No Backup before Update?
You need to update your WordPress plugins to keep your website secure and be able to use new features made available in the latest version. Updating a WordPress plugin is simple and in the new WordPress version, you just click “Update” and do not leave the plugins listing at all. We recommend you to make a full backup before doing the updates. It is just because from time to time, they tend to fail (for different reasons) and you might need to use the backup to restore your website. However, it is not always possible to make backup because of the time issue (the backup is enormous and takes hours) or other factors. And when you take the risk, you tell yourself, I have done it dozens of times and nothing happened… Well, until this time.
WordPress Remaining in Maintenance Mode
When an update fails, WordPress sometimes remains in maintenance mode (Picture 1). Does not matter how many times you refresh, still you get the message “WordPress is currently in maintenance mode”. Fixing this state is simple. You need to log into your site’s FTP and find a file called .maintenance. It is located in the main “www” folder where .htacess or wp-config.php reside. Simply delete this file and ta-da, the website should magically recover.
What If Your WordPress Site Still Fails to Load
If your update fails, typically you have more issues than just removing the maintenance mode – you will see a warning when you load your website similar to Picture 2. For many people, this can be as scary as you can imagine. You might be desperate and if you do not have the experience, you can even think it is lost. There is a very simple and fast remedy to this problem as well. In most cases, the only thing needed, is to go to FTP and rename the plugin that failed to update. You can usually guess the plugin which causes problem from the error screen displayed. If not sure, just rename all plugins you were updating. You can just add -old or anything else to the plugin name and that will cause that it is deactivated in WordPress (See Picture 3). Now you can refresh your website and it should load.
Finish the Update
Now then the website is working and the pressure is gone, we can continue and finish the update. As the plugin(s) is not working at all now, we need to replace it by the new version manually. The best solution is to download the latest version of the plugin from the WordPress repository (or other location), unzip it and upload this folder to the Plugins folder in wp-content on FTP. Or you can upload it through WordPress as well (Plugins – Add New – Upload Plugin). Then activate it and the problem should be finally solved. If there are any issues with the activation, there might be a deeper problem and it needs to be investigated individually.
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