How do I temporarily disable my website?

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Customers occasionally ask how they can temporarily disable their website, for legal or other reasons.

If you want all visitors to your site to be temporarily redirected to a different site, you don’t need to modify your site; you can simply add a redirect.

If you don’t want to redirect people to a different site, the rest of this page explains what to do.

Disabling your site if you’re using WordPress

If you’re using WordPress, a plugin called Maintenance can show visitors a custom or blank page, while still allowing you to view, edit and test the site using your WordPress password:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Click Plugins in the left-hand-column
  3. Click Add New at the top of the screen
  4. In the “Search Plugins” box, type Maintenance and press enter
  5. Make sure you’ve found the plugin called simply “Maintenance”, by author “WebFactory Ltd”
  6. Click Install Now
  7. Click Activate Plugin

Your dashboard will then show the words “Maintenance is On” along the top, letting you know that normal visitors see only a generic page saying something like “Maintenance mode is on: Website will be available soon”. You can modify that text or disable it by clicking the “Maintenance is On” text along the top.

(If you want to redirect visitors to another site instead of showing text, try a different plugin called CGC Maintenance Mode.)

What if I’m not using WordPress?

If you aren’t using WordPress, or if you are using WordPress but don't want to hassle with a plugin, you can use the “Redirections” feature of our control panel to display a page containing a couple of lines of text you want (or even a blank page). To do this:

  1. Login to the “My Account” control panel (having trouble?) for your existing domain name
  2. Click Redirections
  3. Click Add New Redirect
  4. Choose Redirect all requests
  5. Redirect it to a page showing this text, adding the text you want
  6. Save the change

If you want to simply display a blank white page, just leave the text blank.

What if I want to be able to see the site myself, but block other people?

If you’re using WordPress, the Maintenance plugin described above does exactly this.

If you’re not using WordPress, the simplest solution is to password protect your site with a password only you know.