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Thoughts of the Cyberspace Man, Website design services, WordPress, WordPress tutorials

Tutorial: What to do when WordPress gets Stuck in Maintenance Mode

If you manage a WordPress site you’ll know that plugin, theme and even core updates are released constantly and if you’ve ever fallen foul of a successful hack attempt you’ll know only too well the importance of keeping your system secure and up to date.

I received a call from a customer this morning who had applied some routine plugin updates to their WordPress site. The process had failed and the system had become stuck in “Maintenence Mode”. When this happens, no matter what link you click you’re presented with a holding page that simple states; “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Please check back in a few minutes”.

With here site now off line, my client went into panic mode and phoned me for help. The solution is actually quite simple and one that even ley users can apply themselves.

How to fix WordPress when stuck in Maintenance Mode

All you need to do is login with FTP access to the root of the WP installation – which is often the root of the domain itself. We’ll leave aside for now, the security implications of installing WP to the domain root, now look for a file .MAINTENANCE. It is this file that triggers WP to display the maintenance notification.

Simply delete the .MAINTENANCE file and your WordPress site will come back online.

NB: Following this step, some users may also need to refresh their browser cache, if you need instructions on how to do this you will find a good resource here.

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WordPress stuck in maintenance mode

Sharing really does help businesses like ours to grow and if we grow we can continue to spend our time creating free resources like this WordPress tutorial and spend less time killing kittens. If you found our post useful please take a moment to share it on your favourite social networks…. or the kitten gets it [wink].