How To Unlaunch A WordPress Site

Do you want to unlaunch a WordPress website? In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the steps to unlaunch a WordPress site, whether it’s self-hosted or hosted on

Unlaunching a WordPress site means temporarily taking it offline or making it inaccessible to the public. This can be useful when you need to make significant changes, perform maintenance, or simply want to take a break from your online presence. 

Unlaunching a WordPress Website

Before making any changes to your site, creating a backup is essential. This ensures that you have a safe copy of your site in case anything goes wrong. WordPress plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy can help automate the backup process.

In addition, it is essential to understand the type of WordPress site you have.

Self-hosted WordPress site (

Hosted on

The process of unlaunching your site will differ slightly depending on which type you have.

Unlaunching a Self-Hosted WordPress Site (

To unlaunch a self-hosted WordPress site, you can use a plugin or modify your site’s settings manually. Here are the steps for both methods:

Method 1: Using a Plugin

1) Install and activate the “Website Builder by SeedProd” plugin or a similar plugin of your choice.

2) Navigate to the plugin’s settings page.

3) Enable the “Coming Soon” or “Maintenance Mode” option.

4) Customize the message and appearance of the page as desired.

5) Save your changes.

Method 2: Modifying Site Settings Manually

Access your site’s .htaccess file via FTP or your hosting control panel’s file manager.

Add the following code to the top of the .htaccess file:

# BEGIN Maintenance Mode

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.456\.789\.000

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/maintenance\.html$

RewriteRule .* /maintenance.html [R=302,L]

# END Maintenance Mode

Replace “123.456.789.000” with your IP address to allow access to your site while it’s in maintenance mode.

Create a “maintenance.html” file with your desired message and upload it to your site’s root directory.

Save your changes.

Unlaunching a WordPress Site Hosted on

To unlaunch a WordPress site hosted on, follow these steps:

1) Log in to your account and navigate to your site’s dashboard.

2) Click on “Settings” in the left-hand menu.

3) Scroll down to the “Privacy” section.

4) Select the “Private” option to make your site accessible only to you and users you invite.

5) Save your changes.

Additional Tips When Unlauniching a WordPress Website

Change Site Visibility Settings

WordPress allows you to easily change the visibility of your site. 

Go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Reading’, and check the box next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site.’ This discourages search engines from showing your site in search results.

Password Protect Your Site

Password-protecting your site ensures that only authorized users can access it while you’re making changes. You can use the ‘Password Protected’ plugin or configure password protection through your hosting control panel (e.g., cPanel).

Revert to a Staging Environment

A staging environment is a clone of your live site where you can make changes without affecting the live version. If your hosting provider offers staging environments, revert your site to a staging version. This allows you to work on your site freely without it being accessible to the public.

Rollback Site Changes

If you made changes you want to undo, and you have a backup from before those changes were made, consider restoring your site to that previous state. You can do this manually by uploading files and importing the database or using a plugin to automate the process.

Update Domain Settings (Optional)

If you wish to remove your site from the web completely, you can update your domain settings. This involves pointing your domain away from your WordPress installation. This step should be taken cautiously and is typically only necessary if you want to permanently remove your site or move it to a different platform.

Notify Search Engines (Optional)

If search engines index your site, you can request removal through tools like Google Search Console. Note that this step should be used carefully as it can affect your site’s SEO.

Monitor and Update

While your site is unlaunched, keep an eye on it to ensure it is not accessible to the public. Also, continue to make the necessary updates or changes.

Relaunch Your Site

Once you have made all the necessary changes and are ready to go live again, follow the reverse of these steps. Remove password protection, change the visibility settings, disable maintenance mode, and ensure your domain settings are correct.

FAQs on Unlaunching a WordPress Website

1) Why would I need to unlaunch my WordPress website?

You might want to unlaunch your WordPress site for various reasons, such as needing to make significant updates, resolving technical issues, rebranding, or perhaps you accidentally went live before the site was ready.

2) Will unlaunching my site affect my SEO?

Temporarily unlaunching your site and setting it to maintenance mode should have minimal impact on your SEO if done for a short period. However, if your site is offline for an extended time, it could negatively affect your search engine rankings.

3) Can I still work on my site after unlaunching it?

Yes, you can continue working on your site after unlaunching it. You may want to use a staging environment to make changes and then push them live once you are ready to relaunch.

4) Is it possible to allow specific users to access my site while it is unlaunched?

Yes, by setting password protection on your site, you can provide the password to specific users, allowing them access while the site is unlaunched. Additionally, some maintenance mode plugins allow you to give access to logged-in users.

5) How do I restore my site from a backup?

To restore your site from a backup, you can either use a plugin offering restoration features or manually upload the files through an FTP client and import the database through your hosting control panel.

6) What should I do if I don’t have a backup of my site before unlaunching?

If you did not create a backup before unlaunching and you need to revert changes, you may have limited options. Check if your hosting provider creates automatic backups. If not, you will need to manually undo the changes you made.

7) How long can I keep my site in maintenance mode?

While there isn’t a set limit to how long you can keep your site in maintenance mode, it’s best to keep it as brief as possible to minimize disruption to your visitors and any potential impact on your search engine rankings.

8) Is there a way to unlaunch my site without using plugins?

Yes, besides using plugins, you can unlaunch your site by editing your site’s .htaccess file to restrict access, or by using the built-in visibility settings in WordPress to discourage search engines from indexing the site.

9) Can I still receive feedback from my visitors while my site is unlaunched?

Yes. You can set up a contact form or provide an email address on your maintenance mode page so visitors can still contact you while your site is unlaunched.

10) Will I lose my data if I unlaunch my WordPress site?

Unlaunching your WordPress site into maintenance mode or changing visibility settings should not result in data loss. However, if you revert to an earlier backup or make significant changes while unlaunched, you may lose any added data after the backup.


Unlaunching a WordPress site is straightforward, whether you have a self-hosted site or one hosted on 

Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can temporarily take your site offline while making necessary changes or performing maintenance. Remember to relaunch your site when you’re ready for it to be accessible to the public again.