WordPress maintenance mode is a useful feature that allows you to temporarily take your website offline while performing updates or other maintenance tasks. This can be helpful to prevent visitors from seeing incomplete or buggy content. However, sometimes WordPress can get stuck in maintenance mode and fail to exit, leaving you with a website that is inaccessible to visitors.
What is WordPress maintenance mode?
When WordPress is in maintenance mode, visitors to your website will see a message that says something like “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” This message is generated by a file called .maintenance, which is placed in the root directory of your WordPress installation.
Why does WordPress get stuck in maintenance mode?
There are a few reasons why WordPress might get stuck in maintenance mode:
- Incomplete updates: If an update is interrupted or fails to complete successfully, WordPress may remain in maintenance mode.
- Plugin conflicts: Certain plugins can interfere with WordPress’s ability to exit maintenance mode.
- Theme conflicts: Outdated or incompatible themes can also cause WordPress to get stuck in maintenance mode.
- Manual errors: If the .maintenance file is not deleted correctly or is accidentally recreated, WordPress may remain in maintenance mode.
- Server-side issues: In rare cases, server-side configuration issues or unexpected downtime can prevent WordPress from exiting maintenance mode.
How to fix WordPress stuck in maintenance mode
There are a few things you can try to fix WordPress stuck in maintenance mode:
1. Manually delete the .maintenance file
The simplest way to fix WordPress stuck in maintenance mode is to manually delete the .maintenance file. To do this, you will need to connect to your WordPress installation via FTP or SSH. Once you are connected, find the .maintenance file in the root directory of your WordPress installation and delete it.
2. Deactivate all plugins
If WordPress gets stuck in maintenance mode after installing a new plugin, it is possible that the plugin is causing the problem. To test this, you can deactivate all plugins. To do this, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins in your WordPress dashboard and click the “Deactivate All” button.
3. Switch to a default theme
If WordPress gets stuck in maintenance mode after activating a new theme, it is possible that the theme is causing the problem. To test this, you can switch to a default theme. To do this, go to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard and activate a default theme like Twenty Twenty-Two.
4. Increase PHP memory limit
If WordPress gets stuck in maintenance mode due to memory exhaustion, you can try increasing the PHP memory limit. To do this, you will need to edit the wp-config.php file. Open the wp-config.php file in a text editor and find the line that defines the PHP memory limit. The line will look something like this:
You can increase the memory limit by changing the number to a higher value, such as 512M or 1024M.
5. Contact your hosting provider
If you have tried all of the above and you are still unable to fix WordPress stuck in maintenance mode, you may need to contact your hosting provider. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the problem or provide you with additional support.
Here are some additional tips for preventing WordPress from getting stuck in maintenance mode:
- Perform updates during off-peak hours. This will help to minimize the impact of any downtime in case an update is interrupted.
- Back up your website before making any significant changes. This will allow you to restore your website to its previous state if something goes wrong.
- Test updates in a staging environment before deploying them to the live site. This will help you to identify any potential problems before they affect your live website.
- Use compatible and well-maintained plugins and themes. This will help to reduce the risk of conflicts or problems.
- Monitor your website for potential conflicts or errors. This will help you to catch any problems early on and resolve them before they cause major issues.
WordPress stuck in maintenance mode can be a frustrating experience, but it is usually a relatively easy problem to fix. By following the tips in this guide, you should be able to get your website back up and running in no time.