WordPress added support for automatic updates in version 3.7 which allows WordPress to upgrade itself into minor releases.

A common problem when updating on shared WordPress hosting is the update process may timeout, leaving your site in maintenance mode and inaccessible for you and your visitors.

In this article;

You will learn how to fix “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” error in WordPress.

Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

The Reason behind Maintainance Error and why it Occurs?

Technically Maintenance mode page is not an error, It’s just a notification page.

During the upgrade process, update files that are necessary will be downloaded by WordPress to your server.

WordPress will extract them and then installs them to your server.

While doing this WordPress will put your site in maintenance mode to avoid any issues and displays
“Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message to you and your visitors.

if everything worked out normally. This note will be displayed for only a few seconds while the upgrade is in the process.

However, on shared hosting service due to the slow response or memory issue, the upgrade of a web server script may get interrupted or may timeout.While it happens, WordPress does not get a chance to take your site out of maintenance mode

While it happens, WordPress may not get a chance to take your site out of maintenance mode.

How can you Easily Fix this Maintenance Error in WordPress

The first thing should do is to make sure, that your website is updated properly to the Latest version of WordPress.

An interrupted or unfinished update may cause issues as soon as your site comes out of maintenance mode.

At this point, I suggest you update your site manually. using FTP client like; FileZilla.

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After you manually upgrade your WordPress files, you just need to delete the file .Maintenance from your website’s
root directory/folder using any FTP client or file manager provided by your shared hosting services.

it is possible that you may not find .Maintenance due to restrictions on your web server.

You can force your FTP client(FileZilla) to show this hidden files by clicking;
Server » Force showing hidden files from the application menu bar.

As we saw before, During the update process WordPress creates a .Maintenance file.

Which indicates that the site is currently in Maintenance mode.

After the successful upgrade, WordPress removes this file automatically, but for any reason,

if the website is stuck in maintenance mode, you should login to your file manager or FTP and remove this file manually

or else the site will show “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress” to all your visitors.

How can you Customize Maintenance Mode Notification

The easiest way to avoid the default boring maintenance mode notification in WordPress.

You can create a Temporary maintenance page in your WordPress site and redirect all your visitors to this page.

You will have to put your site in maintenance mode manually before you proceed with any update or any modifications. Which might make your site unavailable for visitors.

However, if you don’t want to go with the manual update process, you can also create a maintenance mode page in WordPress without any plugins.

Open notepad on your computer and paste the below mentioned code to it.

[php]<?php
$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="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<body>
<h1>We are updating the site, please check back in 30 minutes.</h1>
</body>
</html>
<?php die(); ?>[/php]

After pasting the code, save the file as maintenance.php your desktop.

As we have the page ready,  now we need to upload it to our wordPress’s wp-content directory.

So now on whenever you update your WordPress site, this new page will be shown to visitors.

To add some style to your page you just need tp add CSS and style it any way you want.