Hung, Stalled, Blank Page During WordPress Core, Plugins, Themes, etc. Upgrade

Problem

When upgrading WordPress core, theme, language or plugin – the update downloads successfully but leaves a blank upgrade screen, the page stops loading, you may be stuck in maintenance mode (requiring manual removal of .maintenance) and overall the upgrade never completes.

Observations

  1. Using WordPress version 4.x
  2. Accessing the WordPress site via HTTP (not HTTPS)
  3. When upgrading, I saw WordPress downloaded the zip file via HTTPS
  4. Using WordPress.com Jetpack (not sure if related or not)
  5. Google returns very few results describing the problem well.

Workaround

I’ve tested this against four WordPress sites now and it appears to have successfully worked around the problem.

I installed a self-signed SSL certificate against the WordPress site using Server Name Indicator (SNI). Remember no dedicated IP is required when using SNI but it need a compatible server. For convenience I’ve used SSL certificates from tinycert.org.

Now when I access the site over HTTPS:

  1. Login again – note SSO with untrusted certificate will not work, you must use local site login credentials
  2. Perform the upgrade – it completes successfully and does not result in a blank or stalled upgraded screen.

Do you see another pattern? Isolated it to a version, Jetpack or another update? Please let me know!

Other Possible Causes

The above resolved my issue, but similar issues include:

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2 Responses to Hung, Stalled, Blank Page During WordPress Core, Plugins, Themes, etc. Upgrade

  1. Brendan says:

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  2. Hi! I know this is an older post, but: there are a number of things that can be responsible for failed WordPress Core-, Plugin- and Theme updates.

    One is improper PHP configuration (`curl.cainfo` and `openssl.cafile` config settings), and another is opcode caches like OPcache, WinCache, APCu, and so on. If you suspect an opcode cache is responsible, you can create a plugin that hooks into the `upgrader_pre_install()` hook and flush caches before an update is applied.

    PS: the first (curl.cainfo / openssl.cafile) *must* be fixed in the PHP config if it’s not properly configured. Otherwise you might break the internet 😉

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What are your thoughts?