How To Remove Your Website From Maintenance Mode

by | Sep 14, 2017

This article will detail the steps required to remove your website from maintenance mode.  Your website can easily be trapped in maintenance mode during software updates. 

When a new release is sent out to patch security issues, the release notes will contain details of the security holes that were patched. Hackers will immediately look for websites still using the obsolete code so they can compromise those websites.  Therefore, it is critical to keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plug-ins updated to the latest release at all times.

When you are updating your software, it should be done in this order:

  • WordPress
  • Themes
  • Plug-ins

This is because if you upgrade the plug-in first, your old version of WordPress or your theme might not be designed to accept the new features and it can bring down your entire website. We have seen it happen!

When you are updating your various modules, you might see this happen to your website:

Image - MaintenanceModeError
This is what your customers will see and this is also what you will see if you access the WordPress dashboard. Your website is never coming back – you can wait 5 minutes or 50 minutes, it will not matter. First of all, don’t panic! (Although I did the first time it happened to me.)

When you upgrade any website component, this is the usual sequence of events:
The website is put into maintenance mode
The new items are installed
The old versions are removed
The website is removed from maintenance mode

If the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message is being displayed it means that some part of the upgrade encountered an issue and failed. Your website was never taken out of maintenance mode which is the very last step. We therefore need to take the website out of maintenance mode manually. Don’t worry, this is very straightforward.

Using your favorite FTP client, look at the files in the root location of your website. You will see a file named “.maintenance”.

Image - Maintenance File
Simply remove that file (or temporarily rename it if you are not comfortable deleting the file). Voila! Your website will magically return!

These are all the steps required to remove your website from maintenance mode.  Keep in mind that weekly updates to your website, full backups, security scans, and minor tweaks are all handled by our pre-paid maintenance program. We will take care of these issues for you and ensure that your website is always secure and running smoothly.