I was working on my blog this evening and decided to update a plugin that was just past due. Being me, I got a little impatient and clicked out of the page while the plugin was still updating and it threw me into a persistent maintenance mode! I wasn’t able to get to the site or the dashboard to try to fix the problem.
If you ever find yourself in the same boat, what happens is that WordPress creates a file called .maintenance in your WordPress directory on your web server. Much like so:
All you need to do is navigate to the home folder for your wordpress site and remove or rename the file wither using sudo or logged in as a user with permissions to delete the file. On a linux server like I’m currently running, it was in the directory for this site in nginx’s default home folder:
/var/share/nginx/www/ and so on and so forth. The command
ls -la will show all files (including hidden .whatever files) if you want to confirm what you’re deleting/renaming first, then
rm .maintenance or
mv .maintenance .maintenance.wtf will get the file out of the way so that your site starts showing up like you’re expecting.
If you’re having a hard time finding the file, you can always
su to root and use this command:
find / -name .maintenance and the system will find the file then report back its location.
Hope it helps!