When you run a WordPress website, you will inevitably have to perform essential maintenance that may result in temporary downtime. This could be testing new plugins, theme changes or updates, or some major server issues.
Many developers create offline sandboxes for testing, but once you push the updates to your live site, it’s good practice to take the site offline for a brief moment. This is also true with new domains where your site isn’t quite ready to launch, but you want to have something online – a coming soon page – to show potential users, visitors, or buyers.
The best solution you need is a good and reliable maintenance or coming soon plugin. Thankfully, WordPress has many of them freely available. We’ve curated the eight best choices here, with each having a different focus and set of resources for site admins to choose from.
I’ve used the Maintenance Mode plugin countless times and with great success. It’s probably the oldest plugin in this collection but is regularly updated and does come with many useful functions, so it does merit its place here.
If you are looking for something simple and easy to work with, then start with Maintenance Mode. It’s got years of experience behind it, so you know it’ll work right out of the box.
Another coming soon alternative is the WP Maintenance plugin. It comes with a great range of features, like a custom logo upload, extra languages, a countdown timer, and a shortcode area for adding an email opt-in field or contact form.
When you are updating your site, you may be doing so for only a few moments, but other times, you may be resolving time consuming server issues. Or you might not even have a site online yet, and you want to have a “stay tuned” message. With WP Maintenance, you can handle all of these situations with just one simple plugin.
For a more focused resource you might like to take a look at the Coming Soon Page plugin created by SeedProd. The plugin is all pretty standard with a typical “check back soon” message and an optin field for gathering email addresses. The page is fully responsive and built with CSS transitions to create a nice fading animation.
You can edit the template code manually, but you’ll need to know your way around HTML. The whole thing is easy to set up with a few clicks and it supports most languages, multi-site setups, and WordPress add-ons like BuddyPress.
If you’re looking for even more features, then you should take a look at the Coming Soon plugin built by Supsystic. It comes with a fantastic drag & drop system so you can rearrange the page to fit your needs very easily.
Other features include countdown timers, auto-embed videos, social sharing buttons, custom logos and backgrounds, and will also directly connect to most email service providers, like MailChimp and Aweber.
This plugin combines a “sorry we’re closed” message alongside an “opening soon” message. It’s called Minimal Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode and has been created by the team at WebFactory.
If you have multiple authors on your site, you can set permissions for who sees the initial maintenance page before going live, allowing you to define who has access to the site when it is being worked on, all at the click of a button.
The Under Construction plugin is a great choice if you need to make regular theme edits, restore database entries, or just to test new features.
The default templates are surprisingly nice, so you might start with them if you don’t want to (or know how to) restyle a page on your own.
Simplicity is at the core of this plugin, and it’s probably the best choice for web admins who want to set it and forget it. Maintenance is completely free and comes with all the basic features you need.
You won’t find a congested admin panel or many features to dig through. They’re all pretty simple, like changing the background, logo, or header text on the page. Anyone can use this plugin, and I think it would be perfect for non-technical site owners.
IgniteUp by Ceylon Systems
IgniteUp is a feature-packed coming soon plugin that allows you to whitelist certain user roles, whitelist IPs, send the 503 HTTP message, and many more useful features. It is a bit more complex than the rest, but it’s a multi-purpose plugin that will work on almost any site.
This plugin does also have a premium version, but the templates that comes bundled with the free plugin should be more than enough for most websites.