Finding the answer

In my opinion, knowing how to Google is one of the key skills you need as a developer. Successfully wording your search query and getting useful results out of Google isn’t necessarily something that can be taught, rather it’s something you hone over time. However, sometimes it takes much longer to find a helpful answer.

The following is a real example of a time that I encountered this.

When doing plugin updates, WordPress goes into “maintenance mode”. It does this by creating a file called “.maintenance” in the root of your website. After the updates are complete, the file is removed, and the website is no longer in maintenance mode.

The problem I was having was that the “.maintenance” file wasn’t getting removed after completing updates, meaning that the website wasn’t coming out of maintenance mode and users were unable to use the site.

After attempting to look into the problem myself, I took to Google, to see if anyone else had encountered a similar problem and had a viable solution.

These are some of the search terms that I used:

  • WordPress stuck in maintenance
  • WordPress maintenance file not deleting
  • WordPress stuck after update

Most of the results that these search terms generated gave the same answer; simply log onto the server and manually remove the file.

Great. Problem solved…

But what happens when you manage 100+ websites, like we do here at Home, and this issue happens on every website, every single time an update is triggered?

Problem no longer solved.

Like I said earlier, knowing how to Google is an important skill for a developer. But knowing when the information is useful is just as important. After a few more searches, I found an answer which pointed me in the right direction – the problem wasn’t with WordPress whatsoever.

Following this revelation, I changed my search terms and found a solution very quickly. (For more information on this particular problem, and the fix, read my post on WordPress Stuck in Maintenance).

Sometimes, the first answer isn’t always the best answer.