Whenever you run an update in WordPress either its WordPress update, theme’s update or plugins update. Every time WordPress put your website on maintenance mode while updating the requested stuff. This maintenance mode is default WordPress feature which always get activated during the updates you run.
To clear the point let me try to explain in simple words. Whenever you try to update WordPress or Plugins or Themes from WordPress admin panel. WordPress automatically puts your website on Maintenance mode and adds the following message for visitors.
Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.
So now we know whatever happened or the message of Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Came from WordPress core and this is not done by any plugin or any theme itself.
Why i never noticed Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance Before?
Servers which host your websites and servers which host WordPress, themes and plugins. They are quite fast to share the files with each other. In past whenever you clicked update button to update plugins, themes or WordPress things happen so quickly. So when those quick updates process you hardly notice your website on maintenance mode. Means message goes away before you even can notice that.
Why WordPress put my website on maintenance mode during updates?
As you know the plugins, themes and even WordPress are collections of PHP files. During the update process for themes, plugins and WordPress the directory is removing existing files and replacing them with new files.
So during the update process there can be incomplete or broken files, the missing files of php which are being installed or removed to replace. During this period if any user try to load your website they would see notices, errors, fatal errors which can bring your website into “There has been a critical error on this website“. Because of missing files server can raise missing file errors, or undeclared functions which are declared on files which are removed at the moment. To secure you from such errors and further issues which can worry you. WordPress simple makes your website unavailable to access and puts your website on maintenance mode.
Once WordPress complete its update process and no issue arise during the update. WordPress simply turn off the maintenance mode and your website is live back.
How WordPress Put website on Maintenance Mode for updates?
Before WordPress start deleting files from your server to replace them with newly downloaded or updated files. WordPress creates a .maintenance file in root directory. This is the file which tells WordPress the site is being updated and is on maintenance mode. While .maintenance file is present in your website’s root directory your website is on maintenance mode. And unavailable for public access cause its not functional.
Once plugins, themes or WordPress whichever you were updating. Finish the updates successfully then WordPress remove .maintenance file automatically. Once the file is removed your website gets back to live. Happy Ending!
Instances When WordPress Puts website on Maintenance Mode
There are not many but only few instances when WordPress puts your website on maintenance mode.
1. Updating WordPress
If you are updating WordPress through WordPress admin panel. During update of WordPress core your website gets into Maintenance Mode.
2. Re-Installing WordPress
While you are re-Installing WordPress through WordPress admin panel. Before re install WordPress will put your website on maintenance mode. To avoid any problems with live site.
3. During update of Plugins and Themes
During update of plugins and themes. No matter if you are updating themes via appearance >> themes or from Dashboard >> updates. Similarly if you are updating plugins through Plugins >> or via Dashboard >> updates. In each case WordPress puts your website on maintenance mode.
Now days premium WordPress themes also use auto plugins installer services. Those services use WordPress’s core features so those installs and updates can also put website on maintenance mode.
The only reason why we are defining when Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute. Occurs is so you know what you were doing when problem came. In case of any issue later you can try to troubleshoot the right path.
Why my website is on Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance continuously?
Sometime network failure or poor connection between two servers. Can lead into such problem. For example before starting to download WordPress latest file. Your WordPress will put you on maintenance mode but if that download does not complete or your server stop responding. In that case your server would not able to complete task and remove maintenance mode. These types of server failures or down internet or closing tabs accidentally on wrong time. All these type of issues can keep your website on maintenance mode.
How to Fix Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance
So now we have reached to the point where we should know how to disable Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. The whole above information was important to first establish the reason and common causes of problem. Actually as you know WordPress creates .maintenance file in root of WordPress deleting that file can solve your problem.
Just delete .maintenance file from main WordPress root and your website will be back. As i told you there is a reason WordPress puts website on maintenance mode that’s to avoid errors. So its possible incomplete updates can bring your website into problems. You can find next section related to these issues detail. Let’s now see how to delete .maintenance file via FTP or cPanel and get out of WordPress maintenance mode.
Delete .maintenance via File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
If you don’t know what’s FTP client then please download filezilla. After you launch FTP client enter your HostName, Username, Password and FTP port. If you don’t have this information you can contact your hosting company or try method below. Once you are logged into your FTP account you will see folders. Mostly public_html/ folder is where your wbesite’s WordPress installed. But not in all cases so first establish where your WordPress is installed then in that folder find .maintenance and right click to delete it.
Delete .maintenance via Control Panel File Manager (cPanel >> file manager)
The next method is via your Hosting Control panel which is usually called cPanel. Not for all hosting but vary from hosting to hosting. You have to access your file manager via your hosting account. Locate your WordPress installation then find .maintenance and delete that’s all. If you are unsure where to find File manager or your website’s root i recommend you to contact your hosting company.
Removed .maintenance What’s now?
After removing .maintenance there are chances your website will be back normal. And there are also chances your website gets into further issues.
For example when WordPress created .maintenance mode that could not delete or replace any further file. In this case no change occurred after creation of .maintenance file which means removing .maintenance will get your website back as it was before.
There are also chances WordPress left something incomplete and your website is now in new problems. Like FATAL errors or notices or PHP warnings. Or new WordPress error page for FATAL errors. The site is experiencing technical difficulties.
Video explains how to avoid briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance
We also have created a helpful video which explains how you can avoid briefly maintenance message. And get your website back.
Can we help you?
We understand some people want to focus on their business and work. They cannot go through all technical details to solve the issues related to their websites. For those people we have launched WordPress Maintenance Service. Which will help you keep your website up to date, away from errors, process all your customization requests and moreover helping you grow organic reach.
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