When it’s time to make big changes on your site, whether the changes involve a new design or new functionalities, sometimes the best way to go about doing this is to put your site into “maintenance mode,” meaning that your users can’t access any of your normal pages and content, and instead are greeted with a “maintenance mode” homepage when they visit your site. This isn’t the best option in every situation (it can seriously reduce traffic), but sometimes it’s just gotta be done. If you’re going to go this route, you’re going to want to do it quickly, and the quickest and easiest way to put your site into maintenance mode is by using a free WordPress plugin.
WP Maintenance Mode is a great option for adding a “Maintenance Mode” message as the temporary home page of your site while you’re making some changes. It’s got tons of features that allow you to completely customize your maintenance mode page, including things like stylistic options and more practical functionalities, like adding the option for users to sign up for a newsletter subscription or fill out a contact form right on that temporary homepage. The plugin gives you plenty of templates, themes, and SEO options for you to use to customize the look, feel, and efficiency of your page. You can also include social media icons, links, your own personal message, AND a live countdown to when your site will be back up and running. Plus the whole page will be totally responsive and mobile-friendly. Of course, there’s also the option to allow certain registered users that have particular permissions or user roles to access the actual front-end of the site, so the people who are actually doing the “maintaining” can see what they’re getting themselves into.