Learn How to Use WordPress Plugins for Maintenance Mode Correctly

Posted on Sep 16 2014 by in Blog Software 

Did you know that WordPress has plugins for creating a maintenance mode? WordPress maintenance mode is intended to be used when you are building a website, or making drastic changes, and want to provide your visitors with something or than error pages. As you build a new site, especially if using an existing domain, you may still receive a steady stream of visitors. Instead of sending these visitors away you can point them to another site or let them know when your new site will go live. Here are some tips and suggestions for those that want to learn how to correctly use a WordPress plugin for maintenance mode.

Understanding Maintenance Mode

While there are a few options for manually creating a maintenance mode, this requires editing or creating files and messing with your WordPress file structure. Without proper knowledge of how WordPress works and how to edit files, it is much safer to choose a plugin for setting up maintenance mode.

Depending on which WordPress plugin you use, maintenance mode usually works by allowing administrators to login and make changes to the site and view pages or posts while unlogged in visitors are presented with a splash page of some sort. In general, you should only use maintenance mode for a complete overhaul of your website, major changes, or when setting up a new website.

Choosing a WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugin

There are several different useful plugins to setup a maintenance mode in WordPress, but the one that receives the most use is WP Maintenance Mode. This is a free plugin that makes switching to maintenance mode simple. After installing this plugin, it is deactivated by default. Once you activate the plugin, your WordPress site will be in maintenance mode and your pages and posts will only be viewable while you are logged in. To turn off maintenance mode, you simply deactivate the plugin.


Activating or deactivating WP Maintenance Mode is easy enough, but you also need to decide what your visitors will see when they visit your site. There are many options for a splash page that will be presented to visitors. You can include a contact form, a countdown timer, or even a subscription form. Edit the layout, background, text, and colors of the customizable splash page.

Some of the advantages of using this plugin include excluding specific URLs from the maintenance mode. This allows specific posts or pages to remain viewable for visitors. Other options include setting which user roles are allowed to view your WordPress site while it is in maintenance mode and using it with WordPress Multisite.

Even though there are a few other WordPress maintenance mode plugins, WP Maintenance Mode covers all of the main features that you will need. As a side note, before performing any major changes on your site and switching to maintenance mode you should backup your entire website. With WP Maintenance Mode, you can take your time developing your WordPress site while still providing your visitors with helpful information on a splash page.