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

Posted by Kaveri Bharali on December 2, 2020

Do you want to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode? WordPress maintenance mode lets you show a message to users instead of a broken website during maintenance.

As a result, you can perform maintenance tasks while the people that work on your website still have access.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode easily. We’ll also show you how to make your maintenance page design more helpful and user-friendly.

Bur first…

What Is WordPress Maintenance Mode?

WordPress maintenance mode or WP maintenance mode is a status that shows a website maintenance message. This message tells visitors you’re carrying out scheduled maintenance. 

Often, it creates a page or a message to substitute your main website. On this page, you can add a time frame for when your main website will be live again.

When using the default WordPress maintenance message, WordPress uses the wp_maintenance function and creates a .maintenance file with your maintenance message. Then, when maintenance is over, WordPress deletes the file, and your site should work as normal.

Why Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

Normally you can customize your website without putting WordPress in maintenance mode. This means small tweaks like publishing content and updating a WordPress theme or plugin won’t require downtime.

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

If your site has significant 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 this by working on a staging website, often included with their WordPress hosting. This lets them iron out any issues before pushing the changes to their live website. Yet, you’ll still need to enable WordPress maintenance mode for a short time so visitors know what’s going on.

If you’re not using a staging site, you should still enable maintenance mode to solve the user-experience issues you might otherwise face.

When you put WordPress in maintenance mode, you can customize the page to show:

  • User-friendly notifications
  • Links to direct visitors to other information
  • A time frame for when your site is available

More importantly, WordPress maintenance mode saves your website from losing search engine rankings. It does this by notifying search engines that your site is temporarily down for maintenance. 

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

How Do I Put My WordPress Site in Maintenance Mode?

If you want to know how to put a maintenance page on WordPress, here are 2 easy ways.

The 2 methods below start with the easiest solution to enable maintenance mode and customize your maintenance page or a more difficult manual method.

1. Use a WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugin (Easy Way)

First, you should install a WordPress maintenance mode plugin. With so many around in the WordPress repository, you can pick any maintenance plugin of your choice.

SeedProd best WordPress Page Builder

For this article, we’ll be using the SeedProd Pro 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 stunning landing page templates and guaranteed support so you can set up a maintenance page as quickly as possible.

SeedProd landing page templates

SeedProd also allows you to create other types of pages, including:

You can also gather leads and subscribers while your site’s down for maintenance by adding optin-forms, subscription 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 new websites that are not live yet and are still under construction.

On the other hand, Maintenance Mode should be used on established sites that are currently inactive due to maintenance. For instance, 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.

If you’d prefer to follow the written instructions, keep reading.

Step 1: Install the SeedProd 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. 

Upon activation of SeedProd, it will ask you to verify your license key via the SeedProd plugin’s 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 license key

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 add new landing pages.

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

Step 2: Set Up a WordPress Maintenance Mode Page

At the top of the SeedProd dashboard, you’ll see 4 different sections:

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

To create 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.

Step 3: Choose a WordPress Maintenance Mode Template

SeedProd offers you tons of design options for your maintenance mode 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 design, you’ll see various templates to choose from.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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 and social media icons.
  • Star Rating – Increase trust by showing customer reviews and positive ratings.

The great thing about SeedProd is that you don’t have to stick with the same page layout you chose initially. You can change every element to make your maintenance page look exactly how you want. It’s even possible to add custom HTML for any specific design tweaks you need.

Imagine your audience doesn’t know why your site is down, but you’d like to help answer their questions to avoid many 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.

Customizing your maintenance page background image is just as easy. Just click the gear icon in the bottom left of your screen to see SeedProd’s global settings.

Global maintenance mode page settings

Here you can add global fonts, background colors and change your maintenance page background. You can even add a full-width background video or slideshow.

In addition, you can add any custom CSS for more styling options.

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.

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

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.

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.

If you prefer, you can set the page to bypass users with specific cookie settings. However, this may not work on sites with certain caching settings.

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 your page’s responsiveness, 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 WordPress Maintenance Mode Page

Now you can 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 how your live site looks, 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: Enable WordPress 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 page in seedprod

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.

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

How to Turn off WordPress Maintenance Mode in SeedProd

When you have finished updating and maintaining your website, you can disable maintenance mode so the public can reaccess your website. 

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.

Related: How to Fix WordPress Stuck in Maintenance Mode

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 breaking your site. You can also edit the file manually or use the file manager.

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

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

Then, add the following code snippet 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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