Like other tools in your marketing stack, your website needs regular maintenance and updates. This sometimes requires you to take it offline.
If you’re messing around in the back end, your website will likely be buggy for visitors on the front end. To avoid negatively impacting their visitor experience, you can put your site in maintenance mode while you’re making changes.
This will limit front-end visitors’ access to your site and display a maintenance mode page that tells them what’s going on and what they can do. That way, you can properly set expectations and protect their experience without taking your site completely offline.
WordPress Maintenance Mode
When your WordPress site is set to maintenance mode, only administrators or people you grant access to can use or view the site. Everyone else will see a “coming soon” page with additional details.
There are multiple ways to put your WordPress website into maintenance mode.
First, you can rely on the built-in feature that automatically enables maintenance mode when you're updating a plugin or theme and disables this mode when the update is complete.
Though simple, this method is limited. You can’t use this feature in situations other than plugin and theme update and you can’t customize the message displayed on the front end of your site.
Alternatively, you can add custom code to your functions.php file or edit the .htaccess file on your server. Both of these methods are difficult for beginner website owners and non-developers since they require technical expertise, however. One wrong step could break your website.
That’s why using WordPress plugins is the most popular method for enabling maintenance mode on a WordPress site. WordPress maintenance mode plugins give you the best of both worlds by letting you set up and customize your maintenance mode page without touching any code. Below, we’ll take a look at a selection of free and premium plugins that you can use on your site.
WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugins
- Under Construction Page
- Elementor Page Builder
- Fancy Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode
- Smart Maintenance Mode
- Coming Soon Landing Page and Maintenance Mode WordPress Plugin
- Coming Soon by Supsystic
- WP Maintenance Mode
- Coming Soon Page, Under Construction & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
- IgniteUp - Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode
- Slim Maintenance Mode
- Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode by Colorlib
- Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode
- Rocket Maintenance Mode & Coming Soon Page
To let your website visitors know about planned downtime, you can use a quality WordPress maintenance mode plugin. Let’s look at some of the most popular below.
Under Construction Page is a premium WordPress maintenance mode plugin to hide your website behind a custom under-construction page. It is one of the most widely used and well-supported maintenance mode plugins in the WordPress community. It’s fast and easy-to-use, allowing any WordPress user to set up a maintenance page in minutes.
The plugin comes loaded with features that go beyond simple display to full-on marketing. With support for email autoresponder services such as MailChimp, you can easily collect emails and communicate with your audience regarding your planned website maintenance.
The Under Construction Page plugin offers a maintenance mode switch-off date and time. It also has a collection of great-looking themes for your maintenance mode pages, which you can further customize with CSS.
For search engine optimization (SEO), you can add a title and description. You can also enable tracking by adding a Google Analytics Tracking ID.
Elementor is a website builder that offers a drag-and-drop interface packed with many features to create your site. Maintenance Mode is one of the most useful. In fact, you can create a maintenance mode site using Elementor in a couple of clicks.
There are templates to make the process quicker and you can assign roles that will be able to access the site during that period.
When you turn Elementor's Maintenance Mode on, it will tell search engines that your site is temporarily down for maintenance. It does this by sending a temporary maintenance response in the form of an HTTP Error 503.
The Fancy Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode plugin enables you to quickly set your site to maintenance mode. It's a fully responsive plugin, so it will make the page look great on all devices. It also offers three different themes to choose from so you can best match your color scheme and brand.
Fancy Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode is easy to set up and use, and comes with a countdown timer, progress bar, custom logo, and custom background. It has a beautiful design and is also compatible with all WordPress themes.
It integrates with MailChimp to collect visitor’s emails as you continue working on the site. Best of all, the plugin is free.
The Smart Maintenance Mode plugin is quick to install and configure. It comes with a custom progress bar that helps visitors understand how soon your site will be ready.
It's an open source plugin that allows you to customize various aspects of your maintenance page. You can add or remove custom HTML content, the countdown timer, messages, and images.
You can set custom titles on your maintenance mode page as well as custom descriptions to give visitors additional details, as necessary. You can also assign roles to users so that members of your team can access the site during this period.
Coming Soon Landing Page is a free WordPress theme that offers some stunning design options to choose from — ten pre-designed templates that are customizable. It also offers options for social media sharing so you can build up hype before your site officially launches.
Coming Soon Landing Page offers you a countdown timer and a number of customization options. Background options include image, video, color, and slider to achieve a modern aesthetic.
There’s also a subscription option you can take advantage of to collect email addresses during the maintenance period.
Supsystic offers a simple drag-and-drop interface for creating a custom WordPress maintenance mode page. It also offers many predesigned templates so you can create a beautiful, custom coming soon page in just a few minutes.
The plugin is expertly designed, mobile-ready, and compatible with major browsers and most WordPress themes.
With Coming Soon’s subscription form, you can sign up new subscribers and communicate with them via email.
WP Maintenance Mode is a fully-featured, responsive plugin that offers a visual builder to create your page while it manages the text, color, and background of the page.
WP Maintenance Mode offers plenty of options such as a contact form, newsletter subscription, social media icons, and countdown timer to help you build your coming soon page as efficiently as possible and continue to grow your subscriber list.
The Coming Soon Page, Under Construction & Maintenance Mode plugin by SeedProd is a high-quality WordPress plugin that can work with any theme of your choice. It's fully responsive and created with HTML5 and CSS3 code to be as SEO-friendly as possible.
You can also use this plugin with a multisite setup and on sites using BuddyPress plugins.
The premium version of the plugin offers even more features. With the pro version, you get integrations with third-party tools such as email service providers and Google Forms, which helps you collect visitor data. You also get Google Analytics to help you track and analyze data, as well as a built-in referral system that helps you keep track of referred subscribers and their conversion rate.
IgniteUp is a robust featured-packed WordPress maintenance mode plugin. It has a clean and responsive design that functions well no matter the device or browser.
It also has more than seven templates from which to choose (all customizable), a countdown timer, and it supports animated text. You can customize all the sections to fit your specific needs.
Additional features include a subscription form, a preloader to enhance page speed, and an option to hide any section of your site.
Slim Maintenance Mode is another basic maintenance mode plugin. You just need to activate the plugin when you want to make any changes. It’s an open source software tool, which means you don’t have to pay to use it.
While your front-end visitors see the maintenance mode screen, you as the site admin (and others with administrative roles who are logged in) can still see the full site and make any changes you wish. You’ll get an alert message when the plugin is active.
To enhance SEO, the plugin sends the HTTP response status code to 503 Service Unavailable, which notifies search engines about your downtime so as not to crawl your site and potentially hurt rankings.
The Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode plugin by Colorlib comes with a range of features that allow you to continue to engage with your website visitors while your site is offline. It’s simple, easy to use, and free.
It’s also compatible with all current WordPress themes and offers 15 beautiful templates to choose from.
Additional features include a countdown timer, custom CSS area, and Mailchimp integration.
The Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode plugin offers a very simple, yet powerful way to set up a coming soon or launch page for your website.
It comes ready to work with any WordPress theme and offers you a wide range of customization options to personalize the look and feel of your page. It also allows you to collect subscriber information and integrates with email service providers for easy communication with them.
It's a highly flexible plugin that works with any WordPress theme, and you can change any element of the theme you wish.
The pro version comes with more than 120 themes, 26 Instagram filters, and 47 content animations to style your coming soon page. SEO preview and analysis tools are also available in the Pro version.
Rocket Maintenance Mode & Coming Soon Page is a simple plugin to show that your site is in maintenance mode. It empowers you to get started instantly; there are no complicated settings to create your maintenance page.
You can choose from four different responsive themes and set a countdown timer and progress bar to give visitors an expectation for when your site will be live (again).
Choose Your WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugin
If you need to take your website down, it’s a good idea to let your users know what’s happening. A failure to do so can significantly affect your SEO, customer relationships, and bottom line.
With a WordPress maintenance mode plugin, you can display a custom page that is optimized for mobile and enhances your WordPress SEO — without touching a single line of code. Any of the plugins mentioned above can help you as you’re setting up a new website or redesigning an existing one.
If you’re already working on a new website design, improve functionality with an all-in-one marketing and lead form plugin for your WordPress website.
Originally published Apr 3, 2020 12:00:00 AM, updated August 24 2021