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The “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error in WordPress usually occurs when an update is being applied to WordPress core, plugins, or themes. WordPress puts your site in maintenance mode during the update process. If the process is interrupted or fails to complete, your site can get stuck in maintenance mode, displaying this message to visitors. Here’s how to resolve the issue:
Delete the .maintenance File
When your site enters maintenance mode, WordPress creates a
.maintenance file in the root directory of your WordPress installation. Removing this file will take your site out of maintenance mode.
- Access Your Site via FTP or File Manager: Use an FTP client or the file manager provided by your hosting control panel to access your site’s files.
- Navigate to the Root Directory: This is where you’ll find the
- Locate and Delete the
.maintenanceFile: If the update process was interrupted, this file might still be present. Deleting it will remove the maintenance mode message.
Check for Updates
After removing the
.maintenance file, it’s a good idea to check if the update that triggered maintenance mode was completed successfully.
- Log in to Your WordPress Dashboard: Go to Dashboard > Updates to see if there are any pending updates. If there are, attempt to run them again.
- Plugins and Themes: If a plugin or theme update caused the issue, try updating them one at a time. Navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins and Appearance > Themes to check for updates.
Clear Your Browser Cache
Sometimes, your browser might cache the maintenance mode page, making it appear as though the issue hasn’t been resolved even after deleting the
- Clear Your Browser Cache: Look up instructions for your specific browser to clear its cache, then refresh your website.
Check File Permissions
Incorrect file permissions can sometimes interfere with the update process and cause issues with maintenance mode.
- File Permissions: Ensure that files are set to 644 and directories to 755. You can check and change file permissions using an FTP client. Right-click on a file or folder and select “File permissions” to view or modify them.
If your WordPress core, plugin, or theme failed to update properly and is causing issues, consider performing a manual update.
- WordPress Core: Download the latest version of WordPress from wordpress.org and manually update by replacing the core files via FTP. Be sure not to overwrite your
- Plugins/Themes: Download the latest version of the problematic plugin or theme and manually update it by uploading it to your
Restore a Backup
If you’re still encountering issues after trying to fix the problem, restoring your website from a backup made before attempting the updates might be the best solution.
The “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error is typically a temporary issue that can be resolved by deleting the
.maintenance file from your site’s root directory. Always ensure to backup your website regularly to avoid losing data during updates or when troubleshooting issues like this.