Tip of the Day: WordPress Website Maintenance
How to put WordPress in maintenance mode for website updates can be rather daunting, to say the least, when you want to make a major change to your website or blog.
By major change, I’m referring to a theme change for example; something that could have some unknown consequences.
Or, you could be a little nervous about updating your site with the latest version of WordPress for example.
Update: And I should mention that, as an extra safeguard, I even like to try major changes first on a local server, having installed WordPress on XAMPP.
Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Check Back in a Minute
So rather than let the world see what is happening to your site, as you tweak the updates, you can put your site into maintenance mode. You want your site to look as good as ever before you ‘release it to the world’ again.
It depends on the update as to how long you might put your site into maintenance mode. Everything might go very smoothly and you can switch to live mode again very quickly. Or you might need a half hour to make some adjustments. Or you might decide that you don’t like a new theme that you are trying so you have a chance to restore your site to its former glory before switching out of maintenance mode.
You can provide your visitors with a message that assures them that this is just temporary, such as “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Check Back in a Minute” .
Website Updates with a WP Maintenance Mode Plugin
One of the easiest ways to do this in WordPress is via the use of a plugin. And you will find several that fit the bill. But the plugin that I really like is Easy Pie Maintenance Mode.
With this free WordPress plugin you can:
- Choose a website under maintenance template that you like for the display page.
- You can add the messages that you want displayed.
- You can activate maintenance mode with one click
- Whilst it is in maintenance mode you, as admin, can still see the dashboard and what your site looks like. It is just invisible to the outside world.
- When finished with your updates, you simply click once in the settings and your site is visible to the world again.
WordPress Site Maintenance
I have just tested this free maintenance plugin on a site that needed to be converted to a responsive theme. My goal was to upload a new child theme that is indeed responsive and then tweak the site until I was ready for the world to see the changes.
I was very pleased that I used this maintenance WordPress plugin because, during the site conversion, I encountered a few issues with the color scheme and the logo. Being in maintenance mode gave me peace of mind and allowed me to make the necessary changes so that the logo displayed as before and the color scheme was adjusted accordingly. I was also very happy with how professional the maintenance page appeared and with the fact that my visitors were advised to return shortly.
Then with one click, after clearing me cache, my site was happily visible again.
I hope this tip helps the next time you need to do to put WordPress in maintenance mode for website updates.
Teaser image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici,/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net