How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

Michael Oldborn

Seeing the ‘Shortly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ error in WordPress? This error usually occurs when updating WordPress core, plugins or themes. Basically, your WordPress site cannot complete the update and your site gets stuck in maintenance mode.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress. We will also show you why this error occurs and how you can avoid it in the future.

Why WordPress Maintenance Mode Error Occurs?

The WordPress maintenance mode page is not technically a bug. It is a notification page. During the update process, WordPress downloads the required update files to your server, extracts them, and then installs the update.

WordPress also puts your site in maintenance mode and says, “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” Be careful during the process.

wordpress-Briefly-unavailable-for-scheduled-mainte

To trigger the maintenance mode notification, WordPress creates a temporary .maintenance file in the root folder of your website.

If everything is working normally, this notification will probably only be displayed for a few seconds. After successful update WordPress will automatically delete the maintenance file to disable maintenance mode.

However, sometimes due to a slow WordPress hosting server response or low memory issue, the update script times out and interrupts the process. When this happens, WordPress has no chance to take your site out of maintenance mode.

In other words, your site will continue to show the maintenance mode notification and you will have to fix it manually.

How To Fix WordPress Maintenance Mode Error

To get your website out of maintenance mode , all you have to do is delete the .maintenance file from your site root folder using FTP .

deletemaintenancefile

If you can’t find the .maintenance file in your WordPress root directory, make sure your FTP client is set to show hidden files.

In Filezilla, you can force it to show hidden files by clicking Server » Force showing hidden files from the menu bar.

showhiddenfiles-ftp-1

After the .maintenance file is removed, your site will exit maintenance mode and the error should be fixed.

If you don’t know how to use FTP, you can also remove files by going to the file manager in your WordPress hosting control panel and then deleting the .maintenance file inside the file manager.

How To Fix WordPress Maintenance Mode Error

We already know that the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error is caused by a slow server response or low memory issue on your web host. The easiest way to avoid this error is to upgrade to a higher hosting plan. We recommend going with one of these managed WordPress hosting companies that offer superior hosting performance.

If upgrading to a higher hosting plan is not an option, we recommend doing plugin and theme updates one at a time. Often times, users tend to quickly click the update link below each plugin. WordPress then cascades the update order, but even a millisecond delay in connection can cause a conflict causing your site to stay in maintenance mode.

plugins-update-one-by-one

We recommend patiently updating one plugin at a time, rather than clicking the update link quickly.

How to Customize Maintenance Mode Notification

An easier solution to not showing the default maintenance mode notification is to manually switch your WordPress site to maintenance mode before installing any updates.

The best way to do this is to install and activate the SeedProd plugin. It is the most popular maintenance mode plugin for WordPress. You can customize your maintenance mode page and integrate different email marketing tools using the drag and drop builder.

setupmaintenancemode

After that, you will need to choose a template for your maintenance mode page. Hover over the template you want to use and click the check icon.

Choose-a-maintenance-page-template

You can then customize your maintenance mode page using the SeedProd drag and drop builder. The plugin offers standard blocks for text, images, and buttons, and advanced blocks like countdown timer, contact form, and social share buttons.

Simply drag any block you want from the menu on your left to the template.

SeedProd-visual-editor

It also makes it very easy to arrange the blocks in the template the way you want. You can also click on any item to edit its color, size, text, font, and more.

Once you are satisfied with the maintenance mode page, click the ‘Save’ button to save your changes. Next, go to the ‘Page Settings’ tab and click the Page Status button to Publish your page.

Now, every time you update your website, simply activate the maintenance mode page on your WordPress website.

To activate the page, go to SeedProd » Pages from your WordPress dashboard and change the maintenance mode to ‘Enabled’.

Enable-maintenance-mode-in-SeedPro

You can then visit your website to see the maintenance mode page in action.

maintenance-mode-page-preview

How to Customize Maintenance Mode Notification

As we have helped thousands of users fix the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress, we have helped users fix some unseen issues that may arise.

Here are some additional steps you might need to take if the above solution doesn’t work.

WordPress still stuck in maintenance mode after the above update and fix?

In this case, you need to update the wp-Activate.php file located in your main WordPress folder. This is the same place where you find and delete the .maintenance file.

You need to open the file using your hosting company’s file manager or download it to your computer using FTP.

Next, you need to find the code define (‘WP_INSTALLING’, true) and change true to false.

So your code will look like this:

define (‘WP_INSTALLING’, false)

After that you need to save the changes and upload the file to your hosting server using FTP. If you are using the hosting company’s file manager, saving the file will get you out of maintenance mode.

My site broke after I fixed the WordPress maintenance mode error. How do I fix it?

If an error occurred while updating a WordPress plugin, you should temporarily disable all WordPress plugins using FTP. This step will disable the broken plugin and get your website back.

Next, you need to log into your WordPress dashboard and activate one plugin at a time to see which plugin is causing the problem. After that, you have to manually install the plugin update for it to work properly.

We hope this article helped you fix the ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ error in WordPress.

You may also want to see our list of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Dribbble and Behance.

If you have any questions about this article or other topics, please click the button below. Your questions will be answered soon.

If you want an affordable, reliable and fast WordPress server, just go ahead and click on the button and get a package as needed.