WordPress Bits

Hacking WordPress. Keeping the bits together.

Tip #3 : Under Construction

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 20, 2007

It is often desired to have a final version of the project on the production server for testing purposes, but so that nobody other than site administrators could see things. Also, once in a while, one needs to have a “Site under maintenance” page, even if for just a little while.

There are, of course, many ways to achieve the desired effect (e.g.: using a custom theme or an index.html preceding index.php). But probably the easiest and the most “proper” is by using Maintenance Mode Plugin. It provides a number of options to customize the displayed message, as well give visitors a hint of when it is better to come back. But what is more important, it allows logged in Administrators to see and use the web site like usual – invaluable for testing, as well demonstrations of a ready project to the client.

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25 Responses to “Tip #3 : Under Construction”

  1. michael said

    Thanks for the helpful bit. I wondered a few times if WP had this quality built in… Alas :)

  2. designpraxis said

    Nice Plugin! Very useful options. There is a similar thing I did, called “Demo Mode”. It is much simpler in concept, but if you just want an authentication layer obscuring that it is a WordPress installation you are working on, this might be for you: http://wordpress.designpraxis.at/plugins/demo-mode/
    The idea for “Demo Mode” was to be able to show a new WordPress site in development to the respective customer but hide it from the public.

    • elizabeth lewis said

      Hi there, I’m new to wordpress and thought it might be nice to be able to work on the site without folks being able to see the blog while it was in progress. Only problem is that I installed and activated the plugin, I find myself completely locked out of my site, including the backend/control panel. Any advice on undoing this? I’d be so appreciative. Thank you :)

  3. designpraxis,

    thanks for sharing. Somehow I missed this one.

  4. Ryan Fox said

    Does it come with the yellow road sign with the animated stick man digging?

    Seriously though, “Under Construction” is so 1990’s. It doesn’t help the user find what they’re looking for, and it doesn’t help the website keep users. If someone really wants to see the site, they might come back once or twice more, but if they keep seeing that the site isn’t up, they’re probably going to give up on it.

    If you’re just working on a redesign of your existing site, leave your current one up and do development on a completely separate copy. If you don’t have your site up at all, either say nothing, or put up the really important information in black and white.

    Chances are that if you leave your “Under Construction” sign up for more than a couple weeks, you’ll probably never finish. It’s better to have said nothing at all, than to have left a perpetual “Under Construction” sign, especially when you’ve got your name attached to it.

  5. designpraxis said

    … If you’re just working on a redesign of your existing site, leave your current one up and do development on a completely separate copy. …

    allright. These Plugins are meant for just that moment, when you deliver your work to the customer. Maybe someone has to do some proofreading. Maybe your customer wants to do a thorough check if everything works just like on your temporary installation, you were working on the last weeks. At least SOME things change, when migrating the whole thing onto the customer’s webspace, like directory permissions and paths.

    But when everything is fine, and you got an okay to “go online” – I know this is so 1990’s ;) – you just swith the site ON!…

  6. Ryan Fox,

    I’m glad that you don’t have to experience the “Under Construction” syndrome. However, not everyone is as lucky as you are.

    Just to throw in an example, consider the situation that I found myself in a few days ago. August is the time of relax and siesta here in Mediterranean. Companies close all offices for the whole month or most of it – it’s too hot to work anyway. One of our clients were worried that they wouldn’t be monitoring their web site for the whole two weeks, so they requested a “Site is temporary closed” sign be placed until they come back. No amount of reason (including our own monitoring offering and SEO rankings hit) could convince them otherwise…

    And that’s just one of the cases. :)

  7. [...] Tip #3 : Under Construction It is often desired to have a final version of the project on the production server for testing purposes, but so that […] [...]

  8. [...] Tip #3 : Under Construction It is often desired to have a final version of the project on the production server for testing purposes, but so that […] [...]

  9. coollikeme said

    Very helpful tips thanks.

  10. Aleks said

    Thanks for posting this! And to whoever was ranting about this: I think the point of “Under Construction” is to show users that you have an upcoming feature. It gives them something to look forward to.

  11. sketching said

    interesting. I will check that out.

  12. [...] Tip #3 : Under Construction It is often desired to have a final version of the project on the production server for testing purposes, but so that […] [...]

  13. Pretty Interesting. I will surely check it out.
    Cheers,
    Vaibhav

    http://technofriends.wordpress.com

  14. Alex said

    Nice one, thanks for spreading the word about this plugin!

  15. deutsche said

    excellent, i must read before i search for some stuff.

  16. [...] Tip #3 : Under Construction « WordPress Bits – [...]

  17. [...] Under Construction page [...]

  18. Michel said

    Nice tip:)

    Up to now, I’ve never used any ‘Site is under maintenance’ sign — I only need this when upgrading WordPress on my blog, but usually it takes 5 minutes :)

    Still, if you want quickly to test a new theme, or modify some files, or upgrade, and can’t right now use a COPY, the idea is good to ‘shut off’ the site for 5-10-15 minutes. Although, I wouldn’t advise stopping a real working blog for more than half an hour – google, users, etc., might be unpleasantly surprised…

    :-)

    BTW, Leonid, I see wpbits becoming better and better resource for trips and tricks! Keep up good work!!! :-)

    Cheers, Michel
    http://www.optimiced.com

  19. Michel,

    thanks! I have about a dozen posts queued up, but things at work don’t leave me any time to review and publish them… one of these days, one of these days… :)

  20. Michel said

    Sounds promising! I’ve never been diving too deep into WordPress documentation. I guess, one of the sources for your posts is also WP docs, but at the same time, mixed up with your personal experience and with the way you explain things, it all sounds much better and much more understandable, that’s why I read with interest all you publish here lately! :-)

    Cheers!

  21. [...] Tip #3 : Under Construction « WordPress Bits – [...]

  22. Ten said

    This is exactly what I’m looking for! To the comments about this not being needed I’d like to say that sometimes it’s better to do things the quick and easy way and having this plugin makes it possible to do some live prototyping. I test some things on my live site every now and then(don’t have much traffic to lose) and what I test I really don’t want anyone to see. And most importantly, I wouldn’t want Google to come and grab that test content and put in its cache. That’s a couple of the reasons why this plugin really useful!

  23. great discussion. got few tips. thanks.

  24. Very very helpful information . Thanks a lot .

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