How To Switch On Maintenance Mode In WordPress

How To Switch On Maintenance Mode In WordPress



Maintenance mode is a useful feature in WordPress that allows you to temporarily take your website offline for updates, maintenance, or design changes without disrupting the user experience.

It displays a custom page or message to visitors, informing them that the website is undergoing maintenance and will be back soon.

In this article, we will explore how to switch on maintenance mode in WordPress, ensuring a smooth transition while you work on improving your website’s functionality or design.

Why Use Maintenance Mode in WordPress?

1. Seamless Updates.

Maintenance mode ensures that your visitors don’t encounter broken or incomplete changes during updates or maintenance tasks.

It allows you to work behind the scenes and make necessary updates, such as installing plugins, and themes, or performing core updates, without affecting the user experience.

2. Professional Image.

By activating maintenance mode, you can display a purpose-built maintenance page or message, conveying a professional image to your visitors.

It shows that you are actively working on improving their experience and keeping them informed about the status of your website.

3. Preventing Errors.

While making updates or significant changes, your website may encounter errors or temporary issues.

Enabling maintenance mode helps prevent visitors from experiencing these issues and allows you to address any bugs or compatibility problems before making your website accessible again.

How Do I Switch On Maintenance Mode in WordPress?

By enabling maintenance mode, you can display a custom page or message to visitors, informing them that your website is temporarily offline for maintenance and will be back soon.

In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of switching on maintenance mode in WordPress, ensuring a smooth transition and keeping your visitors informed during the maintenance period.

There are different methods to switch on maintenance mode in WordPress, depending on your preference and technical comfort level. Here are two commonly used approaches:

Method 1: Using a Maintenance Mode Plugin

Step 1: Install a Maintenance Mode Plugin.

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.” Search for a maintenance mode plugin, such as “WP Maintenance Mode,” “Under Construction Page,” or “Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode.” Install and activate the plugin of your choice.

Step 2: Configure the Plugin.

Once activated, locate the plugin settings, usually found in the “Settings” or “Appearance” section of your WordPress dashboard.

Customize the maintenance mode page by adding a title, message, and relevant design elements. You can also choose to include a countdown timer, social media links, or a contact form.

Step 3: Enable Maintenance Mode.

After configuring the plugin, find the option to enable maintenance mode or put your website into maintenance.

Save the changes, and your website will now display the maintenance page to visitors while you work on updates or improvements.

Method 2: Manually Edit the Theme’s functions.php File

Note: This method requires basic knowledge of editing WordPress files. It’s recommended to create a backup of your website before making any changes.

Step 1: Access Your WordPress Files.

Connect to your website’s server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or a file manager provided by your hosting provider. Locate the WordPress installation directory.

Step 2: Locate the Theme’s functions.php File.

Within the WordPress installation directory, navigate to “wp-content/themes/your-theme-folder.” Identify the active theme folder and locate the functions.php file associated with it.

Step 3: Edit the functions.php File.

Download a backup copy of the functions.php file to your local computer for safety. Open the functions.php file in a text editor and add the following code snippet at the end:

function wpb_maintenance_mode() {
if ( ! current_user_can( 'edit_themes' ) || ! is_user_logged_in() ) {
wp_die( 'Maintenance mode is enabled. Please check back soon.' );
add_action( 'get_header', 'wpb_maintenance_mode' );

Step 4: Save and Upload the Modified File.

Save the changes made to the functions.php file and upload it back to the server, replacing the existing file.

Step 5: Activate Maintenance Mode.

With the modified functions.php file in place, maintenance mode will be enabled for all visitors except administrators who are logged into the WordPress dashboard.


Enabling maintenance mode in WordPress is a best practice when performing updates, maintenance, or design changes to your website.

By following the methods outlined in this article, you can seamlessly switch on maintenance mode using a plugin or by manually editing the functions.php file.

Choose the method that suits your needs and technical proficiency. Remember to customize the maintenance page or message to keep your visitors informed about the temporary downtime and ensure a professional image for your website.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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