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Setting Store as Down for Maintenance

This article covers the down for maintenance setting used by stores that have already launched. For stores that have not yet launched, see Previewing a Store Before Launch.

The Store Status setting allows you to place your store in maintenance mode and display a custom message to your store's visitors. Anyone signed into their store user account and has the appropriate permission will be able to access the store's front end.

Default "Down for Maintenance" message on the storefront


API connections remain active when a store is Down for Maintenance. While the storefront checkout is inaccessible when a store is Down for Maintenance, orders can still be created via the cart and checkout APIs. If you want to prevent all new orders, you may need to disable any apps or API accounts used to create orders outside of the storefront checkout.


Enabling Maintenance Mode

1. Go to Store Setup › Store Settings, then toggle the Store Status setting to Down for Maintenance.

2. Enter a custom message to be displayed to your customers or leave the default message. Although there is no character limit on this field, the page on your storefront which displays it was not designed to handle more than ~2,000 characters.


Want to use code? The Message field also accepts HTML, allowing you or your designer more freedom when structuring your custom message.

Down for Maintenance setting in under the Website tab in Store Settings

3. Save your changes.


Viewing Your Site

While in maintenance mode any users logged in with Take Store Down for Maintenance permissions are able to view your storefront. 

1. Click View Store in the upper left of the control panel.

Example of the view store link in the BigCommerce control panel

If you've connected your store to multiple channels like WordPress, click View Storefronts to select which storefront to view.

Example of the view storefronts link in the BigCommerce dashboard

2. Your store's homepage will load with a notification box in the upper left side of the screen, indicating that your store is currently down for maintenance. To view your store’s maintenance message as it appears on the storefront, click on the Click here to see what your visitors will see link. We recommend viewing your maintenance message while editing as the actual display will vary on the storefront, based on your active theme.

Admin maintenance popup, with link to view storefront as a visitor.


SEO Impact

If a search engine attempts to crawl your site while it is in maintenance mode, they will see the maintenance mode page and receive a 503 server response. This response indicates to search engines that your site is down for maintenance and to “come back later”, which should prevent them from de-listing your site in their indices.

See Google’s blog post How to deal with planned site downtime for more information.

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