Oh, Hey…The Maintenance Page!
I managed, during a recent plugin update, to capture an image of the elusive Aiera “site down for maintenance” page in the wild:
This is much better than the default maintenance screen, I think. And better still, in case you ever do encounter this page when visiting Aiera, it’s basically fully functional; the menus all work and outbound links are clickable.
The text used on the page, incidentally, is an almost-verbatim quote from what is still my favourite FPS of all time, Bungie’s Marathon. It appears on a level later in the game, shortly before the player is abducted by the rogue AI Durandal.
Interesting factoid: After Googling about looking for information about how to create a custom maintenance page for WordPress, I found an answer at the WordPress website proper. The author of the instructions I followed, by some sort of epic-level coincidence, turned out to be the man who was my wife’s high-school English teacher.
Also: The critters up to mischief with the servers there are the Tumbeasts that web cartoonist The Oatmeal originally drew for Tumblr to use on their error pages, as an analog to Twitter’s Fail Whale.
As of Summer 2011, however, Tumblr had discontinued use of the Tumbeasts, prompting The Oatmeal to release them to the public for general use. Hence their appearance here.