Tire stuck in the mud

Is your WordPress site stuck in update mode?

If you work with WordPress long enough you may eventually encounter an issue when trying to update your plugins. If you find that you’re WordPress site has gotten stuck during an upgrade, and all you see is this message:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

…then you may be in a bit of panic, but don’t worry… this is easily resolved. 🙂

To fix the “unavailable for scheduled maintenance…” message, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your site via FTP.
  2. Navigate top your site’s root folder.
  3. Locate the called called .maintenance and delete it.
Delete WordPress Maintenance File via FTP
You can safely remove the .maintenance file if your site gets stuck during an upgrade.

Tips for Updating WordPress, Themes and Plugins

WordPress is quite easy to manage and upgrade, but once in awhile things can go wonky – especially when you’re updating a site you haven’t touched in awhile. To ensure all of your WordPress and plugin updates go smoothly, here are some recommended practices.

Upgrade the WordPress core first

Upgrading the core first will allow for a smoother, glitch-free upgrade process. If you want to be really safe, deactivate all of your plugins first, then reactivate them after the core upgrade.

Update plugins and theme after WP core

Once you’ve upgraded the core, go ahead and update your plugins and theme; however, before doing so be sure to check plugin and theme compatibility with the current version of WordPress.

Vet your plugins on a regular basis

Before installing a plugin, make sure it’s something you absolutely need and also note whether there is active development and support. The easiest way to protect against problems during maintenance and upgrades is to keep your site free of unnecessary or unsupported plugins.

Same goes for your theme, and in fact, above all else…your theme should be rock solid, actively updated and future-proof. There are a lot of ‘pretty’ themes available in the WP repository, but before selecting one, make sure the developer is active and keeping pace with WP version upgrades.

To be safe…start by backing up your database

I’ve been managing WordPress sites for over 6 years now, and I’ve performed maintenance and upgrades for probably close to 150 sites. WP and plugin upgrades usually will not blow up a site, but it can happen. To ensure that you’re protected in the event of a malfunction, make sure you have an available backup.

Many webhosts will usually perform routine backups of your installation, but those are not always guaranteed. To be on the safe side, you can either rely on a WP backup plugin such as BackupBuddy, or you can perform a MySQL database export through your control panel.

In the off chance something goes haywire, a current database backup is cheap insurance against a WP meltdown.

Wealthy Affiliate hosting

They provide 24/7 support in the event something should go wrong, and all websites come with real-time backups, with recovery service available if disaster strikes.

In other words, they’ve got your back so you don’t have to worry about micro-managing your backups. If you get in trouble, submit a support ticket and someone will get you sorted out in a jiffy. I’ve been impressed by the support turnaround times. Even late at night and during weekends, tickets are usually answered within 15 minutes or less.

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