Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance – WordPress

It is very disappointing when any one attempts to access your WordPress website and is met with a glaring message “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a Minute”. Any frequent WordPress user is bound to come across this error at some point. If you are experiencing this error, you should not be alarmed.

What Causes the Maintenance Error?

Although most WordPress updates are fast and painless, sometimes the process may be interrupted. Issues such as insufficient memory or server slow response may cause the update script to timeout.

Unexpected timeouts are very common especially among users on shared hosting plans. When the automatic update process is interrupted, your website is inaccessible because it is still in maintenance mode. Therefore, the message appearing on the browser is simply a notification about the maintenance process happening in the background.

If the update is successful, the message usually clears in a few minutes. However, it the update process is interrupted, the website is stuck in maintenance mode.

Fix a Persistent Maintenance Error

The first thing to do is to ensure that the WordPress is updated to the latest version. An incomplete update may cause problems to your site when it resumes from maintenance mode. The best way to ensure that your website is using the most current WordPress release is to update manually.

Note: To perform a manual update, you will need an FTP client and a copy of the latest WordPress release.

Download and unzip the latest WordPress. After logging into your server via FTP, locate your website root directory. Upload the unzipped WordPress content onto your website as shown below:

Once the upload is complete, your WordPress is fully updated. Now that we have fixed the WordPress update, we need to get rid of the message. During maintenance, WordPress creates a file named .maintenance that shows the annoying message.

Therefore, we need to delete the .maintenance file located on your web site’s root directory. If you cannot see the file in your folder, make sure that your FTP client is configured to show hidden files. Below is a demonstration of setting up Cyberduck and FileZilla respectively.

Once the .maintenance file is erased, the error message will clear. Although we have solved the error, we can customize the maintenance error message.

We can control what message is shown to users when the website is undergoing updates. Create a maintainence.php file on your local machine and paste the code below:

You can style the file using CSS to make it more appealing to visitors. Save the file and upload it to your website in the wp-content folder.

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About the Author: Abdelrahman Reda

Abdelrahman Reda is a Motivated Support Engineer with 6+ years of corporate and consumer support experience. His experience related to administration of Network, NOC support, computers and anti-virus server, data entry, networking sites, remote support.

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