click here to get started with SeedProd. Then install and activate the plugin in your WordPress dashboard. If you need help with this step, check out this guide for installing a WordPress plugin.

After installing SeedProd, it will ask you to verify your license key via the SeedProd plugins’ settings page. On purchasing the plugin, you will get a license key on your registered email address. Paste the key in the blank field you see on your screen.

Activate the seedprod maintenance mode plugin

Once your license is verified, click on the Create Your First Page Button further down the screen. You will now be redirected to the SeedProd dashboard, where you can activate all the different page modes and create standalone landing pages.

Let’s now move on to creating your WordPress maintenance mode page.

Step 2: Create Your WordPress Maintenance Mode Page

At the top of the SeedProd dashboard you’ll see 3 different sections:

  • Coming Soon Mode – This option adds a coming soon page to your website.
  • Maintenance Mode – This lets you put your website in maintenance mode.
  • 404 Page – Display a custom 404 landing page on your WordPress website.

To build a maintenance page on your website, you’ll need the second option. So go ahead and click the Set Up a Maintenance Mode Page option to get started.

Set up a maintenance mode page in WordPress

Step 3: Choose a Maintenance Mode Page Template

SeedProd offers you tons of design options for your maintenance landing page. You can either build your page from scratch or use a ready-made theme from the library of landing page templates.

After clicking the button to set up your maintenance mode page, you’ll see various templates to choose from.

WordPress maintenance mode templates

Just hover your mouse over any maintenance template you prefer and click the tick icon to launch it in the visual frontend page builder.

maintenance mode page builder

You’ll then see the template on the right side of the drag and drop page builder. You can edit every single part of the template by using the options on your left.

Step 4: Customize Your Maintenance Page

To change the maintenance message, just click the message on the page and edit it using the inline editor.

WordPress Maintenance mode page message

Here you can enter a custom maintenance message explaining the downtime to your visitors. Clicking the Advanced tab in the left-hand panel will allow you to change the color, font, spacing, and text-shadow settings.

It’s also possible to change the content’s order on your page by dragging any page element from one place to another.

SeedProd also makes it easy to add extra elements to your page, including contact forms, signup forms, social buttons, and more.

All you need is to choose the page block from the left-hand panel and drag it into position on your page.

For example, you can add a countdown timer that shows how long it is until maintenance is over. You’ll find that block in the Advanced blocks section. Click the countdown timer icon and drag the blog onto your live page preview.

Add a countdown clock to your maintenance page in wordpress

Now click the timer on your page to view the different customization settings.

customize your maintenance mode countdown timer

You can select the timer type, end date and time, size, and even add a custom message and your own CSS.

The countdown timer block also comes with several pre-made block templates you can implement with a single click. Just select the Templates tab and pick one you like.

choose a template time for your maintenance mode countdown timer block

Repeat this process for all the elements you’d like to change on your maintenance page.

Almost all of the different page blocks come with their own templates, while the advanced blocks are designed specifically to help generate leads for your page, which includes:

  • Giveaways – Add a RafflePress online contest to your page to attract leads while you’re under maintenance.
  • Contact Form – Connect a WPForms contact form to your maintenance page so users can get in touch.
  • Optin Form – Allow users to sign up for your newsletter.
  • Social Profiles – Get more social media followers with prominent social buttons.
  • Star Rating – Increase trust by showing customer reviews and positive ratings.

The great thing about SeedProd is you don’t have to stick with the same page layout you chose at the beginning. You can change every element to make your maintenance page look exactly how you want.

Imagine your audience doesn’t know why your site is down, but you’d like to help answer their questions to avoid lots of support tickets. The easiest way to do that would be to add a FAQ section to your maintenance screen.

Since the template we chose doesn’t include a FAQ section, you’ll have to insert one yourself. But it won’t be too difficult.

Besides offering tons of page blocks, SeedProd also has various pre-made page sections you can add to your page with a few clicks. Just click the Sections tab in the left-hand panel and find the section you need.

To add a FAQ section, click the FAQ heading and choose one of the layouts available by clicking the Plus icon.

SeedProd will automatically add the section to the bottom of your maintenance mode landing page. Then all you need to do is customize it with your content.

Insert frequently asked questions onto your maintenance mode page

Step 4: Connect Your Email Marketing Service

Now let’s look at how to connect your email marketing service to your maintenance page so you can grow your list while you work behind the scenes.

First, click the Optin Form block from the left-hand panel, then drag it onto your maintenance page.

Add an optin form to your WordPress maintenance mode page

Then click it to customize the different options, including which form fields to display, your button styling options, alignment, and more.

Customize your optin form

After that, click the Connect tab at the top of your page to integrate an email marketing service provider.

SeedProd email marketing integrations

SeedProd integrates with several popular marketing services including, Constant Contact, Drip, GetResponse, and more, to help you grow your list. It also allows you to set up Google Analytics, Recaptcha for spam protection and connect to thousands of apps via Zapier.

To integrate your email list, click any option on the page and click Connect. Then follow the on-screen instructions to authorize your account.

Connect your email marketing service

Don’t forget to hit Save when you’re finished.

Step 5: Configure Your Maintenance Page Settings

Now that you’ve finished setting up and customizing your maintenance page in WordPress, you’ll need to ensure all your settings are in place.

Click the Page Settings option at the top of your screen to see the settings page.

SeedProd landing page settings

In the General settings area, you can give your page a new name, change the status from draft to published or vice versa, and enable Isolation Mode. Isolation Mode stops 2 scripts from running to avoid any WordPress theme or plugin conflicts.

The Access Control section lets you create a bypass URL so you can grant access to specific people. It’s also possible to grant access based on which user role logged in users have.

maintenance mode access control settings

The SEO and Analytics sections help you manage your pages’ search optimization and traffic statistics. While in the scripts section, you can add custom scripts in your header, body, and footer areas, such as your Facebook tracking pixel.

When you’re happy with your settings, click Save.

Now that your page is ready, it’s time to check the responsiveness before you hit publish.

Step 6: Check Your Page is Mobile Friendly

By checking the responsiveness of your page, you can ensure your maintenance page looks stunning across all devices.

The option for checking responsiveness is available by clicking the mobile preview icon on the bottom-left side of your page.

Mobile responsive maintenance page

If you click on Desktop you will see how it appears on bigger screens.

Check the mobile responsiveness of your maintenance page

Similarly, by clicking on Mobile, you can check its appearance on smaller screens like mobile phones.

Step 7: Publish Your Maintenance Page in WordPress

The final step is to hit the publish button so that your page goes live. To do that, you will have to click on the downwards arrow next to the Save button in the top-right corner of your screen. Then, go ahead and click Publish.

Publish your WordPress maintenance mode page

SeedProd will then notify you that your maintenance page has been published. To see what it looks like, click the See Live Page button.

notification that your page was published

This is just an example. Using your creativity, you can come up with much better-looking maintenance mode pages for your WordPress site.

example of a WordPress maintenance mode page

Step 8: Activate Maintenance Mode

The final step is to turn on maintenance mode for your WordPress website. To do that, go to SeedProd » Pages from your WordPress admin area, and find the maintenance mode section.

Enable maintenance mode

Then click the Inactive toggle to make it Active. You’ve now put WordPress in maintenance mode!

Logged in users will be able to access the backend normally just like you did before. But your visitors will see the maintenance page that you just created with SeedProd. Even better, your page won’t be affected if you update WordPress either.

How to Turn off WordPress Maintenance Mode

You can use this process to put your website in maintenance mode, any time you want to take down your site for a quick fix.

When you are done with all the maintenance processes, you can disable the maintenance mode and get the normal view back.

You can turn off your maintenance mode by heading to your WordPress admin area and accessing the SeedProd dashboard.

Then it’s as simple as clicking the toggle from the Active to Inactive position.

how to turn off wordpress maintenance mode

Voila! Maintenance is now disabled and anyone can access your website.

2. Enable Maintenance With a Custom WordPress Function

This method requires you to edit your WordPress functions.php file to activate maintenance mode, so if you’re not familiar or comfortable with editing WordPress files, use the easier method above.

Before trying this, we recommend you backup your website before continuing to prevent you from breaking your site.

To activate the default maintenance page that WordPress uses when you’re updating themes, plugins, or your core WordPress files, follow these instructions.

Navigate to Appearance » Theme Editor from your WordPress admin area and look for your functions.php file.

Then, add the following code to the end of the file:

// 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');

You can customize your message by changing the text between the quotes on line 4.

The drawback of using this method, is you won’t have access to any of the lead generating features you’ll get when using a plugin like SeedProd such as:

  • Optin forms to grow your email list
  • Social profile buttons for more followers
  • Powerful WordPress contact forms
  • Social sharing buttons to increase brand awareness

We hope this article helped you learn how to put WordPress in maintenance mode. Now all that’s left is to dive in and create a powerful maintenance page that helps secure more leads and grow your business.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful tips and tutorials.

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