Maintenance Mode – Hiding your school website while it’s under construction

Are you the teacher responsible for your school’s website? Perhaps you have a classroom blog.

Either way, there will be times that you’re trying out new things on your site that you don’t want the rest of the world to see. Here are some scenarios:

  • You’re flipping through a few new themes and layouts and you don’t want visitors to see the “rough” drafts.
  • You’re creating a school website, but it can’t go “live” until you have your principal’s approval.
  • Things have gone wrong and you need to temporarily “close” the site until the problem is fixed.

We’re working on our school website (using a self-hosted WordPress blog to create the site) and we need a blank splash page so that visitors can’t see the real site until it’s ready.

Maintenance Mode is a neat little WordPress plugin that does the trick.

  • It allows you to throw up a customizable splash page so that when people try to visit your website, they see a little message saying the site is under construction. (If you know HTML, you can change the message to say anything you want.)
  • If you are logged into your account (there’s a little administration link in the bottom right corner) and try to visit your site, you’ll see the actual site. (If you’re not logged in, you see the splash page.)

Once your plugin is installed (which can be done easily if you’re using plugin-central), you can turn the maintenance mode page on or off with the click of a button.

Bottom Line: So, if you are creating your school site as a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can use this plugin to hide your site until you’re ready to officially launch it.

5 thoughts on “Maintenance Mode – Hiding your school website while it’s under construction”

  1. Thank YOU so much for blogging this.

    You know why? Because your blog is the ONLY place I found an answer to the simple question: ‘how do I hide my wordpress blog until its finished?’

    You just made my life a lot easier – (even if the plugin messes up my Flash image uploader in WP 2.6 – who cares?? lols)

  2. Hi School Web Design,

    I can’t imagine a lot of public schools (at least around here) that would consider paying for a professional school website when money is always an issue. Usually you can get a free template from the school board for your official school website.

    While I know several teachers who have set up personal class websites, most of my colleagues use free options for their websites: edublogs,, google sites, etc. In fact, I only know a limited number of teachers who are willing to pay a monthly fee for shared hosting to have more flexibility when running their own class website. I can’t think of many who would consider professional webdesign as an option.

    Do you find most of your clients in the public school sector or the private?

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