So you’ve recently updated your WordPress plugins or theme and you notice that you have the following error message:

urgh. You refresh, and nothing. It’s still there.

You panic, you can’t access your website, so you don’t know what to do!

Don’t worry, it’s usually fairly simple to fix and I’ll show you how.

What is maintenance mode?

The maintenance mode in WordPress is activated during or following an update. It let’s your visitors know that you’re updating your website. Usually this only stays this way for a few minutes.

But sometimes it can get stuck.

When WordPress is making the update file called .maintenance is created in what you call the root folder of your website. This basically tells WordPress to put your site into maintenance mode and displays the message above. When the update is done, WordPress deleted the .maintenance file and your site goes back to normal.


What do you do when your WordPress site is stuck in maintenance mode?

Option 1 – use FTP software to access your files

This is the most common method and the most common reason. The file hasn’t been deleted so you need to manually remove it.

You will need to get an FTP client (I use Filezilla) and head to your hosting provider for the FTP login details to access via your FTP client

Connect to you FTP server and navigate to your wordpress root folder (usually under public_html). You’ll see all your WordPress related files such as wp-admin

Look for the file that says .maintenance and delete it.

Refresh your website and it should be done.

Option 2: Use a file manager

You can use your web hosts file manager. Depending on your host, log into your cpanel, go to the file manager and again head to the root folder. Locate the file .maintenance and remove it.

Refresh your website. Done

Do you need help managing your website? Why not join us at the WordPress Academy?