I wanted to update my site to latest wp version but during update first it said :

“Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

which went on for several minutes…

And now it says:

“There has been a critical error on this website.”

What must I do?

  • 1
    Please provide more details about your question: from and to which version of Wordpress are you updating? Did you turn off all plugins and switched to a default theme already? What configuration does your server has?
    – leendertvb
    May 29, 2023 at 8:16

2 Answers 2


If you are using WordPress 5.2 or newer, then the site should by default send a fatal error notification email to your admin email address.

The email should have some sort of stack trace in it, which shows where the error occured. Then either login to the site using the recovery mode link found on the email or to the server via ssh/sftp and fix the problems.

You can also make WP produce a debug log by turning debugging on in wp-config.php, via ssh/sftp, and reloading the browser page. The log file is created in the wp-content directory and it contains also the stack trace.

  • I looked at debug and saw errors. I will write the first one since I cannot even solve that one yet. It says: Warning: require(/home/xxxxxxxxx/public_html/xxxxxxxxx.com/wp-includes/html-api/class-wp-html-attribute-token.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/xxxxxxxxxx/public_html/xxxxxxxxxx.com/wp-settings.php on line 237
    – upstream
    Jun 3, 2023 at 6:01

Following an update, your WordPress website may have a serious problem. Here are some tips to fix it:

  • Review error logs: Look through the error logs that your hosting company has made available. These logs will give precise details about the error that is the root of the issue.

  • How to enable WordPress debug mode: Add the following line to your wp-config.php file to activate WordPress debug mode: This mode offers more thorough error notifications and aids in error troubleshooting.

    define('WP_DEBUG', true);
  • Conflicts between themes or plugins should be resolved if you recently installed or updated a theme or plugin. To see if the problem is fixed, try deactivating or removing the theme or plugin. Restore from a backup: To undo the incorrect update, restore your website to a prior state if you have a recent backup of it.

  • Update PHP version: If your hosting company is still utilising an old version of PHP, ask them to switch to a newer version. It's possible for issues to arise from outdated PHP versions.

It's also important to take into account the possibility that WordPress's own software may be the cause of the serious mistake. In these circumstances, you can submit a software bug report to the WordPress issue tracker for proper rectification.

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