How To Temporarily Disable A WooCommerce Store

July 3, 2024,
How To Temporarily Disable A WooCommerce Store

Ever feel like your online store needs a little time off? Maybe the holidays are coming and things are crazy, your team needs a break, or you're running low on stock. While taking a breather is a good idea, completely shutting down your store isn't the best option.

Here's the thing: growing an online business is all about moving forward, but sometimes hitting pause is the smartest move.  Maybe the holidays are around the corner, your staff could use a rest, or you're revamping your products. Whatever the reason, temporarily taking your WooCommerce store offline can be a strategic decision.

Here's why:

  • Losing momentum: Customers might think you're closed for good, leading them to your competitors.
  • SEO hit: Disappearing store pages can negatively impact your search ranking.

The smarter solution?  Temporarily disable WooCommerce while keeping your website live! This allows you to:

  • Maintain customer engagement: Website visitors can still browse your blog, portfolio, or contact information.
  • Set expectations: Display a clear message explaining the temporary closure and your return date.

This guide will explore why store owners choose to do this, what to consider when taking a break, and four easy methods for putting your shop on hold – without losing momentum!

Why Disable Your WooCommerce Store?

Here are some reasons to disable your WooCommerce Store.

  • Taking a Break: Vacation time is a common reason, especially for stores selling physical products. Disabling the store during holidays like Christmas allows you to avoid order fulfillment, customer service, and product return hassles. This also reduces pressure on a limited staff managing the store during your absence.
  • Inventory Refresh: Taking your store offline for inventory adjustments ensures a smooth experience for everyone. This will avoid customers from buying items that are out of stock, so you won't have problems filling their orders later.
  • Brand Refresh on Deck: Planning a complete makeover for your store's look and products? Temporarily disabling WooCommerce lets you prepare the relaunch behind the scenes. This way, you can unveil your fresh offerings without confusing your existing customers.
  • Website Maintenance: Scheduled maintenance for upgrades, theme changes, or plugin updates might necessitate disabling the store to prevent customers from encountering errors or incomplete information.

Disabling the store entirely isn't recommended for out-of-stock or backordered products. This can lead customers to believe you no longer sell the item, pushing them to competitors. It can also negatively impact SEO with shop pages inaccessible to search engines. In such cases, consider hiding the "Add to Cart" button for the specific product instead.

Method 1: Adding a Code Snippet

For developers comfortable with code, a custom code snippet can be added to your theme's functions.php file to disable WooCommerce functionalities like cart and checkout.

 Here is an example snippet:

Before ”?>,” add these code snippets to the file:

// Trigger Holiday Mode

add_action ('init', 'bbloomer_woocommerce_holiday_mode');

// Disable Cart, Checkout, Add Cart

function bbloomer_woocommerce_holiday_mode() {

   remove_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'woocommerce_template_loop_add_to_cart', 10 );

   remove_action( 'woocommerce_single_product_summary', 'woocommerce_template_single_add_to_cart', 30 );

   remove_action( 'woocommerce_proceed_to_checkout', 'woocommerce_button_proceed_to_checkout', 20 );

   remove_action( 'woocommerce_checkout_order_review', 'woocommerce_checkout_payment', 20 );

   add_action( 'woocommerce_before_main_content', 'bbloomer_wc_shop_disabled', 5 );

   add_action( 'woocommerce_before_cart', 'bbloomer_wc_shop_disabled', 5 );

   add_action( 'woocommerce_before_checkout_form', 'bbloomer_wc_shop_disabled', 5 );


// Show Holiday Notice

function bbloomer_wc_shop_disabled() {

        wc_print_notice( 'Our Online Shop is Closed Today :)

', 'error');

This code snippet will redirect users away from the cart, checkout, and product pages, effectively disabling WooCommerce functionalities.

Method 2: Unpublishing Products

A simpler approach is to unpublish individual products. This removes them from public view and prevents customers from adding them to their carts. To do this:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Products.
  3. Select the products you want to unpublish.
  4. In the Bulk Actions dropdown, select Edit and click Apply.
  5. Change the Status to Draft and update.

Method 3: WooCommerce Shop Visibility

WooCommerce offers a "hidden" visibility option for the shop page. This allows visitors to access other parts of your website (like blogs) while hiding the shop. To enable this:

  1. Go to Pages in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Find your shop page and edit it.
  3. In the Publish box, change the Visibility to Private and update the page.

Method 4: Using WooCommerce Temporarily Close Shop Plugin

The WooCommerce Product Visibility Plugin lets you set daily schedules, hide the "Add to Cart" button during closed hours, close your store for holidays or special events, and also manage product and category visibility based on user roles. 

This guide will take you through the easy setup process, showing you how to configure the plugin and control product visibility for different customer groups.

Key Features of WooCommerce Product Visibility by User Roles

  • Show/Hide Products by User Role
  • Show/Hide Categories by User Role
  • Hide/Show Products for Not Logged-In Users
  • Hide/Show Products for All Registered Users
  • Custom Error Messages for Restricted Pages
  • Allow/Disallow Search Engines to Crawl Hidden Pages
  • Intuitive Settings Page
  • Quick Activation and Management via WooCommerce Menu
  • Simultaneous Visibility Control for All User Roles
  • Separate Tabs for Global and Role-Based Visibility Settings


  1. To get started, install and activate the plugin by following these steps.
  2. Download the WooCommerce Open Close Store Plugin  .zip file from FME Addons
  3. Go to: WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New and click Upload Plugin.
  4. Select the .zip file you downloaded and click Install Now.
  5. Activate the plugin after installation.

For more detailed instructions, refer to Install and Activate Plugins/Extensions.

Setup & Configurations

After activating the Product Visibility by User Roles plugin, you can configure it through the WooCommerce menu.

Accessing the Settings

Navigate to WooCommerce > Product Visibility.

You will see three tabs: Global Visibility, Visibility by User Roles, and General Settings.

Global Visibility

The Global Visibility tab allows you to hide or show products for not logged-in customers or all registered customers, regardless of their user roles.

  • Hide/Show Products: Select products or categories you want to hide or show.
  • Customized Message: Draft a message to display to visitors who try to access restricted pages.

 Global Settings WooCommerce Temporary Close Store

Visibility by User Roles

The Visibility by User Roles tab enables you to manage product visibility based on user roles.

  • Enable for Specific Role: Click on the user role you want to adjust visibility for and click Enable for this Role.
  • Show: Products will be visible only to the specified user role and hidden from others.
  • Hide: Products will be hidden from the specified user role and available to others.
  • You can manage visibility for all user roles simultaneously.

Visibility by user roles woocommerce

General Settings

The General Settings tab allows you to control whether search engines can crawl, index, and rank your hidden pages.

  • Crawl Settings: Enable or disable search engine crawling for hidden pages.

General settings for WooCommerce Open Close Store

How to Show a Specific Product or Category to Retailers Only

Hide Globally

  • Go to WooCommerce > Product Visibility > Global Visibility.
  • Select the product and category you want to hide and enable the global setting.

Show for Retailers

  • Go to Visibility by User Roles tab.
  • Select the retailer user role and set the visibility to Show.
  • Select all categories to ensure they are visible only to the retailer role and save the settings.

Benefits of Using a WooCommerce Temporarily Close Shop Plugin

While the passage outlines several methods for temporarily, disabling your WooCommerce store, using a dedicated WooCommerce Temporarily Close Shop Plugin offers significant advantages:

  • Granular Control: Unlike disabling the entire store, the plugin allows you to show or hide specific products or categories based on user roles. This lets you create targeted product offerings for different customer segments, like exclusive pricing for wholesalers or early access for members.
  • Improved User Experience: Customers only see relevant products, streamlining their shopping journey and keeping them engaged. This reduces confusion and frustration caused by unavailable items.
  • Flexibility and Ease of Use: The plugin provides a user-friendly interface for managing product visibility. You can easily configure settings without needing to edit code snippets or unpublish large numbers of products.
  • Customizable Messages: Craft messages to display when visitors try to access restricted products. Explain the reason for limited access or offer alternative product suggestions, ensuring a smooth user experience.
  • SEO Considerations: The plugin allows you to control search engine crawling for hidden products. This helps maintain SEO value for temporarily unavailable items, preventing them from negatively impacting your search ranking.

In essence, a WooCommerce Product Visibility Plugin provides a more strategic and user-friendly approach to managing product availability compared to simply disabling the entire store. It empowers you to personalize the shopping experience, boost sales potential, and streamline store management.

Final Remarks

By implementing these strategies, you can ensure a smooth shopping experience for your customers, even when your WooCommerce store is on a temporary pause. So go ahead, take that vacation, focus on your brick-and-mortar store, or simply catch your breath – your online shop can wait!


Does it hide categories entirely?

No, it does not hide the category entirely. Restricted customers will see a customized error message or be redirected.

Does it hide products entirely?

Yes, it hides products from the listing page and default search results.