So you found one or more update notifications in your WordPress dashboard’s notification area and you went on to update them.
It could be a theme or a plugin that you are attempting to update. Or it can even be the WordPress core update.
If you click on the update notification icon, you will be taken to the update page where you see a list of plugins or themes that need to be updated.
If there’s a WordPress core update, that will be displayed on this page too!
But once you select all the plugins in the list and click on update, you wait for that magic loading animated little icon to finish its job and get the site back on track, so you can do your work.
Usually that’s what happens.
But rarely, the update happens and you get this message:
It is quite normal to see this message too.
But what’s not normal and perhaps bothering is when that message stays there for quite a while and refuses to go away.
As a website owner, this can be scary especially if you are not so techy.
There’s nothing to worry. You have not been hacked and you have not broke anything in the process of updating!
And for your information, this “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message can occur both in the cases of an automatic update or a manual update (done by you).
Before jumping in, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty on doing these kind of technical tasks on your site, and if you fear things could mess up, leave that to us.
We have a dedicated WordPress maintenance service, so you can focus on other things in your business.
How WordPress processes automatic or manual updates?
Whenever an auto update triggers, or a manual update is initialized by you, WordPress creates a .maintenance file and proceeds with the update.
In the ideal situation, once the plugins in the list are updated, WordPress gets that the updates are successfully completed and hence automatically deletes the .maintenance file.
And that’s when you get to work on your website normally after an update.
So what happens when you get a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance”?
When an update is initiated either automatically or manually, WordPress proceeds with updating the list of plugins in order.
However when the process starts, sometimes there could be a delay in the server responding to the update.
This can cause a little bit of conflict, and even though all the plugins have been updated (possibly with a little bit of delay), WordPress still didn’t get the message.
Hence it does not delete the .maintenance file!
And that’s the reason as to why you still get that “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message.
So, how to fix the” Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error”?
The simplest and the most straightforward way is to delete the .maintenance file that refuses to go away 🙂
You can do so by accessing your website’s files via the FTP. Or if you are given access to the cPanel by your hosting provider you can do so using your cPanel access.
In either case you need to go to your root folder (public_html) and look for the file .maintenance.
If your site is still showing up the “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” message then the .maintenance file should be right there.
Right click on it and click delete.
Now if you check your website, it should load fine without the scheduled maintenance message.
However you might have to check again in the WordPress dashboard to see if the last plugin/theme/WordPress core updates have been successfully applied.
In some cases, you might have to do the updates again!
Hope this post helps you with the frustrating “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute” screen.
Share your thoughts in the comments below!