How to Take a Website Offline in WordPress
You wake up one day and realize that your favorite blog site has gone offline. You’ve been blogging for a while now and finally decided to publish your blog’s content to an official website. You worked hard on coming up with a catchy, easy to remember URL and posted it to your blog. Now, when you go to check your blog’s statistics, you discover that there’s no activity on the site for the past 7 days! You try to reach the owner of the site via social media, but he’s not responding to your requests. You start to get worried. Is this a sign that something is wrong? Has he lost interest in the blog? Has he maybe given up on the idea of an official website altogether?
Let’s face it, whenever we blog, we’re shooting content to the web. Whether it’s a blog post, an article for a Medium publication, or a podcast, our target is always the same – to attract, engage, and convert potential customers into paying customers. Launching a web version of your blog can be a great way to continue blogging, but it’s also a lot of work – and not all bloggers have the time or desire to continue maintaining two separate entities. What if we could convince you to just take your site offline? Keep the blog for your own personal use and keep all its original content, but remove the ability to publish to the web? You could stop worrying about your blog’s online presence and just enjoy the content when you want to read it without having to worry about the site crashing due to too many readers.
Enter WordPress. Not only is it the world’s #1 content management platform, but it also provides just about any feature you could think of to make your blog stand out. In this instance, we’ll show you how to take your WordPress blog offline simply by changing a few settings. Then, we’ll walk you through the steps to install the WordPress Blogger App to finally make your site liveable again from the inside – and that is no simple feat. Once installed, this is what you’ll see.
The Main Navigation Bar Isn’t Showing Up
The first thing you’ll notice when you log in to your WordPress dashboard is that the main navigation bar isn’t appearing. Remember, the blog was previously configured to use a right-hand navigation bar. If we go to Appearance > Menu and change the Menu Type to None, you’ll see that the navigation bar disappears. This is because the custom menu we created for the blog is hiding the main navigation altogether. When you hit the Menu button, you’ll see that there are now no menus – just your site’s content.
Let’s take a quick look at why this is important. Websites live or die by their menus. They are the gateway to any functionality the site may offer. Without a menu, a user cannot navigate to any other page on your site. This could mean potential loss of revenue if the site doesn’t provide enough value to keep the visitors coming back.
Changing The Name Of The Blog To Make It Easier To Remember
The second thing you’ll notice about your WordPress dashboard is that the name of your blog has changed to “Blog”. Is it really that hard to remember “The Blogger”? What if you wanted to refer to this particular blog post for example? Instead of searching for “the best burger in town”, you’d have to search for “Blogger burger” to find it.
While we’re on the topic of names, let’s talk about the header for your blog. If you look in the upper-right corner of your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see that the heading for your blog is “Blog”. Is it really that difficult to understand that this is your blog? If you ever get lost in the digital jungle and want to come back to your blog, you’ll have to search for the name of the blog to find it. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply look for the letter “B” and know you’re in the right place?
Installing The WordPress Blogger App To Create Private Blog Communities
Even though we’ve hidden the main navigation on your WordPress dashboard, you can still access it by going to Appearance > Main Nav. Hit the Install App button to download the WordPress Blogger app. Once downloaded, you’ll be asked to enter a name for the app (we’ll call it “My Blog Community”).
This name will be the handle used to reference and join your private blog community. Once you hit Install App, you’ll see a shortcode appearing on the Dashboard. This is because the WordPress Blogger App was now installed and ready to use. Now, you can create and join private blog communities by simply adding [wblogger]:
The Square Brackets Are Important
Along with the header, the first thing you’ll see when you log in to your WordPress dashboard is a small dropdown menu containing the WordPress Blogger App Shortcodes. These are the building blocks used to create blog posts, galleries, and other content types. When you click on the shortcode button next to the WordPress Blogger App, you’ll see this:
- This is because we have the New Posts shortcode here
- This is because we have the Recent Comments shortcode here
- This is because we have the Followers shortcode here
- This is because we have the Likes shortcode here
- This is because we have the Trackbacks shortcode here
Each time you add a shortcode to a post or page, you’ll see this square bracket icon next to it – like this:
- This is because we have the Shopping Cart shortcode here
- This is because we have the Calendar shortcode here
- This is because we have the Form shortcode here
- This is because we have the Invitations shortcode here
- This is because we have the 404 Page shortcode here
Making The Logo And Tagline Black On Black
One thing you’ll notice about your WordPress dashboard is that the logo and tagline are black on black – a monochrome combination that’s a trend these days. Since we want to match this look throughout the site, we’ll make these two elements black on black as well. We’ll start by going to Appearance > Header and clicking on the Customize button next to the Dashboard logo.
When you do this, you’ll see the following screen:
- You can see here that we’re set to use the Dashboard logo and we have the option to make it black on white or gray on black.
- We’ll keep the default settings and choose the latter – gray on black.
- We can change the text that appears below the logo image by going to the Logo section and clicking on the Edit button next to the Dashboard logo.
- As we’ve discussed before, a good logo is essential for any brand. It should be memorable, fresh, and something that encourages people to speak your brand or business. In the case of the Dashboard, we decided against a classic color scheme and went with a simple, monochromatic design to keep things simple yet memorable.
Making The Sidebar And Footer Black On Black
Next, let’s take a quick look at the sidebar on your WordPress dashboard. If we go to Appearance > Page Elements and scroll down to the Footer section, we can change the color by going to the Toggle Color button and choosing black as the new text color.
As you can see, going black throughout the site will make it much easier on the eyes. Let’s take a look at the footer as well. If we go to Appearance > Page Elements and scroll down to the Bottom section, we can change the color to white by going to the Toggle Color button and choosing white as the new text color.
As you can see, going black for the sidebar and footer is going to make things much easier on the eye. Now, when we come back to our blog, we can finally start writing content – or at least, previewing what we’ve written before publishing.