WordPress Stuck In Maintenance Mode: How To Fix It Now

So, you’ve fixed a WordPress issue and are eager to get back online.

However, a nightmare has occurred – WordPress is stuck in maintenance mode, and you can’t get out!


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If you’re here after reading our guide to setting up maintenance mode… welcome back! We’re sorry that things went wrong, but we promise to get you back online in no time.

Regardless of what happened, take a deep breath and don’t panic: Getting stuck in maintenance mode is common and easy to fix.

Now dive into our step-by-step tutorial for guidance, or skip ahead if you’d like to ask for help.

What Is WordPress Maintenance Mode?

WordPress’s maintenance mode lets you take your website offline while you update or repair it behind the scenes. It improves the user experience by preventing visitors from running into dead ends or errors while browsing your site.

You can even use this feature to tell users when the update process is expected to finish with a handy “coming soon” timer.

Why Is Your WordPress Site Stuck in Maintenance Mode?

Getting a website stuck in maintenance mode in WordPress means:

  • Your site was in the middle of an automatic update, and a problem occurred (such as your internet connection dropping)
  • You tried to update too many plugins (and maybe your theme) at once
  • There’s a deeper compatibility problem that’s causing your site to glitch

You know if your website has a maintenance mode error if you see this message:

This is WordPress’s way of saying it’s applying some major updates. But if this message hangs around, there’s something wrong. Time to fix whatever might be causing the problem!

How To Fix WordPress Stuck In Maintenance Mode: 4 Ways

Let’s get you unstuck.

These tips are quick to implement, but if you don’t feel confident or don’t have time to fix the problem yourself, call StateWP 📞 to take care of it for you. For more details, skip to step four!

“My WordPress site is stuck in maintenance mode”: Summary of the fixes

 

MethodIn Brief
1. Check for maintenance plugins and disable themLook through your WordPress plugins and deactivate any plugins, such as LightStart or SeedProd, you used to set up maintenance mode
2. Use an FTP program to find and delete the .maintenance fileLog into FileZilla and look for “.maintenance” in your root folder (“public_html”), then delete it and reboot your site
3. Roll back a pre-error backupUse a backup plugin to roll back your site before getting stuck in maintenance mode, then run preventive checks before updating your site
4. Hire a WordPress expert to fix the problem for youRaise the fault through StateWP’s Proto dashboard for a fast response and fix

1. Check for maintenance plugins and disable them

If you use a maintenance mode plugin, such as LightStart or a page builder like Elementor, an internal issue could be causing it to get stuck.

Whether it’s Elementor stuck in maintenance mode or a different plugin, you should download an FTP client (file transfer protocol) program, such as FileZilla. This program lets you access files behind the scenes without the WordPress dashboard.

We’ll take you through how to use this program to fix the maintenance mode problem shortly.

In the meantime, if you can access WordPress, log into your dashboard, head to “Plugins,” and disable any maintenance mode software in the list. Here’s where to go:

Now, re-access your site. Is it back up? If so, the plugin was the problem. If necessary, try updating WordPress and looking for an alternative option.

If you don’t have access to the dashboard, you either need File Manager (accessible via your cPanel account) or FileZilla. Get your site’s FTP login credentials from your web host and log in.

Look for the folder marked “wp-content,” in “public_html.” There should be a folder marked “Plugins.”

Open the folder, find your maintenance plugin, and right-click to temporarily rename it. Now, re-access your website. If it’s back up, leave the plugin disabled and find a different one.

2. Use an FTP program to find and delete the .maintenance file

When your WordPress site enters maintenance mode, it leaves behind a temporary file, which should disappear once updates are complete.

However, there’s a chance it’s still lingering in your root directory, meaning you must stay in FileZilla for now and ensure it’s deleted.

So, look in your root folder, public_html, for a file called “.maintenance.” You know you’re in the right place if you see the wp-admin folder and the wp-config.php file.

If you can see the file, delete it. Now, reload your site. Is it back up and running? If not, move on to the next step.

3. Roll back a pre-error backup

Do you regularly back up your website? If you already have automated backups set up, fixing this issue can be as simple as going back to an earlier version of the site before this error arose.

If you use a plugin such as UpdraftPlus, access the plugin’s features from your WordPress dashboard and load the last saved backup from before the error occurred.

Otherwise, if you save backups via your WordPress hosting provider, you may be able to access them through your user portal.

Once you’ve reloaded to a backup point, refresh your site to see if it’s back live.

If so, great! Now’s a good opportunity to put in some preventive action before you update WordPress and potentially trigger the error again.

Skip ahead to our preventive tips to get started.

4. Hire a WordPress expert to fix the problem for you

If deleting the .maintenance file and deactivating plugins didn’t work, WordPress developers can take a closer look at what might be keeping you stuck in maintenance mode.

With StateWP, for example, you can raise a service request through Proto, our user dashboard. Here, you can ask one of our experienced developers about troubleshooting and fixing the problem for you lightning-quick.

WordPress Stuck In Maintenance Mode message being sent via Proto

StateWP aims to respond to service requests and apply fixes within a day of receiving messages. Contact us and get out of this rut as soon as possible!

How To Prevent Getting Stuck in Maintenance Mode in WordPress: 5 Tips

Sometimes bad things happen, but they’re not always your fault.

But now that you’re aware these maintenance mode issues are possible, you can have the foresight to stop them from happening again. Luckily for you, we’re here to share some surefire preventive advice.


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To avoid getting stuck in maintenance mode in the future:

  1. Ensure WordPress themes and plugins are compatible. This might be as easy as searching the name of your theme or plugins online for compatibility issues or checking user forums. You can also check if plugins are compatible via their changelogs.You can usually find a plugin changelog by visiting its WordPress.org page and clicking the “Development” tab. Here’s how it looks for Yoast SEO:
  2. Update to the latest version of WordPress core, your plugins, and your themes regularly. Avoid bulk updating too many plugins simultaneously, as this can cause a bottleneck and leave the .maintenance file stuck in the root folder.
  3. Avoid using too many plugins at once. The more plugins you use, the greater the chances of experiencing a conflict or update problems. Only use plugins you genuinely need, and spring clean them regularly to purge anything building up hidden files!
  4. Create a WordPress maintenance schedule and stick to it. There’s a lot that goes into maintaining a healthy WordPress website. You can’t just set it and leave it! Take a look at our complete maintenance guide for inspiration.
  5. Consider switching hosts. There’s even a chance a poor-performing host is leaving your website stuck on its maintenance page. Do you regularly have to fix errors or speed up your site? Consider migrating your website to a new host (and we can help!).

WordPress Stuck in Maintenance Mode? Time to Pull It Back Out

Maintenance mode is a great feature that helps keep your website visitors informed about downtime and what’s happening behind the scenes. Without it, you could turn lots of people away without realizing it!

However, there are several different ways to get WordPress stuck in maintenance mode. To avoid this issue, follow our preventive tips and bookmark this page for future use – getting live again will be a breeze.

That said, if you’d prefer to forget about your website problems, you should look into managed WordPress services, where expert WordPress maintenance service providers handle all your problems.

If you’re ready to leave your WordPress worries behind, sign up as a partner, and we’ll be on call for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


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WordPress Stuck in Maintenance Mode FAQs

Getting WordPress stuck in maintenance mode can be confusing, so here are a few final common questions and answers to help you on your way.

How do I get out of maintenance mode in WordPress?
  1. Head to Settings and WP Maintenance Mode in your WordPress dashboard
  2. In the pop-up, change your status to “Deactivated” in the General tab
  3. Click “Save Settings”
  4. If you use a third-party plugin such as LightStart or SeedProd, access the plugin via the dashboard and follow the settings to deactivate maintenance mode in a similar way
Why does my WordPress site keep going into maintenance mode?

Your WordPress site might keep going into maintenance mode because it keeps updating itself and your plugins. A leftover file, “.maintenance,” might also be stuck in your website’s folders. Use our super-quick guide to remove your site from maintenance mode and get your content back online.

Why is my website showing under maintenance?

Your website probably shows you’re under maintenance because there’s been a problem during auto-updating, you tried too many plugin updates at once, or there’s an internal conflict. Regardless, it’s quick and easy to find out why your site’s in maintenance mode, and our guide explores how to fix it fast.

How long does WordPress maintenance take?

WordPress maintenance takes an indefinite amount of time, depending on the size of your website and how many tasks you have to complete. Regular maintenance shouldn’t take more than a few hours each month. However, if you don’t keep up to date, you can expect to lose a lot of time maintaining your site! Read our guide for some error prevention tips.

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