If you’ve been keeping up with your WordPress updates you may have run into a message saying “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute”.
Even if you’ve already completed the upgrade, this message could still appear.
Problem with WordPress stuck in maintenance mode usually happens when you update the WordPress core itself.
But it can also happen when updating theme or plugin.
WordPress added support for automatic updates in version 3.7 which allows WordPress to update itself to minor releases.
A common problem when updating on shared WordPress hosting is that the update process may timeout, leaving your site in maintenance mode and inaccessible
Dont worry, your life as you know it isn’t over. Dont start cursing and throwing things around (or is it just me).
There is salvation and it’s very simple.
When WordPress is updating the core WordPress files, plugins or themes, your site is marked as under maintenance mode.
During the update process, WordPress downloads necessary update files to your server, extracts them, and installs new files.
Maintenance mode is created as file named .maintenance in the root directory (directory that contains the “wp-admin”).
Maintenance mode page is technically not an error. It is a notification page.
If that file exists, then visitors will see message: “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”
If everything worked normally, this notice will disappear after few seconds.
However, sometimes due to a web server’s slow response or low memory issue, the update script may timeout or gets interrupted.
When this happens, WordPress does not get a chance to take your site out of maintenance mode.
Unless this file is removed your site will remain in the maintenance mode and visitors of your website will continue to see the notification.
For example, if you’re updating your plugins and someone visits your site during the process, they’d see briefly unavailable message notification.
Hopefully visitor will refresh the page after a minute and continue browsing your site.
In bad case scenario, your server will have slow response time or for some reason the update script will be interrupted or timed out.
In that case, WordPress briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance notification will be there to stay.
To summarize what causes WordPress to stuck in maintenance mode:
This problem occurs when the under maintenance is not marked as done at the end of the process. This can be caused by an interrupted update, the updating taking so long that it times out or browser crashes.
As already mentioned when doing updates, WordPress generates a .maintenance file in the root directory of the installation.
It is to prevent visitors from being confronted with ugly, broken pages during the upgrade process.
With normal behavior, the update script completes and WordPress auto-removes the .maintenance file.
In the case of an interruption of some sort, this file doesn’t get deleted and the message won’t go away.
So to fix maintenance error and to remove scheduled maintenance notification, you need to delete .maintenance manually.
NOTE: Files which start with a full stop/period are marked as hidden files on Unix/Linux. You may need to enable show hidden files on your FTP client before you can see this file.
In Filezilla you need to go to server->force show hidden files.
Once you have deleted the .maintenance file it is a good idea to re-apply the updates you were doing to make sure they have been completed correctly.
How do you know if you should run update again?
You’ll see a notification on the dashboard page same as you always see when a new upgrade is available.
If you don’t see that message, you’re good to go.
All you have to do is delete the .maintenance file from the blog root directory. After you’ve deleted the file you should be able to access the site just fine.
This fix assumes the blog upgrade failure was really just a one-time occurrence and not a symptom of a larger problem.
If you’ve deleted the file and the automatic upgrade continues to fail, you’ve probably got a larger issue at hand.
“Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” can seem like a scary message. But it is in fact one of easier to solve.
Fixing it is pretty easy and it usually doesn’t cause issues afterward. You should be lucky not to receive worst ones like Blank site page.
If you’ve ever bumped on this problem or any other pain in the ass error messages which took extra effort to get rid of, let me know in comments below!
Hello, my name is Matija but everybody calls me Kasa. I started this site to earn lots of money so that I never have to work again. Just lay down on a beach, drinking cocktails day after day while hot, beautiful chicks fight for my attention.Ok, now seriously. I love making websites, especially in WordPress. Hope reading content on this site you will find helpful tips, tutorials, comparisons, and product reviews for your business.
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