WordPress Maintenance Mode

I have been working on changing themes over at my ClearlyHelena site, and I never knew about WordPress maintenance mode.  Duh!

Being able to put your WP (WordPress) site into maintenance mode when you are changing themes, doing major upgrades, or for any other reason where you might not want the public to access your site is very useful.  So how does one put WP into maintenance mode?

Just so it is clear, for maintenance mode, you want the public to see your maintenance page (with some message or Logo, etc.) while you (and/or your WP administrators) can still access your full site (front and backend).

WordPress Maintenance Mode

There seems to be a few ways to put your WP site into maintenance.

  • .htaccess file
  • WP built-in maintenance page
  • plugin

Maintenance Mode via .htaccess file

As you may know, I usually try to find the simplest, fastest, and easiest solutions whenever possible.  So if you would like to use this .htaccess method, please see How To Put WordPress Site Into Maintenance Mode which seems to have very clear instructions on how to do this.

Maintenance Mode vis WP built-in file

Again please see How To Put WordPress Site Into Maintenance Mode for instructions.

Personally I don’t think I would use this method (unless I run out of choices). You will need to create a .maintenance file to do this.

Since major maintenance is thankfully not a frequent occurrence but almost definitely, an inevitable one at some stage, you would think that WP would have a simple user interface with a switch whereby you can turn maintenance mode on or off.

But alas, as of this writing, that is not the case.  So as always, we look to …

Maintenance Mode via Plugin

There are lots of Maintenance Plugins available.  (I have not used because right now, my need for maintenance mode has passed.)

Of the above methods on how to put WordPress into Maintenance Mode, by far the easiest would seem to be via a plugin.


I don’t really like to over-load my sites with plugins.  Not only do they have some impact on site performance, but you also take the risk of possible conflicts. And of course, there is the inevitable task of upgrading plugins (and checking nothing amiss happens) when updates come available.


At the time of this writing, the most popular seems to be WP Maintenance Mode plugin (by Designmodo, George Jipa) with over 200,000+ active installs.

WordPress Maintenance Mode plugiin

WordPress Maintenance Mode plugiin

For clear step-by-step instructions on how to install and use this plugin, see How to Put Your WordPress Site in Maintenance Mode from the highly trusted wpbeginner.com



Enjoyed this post?

Easily subscribe to keep get all new postings via email. No We Don't Serve Spam - Ever!

We respect your privacy

Your Comments? Tips to share?