How To Fix Website Stuck In WordPress Maintenance Mode

“Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance”. If you keep seeing this message when you try to open links, then your site is probably on maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is a very useful WordPress feature, but it can get annoying. If your site is currently stuck in maintenance mode, you have no need to worry. Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to fix WordPress stuck in maintenance mode.

What Is Maintenance Mode?

WordPress built maintenance mode as a part of their in-built theme and plug-in update mechanism. You can see the messages that indicate this each time you update a theme or plug-in.

Each time you update either a plugin or theme, WordPress’ maintenance mode is turned on. This prevents any access to your site for the time being — and for good reason, since your site may break in that moment when critical files are updated. Once an update is finished, maintenance mode is turned off and your site access is restored. The switch from the regular to the maintenance mode and back is pretty quick, so most of your website visitors won’t even notice it happening.

Thus an update is the most common scenario that causes your site to get stuck in maintenance mode. And it may be for several reasons, like closing your browser tab or window before the installation is done, or trying to update multiple themes or plugins at once. Even a failed update or compatibility errors in the new version of the plugin or theme may your site is going to get stuck in maintenance mode.

How To Fix Stuck in Maintenance Mode

WordPress indicates its maintenance mode status by adding a file named “.maintenance” to the root folder of your WordPress installation (where you can find the wp-admin folder). To bring your site out of maintenance mode, you’ll need to log in to your server using FTP and delete that file.

If you use cPanel or are familiar with your hosting dashboard, head to your file explorer to access your root folder under WPadmin. Or you can obtain your FTP credentials from your web hosting providers. Once you have successfully logged in, just find the .maintenance file and delete that. This should immediately return your site to normal, restoring access.

While deleting the file is enough to revert your site to normal, you should also take this opportunity to clear your site’s WordPress cache. You can do this by clicking on the Admin toolbar in your WordPress dashboard.

You can retry the update that got you stuck in the process. If it causes another “stuck in maintenance mode” error, you most likely have compatibility issues with another theme/ plugin and may want to hold off on the update or make sure other plugins and themes are also properly updated in the first place.

How to Avoid Website Stuck in Maintenance Mode

We know that the maintenance node problem is relatively easy to fix, but it can be annoying to fix it. Here’s how you can prevent your site from ever raising the maintenance mode error again.

  • Check each plug-in or theme update for compatibility information and make sure the update can be installed on your website.
  • Don’t update too many plugins or themes at once. Try to update your plugins and themes as updates become regularly available. Also consider deleting a few, as that can boost site performance.
  • Try not to disrupt the installation process. Once you click “Update”, just wait for the page to load before you take any more actions. Don’t reload or close the tab or browser window until you see “Plugin/Theme Updated Successfully”.

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