How To Fix the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error in WordPress

Since Version 3.7, WordPress has supported automatic updates. You no longer need to make the effort to manually upgrade to the latest version. That's convenient, but it can lead to some problems, especially if you're using a shared web hosting service.

When your site is going through an automatic update, it displays the following message: “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

The interruption is usually brief. WordPress downloads, extracts, and installs the necessary files for the update. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds.

But sometimes, memory issues or a slow response from the server can cause your site to get stuck in maintenance mode. This stops visitors from accessing your site.


How To Fix It

First, make sure that your site has successfully updated to the latest version of WordPress.

Then, all you need to do is delete the .maintenance file from your root directory. There are two ways to do this:

#1 Delete the maintenance file using FTP

Use FTP to access the maintenance file linked to your website hosting account. If you don't see the file available in your root directory, you may not have the option to view hidden files. To show hidden files in Filezilla, open the ‘Server' tab in the menu bar and select ‘Force showing hidden files'.

#2 Delete the maintenance file using the command line

You can also view the .maintenance file by using the following cat command:

$ cat. maintenance

This will return:

<? php $ upgrading = 1490382161; ?>

To remove the .maintenance file, use these commands:

$ cd / var / www / html /
 $ ls -l .maintenance
 $ rm -v .maintenance


How To Customize Your Maintenance Mode Notification

The default maintenance mode notification is a little cold, isn't it? There's no “please” or “thank you”. It's not a very polite message to send to your users.

You don't need a plugin to customize your maintenance mode notification. Just create a maintenance.php file on your desktop and paste this code inside it (put whatever you want in the body text):


$protocol = $_SERVER["SERVER_PROTOCOL"];

if ( 'HTTP/1.1' != $protocol && 'HTTP/1.0' != $protocol )

    $protocol = 'HTTP/1.0';

header( "$protocol 503 Service Unavailable", true, 503 );

header( 'Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8' );


<html xmlns="">


    <h1>We're updating the site, please check back in 30 minutes.</h1>



<?php die(); ?>

Then, upload the maintenance.php file to your wp-content directory. Once it's uploaded, WordPress will display this page when your site is in maintenance mode. You can use CSS to further customize this page.

How To Fix the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error in WordPress
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