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How to Fix a Scheduled Maintenance Briefly Unavailable Error in WordPress

Last updated September 24, 2021 By Editorial Staff | Reader Disclosure Disclosure : Our content is reader approved. This means that if you click on some of our links, we may earn a commission. Find out how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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Seeing the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress? This error usually appears when updating WordPress core, plugins or themes.

Basically, your WordPress site is unable to complete the update and leaves your site stuck in maintenance mode.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix “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.

Fix briefly unavailable due to WordPress scheduled maintenance bug Fixed briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error in WordPress

Why Does WordPress Maintenance Mode Error Occur?

The WordPress maintenance mode page is technically not a bug. It’s a notification page.

During the update process, WordPress downloads the necessary update files to your server, extracts them, and then installs the update.

WordPress also puts your site in maintenance mode and displays the message “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Come back in a minute. notification during the process.

Unavailable due to WordPress scheduled maintenance error Unavailable for scheduled maintenance error in WordPress

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

If everything is working normally, this prompt may only appear for a few seconds. Upon successful update, WordPress will automatically delete the maintenance file to disable maintenance mode.

Cependant, parfois en raison d’une réponse lente du serveur d’hébergement WordPress ou d’un problème de mémoire insuffisante, le script de mise à jour expirera et interrompra le processus. Lorsque cela se produit, WordPress n’a pas la possibilité de sortir votre site du mode maintenance.

En d’autres termes, votre site affichera toujours l’avis de mode de maintenance et vous devrez le corriger manuellement.

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¿Cómo reparar el error del modo de mantenimiento de WordPress?

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

Delete maintenance record Delete maintenance record

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

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

Show hidden files in FTP Show hidden files in FTP

Once the .maintenance file is removed, your site will come out of maintenance mode, and the error should be fixed.

If you don’t know how to use FTP, then you can also remove the 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 Avoid WordPress Maintenance Mode in the Future?

We already know that the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error is caused by slow server response or low memory issue on your web hosting server.

The easiest way to avoid this error is by upgrading 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, then we recommend doing plugin and theme updates one at a time.

Often users have a tendency of quickly clicking on the update link underneath each plugin. WordPress then staggers the update order, but even a millisecond of delay in connection could cause a conflict leading your site to be stuck in maintenance mode.

Update WordPress plugin one at a time Updating the WordPress plugin one at a time

Instead of quickly clicking on the Update link, we recommend patiently updating one plugin at a time.

How to Customize Maintenance Mode Notification

An easier solution to avoid showing the default maintenance mode notification is by manually putting your WordPress site on maintenance mode before installing any updates.

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

First, you’ll need to install the SeedProd plugin on your website. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to SeedProd » Pages from your WordPress admin panel and click on the ‘Set Up a Maintenance Mode Page’ button.

Configure a maintenance mode button Configure a maintenance mode button

After that, you’ll need to select a template for your maintenance mode page. Simply hover over the template you want to use and click the check icon.

Choose a maintenance page template Choose a maintenance page template

Next, you can 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 such as countdown timer, contact form, and social sharing buttons.

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

Seed Prod visual editor SeedProd visual editor

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

Once you’re happy 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.

Publish your maintenance mode page Publish your maintenance mode page

Now whenever you update your website, just enable 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 ‘Active’.

Enable maintenance mode in SeedPro Enable maintenance mode in SeedPro

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

Overview of the maintenance mode page Overview of the maintenance mode page

Troubleshooting WordPress Maintenance Mode Error

Since we’ve helped thousands of users fix the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress, we’ve helped users fix various hidden issues that can arise.

Here are some additional steps you may need to follow if the above solution does not work.

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

If so, you need to update the wp-activate.php file located in your main WordPress folder. This is the same location where you found and deleted the .maintenance file.

You will need to open the file with your hosting provider’s file manager or upload it to your computer via FTP.

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

So your code will look like this:

set(‘WP_INSTALLING’, false)

After that, you need to save the changes and upload the file to your hosting server via FTP. If you’re using the host’s file manager, just save the file to exit maintenance mode.

My site is broken after fixing WordPress maintenance mode error. How can I solve it?

An incomplete or broken update can cause issues when your site exits maintenance mode.

If this error occurred while updating WordPress core software, you will need to follow our guide to manually update WordPress using FTP.

If the error occurred while updating a WordPress plugin, you will need to temporarily disable all WordPress plugins via FTP. This step will ensure that the corrupted plugin is disabled and your website will be back.

You will then need to log into your WordPress dashboard and activate one plugin at a time to see which plugin caused the problem. After that, you need to manually install the plugin update for it to work properly.

We hope this article helped you fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress. You can also bookmark our ultimate guide on how to fix the most common WordPress errors.

If you liked this article, please subscribe to our YouTube channel for WordPress tutorial videos. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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