If you're a WordPress website owner or administrator, you may have encountered the frustrating issue of your website getting stuck in maintenance mode.
When this happens, visitors cannot access your site, and you might wonder how to resolve the problem quickly.
This article will explore the common causes and help you to fix WordPress stuck in maintenance mode error.
By the end, you'll have the knowledge and tools to get your website back up and running smoothly.
What is Maintenance Mode
Before we dive into the solutions, it's essential to understand what maintenance mode in WordPress means.
Maintenance Mode is automatically activated when WordPress is updated, when a new plugin is installed, or when a theme is changed.
Its purpose is to show a message to visitors that states "briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance" while the updates are being applied.
Typically, maintenance mode only lasts for a short time, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the complexity of the update.
However, if there is an issue during the update process, maintenance mode may become stuck, making your site inaccessible.
Common Causes of Stuck Maintenance Mode
There are several reasons why WordPress can get stuck in maintenance mode.
Understanding these causes can help you identify the root of the problem and apply the appropriate solution:
Interrupted Update Process
WordPress maintenance mode is stuck mainly when an update process is interrupted.
It can happen if there is a server timeout, a weak internet connection, or a technical problem.
If this occurs, your website might remain in maintenance mode permanently.
File Permission Issues
Maintenance mode issues can also arise from improper file permissions.
If specific WordPress files lack the necessary permissions, the update process might fail, causing maintenance mode to freeze.
Plugin or Theme Conflicts
Conflicts between plugins or themes can sometimes interfere with the update process, causing the maintenance mode to get stuck.
Corrupted WordPress core files can cause maintenance mode issues. If important files are corrupted, the update process may encounter problems.
Inadequate Hosting Environment
In some cases, a hosting environment with limited resources may need help to handle the update process correctly, leading to maintenance mode problems.
6 Ways to Fix WordPress Stuck in Maintenance Mode
Now that we understand the potential causes let's move on to the solutions.
Follow these steps to get your WordPress website out of maintenance mode:
Check File Permissions
First, ensure that all WordPress files have the correct permissions.
Use an FTP client or the file manager provided by your hosting service to check the permissions of the main WordPress directory and its subdirectories.
The standard permission settings are 755 for directories and 644 for files.
Correct any permission issues that you find.
You can change these permissions with:
- SFTP Client
- File Manager WordPress Plugin
Clear Browser Cache
Clear your browser cache and cookies if your website still shows the maintenance mode message.
Cached data may make it seem like your site is still undergoing maintenance.
Quick steps for Google Chrome:
- Open Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click on the three-dot menu icon at the top-right corner of the browser window.
- Hover over "More tools" in the dropdown menu.
- Click on "Clear browsing data."
- In the popup window, select "Cached images and files" and any other browsing data you want to clear.
- Choose the time range for which you want to clear the cache. For most cases, "All time" is recommended.
- Click the "Clear data" button.
Delete .maintenance File
WordPress creates a .maintenance file during the update process.
If the update gets interrupted or doesn't complete, this file might not be deleted, keeping your site in maintenance mode.
Access your website files through FTP, Cpanel, or the file manager and remove the .maintenance file manually.
Disable Plugins and Themes
If you're experiencing an issue with maintenance mode, it could be caused by a plugin or theme.
To determine which is causing the problem, you can deactivate all plugins and switch to a default WordPress theme.
Then, check if the issue is still there.
If it's gone, you can start reactivating your plugins and theme individually until you identify the one causing the conflict.
Reinstall WordPress Core Files
If you suspect your WordPress core files are corrupted, you can reinstall them without affecting your content and settings.
Download the latest version of WordPress from the official website, extract the files, and upload them to your website's root directory, overwriting the existing files.
Increase Server Resources
If your hosting environment is limited in resources, consider upgrading to a higher plan or switching to a more reliable hosting provider.
Good server resources are essential for seamless updates and overall website performance.
In our extensive guide, we've journeyed through the world of Content Management Systems (CMS), from understanding the core components to exploring popular platforms. We've delved into customization, security, emerging trends, and resources for further learning. If you're ready to take your CMS knowledge a step further, check out our guide on WordPress Custom Development in 2023. Explore the intricacies of WordPress and empower yourself with advanced development insights.
Facing a WordPress stuck in maintenance mode can be a frustrating experience.
However, with the right knowledge and troubleshooting steps, you can quickly get your site back up and running.
You can effectively resolve the maintenance mode issue by checking file permissions, clearing the browser cache, deleting the .maintenance file, turning off conflicting plugins and themes, and reinstalling WordPress core files.
Remember to back up your website before making any significant changes to ensure the safety of your data.
How long does maintenance mode last in WordPress?
Will I lose my website data when fixing maintenance mode?
Can I fix the maintenance mode without technical knowledge?
What should I do if the maintenance mode problem persists?
Is it necessary to update WordPress regularly?