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Drupal 7 has a module, Read Only Mode, which allows your site to be viewed while in maintenance mode. No changes can take place to the database, but viewers can still see your site. This allows you to make your maintenance mode changes while not inconveniencing users who simply want to view your site.

Does this work with Civicrm as well? ie, does it prevent civicrm from changing its database while in maintenance mode?

We'd be very happy to be able to use Read Only Mode during Civicrm upgrades, which can take a while. Thanks for any thoughts!

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In short - no. Moreover, if it did, it would be dangerous, because the Drupal module can't know which database writes are part of the legitimate upgrade and which aren't.

In my experience, only upgrades that add/remove indices take any appreciable amount of time. Is it possible that more frequent upgrades will result in shorter downtimes for your use case?

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