WordPress maintenance mode – take website offline (plugin)

you want yours Take WordPress website offline and the Activate maintenance mode, or again deactivate and finish? In this article I will show you how you can easily create a WordPress construction site page with a plugin and of course how to switch it off again.

If you are currently building your website or have a serious error, it makes perfect sense to take the WordPress site offline.

In this article you will learn the following:

  • How to take your WordPress website offline.
  • How to create a construction site page with a plugin.
  • You will learn how to disable maintenance mode again.
  • I’ll also show you how to turn off maintenance mode after an update. This is a small but stupid error that sometimes occurs during an update.

WordPress Maintenance Mode (Maintenance Plugin)

The English term for WordPress maintenance mode is “maintenance”. With the following maintenance plugin you can easily put WordPress into maintenance mode and take your WordPress site offline. You can continue to work on your website as usual and also view your progress yourself.

However, a page defined by you is displayed for all visitors and nobody sees your actual website you are currently working on.

Link: WordPress plugin (put WP into maintenance mode)

With this maintenance plugin you can put WordPress into maintenance mode with just one click. As you can see, this is a very popular WordPress plugin. It has a TOP rating and is used by hundreds of thousands of website owners.

You also have a few options:

  • You can enter your own text.
  • There are multiple backgrounds available to you.
  • You can choose the font color freely.
  • Optionally, you can include a countdown.

This allows you to create your own personalised WordPress construction site create.

How should the WordPress construction site look like?

Here are several ways how the WordPress site page can look like: You can use a nice image or some text (for explanation). It is best to use image and text in combination with each other.

WP Maintenance Mode plugin even allows you to define a date when your website will be live again. A nice countdown timer is then displayed on the maintenance mode page in WordPress.

Tips: Take the WordPress site offline

In the following screenshot you can see a very simple offline message. This is short and the visitor knows what’s going on.

Take WordPress site offline

However, if you want to take your WordPress site offline, I recommend posting a few more details on this page. Here are a few tips for you on what an optimal maintenance mode page should look like:

  • Simple, clear and friendly.
  • Information when the website will be online again.
  • State the reason for the maintenance mode.
  • Provide contact options (e-mail address or telephone number).

Put yourself in the shoes of your website visitor. He has deliberately visited your website and is specifically looking for information. So that he is not frustrated, you should optimally design the construction site page and offer a contact option in the form of an e-mail address or telephone number.

Disable WordPress maintenance mode

You can very easily exit the WordPress maintenance mode or the construction site page. To do this, disable the maintenance mode plugin. Also, I recommend you to delete it completely. You can do this with just a few mouse clicks via Plugins – Installed Plugins.

Basically, I recommend that you perform a regular WordPress backup. If an error occurs with your changes, you can fall back on the data backup.

This can save you a lot of time, aggravation and nerves.

Build WordPress site in the background

If your website is a new site or a relaunch, you can also build the WordPress site in the background. You now know how to install a maintenance mode plugin.

Basically you have 3 options:

  1. You can create your website locally on your PC. However, this has the disadvantage that you have to completely move the finished page afterwards. This is not easy and of course a bit time-consuming.
  2. The second variant is to build the website on a different domain or a subdomain. Here, too, you must then carry out a WordPress migration.
  3. You activate a maintenance mode and build the site in the background. Once you’re done and the new site can go live, all you have to do is turn off maintenance mode.

Error after update: maintenance mode is not exited

In some cases, the maintenance mode is not automatically deactivated after an update. First of all, I want to give you the all-clear, because in 99 percent of all cases you can solve this problem within just one minute.

WordPress Maintenance Plugin - Put WordPress into maintenance modePixabay: @geralt

To avoid errors and error messages during the update, WordPress automatically switches on maintenance mode during the update process. After the update is complete, maintenance mode will be disabled (turned off) again.

In some cases, however, maintenance mode does not end automatically. If refreshing the browser is not sufficient, you must disable it manually.

The message is usually as follows:
This website is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance work. Check back in a minute.

If this message also appears after the update, you must do the following. All you need is FTP access to the data structure of your WordPress installation.

  1. Connect to your web server with your FTP program (likely FileZilla).
  2. Click into the root of your WordPress installation.
  3. Find the “.maintenance” file and delete it.
  4. Deleting the .maintenance file disables maintenance mode and gives you full access to your WordPress website again.

FAQ – Questions & Answers

How do I put WordPress into maintenance mode?

The easiest way to do this is to use a WordPress maintenance mode plugin. After you have installed and activated this, the visitor is shown a predefined website. You can freely design the content of this maintenance page.

Which WordPress maintenance mode plugin do you recommend?

A very popular plugin is WP Maintenance Mode. You can download it for free from the plugin directory. It offers all the important setting options and is fully operational after just a few minutes.

Can I continue to work on my website with the maintenance mode plugin activated?

Yes you can. Only your visitors will see the maintenance page. As an administrator, you can continue to work on your website as usual. Of course you see your website yourself and can edit and test it accordingly.

How can I disable WordPress maintenance mode?

You can deactivate the maintenance mode directly in the plugin settings. I also recommend that you deactivate the plugin yourself and then uninstall it (i.e. if you no longer need it).