Chris Schutte

August 10, 2022

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes

WordPress is one of the top content management systems in the world. However, like any other software, it’s not perfect. As you use the platform, you’ll come across different types of errors, like the “Briefly Unavailable For Scheduled Maintenance” error. Fortunately, there are ways to troubleshoot most of these errors.

What Is the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error?

The “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error is a common WordPress error that occurs when you are trying to update your WordPress site. This error usually happens because the .maintenance file is not removed after the update process is finished.

The WordPress maintenance mode happens due to:

Low Memory

There can be several reasons behind this error. The most common reason is low memory. When you are trying to run a WordPress website on a shared hosting server, there are chances that your website might not get enough resources, especially memory, to run smoothly. This can lead to the “WordPress Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error.

Slow Server Response

Another possible cause for the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error is a slow server response. This can be caused by a number of factors, but is most often related to the hosting environment. If you’re on shared hosting, your site may be sharing resources with other sites on the same server. This can lead to slowed-down response times when your site tries to load.

To test if this is the case, you can try accessing your site from a different location or device. If the site loads fine from another location, then it’s likely that the issue is with your server response time. In this case, you’ll need to contact your hosting provider to see if they can help speed up your site.

Compatibility Issues

There might also be compatibility issues with your theme or plugins. If you recently updated any of them, try rolling back to the previous version. This should fix the problem. Additionally, you can try deactivating all your plugins and switching to the default WordPress theme (Twenty Nineteen). If this doesn’t work, then your next step would be to delete the .maintenance file from your WordPress directory using FTP.

Update Interruptions

It can also be caused by an interrupted internet connection, or if your server times out while trying to connect to the WordPress servers. As such, it is important to make sure that you have a stable internet connection before attempting to update your WordPress site.

The message is displayed to ensure that your website won’t appear broken on the front end; that is, when visitors try to load your website, they will see a message telling them that the website is down for maintenance, but it will become available soon.

While the message itself is not harmful, it can be very annoying, especially if your readers see it every time they try to access your website.

How To Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

These are the ways to fix this error using FTP:

Open Your FTP Client

FTP is short for File Transfer Protocol. It’s a network protocol used to transfer files from one computer to another. In order to fix the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error, you will need an FTP client.

There are many FTP clients available. Once you’ve downloaded and installed an FTP client, launch the program and enter your WordPress site’s credentials. Your WordPress site’s FTP credentials can be found in your wp-config.php file.

Check If Client Shows Hidden Files

One of the first things you should check if you see this error is whether your FTP client is configured to show hidden files. If it’s not, then you may need to enable that option so you can proceed with the rest of the troubleshooting steps.

This is because the .maintenance file is a hidden file and you will not be able to see it or delete it unless your FTP client is configured to show hidden files.

Delete the .maintenance File

Finally, once you’ve taken the necessary steps to fix the problem that caused this error, you can get your WordPress site up and running again by simply deleting the .maintenance file.

Alternatively, you can also rename it to something like .maintenance_backup. Once that’s done, try accessing your WordPress site again. If everything went well, you should be able to see your site’s normal front end.

What To Do To Prevent “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” Error in WordPress

Here’s how you can avoid this type of issue on your WordPress site:

Monitor Your Browser

Check your browser and make sure to keep the update tab open during the entire process. WordPress will show a message that says the update process is starting. Once done, it should confirm that all updates have been completed.

Avoid Updating Too Many Plugins or Themes Simultaneously

If you’re in the process of updating your WordPress site, only update one or two plugins or themes at a time. If you update multiple plugins or themes simultaneously and something goes wrong, it can result in the “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error.

Check Your Web Hosting Service

Another thing you need to do when you see the Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance error in WordPress is to check with your web hosting service. Many times, this error is caused by the server going down or being overloaded.

If your web hosting service is having issues, they should be able to fix them quickly. If not, you may want to consider switching to a different host.

Comprehensive WordPress Care Plan Service

To prevent headaches now or in the future, you can take advantage of Launch Digital’s comprehensive WordPress care plans, including website maintenance. It’s ideal for business owners in Johannesburg or anywhere in South Africa who don’t have the time to manage their websites on their own. Our team of experts will keep your website secure, backed up, updated, and running smoothly, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!

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