One really nice feature of Miva Merchant is the ability to turn on Maintenance Mode. Maintenance Mode is a setting within the Miva Merchant Admin. It allows you to essentially turn the store “off” for a time period. This means no customers can add a product to the cart, no one can check out, they can’t do anything with your store accept load the maintenance page. Now where is this actually useful? Well, anytime you’re making major changes to the site, say you’re redoing the entire look and feel, or you’re making changes to the checkout process, or you need to do something with the data where you can’t have new orders being placed, all those are great examples of when you would use Maintenance Mode. Let’s take a look and see how it works.
In my search box I’m going to search for “Maintenance.” You’ll see there’s a page for Maintenance Mode which we’ll talk about in a second. But the one I want is the third one down, it’s under the “Edit Store Settings” and there’s a section for Maintenance Mode. Here are the settings for Maintenance Mode. By default the store is online. However, you can turn the store “offline” for a certain time period. Now the time is all based in military time, so it’s a 24 hour clock and it’s based on the server time. Most installations of Miva Merchant will have Eastern Standard Time, but it will tell you right here what your timezone is. So the current time is 13:22 and the offline time by default is usually thirty minutes ahead of the current time. This allows you to set up a countdown timer of a thirty minute countdown until the store goes offline. The purpose of this is to give your current shoppers the ability to complete their checkout and give them notice that the store is going to go offline versus just flipping the switch and turning it off without telling them. So this feature is a great way to notify the customer when your store is going offline. Let’s check this and see what happens on the frontend. I’ll save my settings and then come back to the front end and hit “Refresh,” so you see there’s this red message that says the store name is closing in twenty-eight minutes for maintenance, please complete your selection and proceed to checkout. All abandoned baskets will be emptied.
So this is the maintenance warning message. You’re telling customers that in a certain timeframe the store is going to be offline. Now where is this message controlled? Well, there’s two pieces to it. There’s the actual message itself which is controlled right here. This is the warning message and so you have a few tokens, the store name, the countdown will print the number of minutes before the store goes into maintenance mode. You can put whatever you want here. This is just the warning message for the customers. However, where does that actually exist in the page templates. Well, by default it’s in Miva’s Global Header. So I’m going to go up here and navigate to the global header. If we look at the global header, the very first thing that’s there is this maintenance message. So it says if g.maintenance_warning message if that is true, then it’s going to output the div that has that maintenance message. So this is where you can control it on the page. Say you didn’t want it at the very top, how it appears in the global header, say you wanted it down a little bit lower and within the site structure, you can move this maintenance message wherever you need and display it however you like.
Let me jump back to the Maintenance Settings. Let’s take the store offline. Let’s put it in maintenance mode. I’m going to change this time to 13:20, which is already in the past. It’s currently 13:26 and I’m going to hit “Update” and see what happens. If I come back to my storefront and hit “Refresh” you’ll see that the warning message is gone, but the store is currently in Maintenance Mode and now we get a different message, “Sorry, Version 9 Demo Store is closed for Maintenance. We’ll reopen soon. Thank you. This again is a customized message that you can control. It’s controlled right here within the maintenance mode settings. So here’s the message and you could put whatever you’d like within this section. It also lists all of the available tokens you can use right down here. However, let’s say for example you wanted to customize this page. If you wanted more than just a text message. Maybe you wanted to put an image or a graphic, wanted to remove the left nav. Whatever you want to do, you want to make it look a little more professional. Well, Maintenance Mode is tied to a page. What happens is, anytime you click on a link and the site is in Maintenance Mode, Miva has a UI exception, which is controlled by the merchant.mvc page we talked about earlier. It will redirect you to the maintenance mode page, which is a controllable page in the Admin. So you have full control of the entire look and feel. So let’s go look that page up.
So here’s the MNTM page which is the Maintenance Mode page and this is just an html page that has items with a header and footer, everything that we talked about previously. It’s a fully controllable page that you can put whatever you want on it. So, we’ll just put some text here just to see how it works. I’ll refresh this and there’s my text. So this page will always be displayed anytime the site is in Maintenance Mode. This page gives you complete control of the look and feel.
One last nice feature of Maintenance Mode has the ability to overwrite it for a certain ip address. This is a great tool and allows you as a developer to put a store in maintenance mode so everyone else sees the maintenance message. But you can overwrite it, you can make changes, do testing, q&a, anything you have to do before you actually make the site live to the public. So here, there’s this “allow ip address” field. It will give you the ip address. So I’m going to take the ip address and put it in the field and hit update. Now, the site is still in maintenance mode, it’s still offline, but because I have this “allow ip addresses” so when I come back to the frontend and I refresh, you’ll see it allows me to navigate through the site. I can go through the entire site as if it was not in maintenance mode. I can place orders, I can do anything that you normal do but everyone else besides that one ip address will see the maintenance mode page. So this is a great tool to be able to push live changes and do proper qa before everyone else can see it.
With Miva Merchant’s Maintenance Mode feature you can push live major changes and properly custom while putting up a nice landing page for everybody else to see.