WordPress Fix “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error

WordPress is now easier than ever to maintain and update. Since the releases of WordPress 3.7 version, the system is equipped with automatic updates features. It does make a lot of people life easier. However, there is always a time when things go south. A “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error is a commonly found on WordPress sites that using the shared hosting. In shared hosting, the resources are shared with other websites in same machine or pool.

What causes the Maintenance Errors?

The shared hosting company often set a specific timeout in seconds to terminate any process that takes longer than x seconds to execute. When you or WordPress is doing a maintenance upgrade or install new plugins/themes, and it was taking too long, then it usually gets terminated by the system.

During the upgrade procedures, WordPress will put itself under a maintenance mode to momentarily suspend traffic coming to the website. The reason behind is to make sure all resources are dedicated to upgrade and install process and prevent other errors to occur.

WordPress will automatically exit from maintenance mode and hide the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” message.

If the process doesn’t get a chance to finish because of timeout or running out of memory issues, then your WordPress is stuck with the Maintenance Mode Error.

How to Fix and Exit WordPress Maintenance Mode?

First, you need to know what causes your WordPress to enter the maintenance mode.

  • (A) My WordPress stuck in Maintenance Mode because of WordPress automatically update itself.
  • (B) My WordPress stuck in Maintenance Mode because of I manually update it.
  • (C) My WordPress stuck during the process of Plugins/Themes installation/upgrade
  • (D) I woke up and completely have no idea what is going on

Option (C) Solution

Don’t Panic! If you WordPress stuck from installing or upgrade plugin/theme, it is the easiest to fix.

You need to have at least one of these in order to get your WordPress out of the maintainence mode.

  • FTP Access to your WordPress
  • or Hosting File Manager (cPanel or DirectAdmin)

Then follow these steps

  1. Go to your WordPress root directory with your FTP client or your web hosting file manager.
  2. Locate and delete .maintenance file. (Don’t worry it won’t break anything)
What is a .maintenance file?

During an installation or upgrading process, WordPress will create a .maintenance file to your WordPress root directory to show that the system has gone into a full maintenance mode. A reason your message error isn’t getting away is that WordPress fails to remove this file.

Please help! I can’t find a .maintenance file.

There are two possible reasons why you can’t see .maintenance file in WordPress root directory.

First, the file that starts with a dot is a hidden file. You have to go to your FTP client or File Manager to make hidden files show up.

I’m using FileZilla. How do I make it show hidden files?

You can easily go to a Server menu and click on Force Showing Hidden Files.

Option (A), (B), (D) Solution

If your WordPress stuck in maintenance mode during a WordPress version upgrade, then you might want to manually upgrade your WordPress before removing  the .maintenance file in root directory. For manually upgrade instructions you can file it on the official WordPress website or click here.

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