Fix WordPress Maintenance Mode Issue

Andrei Iordache

Andrei Iordache

WordPress Developer

ūüöÄ I Help People Get Found Online | WordPress Development, Core Web Vitals, Security&Maintenance

With the WordPress maintenance mode, your actual website is temporarily switched to another page.

Read the following lines to find out how to activate maintenance mode and deactivate it manually in case of problems.

The WordPress maintenance mode is a helpful feature when you are in the process of building or remodeling your website. So not every visitor can see your virtual construction site, and you decide when it will be visible online. Likewise, WordPress maintenance mode is automatically interposed when you update WordPress.

By activating the WordPress maintenance mode, your visitors will know that your website is not constantly but only temporarily offline. It is also possible to place other information (such as contact information or other advantageous features) on the temporarily displayed page. You can either use a WordPress maintenance service or a WordPress maintenance mode plugin. Instead of peering curiously over your shoulder, visitors will then see “Caution, construction site” or an information page that you have set up.

You can activate WordPress maintenance mode manually or with a plugin. Depending on the processing and level of knowledge, either one or the other variant makes more sense. If you only want to make small (cosmetic) changes, then using a plugin is more like shooting at sparrows with a cannon. More complex processing or an extensive web project makes the use of an additional plugin quite useful. This allows you to attract visitors to your site, e.g., B. inform when the page is available again.

Note: WordPress’s maintenance mode automatically switches during a theme or plugin update. Depending on your needs, you can activate or deactivate it without having to install any additional extensions.

Activate WordPress maintenance mode without plugin

To manually switch to WordPress maintenance mode, you can create a file called .maintenance in the root directory (note the dot in front of Maintenance). Use a text editor to insert the following short PHP code into this file:

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

The file is automatically created and usually automatically removed if you use a maintenance mode plugin. You can leave the included timestamp blank.

When you have finished your work and want the page to be visible again, you must not forget to delete the file after successful Maintenance.

WordPress Maintenance Mode through the functions.php

Another way to start maintenance mode manually is to use the functions.php file. The functions.php is a so-called template file. Such files are used to add functionality and features to WordPress. For maintenance tasks, you can add a short PHP code to functions.php that activates maintenance mode. A possible entry in the functions.php looks, e.g., B. as follows:

CODE: <?php
function maintenance_mode()

{ if ( !current_user_can(
'administrator' ) ) {



You can, of course, also enter text or images displayed on the page during Maintenance. Appropriate PHP knowledge is required for this. A simple entry in functions.php can look like this:

CODE: function kb_maintenance mode()
if ( !current_user_can(
'edit_themes' ) || !is_user_logged_in() )
wp_die('<h1>We are currently updating
this website</h1><p>We are currently working on our website to adapt it for
improve it. Please check back soon.</p> ', 'site under maintenance');
add_action('get_header', 'kb_maintenance mode');

These codes bring up the default WordPress maintenance mode page, which is very

WordPress Maintenance Mode – The simpler alternative

WordPress maintenance mode plugin

If you feel insecure using PHP and the root directory, it seems too risky (which it isn’t) or inconvenient; you can also enable WordPress maintenance mode with a plugin. Depending on the requirements, there are different plugins for this.

Maintenance Mode Plugin #1: Maintenance

After you have installed the Maintenance plugin, you will find a dedicated navigation item in the admin menu called Maintenance. There you can make the necessary plugin settings.

Although these are very extensive, they are very clearly laid out. Here you can, e.g., B., upload a background graphic or your logo or use a graphic from the media library.

Caution: This will overwrite the default settings. You can also determine the text that is displayed on the maintenance page yourself.

You can also turn the visitor login page on or off, block specific pages, and further customize the maintenance page using CSS, as needed.

A slider lets you toggle maintenance mode on and off in the plugin settings.

Maintenance Mode Plugin #2: WP Maintenance Mode

The plugin’s settings can be found in the admin menu in the “Settings” section. The clear administration area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe plugin is divided into 3 sections: “General,” “Design,” and “Modules.”

  • Under “General,” you can activate maintenance mode, make settings for the admin, and block selected content.
  • Under “Design,” you can set the text display yourself and the background of a static page.

On the other hand, there is no field in which you can insert your CSS code. Also, you cannot lock or unlock content as quickly as in the Maintenance plugin. For this, you will find a countdown in WP Maintenance Mode in case you need something
like that (e.g., for a relaunch).

Maintenance Mode Plugin #3: Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode

After installing Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode, you can find the plugin’s settings in the admin menu under “Settings.”

The settings are divided into four sections: “Content,” “Design,” “Advanced,” and “Live Preview.” After activating the maintenance mode, you can decide whether you want to show a maintenance page or a coming soon page, which is particularly suitable for revisions, and when you know when the work will be completed.

  • Under “Content,” you can add the text for the maintenance page and a graphic (your logo?) and even make SEO settings for the maintenance page.
  • Under “Design,” you can choose a background graphic or color, define text and link colors, and insert your CSS code.
  • Under “Advanced,” some settings can be customized using scripts (CSS, JavaScript). Unless you have advanced knowledge in these areas, you should instead leave this function unused.
  • Finally, under “Live Preview,” you can display a live preview of the maintenance page.

WordPress Maintenance Mode – Tips & troubleshooting

What to look out for in maintenance mode

If you run a non-commercial site, you can choose what information you want to display as a maintenance message. However, if the site is commercial, you must note that the maintenance mode does not release you from the legal obligation to provide information (imprint). In other words: the page displayed during the maintenance work must contain a pattern for commercial websites.

The imprint contains mandatory information such as the e-mail address or the postal address of the website operator. Since offering a contact option is advisable anyway, this is not only a legal requirement but also a good service from the point of view. This enables your visitors to contact you even during the maintenance period.

In case of problems: deactivate maintenance mode manually.

When the maintenance mode is activated, WordPress creates the temporary, manually created file .maintenance (note the dot in front of the file name) in the main folder. It is usually deleted after the end of maintenance mode. However, the file may not be deleted if an update is not carried out correctly or not entirely. This then causes maintenance mode not to exit.

This problem can be fixed quite easily: delete the .maintenance file manually

By using an FTP program

To delete the .maintenance manually, proceed as follows:

  1. Access your web server using an FTP program (e.g., FileZilla).
  2. Navigate to the root of your WordPress installation.
  3. Here you should find the .maintenance.
  4. Delete these.
  5. If necessary, update again.


If you want to hide your maintenance work from the eyes of visitors, you don’t need to build a wall, but you will find numerous good free plugins for the maintenance mode.

Previous Post
Do you need to update your WordPress site?
Next Post
How Much Does a WordPress Website Cost?
Lusi StudiosLusi Studios
15:32 22 Jun 22
Andrei did an amazing job! He helped in a very rushed time and he excelled at everything. Thanks again!
I am grateful and I would to thank Websites Seller for their support in site recovery and site transfer. Websites Seller just saved my business. Thank you!
Wouter GhysensWouter Ghysens
11:52 10 Sep 21
Looking for a Wordpress transfer from site A to site B, I found back Andrei from Wesites Seller on Google.He was very proactive in his approach, came with hundreds of ideas and lifetime experiences from other migrations. He knows the wordpress, the hosting and php database as the back of his pocket.And we worked out this migration very smooth. Together we solved it, and myself and my business are very pleased with his approach.100% recommendation & kudo's from out of Belgium!
Ioachim CiobanuIoachim Ciobanu
18:39 14 Jul 21
Websites Seller built my resume site. Deliverables were quickly completed, and I was asked for my feedback at each stage of development. All feedback I gave was implemented in a short time.Another great thing is that he comes with smart solutions, regarding stuff which I didn't initially think of (site security, Google site speed optimization and so on). Basically, he was great, staying in touch, keeping me updated and paid attention to what was most important for my site.Overall, I am very happy with the work done. I highly recommend this developer!
K CollinsK Collins
09:11 19 May 21
I needed help with website speed - to improve my core web vitals - without compromising the usability of my site. Andrei was extremely responsive, proactive and fast. And more importantly, he increased by website speed. Highly recommend him, and I will be using him going forward on all my projects.


WordPress Website Maintenance Services

WordPress Maintenance Services

WordPress website maintenance service that provides cloud backups, emergency support, weekly website updates, speed and many more.


WordPress Migration Service

Safely transfer your WordPress website to a new location for $75. … Migrate your website to its new host.


Lawyer Web Design

We specializes in website design, Internet marketing and SEO for lawyers and attorneys throughout the Europe and US.