WordPress refusing to come out of maintenance mode?

A man amongst some maintenance equipment.

Earlier today, I logged into my blog, to find that as I do with some regularity, I had some plugins to update. Nothing too difficult I thought, just go to the updates page, and click on update all. However today, WordPress decided not to play nicely.

After waiting for a few minutes, the circular animated gif which tells you everything is updating nicely was still spinning and given that the updates were rather small, and it had seemed to been stuck on the first one, I decided to check the front of my site.

I discovered a lovely message which read “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”, rather concerned, I tried to click on a link within the admin area of the WordPress site, and found that I was presented with the same message.

At this point, I was rather annoyed, given that recently WordPress itself has been attacked, I thought for a second that my website had been compromised, and it only was showing itself now, after I tried to update a plugin which it regularly uses across the entire website.

Realising that this was unlikely to be the case, I took a quick look at the FTP of the website, looking for something unusual. I found a hidden “.maintenance” file which was created at around the same time as I started the update process. I backed it up and then deleted it, thinking that if I needed to restore it, then I could do so very quickly.

I went back onto my website, and it all worked perfectly. So, if you’re suffering from this problem, then look no further! This quick fix should set you right, and get your website back up and running as quickly as you can delete a single file via FTP.