Taking site offline during nameserver change

Ok,i have a site which i would be hosting at dreamhost.I have installed wordpress,copy data over ,database and all that stuff.Whille i change the DNS to point to dreamhost,i want to put the message like “Site is out for maintenence or something” while i am doing admin stuff with wordpress for the site.How do i do that?

When the DNS change is actually occurring users will get either old site or new site during propagation, so you will want to consider perhaps putting the “Site is out for maintenence or something” at only the old host, or both hosts.

The easiest “trick” I know for this is to create your maintenance page as index.html and drop it into the same folder as your WP index.php (note: verify for old host, if you plan to take the site offline there too.)

The reason this works is found here: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Htaccess_file_overview#Alternative_Index_Files which is where the search order for dreamhost’s default alternative names for index files lives. That list is similar to a search path, in that if you drop a file higher in the list into the directory it will be found and served, instead of the index.php which falls lower in the list.

If you use @domain email addresses, don’t forget to create those here before switching DNS, too!