How to Put WordPress into Maintenance Mode (Quickly)

In the life of every WordPress website, there comes a time when putting it into maintenance mode becomes necessary. Whether you’re making significant updates, fixing bugs, or redesigning your website, displaying a professional maintenance message instead of a site full of errors can greatly improve user experience. This guide will walk you through how to put your WordPress site into maintenance mode.

Let’s get started!

Why Use Maintenance Mode?

Before diving into the details, it’s crucial to understand why maintenance mode is important. When you’re updating your WordPress website, your visitors might come across an unfinished page or an error which is not a good user experience. Maintenance Mode allows you to display a user-friendly notice about your site’s unavailability.

Introducing Maintenance Mode Plugins

The most beginner-friendly way to put your WordPress site into maintenance mode is by using plugins. They provide you an easy way to switch on and off the maintenance mode, customize the maintenance page, set user roles and more.

Here are a couple of popular maintenance mode plugins:

  1. Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
  2. WP Maintenance Mode

Put WordPress Into Maintenance Mode Using Plugins

Let’s take you through the steps to enable the maintenance mode using the Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd Plugin.

Step 1: Install and Activate the Plugin

Firstly, install the plugin by navigating to your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins > Add New, in the search bar type in 'Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd'. Click on Install Now and then Activate.

Step 2: Configure the Plugin

After activation, navigate to SeedProd > Settings from your WordPress dashboard. You’ll see different modes that you can enable, like the Coming Soon Mode and Maintenance Mode. Choose and activate Maintenance Mode.

Step 3: Customize the Maintenance Screen

Customize your maintenance message via ‘SeedProd > Pages’ in your WordPress dashboard. Modify the headline, message, and background image. Create a design that represents your brand and informs your visitors about the unavailability of your site.

Step 4: Save Changes

Once you’re done with customization, hit Save Changes and your WordPress site is in maintenance mode.

Enabling Maintenance Mode Without a Plugin

On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with modifying your site’s code, there exists a more technical approach to put your WordPress site into maintenance mode.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Access Your Theme File

Navigate to your theme’s folder through FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP details can be found in the hosting cPanel.

Step 2: Create a .maintenance File

In your site’s root directory, create a new file titled .maintenance. Inside the file, add the code:



Step 3: Customize Your Maintenance Message

To customize your maintenance message, create a new file named maintenance.php in your wp-content directory. Write your HTML message in that file.

Step 4: Activate Maintenance Mode

To activate maintenance mode, simply save the .maintenance file.

Step 5: Deactivate Maintenance Mode

To deactivate, delete the .maintenance file.

User Roles & Maintenance Mode

To continue access to the website while in maintenance mode, you can assign user roles. Some plugins like WP Maintenance Mode offer such a feature. Just navigate to ‘Settings > WP Maintenance Mode > General > Bypass for Search Bots’, tick the user roles you don’t want to be affected.

Maintenance mode in WordPress is a helpful tool when you need to perform updates or changes on your website. Whether you prefer using a plugin or modifying your site’s code by hand, now you know how to put your site in maintenance mode and maintain a good user experience.

While it adds a little bit of work to your plate, the result is a more professional, user-friendly website that keeps visitors informed and coming back for more.

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