Do you have a recent backup of your WordPress site including both the database and the files? Hope so because you might need it.

Occasionally, a theme or plugin installation/update fails and your site can end up stuck in Maintenance mode or not work at all. Here are a few tips that might help you get out of a tight spot.

  1. If your site is stuck in Maintenance mode, delete the file called .maintenance in the root of your website. You'll need to do this using FTP or a file manager provided by your web hosting provider. If you don't have either of these available to you, contact your service provider.
  2. If the site doesn't work at all, chances are that one of the updated plugins doesn't work. Yes, people should test things before they release them but technology can be very complex and, what works on one website might not on another. Either way, your site is down. First, update your plugins one at a time and test your website after each update. This will make it easier to determine which plugin is likely causing you greef. When the site stops working after a plugin update, you can often get your site back up and running by simply deleting the plugin's subdirectory. Of course something on your site won't work but at least your site should be back up and running. Once the site is working again, you'll have more time to fix the problem.
  3. If your site is running but something has obviously gone terribly wrong, install and activate the Ultimate Coming Soon plugin. This little gem will allow you to quickly put up a single page that will appear no matter what address someone goes to on your site while still allowing you to continue your troubleshooting efforts. You can use this to:
    • Display a message letting people know that you are aware of the problem and are working to resolve it. If you can estimate how long it will be before the site is back up and running, let people know.
    • Provide some basic functionality such as links to alternate resources such as companies your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube pages as well asĀ some contact information.
    • Add an opt-in form to sign up and be notifiedĀ once the site will working again.

Be Prepared!

Have you ever hear that expression? It is taught to youth and leaders in the scouting movement all around the world. That and my wifes "don't get yourself into anything you can't get yourself out of" are words to live by. Anytime you make a change to your website, always make sure you have a way to put things back just in case things go wrong. If things might go wrong, have a good backup plan/procedure such as pre-configuring theUltimate Coming Soonplugin in advance.