Help with .htaccess

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Hi All

I need some .htaccess advice.  Can anyone help?

I need to take a site offline for a major upgrade, but want to be able
to surf to it myself to check progress etc.  So should I use
the .htaccess file to block everyone except my IP address?  Is this
the best way to do it, or is there an alternative?

To complicate things further I need to set the server/site to return a
503 status.  Can this be done in the .htaccess file?

so many questions, so little time

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