As a website owner, there will likely be times when you need to shut your website down temporarily. Perhaps you have some updates to perform or plugins to test before pushing your site live. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to know how to turn on WordPress maintenance mode.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to go about it. The best one to use will depend on a handful of factors. This includes your experience with editing code, your willingness to install a new plugin, and whether you’re dealing with more than one site. In any case, there’s a quick and easy solution.
In this post, we’ll explain what maintenance mode is and why it’s important. Then we’ll provide you with three methods you can use to put your WordPress website into maintenance mode. Let’s get started!
An overview of WordPress maintenance mode
If you’re going to perform a major update on your live WordPress site, it’s going to be unavailable while you do so. Although not always necessary, it’s usually best to let your audience know what’s going on to avoid looking unreliable or unprofessional.
That’s where WordPress maintenance mode comes in. Essentially, it’s a status that you can set your site to so others know that work is being done and your content will be temporarily inaccessible. With maintenance mode turned on, users will see a page telling them that the site is currently undergoing construction rather than a broken page.
This way, your users know the site is unavailable for a legitimate reason. The splash page can also let them know when they can expect your content to be back.
Some common examples of situations in which you might want to use WordPress maintenance mode include:
- Fixing issues with your website or patching a security vulnerability
- Changing your WordPress theme
- Testing to make sure plugins work
- Installing or setting up new services
- Performing miscellaneous updates
It’s worth noting that you don’t necessarily need to enable maintenance mode any time you want to make a change to your site. For example, if you plan to fix a minor bug or update a plugin or two, it shouldn’t cause any major interruptions or downtime (especially if you have a simple site). However, the size and complexity of your website can also influence how long maintenance tasks take.
How to put your WordPress website into maintenance mode (3 methods)
Now that you understand why you might need maintenance mode, let’s look at how you can use it. Below, we’ll discuss three methods available for implementing it.
1. Edit your functions.php file
WordPress uses the wp_maintenance function to create a .maintenance file, which displays the default maintenance message on your site’s front end. It says that your site is “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute”:
This page displays when your site is undergoing maintenance without you actually
This article was written by Will Morris and originally published on ManageWP.