During your store's initial design phases you may wish to close the store to outside traffic in order to prevent shoppers from seeing partially designed pages. Or perhaps you want to close only the checkout pages of the store to prevent online orders from coming through for maintenance periods. If so,then the "Close Store" section is your best bet.
By going to Settings =>Design =>Close Store, you will have the ability to close either the entire store or only its checkout pages. Furthermore, you can create a special welcome page that they will see upon reaching the store.
Tip: WYSIWYG is available for the content section as well.
You can also limit access to certain IP addresses. This can be useful if you would like to add your own connection's IP address so that you can viewyour own site during your maintenance periods. Granting access to specific IP addresses can also be useful if you would like to limit your stores traffic to an internal network such as your internal office network if needed.
For more information on using the "Close Store" functionality of your store, please review our knowledgebase article located here.