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PostSubject: WordPress Maintenance Mode: WordPress Maintenance Mode:  Icon_minitimeSat 13 Nov 2021, 1:54 am

by Lindsay Pietroluongo
The WordPress maintenance mode page automatically shows to website visitors when you’re updating your site, like when you’re updating core files, plugins or themes. The point of the maintenance mode page is to prevent your site from looking like it’s broken when it’s just undergoing routine updating.
The page is supposed to show only temporarily, but sometimes it sticks around for longer than it should. That means your site will be offline for far longer than you intended, which can be bad for everything from your brand reputation to search engine ranking.
Another problem that a lot of website owners have with WordPress maintenance mode is that the page is overly basic. It has limited messaging, which doesn’t exactly clue your visitors into what’s going on and how long the site will be down for. If branding is a concern, there’s a way to rectify this.
In this article, we’re going to cover the ins and outs of the WordPress maintenance mode. We’ll explain why and how it happens, common problems users face with it and options for creating a more stylized maintenance page.
Note: Before you perform any type of maintenance or work on your site, it’s smart to back it up. Here are the WordPress backup plugins we recommend.

What is WordPress Maintenance Mode?

This feature is built into the WordPress core, and it got its start with version 3.0. When you update a plugin, theme or installation, the maintenance mode page and messaging is shown to visitors. The message says, “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” And that’s all there is to the page. As you can see in the screenshot below, nothing else is there – it’s just a blank page otherwise.
WordPress Maintenance Mode:  Page
When your site’s in maintenance mode, WordPress also returns a 503 HTTP (which means “service unavailable”) status code, which tells the search engine (Google, most likely) that you’re working on the page or that something went wrong with your website and to check back in a bit. This code is good for your SEO, because it tells Google that your site’s only down temporarily, so it won’t harm your ranking.
P.S. While your site won’t be viewable by visitors, it can still be accessed by administrators. You can log in and edit your site as usual.

What Makes Maintenance Mode Appear?

When your WordPress website is being updated or something is being installed, other backend processes are temporarily stopped. Usually, this pause only lasts a few seconds (the exact duration depends on how many updates there are and their sizes). WordPress uses the wp_maintenance() function, creating a temporary .maintenance file for your website. That file contains the maintenance mode message. Once your website updates are finished, the file is auto-deleted, and your website goes back to normal…assuming all is working correctly.

Getting Stuck in Maintenance Mode

It’s not uncommon for a website to get stuck in maintenance mode. It’s also possible that you’ll have trouble logging into your site if it’s stuck in maintenance mode – so neither you nor your visitors will be able to access your site in the back or front end.
WordPress maintenance mode tends to get stuck if there’s some type of conflict and the .maintenance file thinks updates are still occurring even if they’ve really been completed. This can happen if you try to leave or refresh the updates screen while an update is still working.
It’s also possible that you have a plugin or theme that’s not compatible with your WordPress version – something that can be made obvious when you try to run an update. An outdated version of WordPress or an outdated plugin or theme could end up having compatibility issues. The lesson? Keep everything as up to date as possible.

How to Get Your Website Out of Maintenance Mode


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