Normally, you can work on your WordPress website without putting it in maintenance mode. If you’re making minor tweaks, or editing existing content, updating themes or plugins, you can do those tasks without any downtime, and with the Live Preview, you can see what your changes will look like before you publish those changes.
But there are times when you may need to work on your website for a longer period of time. For example, if you’re creating a brand new site, or configuring a new theme or plugin that changes your website significantly, you probably don’t want your website to appear broken to your visitors.
One way to tackle major changes like these is to use a ‘staging’ server. A staging server is essentially a duplicate copy of your website, which you can access via a private web address that is only visible to you. This enables you to work on your site, make any changes you like, and then when you’re happy with those changes, copy the staging version back to your live server.
This is one of many reasons we recommend Managed WordPress hosting. The Managed WordPress hosts we recommend include a staging server at no additional cost: https://www.wp101.com/resources/#managed-wordpress-hosting
If you use a staging server, you won’t need to display a maintenance mode or under construction message to your visitors.
But, if you’re not using a staging server, or perhaps you’re building a brand new site and want to let your audience know that the site is coming soon, then you’ll want to use a plugin like SeedProd.
SeedProd is a premium WordPress plugin that enables you to show a friendly, “Coming soon” message to your visitors, and (optionally) provide a countdown timer to indicate when the new site will be launched, or even allow your visitors to enter their email address to join your email newsletter list and be notified when the site launches.
Once you install and activate the SeedProd plugin, you’ll choose a design, customize the text and images, and then publish your “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” page.
When someone visits your site, they’ll see your landing page. But when you’re logged in as an administrator, you can see your actual site and work on it in the background.
When you’re ready to launch your site, disable the plugin and your actual site will be live for everyone to see.
I hope this helps!