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How to enable WordPress maintenance mode

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As a digital business owner, you have many tasks and projects happening every day.

Web maintenance isn’t something a lot of online entrepreneurs think about. It can be quite a mundane task for most. However, it is important to keep your website ticking over smoothly.

Wordpress maintenance Mode

Based on a survey that was carried out in 2020 for WordPress maintenance, statistics reveal that 33.7% of web developers try to upkeep their websites for purchasers, and 6.8% of marketers who do the same. 

If you want to make a significant change, you may need to place your WordPress site in maintenance mode. This condition means that your website has been offline or not available for some time. 

But what is WordPress maintenance mode and how can you place your site in maintenance? In this guide, I will help you understand everything you need to know about WordPress maintenance mode and make it a bit easy-peasy one for you!

So let’s jump in and learn more about the various aspects of the WordPress maintenance mode.

Before we begin, let’s check out the importance of basic website maintenance and the need for doing it.

Why is website maintenance important?

1. Attracting the search engines

Search engines are important to the livelihood of your online business, but they don’t like “dead” websites. Websites that have been left static without updates or fresh content are a no-no in the online world. Another thing search engines don’t like is broken links.

Attract search engines

As you build your web pages it’s easy to miss broken links. A good strategy is to double-check every link you add to your website. Inevitably you may miss some or some may become broken with time (as web addresses change and so on). 

Regular maintenance and “check-ups” for your website will help you spot these broken links and keep your customers and search engines happy in the process.

2. Updating information may increase your sales

Regularly looking over your website will also help you make changes and adjustments as necessary. For example, you may have started promoting what was a great product two years ago but now that product may be outdated and not so great anymore.

By updating your website you may find products and promotions which are a better match for your visitors. This means more money in your pocket and more satisfied visitors.

stay updated

Look through your old web pages to see if any promotions can be updated or given a little extra “oomph.” Times change and on the internet time moves at a faster speed – keeping up with the times is important and you can do this by simply looking over your pages and tweaking as you go along.

3. Keeping track of your stats is important – 

Another part of your basic web maintenance is keeping on top of all your visitor statistics. It makes sense to regularly go through your website and check how many visitors you have every month color, where they’re coming from, how they’re finding you, what pages they’re accessing, and so on.

A running log of these statistics will help you quickly identify any potential problems such as loss of traffic or reduced income from sources such as Google AdSense and so on.

Keep track of your stats

Regular web maintenance for your website is important. It can help you keep up with changing times, help to attract more visitors, and ultimately make you more sales. If you find this task difficult to squeeze in, try scheduling it in for a set time each month or every few weeks. It shouldn’t take long and the time investment may make all the difference to your business. And finally, if you don’t have time to do the web maintenance yourself you can always think about hiring an assistant to help you with this task.

What is WordPress maintenance mode?

The first question that would pop up in your minds would be what is maintenance mode? Right? 

WordPress maintenance mode is the status that you are applying to remind visitors about the maintenance on your website. It’s a webpage or a message that replaces your real website. You may add an estimate on this page when the website is going to be live again. 

During this procedure, WordPress will use the wp maintenance function and build a maintenance file containing the maintenance message. After the maintenance process has been completed, WordPress will remove the file. Your website should work as normal.

You can also check out our article on How to fix “ briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance check back in a minute” error in WordPress.

When can I set my website on maintenance mode?

First, you don’t need to allow maintenance every time you make a shift. Like upgrading content, fixing minor bugs, or changing color schemes. 

But as the website grows larger, website improvements will have to be scaled. Changing your theme, adding new features, or developing new services on your website which require downtime. This would restrict users from accessing your website.

Side Effects of website maintenance 

By default, WordPress generates a splash page that tells the visitors about the maintenance process. However, it’s just a plain white page with a text “Briefly not available for scheduled maintenance. Check back in just a minute.”

This plain splash page would certainly create an awkward user experience for your guests. Your company could give your potential clients a poor impression.

Visitors don’t care what’s going on behind the curtain. So it’s a good idea to update the default WordPress maintenance mode tab. Read on more, if you’re going to learn how to do this properly.

3 simple methods to put WordPress in Maintenance mode.

1. By using a WordPress Plugin

If you don’t want to code, then this method is for you. You just need to download and install the WP maintenance mode plugin.

After installing it, configure the plugin. To do this, resort to Settings > WP Maintenance mode. You will see 5 tabs in this settings page namely, General, Design, Modules, Manage, Bot, and GDPR. 

Wordpress dashboard

Let’s have a quick look at each of these tabs below.

1. General:

This is the first tab on the settings page. If you want your WordPress to be set in maintenance mode, then you need to activate the Status which is at the top of the General tab.

Next comes Bypass for Search Bots Feature. Your search engines will be able to access your website if you set this option to Yes.

Next are the Backend role and Frontend role options. You can simply choose which user roles can access your backend while it is under the maintenance mode. 

2. Design

You can create an attractive splash page in the design tab. You can simply head over to the Title (HTML tag) option. Here you can add the heading and the text of your splash page. You can also change the background of your maintenance page.

3. Modules

You can set the countdown timer in this tab. You can set the starting and the remaining time and also ask your visitors to subscribe to your website and get a notification when your site is live again. You can configure your social networks in the next option in the Modules tab. For that, you need to put your social account links and the plugin will do the rest for you.

4. Manage Bot

The next tab is Manage Bot. It allows you to add a chatbox to your splash page. By doing so, you can maintain an interactive communication with your customers. Also, you can name your bot and give it an Avatar.


If you ask your visitors to subscribe to your splash page then you need to set up your GDPR tab. GDPR means the General Data Protection Regulation. As you will be collecting your users’ data you will have to activate it. Once done, click on Save Settings and visit your site.

maintanence mode wordpress

2. By using a Custom Function

Note: This method requires you to do some edits on the functions.php file. I request you to take a backup of your WordPress site before proceeding ahead.

You can manually position your WordPress website in maintenance mode and customize the page without any additional plugins. All you have to do is add this piece of code in the functions.php file of your theme.

// Activate WordPress Maintenance Mode

function wp_maintenance_mode() {
if (!current_user_can('edit_themes') || !is_user_logged_in()) {

Under Maintenance

Website under planned maintenance. Please check back later.'); } }add_action('get_header', 'wp_maintenance_mode');

3. By using .htaccess file

Note: This method requires you to make changes to the .htaccess file. I request you to take a backup of your .htaccess file before proceeding ahead.

You can access .htaccess in your website’s directory. Just rename your current .htaccess to .htaccess_default and create a new file named .htaccess and add the following snippet.

  • RewriteEngine On
  • RewriteBase /
  • RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/maintenance\.html$
  • RewriteRule ^(.*)$ [R=307,L]

Now you have to create a maintenance.html with your maintenance message file in your website’s directory.


Various methods are available to put your WordPress in maintenance mode. The first method is by using the WP maintenance mode plugin. This WordPress plugin will help you create a beautiful splash page. This method is recommended for those who are not familiar with coding. The second method requires adding a PHP code snippet to your functions.php file. The last method that you can try adding code to your .htaccess file. I hope you found this article helpful. Do let me know in the comments section. Waiting to hear from you all.

WP Uber is a WordPress management agency that provides detailed site health reports and customized security solutions for WordPress sites. 

Author avatar
Tim Michaels
I am into WordPress and web development for the last 10 years. I use my experience to help people just starting with WordPress. Follow my blog at WP Uber for everything related to WordPress.
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