Take WordPress website offline

Afbeelding Take WordPress website offline

Chances are that you have already come across them yourself: websites that are temporarily offline. Often websites are taken offline because of maintenance on existing pages or adding new pages. You do not want to confront your visitors with this, so it is wiser to temporarily take the website offline. Via WordPress you can do this in a very simple way. Below you can read more about why you would take a website offline and two ways how you can take your WordPress website offline

Why do you want to take a WordPress website offline?

Of course, you want your website to just be up and running most of the time. However, this is not always feasible. You can have several reasons for this:

  • Your website is simply not finished yet. If your website is not yet completely ready, it is better to choose to keep the website offline for a while. To notify visitors of this, you can show them a special message.
  • Your website needs maintenance or updates. For example, if you want to change a new theme, a new code or something else, it is wise to take your website offline for a while. This way you do not confront visitors with a half-working website and you have all the space you need to test the implemented changes in advance.
  • You temporarily do not want to do business through your website. If you go on holiday or are temporarily busy with other activities, you can easily take your website offline. This way you can be sure that not only you but also your website can temporarily not do business.

How do you take a WordPress website offline?

There are two ways in which you can easily take your WordPress website offline. The easiest way is by using a plugin. You can also take your website offline using the .htaccess file.

Offline via plugins

By far the easiest way is to install a plugin. With such a plugin, it is actually a matter of installing and using it. Whenever you need the plugin, you can find it through the dashboard. There are many different plugins that can help you take your website offline, often with a different purpose each. Below we have put together a short overview for you.

Site offline or Coming Soon

This plugin ensures that you can easily put your website in an offline mode. In the meantime, you can easily continue working on the site. Via a separate page, which you can design and organize yourself, you can let visitors know that there is maintenance or building a new website.

1. WP Maintenance Mode

With this plugin you can add a nice extra features to your maintenance page. You can easily link your social media channels so that your users can stay in touch with you in a different way. You can also add images yourself, attach a contact form or set a countdown clock until your website goes back online.

2. Simple Maintenance

As the name implies, this plugin is quite simple. You can easily create a maintenance page without too many extra options.

3. Smart Maintenance Mode

The Slim Maintenance Mode is similar to the Simple Maintenance. This plugin also gives a few simple functions to quickly create a maintenance page.

4. Ultimate Maintenance Mode

This plugin has a special function: it gives users a sneak peak of the new website. this can be done, for example, in the form of a screenshot. This way you keep your visitors engaged and interested.

5. Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode

This is also a simpler plugin. You can quickly choose a theme and then customize it to your own liking.

Offline via .htaccess file

Time needed: 5 minutes

If you are unable to use a suitable plugin or you simply do not have a WordPress website, you can always take your website offline via the .htaccess file. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Create new file

    Create a new file named .maintenance. Here you briefly describe why your website is under maintenance. Then format this according to the style of your website (or keep it nice and neutral) and save this file.

  2. Paste the following code into your .htaccess file

    Step 2: Paste the following code into your .htaccess file

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !=
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/maintenance.html$ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !\.( jpe?g?} png}gif) [NC]
    RewriteRule .* [R=503,L]

    On the third line you see ‘=’. Replace these numbers with your own IP address. This ensures that others will see your just set maintenance page, but you can still adjust your website yourself. Is your website up to date again? Then remove the 503 notification by removing the code above and deleting the .maintenance file.

Your website offline with two methods

We have shown you how you can take your (WordPress) website offline with the help of plugins or the .htaccess file. In general, we recommend plugins: you can quickly turn them on or off and offer many display options for the page that customers see. Once you don’t have a WordPress site or it doesn’t work, you can still modify the .htaccess file. Good luck with customizing or maintaining your website!

Our WordPress Monitoring service could be interesting for you if you are dependent on your online identity.

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