How can I hide my WordPress site from the public until it is ready for launch?

Asked by:
jjnike / 28 Points
2011-08-19 3:28 am EST
How To
How can I hide my site from public until I finished the program work? I'm using wordpress.

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Best answer chosen by Web Hosting Hub staff


2011-08-27 8:56 am EST
I usually use the Maintenance Mode Plugin.

Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the blog including the front-end.

Visitors will see a message like "Maintenance Mode - SITE is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance. Please try back in 60 minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience."

It is super easy to use and allows you to turn your site "on" and "off" with just 1 or 2 clicks! You can get the plugin directly from the wordpress site:

By the way, I assume that you are running Wordpress on your own site. If you are running a site on, this may not work for you.

All the best to you!

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591 Points
2011-08-19 2:01 pm EST

The easiest way to "hide" a site such as WordPress from the public while you work on it is <a href='' target='_blank'>to install WordPress</a> in a different directory and then move it to your primary domain when you are finished. For example, you can install (or move, if you already installed it) WordPress to a directory called "test", so to visit your site you have to visit To do this, just specify a name in the "install in directory" field when installing WordPress through Fantastico, and the folder will be created automatically for you. Of course, the public won't know to look there, so no one will know it is available.

On your primary domain you can keep a "website coming soon" message while on the test directory you work on your WordPress site in peace. Then once you are done and have your site all ready, you can move the WordPress site from the test folder to your primary domain. Moving your site is a pretty quick process and only requires one file modification, I have included below a KB article on how to move WordPress once you are ready for that step.


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If i want to set up a "test" sandbox to try out different themes should I install WP in a separate folder like above or a sub domain like or an add-on domain? Or does it matter?
21 Points

2013-11-08 12:33 am EST
Hi Jay,

I actually provided this answer in your ticket as well. If you want to create a test website for WordPress, you're welcome to do so. For testing themes, you don't really need to create a subdomain. You can simply run the Softaculous install for Wordpress and put a name in the "install in directory" blank. This would make the test url look like this: "http;//domain_name/test" . Where domain name is the main domain you're installing the site under.

If you want to use a subdomain like "", then you would need to first create the subdomain. Once the subdomain is created, you will be able to choose it when you run the WordPress installation process with Softaculous.

Hope that provides some clarification for the question! Please let us know if you require any further assistance.

Arnel C.
17,314 Points
2013-11-08 1:22 am EST
If I use cpanel to set up WordPress in a temporary directory, do I use cpanel to move it back to the main domain by editing the directory in Cpanel Wordpress setup page?
3 Points

2014-04-29 10:11 pm EST
Hello hoskin6, and thanks for your question.

If you install WordPress in a temporary directory using Softaculous, you can't just change the directory afterwards directly in cPanel. You'd need to login to WordPress and navigate to the Settings > General section, then change both the WordPress Address and the Site Address to the new location.

Then you would have to go in the File Manager in cPanel and move all of the WordPress files from the temporary directory you placed them in, to the new location.

You could also simply password protect your website directory to only allow yourself in while working on the site. Or you could setup a .htaccess file only allowing your IP address to connect to the site with this code:

Order Deny, Allow
Deny from all
Allow from

- Jacob
3,713 Points
2014-04-29 10:37 pm EST
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