What to do About WordPress Website Stuck in Maintenance Mode?

What to do About WordPress Website Stuck in Maintenance Mode?

When you work on your WordPress on the backend, it’s good to put your website to Maintenance Mode. You get full control over the website without having to worry about user experience (because the website will be down). The problem arises for most WordPress administrators and site managers when the website gets stuck in Maintenance Mode. It can happen for a couple of reasons. In such cases, it’s easier to panic and search for solutions. In this article, learn what to do about the WordPress website that’s stuck in Maintenance Mode.

Why WP Websites Stay in Maintenance Mode?

Before you get started with fixing the error, it’s worthwhile to learn about what causes the error. This will help you find the right solution faster.

The WordPresss Maintenance Mode begins whenever you run an update or there’s an automatic update done on your website. During this, WordPress creates a temporary file with .maintenance extension. After the update process if over, the file is subsequently deleted. This is the usual and expected roadmap. But there are times when things don’t work as expected. Events like these often cause the WP website to stay in Maintenance Mode:
  • When you close the browser when the update is underway
  • When the update gets timed out and .maintenance file wasn’t deleted
  • When you’re updating multiple things in bulk
  • When an update creates an incompatibility issue
In each of these cases, you’ll see a message like this when visiting your website:

‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute’

Fixing the Error

There are a few ways you can fix this error. Go through the different methods and pick the one as per your preference.
  • Fix the WordPress Default Maintenance Mode
As already mentioned, WordPress creates a temporary file with .maintenance extension. If this isn’t deleted, your WordPress website will likely stay in maintenance mode. Therefore, your first attempt at fixing this issue should be at deleting this file.

So log into your cPanel and go into File Manager. From there, access the the public_html folder. Click on it to open. Then locate the temporary .maintenance file. Right-click on this file and click on Delete. Your website should go back to normal mode.
  • Fix the Plugins that are Causing the Issue
In certain cases, it’s the plugins that might be causing the problem. Many plugins require the website to be in Maintenance Mode so the updates can be installed. They create a maintenance page to notify visitors about the website being down. In such cases, here are the ways you can try to fix this issue:
  • Clear the cache. This is the most basic solution.
  • Delete and reinstall your plugin that you think is causing the trouble.
  • If you’re using an outdated or incompatible version, update to the latest version
  • Contact the developer of the plugin and seek recommendations for how to fix this issue
There are a few miscellaneous ways you can solve this problem. Here are some of them:
  • Check if the theme has a maintenance mode option. Some themes have pre-installed plugins that override the maintenance mode options on your website. If there is, you may want to disable it
  • Go to Google Search Console and request reindexing of your website. There are chances that Google hasn’t crawled your website since it came back online. Therefore, it’s still showing the Maintenance mode of your website.
  • If you insert a snippet code into the backend of your website to enable maintenance mode and things went awry, you can try to restore the backup version. But before that, try deleting the code and renaming the file. Rename .maintenance to .maintenance-disabled and see if the problem is solved

So those were some of the ways to fix the WordPress website stuck in Maintenance Mode error. For further assistance, get in touch with your hosting provider.
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