Sooner or later we have to make important changes to our WordPress websites. This can happen in the very beginning when we are creating the website directly on the official production server or later on when we need to modify the theme or add new functionalities.
In these situations we are faced with a couple of choices. One of them is to make the changes offline on a local server or on a mirror production one and then upload them to the official production server. This is great but not all beginners can afford a second production server or can work correctly with a local server, despite the fact that there are lots of tutorials on the topic.
Another option is to apply the changes in real time when there are less visitors so that their experience won’t be affected by the changes. This is suitable for small changes only. Otherwise something could go wrong and you might send away some of your visitors or even worse – your site might get crawled during this failure and cause a bad situation for your SEO strategy and goals.
A third option is to manually enter in maintenance mode and notify all visitors that the website is coming soon and that they have to be patient about it.
This is actually the most common option and in this post I will present to you one of the various solutions for WordPress that might be extremely useful for your websites.
It is called WP Maintenance Mode
This plugin will enable maintenance mode but in a very beautiful way. Your visitors will know that the website is under construction and they will expect its return. This is also very useful for building new websites directly on the production server itself. In this case you will have to tell the users that the new website is coming soon and even if you specify exactly how soon this will be – the better.
And WP Maintenance Mode does exactly this! And even better – only the logged-in users with admin rights will see the original website content. If they are logged-out they can log-in and continue their work.
As for the coming soon part – you can place a countdown timer so that the visitors will be informed. This is also useful for the under construction part.
WP Maintenance works with WordPress Multisite installs. It is also fully customizable. You can practically change colors, texts and even the backgrounds so that you can provide the best experience. It is also with a responsive design – something extremely important nowadays. There are several templates for the landing page and this solution works flawlessly with every theme for WordPress. Great, right?
OK – now let’s discuss something extremely important – subscriptions and social media followers.
Your website might be coming soon or under construction and therefore it cannot be used by the visitors. But does this mean that they cannot start following you on social media or to subscribe to your newsletter? Of course not! So you need a couple of things in order to attract subscribers and followers:
- A clear message and call-to-action;
- A subscription form that will export all emails to a csv file;
- A contact form in case the visitors want to ask you questions about the website;
- Social media icons that lead to your social media profiles
When you have these you are set to go. All emails can be used later for another plugin or you can integrate them to a newsletter service like MailChimp. That’s why you need the csv file. You can import it anywhere and use it and this is extremely important and handy.
Another important functionality of WP Maintenance Mode is its ability to exclude specific URL’s from the maintenance mode. This is great if you want to allow access to some pages that you consider ready. You can also exclude your custom login URL if you have set up one.
Last but not least – the SEO options.
You can specify different meta data for the landing page. For example you can set title and heading and then set the robots meta tag (for example to index, follow). You can also allow the search bots to bypass the maintenance mode.
WP Maintenance Mode allows redirection to a specific URL after login. And as for the user roles – you can define which role can access the frontend and which one the backend.
And this is it. Now enjoy one landing page example created using WP Maintenance Mode:
Do you like this plugin, friends? Will you use it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you very much and see you soon!
*The images are embedded from the WordPress.org page of the plugin