Plugin Review: Maintenance Mode

When you are making changes to your site such as implementing a new theme, you may not want visitors to see your site as a work in progress.

People will make a snap decision about your site, if it is not looking at it’s best you risk loosing that visitor as a subscriber or as a customer for your products or services.

Guess what there is a plugin to solve this problem.

Maintenance Mode

My favourite plugin to solve this problem is called maintenance mode http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/maintenance-mode/.

This plugin allows you to intercept all visitors to your site and display a maintenance message to them letting them know your site is offline for a short period of time.

How It Works

The plugin checks to see if the site visitor is logged in, if they are, they can see the site as normal, if they are not logged in, a special message is displayed, telling people the site is offline for essential maintenance.

Set Your Own Splash Page

The message displayed to visitors is completely configurable, but be aware this is an html page so some understanding of the markup tags is required.

There is a default message you can tailor.


There are a number of options for this plugin including:

Make certain pages / posts available during your maintenance mode.  This is very useful if you have vital pages you need available during your downtime.  An example of this may be your services sales page if you are running an advertising campaign.  You don’t want to pay for advertising clicks that cannot connect to their target page

There is an option to set a search engine friendly 503 service not available code, this tells the search engines your site is down for maintenance and not to attempt to re-index.  This may protect your site rankings if you are planning to take your content offline for an extended period of time.

Disable back end access to admins only.  If you have users on your site, if they login they could get access to your content, if you want to lock everyone out, use this option.

The Nagging Message

One great feature of maintenance mode is the red nag box, it is very easy to forget that your site is locked down when you are logged on and can see the site as normal

I have fallen foul of this a number of times, please remember to deactivate the plugin as soon as your site is back up.

See it In Action

I am currently working on a project with Jonathan Woodward , we are not ready to take the covers off our venture, so the site is wrapped with maintenance mode.

I customised the message by adding a sign up form for our email list.

Get an idea of what the plugin looks like at premiumheadwayskins.com

Wrap Up, Keeping It Under Wraps

If you have a need to stop access to your site for a short period of time, consider using the maintenance mode plugin.

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