How To Put WordPress Website Into Maintenance Mode

A web solution that is available in the public domain should always be robust. If not, then it is somehow or someday, going to hurt the user experience. No matter what level of knowledge and experience you have in WordPress development, you can still experience a downtime.

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Now, your job is to fix that downtime but also make sure that your regular users aren’t getting a bad experience due to the same. One cool way to find a better escape in such situation is by putting your website in maintenance mode.

Yes, your website users will see a message, that something went wrong, and your team is working to fix it ASAP, or something like that. This is how you are getting in touch with the users, even in the bad time, and that’s how you can make them stick.

How to Put WordPress Site into Maintenance Mode

Since, you are using WordPress platform to drive the website at your end, so here is a tutorial on how to put WordPress site into maintenance mode.

There are two methods that I am sharing with you right here. One of them is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require any coding language, but the second one does require it.

So, here is the first one.

#1 Using WP Maintenance Mode

Out of many available plugins, WP Maintenance Mode, is the best one and literally sitting at the top if we create a compilation of best maintenance WordPress plugin. The plugin is available totally free of cost, and it had been installed thousands of times. Also, it is kept updated with latest WordPress script version. In short, it is a totally legit product.

Before starting with the process, let me first share the features offered by this plugin. It can simply allow you to create a customizable webpage that can serve the purpose of showcasing maintenance message.

You can even set a countdown timer, or add an email subscription form, or simply a coming soon page. The landing page template can be added along with social profile icons. The whole layout is responsive, so it works even on smartphones, tablets, along with PCs and laptops.

Certain SEO options are there, along with support for multiple WordPress websites. It also works with any theme you are using, and it even allows to set up a contact page. The emails collected using its subscription tool, are allowed to be exported in CSV format. Above all, it comes with very simple looking and working Dashboard (Options Panel).

Once installed, move into its own Dashboard and there you will see three options, General, Design, and Modules.

First, General option can allow you to turn the plugin ON or OFF, set user level restrictions, stop search engine bots and even set excluded pages of your website that should be still working without any issues.

The next part, Design, holds a bunch of features that can, of course, change the visual of this special new webpage. You will have options to add data (title, description, etc.) within which will be showcased on the page. You can also set colors, add images, and then Save Settings to proceed.

The last option, Modules, holds all remaining features like email subscription, countdown timer, social profile links, etc. The countdown timer is really cool since you can display it to convey a confirmation on how much time is left for your website to go back live.

So, simply enable the plugin from General tab, construct the title and description for the page, insert image if you wish to display any, choose color settings and move to the last tab. Here in the last one, select if you wish to display timer, or email subscription, or social icons and click on Save settings button.

That’s it! Setting a maintenance page on your WordPress website is done. Wasn’t it simple?

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#2 Using .htaccess file

This is the method that requires a bit of coding and WordPress development related knowledge. You need to take a full backup of the whole website before beginning. Taking a backup is really important if you are a newbie.

On the other hand, if you have been playing around with this very special .htaccess file for long, and have enough experience and related knowledge; then there will be nothing to be panicked.

First, you need to create a webpage. Keep it simple and in HTML format.

Simply write the message that ‘website is in maintenance mode’, something like ‘Sorry for the inconvenience, but we are upgrading, the website will be live soon’.

Once the HTML webpage is ready, upload it to the root folder of your WordPress website.

Now, open the .htaccess file that is lying there in the folder of your website’s WordPress installation. Enter the following code into it,

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.238\.120\.146

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/maintenancepage.html$ [NC]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !\.(jpe?g?|png|gif) [NC]

RewriteRule .* /maintenance.html [R=503,L]


Save the file and there you go.

The website will be in maintenance mode for all the users, except for the one who is accessing the website with the IP mentioned in the code i.e. you.

Yes, you need to enter IP address at your end in that code, and only you will be able to access your website and perform the required maintenance.

If you are not sure how to find your IP, then simply Google it “My IP”, and you will find the help you require.


So, that’s the end of our little quest. I hope the process I have added here is working at your end. Also see our collection of a few amazing under construction web templates. Do let me know which one you are finally going with. And, don’t forget to share it with all your fellow bloggers. Peace.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at 85ideas is a team of WordPress experts led by Brian Harris. Here to share amazing tuts, guides and collections.

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