Coming Soon vs Maintenance Mode: What’s the Difference

There is something about the coming soon vs maintenance mode that confuses a lot of people. The part of the reason for this confusion is that there are WordPress plugins that do one, or both. If you don’t have the have a good team by your side, you have to use these plugins yourself. And sometimes, it doesn’t come intuitively which of these options to use. Nonetheless, it’s very important to know when to use each, as it can be crucial for your site’s SEO. Let’s learn more about coming soon and maintenance mode, and you’ll understand the difference more easily.

Coming Soon Page

A construction page or coming soon page is a page that allows your visitors to see what’s yet to come, while you’re still working on your site. Basically,  the users are able to see the preview, while you’re working on the whole thing behind the curtain. This way, users will be able to check out some features, before you finish the whole website. The right time to use a coming soon page after setting up a domain for your website, but before you’re done creating it.

Why use a coming soon page

Using a coming soon page is a part of marketing strategy, as it allows you to earn exposure and gather interest even before you launch a website. Also, it allows search engines to start sending you potential customers, and it gives you a head start when it comes to the ranking of your site from search engines. Your coming soon page can include a subscription form. This is the way to let the potential customer know when the full site is up.

Creating a coming soon page

The way that you’re going to create a coming soon page depends on the plugin you choose. Going with a plugin allows you to achieve a good result without having to code directly. With plugins, it should be easy to find the option to enable Coming Soon Mode and edit the Coming Soon Page. However, remember, as we’re yet to talk about the maintenance mode vs coming soon page, don’t get these two mixed up. The plugin might allow you both options, but it’s up to you to know when to use each.

How to use a coming soon page

A coming soon page has a purpose, and it’s to earn the exposure before launching a full website. These features will let you achieve this purpose:

  • Contact forms and email newsletter forms – it’s a good idea to allow visitors to contact you if they have any questions and to allow them to subscribe and inform them when the whole website launches. Lead generation is possible even between the steps of creating a website.
  • Countdown timer – is a good way to create a feeling of anticipation and urgency. And of course, it makes it easier for visitors to know when the full site will be up.
  • Social media sharing buttons – they allow visitors to share your website even before you launch the full version. Again, this is good for earning brand exposure.
  • Design – If you want to get users to a coming soon page, then you also want to make them stay and not put them off by the messy design. An appealing construction page with well-used design elements will attract visitors and let them know they can expect even better from the full version of your website.
Coming soon page and an hourglass.
Coming soon and a countdown timer go well together

Maintenance mode

If you want to implement some changes or update, change the WordPress theme perhaps, you’ll take your site offline only temporarily. Also, if you’re adding an online store to your website, it’s time to use this mode. When using this mode, you’re sending a signal to the search engine not to index your website. However, this doesn’t stop you from putting up a message on your site or email newsletters form. Just like with the coming soon page, this allows you to generate leads even while your site is down.

Putting your site in maintenance mode

Sometimes your website goes into maintenance mode automatically. This happens when you install core WordPress or plugins and themes. However, in other cases, you’ll need to know how to put your website in maintenance mode by yourself. If you use a plugin, this is not too hard, usually in Settings, you’ll find an option to enable maintenance mode.

Updates are the time to go in maintenance mode

Coming soon vs. maintenance mode: the main difference

Now that you know when to use both of these options, let’s see the main differences:

  • The coming soon page is used to hide your website while it’s still being made. But, keep in mind that Google will be able to index your page before the launch, and what’s one of the main purposes of this page.
  • Maintenance mode is used when you make changes to your website, such as smaller updates. By sending a 503 notification to Google, it lets Google know that downtime is only temporary and gives it a signal not to index the page.
  • Coming soon vs maintenance mode – knowing the difference is very important for SEO, as each of these options has different effects on SEO.

The potential problem is when your site is in maintenance, but you use a coming soon page. The search engine might index this page and it might have a very bad effect on the SEO. In the opposite case, if your site is launching, but you use a maintenance mode, you expect the search engine to index your page and consequently improve your ranking, but this will not happen.

SEO, can be deeply affected by your coming soon vs maintenance mode choice.
SEO can be affected by your coming soon vs maintenance mode choice


If you’re launching your website and want to create a coming soon page or if you’re going down for maintenance, a plugin with both options is a good choice. However, it’s crucial to remember that coming soon vs maintenance mode is all about knowing when to use which option. Choosing the wrong one could have a very bad impact on your SEO.