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How to enable maintenance mode in WordPress?

Approx. read time : 3 min

This article is a guide on how you can enable the maintenance mode in WordPress, and also how you can customize the page that WordPress displays when it is in the maintenance mode.

# Enabling the WordPress maintenance mode :

By default, users will receive the following message when a WordPress site is in maintenance mode :

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

Whenever WordPress does an update, the site needs maintenance and this is the most common scenario.

There are some different situations also, like during development and testing, you need to manually enable maintenance mode. To do this, perform the following steps :

1. Log in to your account via cPanel or SSH.

2. Use command prompt or cPanel File Manager and go to the directory where you have installed WordPress.

3. Now, by using the preferred text editor, create a file named as .maintenance.

Note: Ensure that the file name starts with a period (.) otherwise this procedure won’t work.

4. Copy and paste the following code into the .maintenance file :


    $upgrading = time();


5. Save all the changes to the .maintenance file.

6. Maintenance mode now gets activated for your site. If you wish to restore the normal site operation, then delete the .maintenance file.

# Customize the WordPress maintenance mode message

As we learned previously that WordPress displays a message ” Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” when your site is in maintenance mode. But still, you can customize the page displayed by WordPress, when it is in maintenance mode.

Perform the following steps to do so :

1. With the use of SSH or cPanel File Manager, navigate to the wp-content subdirectory in the directory, where you have installed WordPress.

2. By using a text editor, create a file named as maintenance.php.

3. In this maintenance.php file, add the HTML or PHP code that you want to use when WordPress is in maintenance mode. After this, WordPress will use the maitenance.php file instead of displaying the default message.

Also Read :

1) How to add Google Analytics to WordPress with and without using plugin?

2) How to fix blank pages in WordPress?

Sonam Wagh
With an interest in doing something creative daily, Sonam works as a Digital Marketing Executive. She likes to write technical blogs related to web hosting, digital marketing, and other IT topics. She also likes to spend her leisure time on social media to find different strategies for client engagement.