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Take Website Offline

It is sometimes necessary to take your CMS website offline for maintenance.  This guide will help you to selectively take website applications offline, or the entire website.

Identify IIS Applications

Open IIS (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > IIS). Notice the application icons in the IIS look different than folder icons.  Each of these application icons can be selectively taken offline.

Using App_Offline.htm

We can provide you with an App_Offline.htm template if no one is savvy with HTML on your staff.  You can generate this yourself easily by viewing source on your website home page, saving that source as App_Offline.htm, then modifying it accordingly, and moving the file into position.  To identify the content area of the website source, note that within the source the content area is denoted with these tags:
  • <!--$EmbeddedPage.Integration_BEGIN$-->
  • <!--$EmbeddedPage.Integration_END$-->

 A convenient place to store App_Offline.htm is just outside of your website root folder, as depicted below.

Applying App_Offline.htm

To take your website offline, simply copy App_Offline.htm to your website root, and each IIS application root.  ASP.NET 2.0+ automatically looks for the existence of App_Offline.htm, and then disables execution of all website applications effected.  If you have copied the file and the website is still online, ensure that all IIS applications have the file copied to their path, and try touching the root website web.config file (open in a text editor, then save without making any changes).

Removing App_Offline.htm

To bring your website back online, simply delete the App_Offline.htm files.  If your website does not come back online, ensure all instances within the website root have been deleted, and touch web.config, in case it is helpful to reset the application (see above explanation of touching web.config).