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How to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode: Step-by-Step

If you are planning to move, redesign or upgrade your website, you may want to put your site in maintenance mode.

Putting your website in maintenance mode is a great way to let potential customers know that you’re making changes to your site. When you put your site in maintenance mode, it lets you get everything ready without worrying about any visitors finding broken links.

This is especially important if your website gets a lot of traffic and you don’t want to lose any visitors. 

With WordPress, it’s easy to put your site in maintenance mode. You can enable the maintenance mode with or without a plugin easily.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to put your website in maintenance mode with all the steps and screenshots.

Let’s get started!

What is WordPress Maintenance Mode?

WordPress Maintenance Mode is a feature that allows you to put your website in maintenance mode while making any changes. 

When you put your site in maintenance mode, visitors will see a message telling them that the site is down for maintenance and will be back up soon.

This can be helpful if you’re making any changes to your site, such as adding new content or changing its design.

How to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode

Here are a few ways to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode…

1. Using Maintenance Plugin

WordPress Maintenance plugin by WebFactory Ltd allows you to put your site temporarily in maintenance mode (503 Service temporarily unavailable).

To setup the plugin, follow the below steps:

  • Login to your WordPress dashboard
  • Go to Plugins > Add New
  • Search for “Maintenance” and install the first plugin
  • Click on Activate

Once the plugin is installed and activated, go to Maintenance in your dashboard. There you will find all the settings to set up this plugin.

First, enter the following details:

  • Page Title — The title you want to keep on your maintenance page
  • Headline — The text you want to display on the frontend to users
  • Description — A short text to explain why your site is down and when it will be back

To customize the design of the maintenance page, you can set your brand logo (including the retina logo), set the logo width/height, background image or color, and font family.

This plugin also supports pre-built themes that you can use to customize the maintenance page, but most of them are only available in the premium package.

Finally, you can enter your Google Analytics ID in Advanced Settings to track the traffic received by the maintenance page.

You can even upgrade to this plugin’s premium version (starting at $59 for 1 site) if you’re looking to collect emails from your maintenance page or use any of the premium themes.

2. Using SeedProd Plugin

Launched in 2011, SeedProd is a popular plugin for creating landing pages, coming soon and maintenance mode pages.

To use the SeedProd plugin, first, you’d need to install and activate it. You can install and activate the SeedProd plugin by going to Plugins > Add New, search for “SeedProd,” then Install and Activate.

After that, the SeedProd installation setup will begin. There select the “Setup a Maintenance Mode Page” option.

Select a theme you like and want to use on your site.

Next, select all the features you want.

Once the setup is done, go to SeedProd > Setup and click on Finish Setup.

Finally, to enable the maintenance mode, make it Active and it will appear on the front end.

3. Using Custom Code

If you’re someone who doesn’t like installing too many plugins and prefers simple custom code, then you can activate the maintenance mode on your site by adding the following code to your theme’s functions.php file.

To put your site into maintenance mode, add the following code to your site’s function.php file:

  • Go to your website’s admin dashboard and find the Appearance > Theme Editor
  • Select the functions.php file
  • Add the following code at the end and update 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’);

Once updated, the site will go into the maintenance screen on the front end. You can also customize the above code with your message such as the heading (between <h1></h1> tags) and the description (after <br /> tag).

After you are done with your maintenance, remove this code to return the site back to normal.

Note that if you don’t have any coding experience, you should probably avoid editing your theme’s core files.

4. Using the .htaccess File

Make sure you take a full backup of your site before making any changes to the .htaccess file, because if anything goes wrong with this file then you won’t be able to access your website dashboard.

Now to put your site in maintenance mode, follow the steps:

  • Go to your .htaccess file (you can either install a file manager plugin or use SEO plugins like Yoast or Rank Math)
  • Create a file called maintenance.html and upload it to the public_html directory of your site
  • Open the .htaccess and paste the following code into the file
Replace with your website URL.

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/maintenance\.html$

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ [R=307,L]

This code will then redirect all the visitors to your site to the maintenance mode page that you uploaded to the root directory.

When Should You Use Maintenance Mode?

Maintenance mode is a useful tool that allows website owners to temporarily take their website offline while they make updates or perform necessary maintenance tasks. 

It’s an effective way to prevent visitors from accessing a site that is being worked on, and also a great way to alert users that the site will be back online soon.

There are several scenarios where it’s appropriate to use maintenance mode, such as:

  • Site redesign or migration: When redesigning a website or migrating it to a new hosting provider, it’s a good idea to put the site in maintenance mode to prevent visitors from accessing a site that is in an unstable state.
  • Security concerns: If you suspect that your website has been hacked or is under attack, it’s a good idea to put the site in maintenance mode to prevent further damage and to give you time to resolve the issue.
  • Scheduled maintenance: If you have scheduled maintenance tasks that need to be performed on your website, such as backups or server updates, then you can use the maintenance mode.

All in all, the best reason to put a website in maintenance mode is to prevent visitors from accessing a site that is in an unstable state.

Difference Between Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode

Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode are both ways to keep your website online while you make changes.

Coming Soon is a temporary status that you can use to inform visitors that your site is not ready yet. It is usually used when a website is under construction or being redesigned.

It’s usually used for a limited period of time—a few weeks at most—and is meant to give users an idea of what’s coming.

Maintenance Mode, on the other hand, is intended for ongoing updates and maintenance on the website.

For example, if you’re changing the design of your website, putting it in maintenance mode allows customers to see what they can expect when they come back after the update is complete—without having access to any part of your site that isn’t ready yet.

Final Words!

In a nutshell, the purpose of putting a website in maintenance mode is to let your visitors know that some changes are being made to your site. 

You can use it as a temporary measure to stop people from accessing your site or to test new features before making them available for everyone. It’s also a good way to notify your visitors that you are working on something important and will be back up soon.

In other cases, you may want to let your site visitors know that some changes are being made to your site but they will not affect their experience. In this case, it’s better to use a simple “coming soon” page so that your visitors won’t get confused about what is going on.

If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of your website, we’re here to help. Contact us today and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


How do I take my WordPress site offline for maintenance?

To take your WordPress site offline for maintenance, you can use a plugin such as “Coming Soon” or “Maintenance Mode.” These plugins allow you to create a landing page for visitors while you work on updates to your site. Alternatively, you can also manually edit your .htaccess file to redirect visitors to a maintenance page.

How do I turn on maintenance mode in WordPress without plugin?

To turn on maintenance mode in WordPress without a plugin, you can manually edit your .htaccess file. This will redirect visitors to a maintenance page while you work on updates to your site.

When should I use maintenance mode?

You should use maintenance mode when you need to update your site or perform maintenance on it. It’s important that you inform your visitors about what is happening and when they can expect the site to be back up. This will help ensure clarity and satisfaction for users who are trying to access your website during this time.

Why is maintenance mode not working WordPress?

If maintenance mode is not working on your WordPress site, it could be due to a plugin conflict or a problem with your website’s code. To troubleshoot, try disabling any recently installed plugins and checking your website’s error logs for any coding issues.


Saksham Kumar

Designer, WordPress developer, and Marketer @ WPEssentials. Saksham creates and designs all the WPEssentials templates and writes on WordPress-related products. He also works as a freelancer and loves to help individuals, blogs, and brands establish their businesses online.

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