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Quick maintenance mode with .htaccess

How to make a quick WordPress maintenance mode with .htaccess

How to make a quick WordPress maintenance mode with .htaccess

It’s always nice to avoid using plugins if you can and we find this method of maintenance mode to be clean and fast. It’s especially good because we can blog the admin from the client but not us. We may not want the client in the backend making changes during a server migration for example.

Simply create a simple HTML maintenance page with no images. You can do this via the terminal.

$ nano maintenance.html

Then paste in the generic Site Maintenance page as HTML below.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Site Maintenance</title>
    body { text-align: center; padding: 150px; }
    h1 { font-size: 50px; }
    body { font: 20px Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #333; }
    article { display: block; text-align: left; width: 650px; margin: 0 auto; }
    a { color: #dc8100; text-decoration: none; }
    a:hover { color: #333; text-decoration: none; }
    <h1>We'll be back soon!</h1>
        <p>Sorry for the inconvenience but we're performing some maintenance at the moment. We'll be back online shortly!</p>
        <p>- The Team</p>

Exit nano and save this file.

Then you need to update the .htaccess with a redirect to your maintenance.html page. This will block all traffic to your site and admin areas.

$ nano .htaccess

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^192\.3\.2\.1
RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/maintenance.html -f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/maintenance.html
RewriteRule ^.*$ /maintenance.html [L]

You can replace ^192\.3\.2\.1 with your IP while keeping the same format so you will still have full access.

Maintenance Mode via Terminal

You can also set the default version of Maintenance Mode with a single line via terminal.

Connect to your server using SSH.

Navigate to the root folder of your WordPress installation.

$ echo '<?php $upgrading = time(); ?>' > .maintenance

To disable maintenance mode, remove the .maintenance file using the rm command:

$ rm .maintenance

If you want to display a custom message, refer to the first option.

Dean Oakley

Written by Dean Oakley

Dean founded Thrive Digital in 2006 and has worked in the design and development space ever since. He received 1st Class Honours in a Bachelor of IT and oversees all technical aspects of our projects.