3 Ways to Temporarily Suspend a WordPress Site

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From time to time, it may become necessary for WordPress users to temporarily suspend their websites. For example, a business might decide to reorganize under a new name or completely overhaul their operations. There might be situations where an organization is not sure about their future direction, so they choose to make their website go dark for a while.

Temporarily suspending a WordPress site is not hard to do. There are three easy ways you can make your site go dark without getting rid of it altogether. When you are ready to bring it back online, it will be just the way you left it. Alternatively, you could completely redesign the site from scratch before going live again.

1. Use a Maintenance Mode Plugin

The fastest and easiest way to temporarily suspend a WordPress site is to use a maintenance mode plugin. There are several excellent plugins to choose from.

What is a maintenance mode plugin? It is a plugin that temporarily creates a new homepage informing visitors that a website is currently under maintenance. Users cannot navigate to any other page on your site while in maintenance mode. You can, though. Maintenance mode still allows you to log in and edit your site just as you would if it were live. You can also see changes where your visitors cannot. Maintenance mode is a good option if you plan to:

  • redesign your site
  • launch under a new name
  • make any other changes that require a site redesign.

2. Backup and Remove

The second option is a bit more complicated. It involves backing up your current installation and then removing all the pages and posts through the Dashboard. This might be the option if you want to suspend your site and leave no trail behind. If you choose this option, just make sure you do a backup through your cPanel or the Softaculous portal prior to removing content.

Should you decide to bring your site live again, you can simply restore your backup through the Softaculous portal. Everything will be restored just as it was before you started removing.

3. Create a Generic Index Page

This last method is a quick and dirty way to temporarily suspend your site without actually affecting the content. Just go to your main WordPress installation using your cPanel file manager. In the public HTML directory, find your index.php file and rename it something like ‘index1.php’, create a new blank file and name it ‘index.php’. This page will come up when people visit your site. It will be an entirely blank page.

The beauty of this option is that it is easily reversible. Just go back to your file manager and delete the new file and renaming the other file name you changed back to index.php. Visiting your site will return you to the default homepage you had before.

If you want to temporarily suspend your WordPress site with the intention of bringing it back later, there are numerous ways to do it. It is yet another reason WordPress is one of the web’s easiest content management systems to use.

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