Maintenance Mode for WordPress – Plugin Review

  •  104 Comments

When upgrading a website to a new design, carrying out bug fixes at the backend and updating the website core CMS, themes and plugins works best when the site is placed in maintenance mode while you are working.

When a website is in maintenance mode, public access is blocked and a splash page (informing visitors that the site is down for maintenance) displayed.

Maintenance Mode for WordPress

If your website is powered by WordPress, putting it into maintenance mode is as easy as installing and activating the WP Maintenance Mode plugin.

Introduction to WP Maintenance Mode

With WP Maintenance Mode, you can seamlessly add a maintenance page to your blog that lets visitors know when it is down for maintenance, or add a coming soon page for a new website. Only users with admin privileges are allowed full access to the blog including the front end.

Features of this plugin include:

  • Fully customizable with options to change the background image, colors, font and text.
  • Subscription form to capture visitors email while in maintenance mode.
  • Countdown timer to the day website will be operational.
  • Full support for WordPress multi-site.
  • Social media icons.
  • Lots more…

Walk-through of “WP Maintenance Mode” Setup

Let’s walk through the set up of WP Maintenance Mode plugin.

First off, install and activate the WP Maintenance Mode plugin.

At the plugin settings page under the maintenance tab, check the Activated radio button to activate maintenance mode.

Activate Maintenance Mode

The General tab contains other configurable options such as: user role that is allowed to access the backend and front-end of the site, whether or not to make the site index-able by Google etc.

Navigate to the Design tab to customize the maintenance page such as changing the page title, heading and maintenance text; altering the font color; and an option to upload a custom background image or use a predefined background photo.

Design tab - WP Maintenance Mode

As previously mentioned, the plugin also comes with a countdown timer, subscription form and social icons.
These features and more are available for configuration at the Modules tab.

Modules tab - WP Maintenance Mode

Wrap Up

We hope you find this tutorial helpful in setting up the WP Maintenance Mode plugin for your site.

Have any questions or contributions? Please let us know in the comments.

Newsletter

104 Comments
  1. Don Avant Sep 20, 7:59 pm

    Plugin wont activate…when I select activate and go back to site, nothing has changed…no maintenance page, just looks like normal…when I go back to plugin, the activate button has reverted to deactivated…did this several times and made sure I saved changes at bottom of page…

    • Agbonghama Collins Sep 20, 10:47 pm

      I really don’t have idea about the possible cause of your problem. i guess this issue is unique to your site.

      If you own another WordPress site, try it and see if it still persist. To that end, i will inform the plugin developers about this problem.

    • Terence Jan 10, 1:08 pm

      Did you try logging out to see what a non-registered user sees?

  2. Don Avant Sep 21, 3:47 pm

    After some experimenting I found out that my problem was caused by a plugin (WP Super Cache) When I disabled it, my problem with your plugin stopped…I now now can take my site into and out of maintenance mode but I have to disable WP Super Cache whenever I do…You might want to pass this along as a possible fix for someone having a similar problem…I like your plugin since I’m still building my site and can have it offline when I need to work on it and have it back online for testing by friends…

    Thanks…
    DWA

    • Motti Oct 15, 5:37 am

      Hi Don,

      Actually, it is better is you deactivate cache plugins while you work on your site. If you don’t, changes and modifications you make to your site will not be seen live until you click refresh a dozen times, very annoying.

      When you are done modifying your site and put it for all to see again, re-activate the cache plugin.

      Cheers,
      Motti

  3. Renata Sep 22, 3:36 pm

    Good Morning!
    Already installed and configured, however, the following message appears:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_blog_option() in /home/canal947/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase1.php on line 520

    I disabled WP Super Cache to test, but the message remains.
    Can help me, please?
    Thank you!

    • Agbonghama Collins Sep 22, 11:26 pm

      Another possible cause of this problem is because you didn’t clear your browser cache before previewing your site.

      If you’ve deactivated WP Super Cache plugin, clear your browser cache and you should be good to go.

  4. George Jipa Sep 22, 4:33 pm

    Hello Renata,

    The problem is solved and will be available in the next release of the plugin. If can’t wait… you can also apply this temporary solution: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/empty-section-after-activating-and-saving?replies=7#post-6017183

    Thanks.

  5. sebastien Sep 24, 9:58 pm

    Have you an file lang for fr-FR, would you an *.po ?

    • Agbonghama Collins Sep 25, 6:07 pm

      Hi, plugin already localized in French. No need providing a PO file.

      Activate the plugin and it should be displayed in your native language French.

  6. Joop Sep 25, 12:32 pm

    Hi Agbonghama,

    In the previous version of Maintenance Mode it was possible to show a user login on the activated Maintenance Mode page. I can’t find this option now. Could you please help me?

    Greetz,
    Joop

    • Agbonghama Collins Sep 25, 6:15 pm

      This plugin is meant to put a website in maintenance mode. really don’t think it’s appropriate for it to a login page.

      If you are the admin of the WordPress site, you should have access to the back-end.
      That should be pretty much it.

    • George Jipa Sep 25, 9:04 pm

      The loginform shortcode is already implemented and will be available in the next release. Stay close! :)

  7. Don Avant Sep 25, 2:48 pm

    Solved with work around…I disable page cacheing when I want to use maintenance mode…
    Let me know when You have the update ready though…I would like to have both…

  8. Wolfgang Sep 26, 12:07 am

    Hi Agbonghama,

    I love this plugin, for me this is the best maintenance plugin for wordpress. Therefore I created a german description with my own screenshots for explaining all details of this amazing plugin on my website: http://www.2w-design.de/wordpress-plugin-wp-maintenance-mode/
    Thank you and greeting from Germany
    Wolfgang

    • Agbonghama Collins Sep 26, 6:30 pm

      Thanks Wolfgang for taking time in reviewing our plugin in your blog. I hope with what you’ve done, more people from your native will use this plugin.

      Once again, Thank you.

  9. David Rodriguez Sep 26, 10:18 pm

    Hello,

    Great plugin works great. One thing though, how to I activate the css file attached to the assets page?

    Thank you.

  10. Lynn Sep 27, 7:20 pm

    After installing the Maintenance plugin, I was unable to save and publish any pages. When I try to view the page I just created, I get this message:
    “Not Found

    The requested URL /attachment_category/directory/ was not found on this server.

    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.”

    I’ve uninstalled the plugin but there is no change. How can I fix this?

    • Agbonghama Collins Sep 29, 2:06 am

      Updating your site permalinks might fix this problem.

      Go to Settings >> Permalinks and hit the “Save Changes” button.

      Let me know if that helps.

  11. Ale Sep 29, 11:51 pm

    Necesito que el formulario de contacto esté en español, cómo hago eso?
    muchas gracias

  12. Troglos Sep 30, 5:21 pm

    Works, but if I log out and try to go to /wp-admin it doesn’t allow me to login to the backend.

    (excluded pages are still in the list, of course)

  13. Fernanda Sep 30, 11:42 pm

    Hello!

    I installed and configured the latest version, however, the following message appears:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_blog_option() in /home/tribo418/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase1.php on line 520

    The WP Super Cache is disabled and I cleared my browser cache, but the message remains.

    Can help me, please?
    Thank you!

  14. Stefano Oct 1, 12:44 pm

    Hi, I Have a problem:
    I activate the maintenance mode in my site And when I want disabile it, the site are Forever in maintenance mode. The maintenance mode son’t want disabile!
    What can i do?

  15. Stefano Oct 1, 2:46 pm

    I don’t have a cache plugin D:

  16. Stefano Oct 3, 11:49 am

    Please can You help me?
    i work hard on my site and now it’s destroyed :( please…

    • Adrian Oct 3, 12:21 pm

      How I can help you? I don’t know nothing about your website. Try to rename the plugin folder through FTP, it will disable automatically.

  17. Stefano Oct 3, 2:05 pm

    the plugin it’s already disable! but the site it’s inaccessible

  18. Stefano Oct 3, 4:12 pm

    Ok, my plugins:
    Advanced Category Excluder
    Advanced Category Excluder Widgets
    Bulk Photo to Product Importer Extension for WooCommerce (Free)
    CodeStyling Localization
    Contact Form 7
    Disqus Comment System
    Embed Facebook Albums
    Google Analytics
    Image Widget
    Lightbox Gallery
    Login With Ajax
    Menubar
    NextGEN Gallery by Photocrati
    Profile Builder
    Rating-Widget: Star Rating System
    Really Simple CAPTCHA
    Register Plus Redux
    Simple Instagram Embed
    Super Socializer
    Tabbed Login Widget
    User Photo
    Virtue / Pinnacle ToolKit
    White Label CMS
    WordPress SEO
    WP-DBManager
    WP-Members
    wp responsive photo gallery
    WP Smush.it
    WP User Avatar
    Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
    zM Ajax Login & Register

    • George Jipa Oct 3, 4:24 pm

      Hello Stefano,

      Please send me your skype id via email contact [at] georgejipa.com, so we can solve it faster. Thanks!

  19. Stefano Oct 3, 6:37 pm

    Done!
    The problem is not the plugin WP-Maintenance, but a modules of Maintenance of my themes!

  20. Chris Oct 9, 11:46 am

    Just installed on 5 x sites that we want to take down temporarily but can’t get it to work.

    Have checked settings of Maintenance Mode itself and all appears fine, but nothing changes on front end.

    There are no caching plugins installed on any of the 5 x sites, and browser is not caching.

    Any ideas?

    • Chris Oct 9, 11:49 am

      Also tried disabling ALL plugins (except this one of course) . . . still doesn’t work . . .

  21. George Jipa Oct 9, 12:11 pm

    @Cesar: update to the latest version.
    @Chris: your host is doing some sort of caching like wpengine does ? send me your skype, please. Also… have you checked using another browser ? If you’re logged in, then you’ll see the website… not the maintenance page. :)

    • Chris Oct 9, 1:03 pm

      Ah, that’s one of those “doh” moments lol . . . still logged in so still seeing the original site, log out and all is fine.

      Thanks! :)

    • Cesar Oct 9, 9:34 pm

      Thanks George Jipa, was a cache plugins.

  22. Ari Oct 17, 11:41 pm

    Hey there,

    This plugin is fantastic, though I was wondering one thing. Is there a way to set the site out of maintenance mode once the countdown timer runs out?

    Thanks!

    • Ari Oct 17, 11:41 pm

      to clarify, out of maintenance mode *automatically*

      • George Jipa Oct 18, 2:36 pm

        I understand what you want, but for now there’s no feature doing this. If you know PHP and WordPress… the plugin can be extended by doing a cronjob to get the countdown value and set status to ‘deactivated’ when the countdown timer runs out.

  23. Barbi Oct 23, 8:45 am

    On the maintenance page, I can’t make an image larger than width 600 pixels appear align centered.

    Here’s the code – what am I doing wrong?

    Also, it accumulates the emails of those who have subscribed in a CSV file but the email is not received… is that the norm?

    Thanks.

  24. mary Nov 9, 8:32 pm

    hello, I have a question.
    I work on a site for a friend of mine and want to show her the status of the website. The plugin is active and as the admin I can see all sites and it works well, but when I login with the account of my friend (user-role=editor) I do not geht access to the website. I only see the maintenance mode page.
    In the plugin-settings I have activated the plugin as admin and I have set the premission for getting access to front and backend for subscribers.

    Can you tell me how I fix this?

    Greetings,
    mary

    • George Jipa Nov 11, 5:45 pm

      If your friend’s user role is editor, then you should select “editor” from Backend & Frontend dropdown menus.

  25. Mary Nov 11, 10:47 pm

    Oh. Yes that makes kind of sense. I thought by selecting subscriber everyone who is “at least” subscriber can see the page. (which would mean that users with more rights can see it too).
    Thank you, it works now :-)

    I really like the plugin!

    Best wishes,
    Mary

  26. Vincent Nov 14, 5:34 pm

    Strange we have maintenace mode active and it shows the page in firfox and mozilla but on IE and chrome we get an error.

  27. Lisa Nicholas Nov 24, 3:25 am

    Is there a way to change the font (not font color)? The default font is not very attractive.

    • George Jipa Nov 24, 12:45 pm

      Right now there is no builtin option for that. If you are a techie you can use available filters (wpmm_styles) and embed a new css with properties you need.

  28. Stuart Heggie Dec 8, 5:57 am

    Hi, the contact form does not have a success message… can you please let me know how to add a ‘success’ message to the form response?

    • George Jipa Dec 20, 1:33 am

      A new version will be released these days and will solve that issue. Stay close!

  29. Webmaster Dec 10, 11:01 pm

    I would like to know how I can implement the websites Favicon on the maintenance front page that the world see’s? It shows me the hosting companies Favicon, and the customer is not happy with that.

    • George Jipa Dec 20, 1:38 am

      For now, this feature is not builtin. But… if you are a techie, then you can use `wpmm_header` action to add a favicon.

  30. Andrea Dec 19, 3:57 pm

    I would like the maintenance page display an adsense banner but when I write the code is cleaned up and does not appear. Where do I write the code because the banner to appear?

  31. Menno Jan 6, 5:59 pm

    Hi there,

    want to give you my compliments for this plugin, been using it for a long time now. I recently ran into a similar problem as Mary had in here comment of nov 9.

    My question is: will there be a future update in which you can select multiple user roles that can access both the front end and back end. There are cases where you want the client to be able to see what is happening in the development process without giving them the same rights you have as a developer. A selection of a ‘minimum’ user role would solve the problem also…

    Keep up the good work!
    Menno

  32. Darren Jan 8, 7:18 pm

    Hi, I’m having trouble with the plugin, I have it set up for admin to access back end and subscribers set to front end and the subscribe button on the maintenance page but if somebody subscribes they still cannot access the site although I can see their email address has been added. Any ideas?

    • George Jipa Jan 8, 7:35 pm

      @Darren Subscribe form has nothing to do with the backend / frontend access. Subscribe form should be used just for collecting email addresses (after that you can import them into mailchimp/activemonitor/etc and send them newsletters). :)

      • Darren Jan 8, 9:18 pm

        Thanks for the reply George, I need to give some people the availability to view the site whilst in maintainance mode. Is this possible?

        • George Jipa Jan 8, 10:08 pm

          You’re welcome. There are 2 ways:

          1. give them access based on their IP. Add the IP to exclude list from General tab.
          2. register a new user with subscriber role and then add that role to “Frontend role”. After they login with that credentials they should see the frontend.

          The plugin has some issues with the backend access based on user role, but they’re solved and will be available in the next version.

          • Robert H Feb 20, 6:14 pm

            Love the plugin btw! What about multiple roles? I created a new role based on ‘Editor’ that has additional capabilities, right now Ill have to switch back and forth to allow different groups access. Is there a way to allow multiple? Do it already do this for standard roles (ie: editor and higher)?

  33. Andrea Jan 13, 1:12 pm

    What should I do to enter the code for a box of google adsense to make it display in the maintenance mode page?

  34. AGi Jan 22, 11:30 am

    Hi, first of all thanks for your great work. I’ve a little issue with your plugin: when I try to share something through Facebook a “Maintenance Mode” text appears instead of the content of the article.
    Have you ever had problems like this?

    • AGi Jan 22, 1:42 pm

      Solved, Facebook has cached my OpenGraph content.
      WP Maintenance is not the cause of the problem,
      sorry.

  35. Steph Jan 22, 11:30 pm

    Hi my subscribe box isn’t sending me emails nor are the social media links?

    Any ideas why this is happening?

    Thanks

    • George Jipa Jan 23, 12:36 am

      @Steph: subscribe box was designed to be used just for collecting emails (export list as csv is available in plugin settings). Also what’s the problem with the social media links ? :)

      • Steph Jan 28, 12:17 pm

        I see so I need another plug in to receive the subcribers emails?

        The links to social media are not working. They seem to just refresh the page.

        • George Jipa Jan 28, 7:20 pm

          1. Already have their emails (if they subscribe). You just need to export them (plugin settings -> Modules -> Subscribers) and import to any Newsletter service.
          2. Put the entire address of the profiles. Ex: https://twitter.com/designmodo

  36. Stacy Cobb Feb 26, 6:17 pm

    I’ve my site in maintenance mode with no problems, now that I’m ready to launch I have several people who have signed up to be notified. When I click on the link to download the CSV list nothing happens. When I checked the link this is what comes up: “javascript:void(0);” Any help would be great.

  37. Max Feb 27, 1:26 pm

    Hi there,

    Great plugin!

    Can I ask – what css file the page links to? Can I dig in and offer more fonts and styling etc?

    Thanks,

    Max.

  38. Kyle Mar 28, 6:02 am

    I have had no issues with activation, the issue I am having is that every time someone wants to post on Facebook your coming soon image is liked to it. I was wondering if you had a solution to this or if it put code somewhere? I even deleted the plugin and still the same picture shows up. I can send you a screen shot if it would better help. Thank you

  39. geohei Apr 10, 8:58 pm

    Hi.

    I use the plugin “WP Maintenance Mode” (version 2.0.3).
    When the plugin is active, I get a window saying …

    This page requires AC_RunActiveContent.js

    Google didn’t really help.

    This file is installed!
    /wp-content/plugins/folder-menu-vertical/js/AC_RunActiveContent.js

    What goes wrong?

    Thanks,

  40. Andrea Apr 13, 4:22 pm

    Hi, great plug-in.
    I’m using it on wordpress 4.1.1. When I activate It, the backend is always accessible for any kind of user also if I select Administrator.

    …and also… if I select Subscriber for the front end Editor Or Author can’t access but only Administrator…

    Is there a solution?
    Thank you
    Andrea

  41. Chris Apr 27, 5:37 am

    Great plugin. Need to have a timed event. I would like to schedule times when this plugin activates then deactivates.

  42. Jevgeni Sep 15, 11:40 pm

    Awsome plugin, like it.
    One thing I would love to see is changing the language of button(s).

  43. Sabine Sep 22, 9:54 am

    Hi there, I used the maintenance plug in and after that I deleted it. But now when I like to share a post with my facebook social button – it still shows ‘wartungsmodus’ by designmodo…
    But only with facebook! What can I do?

  44. Marie-Amélie Oct 1, 5:24 pm

    Hi !

    I would like to know if it’s possible to change the color of the social icons ?

    Thanks,

    Marie-Amélie

  45. Ryan Nov 5, 7:49 pm

    Dear Sir/Mdm,

    I’ve installed and activated your maintenance plugin. However, my uploaded background image appears to be cropped. Eventhough, I’ve changed my image size to the recommended one on your design tab. Please help me to understand if I need to change any settings or edit my image size to fit? Much appreciated, thanks.

    Regards
    Ryan

  46. Andy Kofler Feb 22, 7:13 pm

    Hey there, plugin works fantastic.
    My question, can i modify the color of the facebook buttom?

  47. Shaun Mar 23, 10:49 pm

    Is there a way to edit the subscribers list?

  48. Peter Apr 3, 12:47 am

    I like that I can use a custom image for my background but my issue is that, I want to be able to edit my website and see it on my website without having to use the “customize” feature. Every time I activate maintenance mode, I cannot see any of my pages because all I see is the custom image I used for the maintenance message. I want to be able to show the maintenance mode only to regular users but still be able to access the front end. I thought WP Maintenance Mode allows admins to access both back and front end?

  49. Robert May 5, 9:23 pm

    The plugin isn’t letting me work on my pages and see the results even when I am logged in as adminstrator. How can I update my website while in maintenance mode?

  50. Elrond Burrell Jul 28, 4:01 pm

    I love this plugin and have used it on two of my sites now, thank you.

    Is there a way to allow another popup WordPress plugin to run while in maintenance mode? I want to use Leadin from Hubspot for more sophisticated email collection while still in maintenance mode.

    Thanks

  51. Marco Sep 13, 12:31 pm

    Hi,

    I’d like to exclude the homepage from maintenance mode. I tried adding ‘home’ in the bypass section, but that didn’t work out. Any ideas?

    • George Jipa Sep 13, 4:22 pm

      Hello,

      Right now there is no option to bypass the homepage of the website. Maybe in a future release we will add this feature.

      Thanks.

  52. Itshak Sep 25, 1:13 pm

    Hi, first of all thanks for your great plugin. I’ve a little issue with setting / design : I don’t see the maintenance text and so I can’t access the box and can’t change the default text. Except this everything is ok.

    • George Jipa Sep 26, 10:38 am

      The maintenance text can be changed from “Settings” > “WP Maintenance Mode” > “Design” tab. And you can see the maintenance page only if you’re not logged in… so you should open the website in another browser or incognito mode.

  53. JAVIER ROBLES Sep 27, 12:10 am

    I can’t download csv file, so what could I do? How could I fix this problem?

    Thanks ind advance.

  54. Scott Johnson Oct 11, 12:47 am

    I thought I submitted this earlier. Apologies if I did…

    This is a great plugin, thanks!

    I’m using it as a coming soon page with a countdown timer.

    Is there a way to add labels to it such as:
    20 Days 18h 45mins 12secs

    or as in

    Our site launches in:
    20 18 45 12 followed by qualifying text such days and hours

    Other suggestions for using the timer?

    Thanks
    Scott

  55. Scott Johnson Oct 11, 8:30 pm

    Thanks, George.

    This should work well. Update edits not a problem this time with the short time before going live.

  56. Eric Oct 31, 4:38 am

    Hey there, great plugin….

    Is there a way to add support of captcha to the contact us form? Trying to flight against spam…

    • George Jipa Nov 1, 10:18 pm

      Hello Eric,

      The next release will have an anti-spam mechanism. :)

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