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Deactivate & activate WordPress maintenance mode: This is how it works

Deactivate WordPress maintenance mode
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Would you like to finally realize your creative ideas and give your website a redesign? Or build a completely new website? And preferably so that your visitors can't see this creative chaos? With the help of the WordPress maintenance mode you can create a professional maintenance page with just a few clicks. We'll show you two quick and easy methods for creating the Deactivate WordPress maintenance mode or Activate can.

When do I use maintenance mode?

As a rule, you can make changes to your website without having to activate maintenance mode. For standard changes, such as text adjustments, replacing images or writing new blog articles, you can definitely leave your website online as usual.

As a creative mind or entrepreneur, you always have ideas or visions that you want to - and should - implement on your website. Whether it's redesigning, adding sections or rearranging elements. And WordPress maintenance mode is ideal for larger projects like these that create a virtual construction site on your website.

With WordPress maintenance mode, you can prevent visitors to your website from seeing an error message or the so-called "white screen of death". You've probably seen a blank page like this before - a classic error message is often. "HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable." This error message or the blank page on WordPress not only looks unprofessional, but is also unattractive.

When visitors to a website discover such an error message, many questions usually arise. Is the website offline forever? What will happen to my customer account on the website? Can I purchase the products via other sites? Etc. You can use the WordPress maintenance mode to alert your visitors to current maintenance work on your website in a much more clever way. This way, your visitors know that they can visit your website as usual at a later date and are not left in the dark.

So while you are working on your website in the background or updates are being carried out, the upstream page informs your visitors about the "Temporary construction site on your website". You can also use this interface directly to get your visitors excited about new products or services, for example. We will explain how you can integrate this teaser here later.

Conclusion: With WordPress maintenance mode, you can give your visitors a brief update that prevents confusion and ambiguity. You can provide your customers with the reason for the maintenance work, the duration, alternative contact details and a date when everything will be available again as usual on the maintenance page. The creates trust with your visitors and Increases user-friendliness your side.

How do I activate WordPress maintenance mode?

It's very simple! There are various ways in which you can activate WordPress maintenance mode. We'll show you two simple methods that you can use to activate and deactivate maintenance mode at any time. First, we'll explain how you can configure and activate/deactivate WordPress maintenance mode using a plugin. Then there are two ways in which you can also activate maintenance mode using a code. Don't worry - even if you're not a techie, you'll be able to do it using code with our instructions ?

WordPress maintenance mode plugin: WP Maintenance Mode

Install and activate the plugin

After you have logged into your WordPress account, search as usual under "Plugins" - "Install" in the right-hand search field for the Plugin WP Maintenance Mode. Then click on "Install now". To get started, you need to activate the newly installed plugin under "Installed plugins".

Activate WordPress maintenance mode via plugin

After successful activation, you will now find the item "WP Maintenance Mode" under your settings. As soon as you click on "Activated", your site will be in WordPress maintenance mode. The plugin offers you a few more practical functions that will make your life easier.

By default, your feed and login pages are excluded from maintenance mode - you should definitely keep it that way. Perhaps you are currently only working on one subpage? Then exclude all other pages from maintenance mode so that they can still be accessed by visitors. The plugin will also notify you of the activated maintenance mode on your dashboard - so you won't forget it even in stressful times 🙂

Create a customized design for the WordPress maintenance mode

In the top menu of the plugin, under "Design", you can change the Optics of your WordPress maintenance mode Edit page. For example, you can replace the boring standard text with a few kind words or information about the current status. We have put together a few ideas for your text in the last chapter.

In addition to the text, you can also customize your background. You can either design the background in a color, use predefined background images or even upload your own background image.

Thanks to the "Countdown" integrated under Modules, you can let your visitors know when your website will be available again. All you have to do is activate the countdown, specify its start date and determine the time your website will be in maintenance mode. You can also customize the font color of the counter to match the background or your CD.

Deactivate counter for WordPress maintenance mode

If you activate "Show contact details", you do not even have to enter them separately in the text. Unfortunately, only the email address can currently be entered here. It would be nicer for your visitors to see a direct contact person with name, email address and telephone number. You can choose between the effects "Move up - Move down", "Zoom - Zoom in" and "Fold in - Fold out".

You also have the option of linking some social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The plugin automatically stores the appropriate icon for the respective network and inserts it with a link on the maintenance mode page. You can also store and activate your Google Analytics in the plugin using your tracking code.

Link data protection

Even if your site is currently in maintenance mode, your website must be data protection compliant. Via the sub-item GDPR you can configure your privacy policy quickly and easily. You should definitely pay attention to this point when you put your website into maintenance mode so that you don't receive any warnings.

Simply use the chatbot in maintenance mode

My personal highlight feature of the WP Maintenance Mode plugin is its own Chatbot. Why is the chatbot my favorite tool? The chatbot is not only very easy to integrate into your website, it also has a lot of advantages. Just to help you Five important advantages of a chatbot in mind:

  • Increase the interaction of visitors
  • Playful obtaining of customer data, such as e-mail addresses
  • 24/7 availability
  • Quick help and communication for the customer (increased user-friendliness)
  • Personal voice of your website

Not only can you give your bot a name, you can also give it a face. You can either choose a fictitious name or picture or you can choose a real person from your company.

Use WordPress maintenance mode and chatbot

You can customize all of the bot's messages and reply options for the customer to suit the goal of your conversation with the customer and your typical wording. But even the standard text is really nice to start with. The collected email addresses are also automatically stored in the plugin so that you can then export them as a CSV.

How to deactivate the WordPress maintenance mode

As soon as you have finished updating your website, you should deactivate maintenance mode. Normally, you can easily deactivate maintenance mode again with just a few clicks.

To do this, go to "WP Maintenance Mode" under Settings as in the first step. Now you can easily change the status of your WordPress maintenance mode from "Activated" to "Inactive". Don't forget to save! Now your visitors can visit all your content again as usual.

In very rare cases, WordPress maintenance mode remains active even though you have set it to inactive. But even for these challenges, we have a solution that allows you to deactivate maintenance mode.

  1. Step: Log in to the hosting backend
    Log into your hosting backend with your hosting provider. Here you will find your WordPress installation including the file manager.
  2. Step: Delete .maintenance file
    The so-called .maintenance file executes the maintenance mode of your WordPress instance. You must delete this file in the root directory in order to deactivate maintenance mode. The tricky thing here is that it is a hidden file. Depending on the provider, you can display hidden files in various ways. As soon as you have found the file, right-click on it and delete it. After successful deletion, your WordPress website will no longer be in WordPress maintenance mode.

Conclusion on the WP Maintenance Mode plugin

There are many other plugins that you can use to put your WordPress website into maintenance mode. After extensive testing and years of experience, we can say that WP Maintenance Mode is our absolute favorite.

In addition to super simple installation and configuration, the plugin offers you many practical functions. Thanks to the counter, you can make customers aware of the duration of the temporary "conversion measures" and at the same time arouse their interest in what will be new after the conversion. If you find texts too boring, use the chatbot from WP Maintenance Mode. Here you can playfully provide information about the current status of your website and collect email addresses for upcoming newsletter campaigns at the same time.

Not using the plugin and instead creating your own landing page with all the functions would a) not fulfill the desired purpose of a maintenance mode, as the URLs would still be accessible and b) it would be much more work. This way, you can enter all your data once, customize the design and adapt the chatbot to your wording. In future, you can simply adjust one or two pieces of data and you'll have a modern, informative and user-friendly maintenance mode for your website again - without a lot of work.

WordPress maintenance mode without plugin

1. activate WordPress maintenance mode via a maintenance file

If you decide against a plugin, you can alternatively use the .maintenance-Datei Activate WordPress maintenance mode in your hosting backend. To do this, log into your hosting backend and navigate to your base directory. Here you now manually create a file with the name ".maintenance" via "+", "Create file". Attention: Don't forget the dot in front of "maintenance".

Use the text editor to insert the following PHP code:

<?php $upgrading = time(); ?>

Activate WordPress maintenance mode via maintenance file

As soon as you have created the file, your website is in maintenance mode. The interface in WordPress maintenance mode looks like this by default for WPspace customers.

In contrast to the WP Maintenance Mode plugin, you only have more complicated options for designing the page here. On the other hand, the maintenace file is created much faster than the entire initial configuration of the WP Maintenace Mode plugin.

As soon as the "construction work" on your website is complete, you can simply delete the .maintenace file you created. This allows you to deactivate maintenance mode.

2. activate the WordPress maintenance mode manually with the help of functions.php

If you still want to do without the plugin, but would like to design the WordPress maintenance mode page with images or text, you can use the "functions.php" to go. The "functions.php" file is a template file. Features can be added to your WordPress instance in the code of this file. In our case, this includes the maintenance mode including graphics or texts.

Your wp-includes folder is located in the base directory. Here you will find the "functions.php" file. The first thing you need to do is insert a code here to activate the WordPress maintenance mode.

function maintenace_mode()
{ if ( !current_user_can( 'administrator' ) ) {
add_action('get_header', 'maintenace_mode');

As already mentioned, you can also insert images and text to personalize your WordPress maintenance mode. To inform your visitors with a short text about the current maintenance work on your website, you can insert the following code.

function kb_maintenance mode()
  if ( !current_user_can( 'edit_themes' ) || !is_user_logged_in() )
  wp_die('<h1>Maintenance work is currently being carried out on our website.</h1><p>We want to offer you the best possible experience on our website, which is why we are currently improving our content. Our website will soon be available for you again as usual.</p> ', 'Website currently in maintenance mode');
add_action('get_header', 'kb_wartungsmodus');

As soon as you have implemented your changes and your website should be accessible to your visitors again as usual, delete the inserted code from your functions.php file.

Conclusion on activation by code

Activating WordPress maintenance mode via code is a quick way to maintain your website for whatever reason. With a little coding know-how, you can create a landing page that contains all the important information for the customer and looks good at the same time. It must be admitted that the options are not as wide-ranging as with a plugin and activation is not as intuitive as with a plugin.

Overall conclusion on the WordPress maintenance mode

The WordPress maintenance mode allows you to easily rebuild your website without visitors seeing the mess. Depending on the duration of your maintenance work, you can decide whether a simple design or a more elaborate one is right for you.

By integrating chatbots and email queries for newsletters, you can even prevent important leads from being lost during maintenance work on your WordPress instance. Of course, you should also use the interface to inform your customers about the current work on your website.

All in all, it can be said that maintenance mode is suitable if you Major remodeling work you have planned for your website. This includes redesigning your website, for example. However, if you only want to make small text adjustments or replace images, it is definitely not worth putting your website into WordPress maintenance mode.

5 individual text suggestions for your WordPress maintenance mode

You are often at a loss as to how and what to put in the text of the maintenance page. We have a few individual ideas for you for the Text of your WordPress maintenance page collected. Of course, you can also take inspiration from the suggestions and adapt the wording for your own website.

Idea 1: Provide concise information

"We are currently working on our website. Our website will be available for you again from 01.01.2022, 15.00 hrs. Until then, please contact us by email at Thank you for your patience."

Idea 2: Sympathetically to the point

"Our website is currently undergoing a redesign and is therefore unfortunately not available. We are working hard so that you can visit our website again as usual on 01.01.2021 at 14.00 hrs. If you have any questions before then, you can reach us by email at Muster123@wpspace.ce or on 01234/567789. Thank you for your understanding!

Idea 3: Announce remodeling work

"Current conversion work! The conversion work on our website will be completed by 01.01.2022. Then you can visit our site again as usual. Thank you for your understanding!"

Idea 4: Short and crisp

"We are currently rebuilding! Will be back for you from 01.01.2022!"

A supporting image works well with all ideas. We are familiar with the classic construction site images on WordPress maintenance pages; alternatively, you can also provide an indication of the new design of the website. There are no limits to creativity. Twitter has always had a very appealing maintenance mode interface in the past.

General tips for the text of your WordPress maintenance mode

Don't be afraid to get creative! You know your target group and website best. If your website already has humorous wording, then use it on your WordPress maintenance page too. A smile like this makes the inaccessibility of the website go away immediately 😉

However, never forget to offer your visitors an alternative way of contacting you or the support team. Ideally, in addition to the email address, provide another way for visitors to find out about the current status themselves. This could be a Twitter or LinkedIn profile, for example, where you post regular updates.

Do you need help with your WordPress maintenance mode?

We won't leave you alone! If you Help with maintenance of your WordPress, you are welcome to contact us at any time. We offer you customized WordPress maintenance plans so that you don't have to worry about a thing. We carry out all updates for you as part of WordPress maintenance - and not only that: we also make sure that they don't break your website beforehand. We also take care of pretty much all other IT issues relating to your WordPress website and its hosting for you, so you don't have to worry about them any more. Here you can get an overview of our offers for WordPress maintenance and of course always contact us if you have any questions - no matter which way!

Picture of Isabell Bergmann
Isabell Bergmann
As an online marketing manager at WPspace, I love to share my knowledge around online marketing, web design and hosting.

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One Response

  1. I have set my website to maintenance mode with the "Maintenance-Mode..." plugin. Now I want to deactivate it again, but I can no longer access the website. What is the easiest way to do this?

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