How to Unpublish WordPress Site (Quick)

If you’ve recently launched your WordPress site and want to unpublish it temporarily or indefinitely, you’ll need to follow a few steps. Whether it’s about making changes, updating content, or for privacy concerns, this guide will help you.

Why Unpublish Your WordPress Site?

Not all website development happens in one go. Sometimes, you might need to revert your site to draft status to make major changes, prevent access during an event, or you may simply want to unpublish some of your content.

How to Unpublish Specific Posts or Pages

While WordPress doesn’t directly offer an unpublish option, it does allow you to revert a published post or page back to draft status. Follow these steps to unpublish specific content:

  1. Login to your WordPress Admin panel.
  2. Click on ‘Posts’ or ‘Pages’ from the dashboard menu.
  3. Hover over the name of the post or page you want to unpublish.
  4. Click on ‘Quick Edit’.
  5. In the ‘Status’ dropdown menu, select ‘Draft’.
  6. Click on ‘Update’ to save changes.

The post or page will no longer appear on your website but the content remains accessible from your admin panel.

How to Unpublish Entire WordPress Site

If a need arises to unpublish your entire website, you can use a plugin to help you. The Plugin Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode is a recommended choice.

Step-by-Step To Unpublish Your Site With a plugin

  1. Install the plugin by navigating to ‘Plugins > Add New’ from the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Search for ‘Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd’.
  3. Install and activate the plugin.
  4. Once done, a new menu will appear on the dashboard sidebar labeled ‘Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode’.
  5. Click on it and then select ‘Enable Maintenance Mode’.
  6. Customise the page according to your needs, and click ‘Save All Changes’ once done.

This process will unpublish your site and present visitors with your custom maintenance notice.

How to Unpublish WordPress Site without a Plugin

Prefer not to use a plugin? No problem! Unpublish your WordPress site using a little code.

  1. Go to ‘Appearance > Theme Editor’ from the dashboard.
  2. Open your theme’s functions.php file.
  3. At the end of the file, paste the below code and click ‘Update File’.

function wp_maintenance_mode(){
if(!current_user_can('edit_themes') || !is_user_logged_in()){
die('Maintenance Underway');
add_action('get_header', 'wp_maintenance_mode');

With this code, visitors will see a ‘Maintenance Underway’ message, but keep in mind, this is not the most user-friendly method.

Putting Back Your Website Live

To republish your WordPress website:

  1. Navigate back to the ‘Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode’ settings (if you used the plugin) or your functions.php file (if you used code).
  2. Disable the maintenance mode or remove the added code (respectively).
  3. Click on ‘Save All Changes’ or ‘Update File’ to make your site live again.


Unpublishing your WordPress site or specific content on it can serve various purposes while you’re working behind the scenes. Remember, the key is being able to do it correctly, so take it slow and follow these easy steps. Always ensure you have a good backup system in place to avoid losing any data during the process. Happy WordPressing!

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