Make Sure WordPress Has Enough Memory

Make Sure WordPress Has Enough Memory

I’ve just wrapped up spending an inordinate amount of time trying to debug a problem with some client sites that were hosted on WestHost. These sites are cookie cutters in that the theme and the plugins are the same as was running on other hosting companies (BlueHost, HostMonster, HostGator, iPage, etc) but on this new (to me) hosting company, whenever I’d go into the Pages administration of the WordPress dashboard, it would throw a 500 server error. 

Turning on debug in wp-config.php would show errors talking about deprecated functions but nothing that SHOULD throw the 500 server we were experiencing. What was odd was that one of the affected plugins was WordPress SEO from Yoast; the irony being that the only reason I went to WestHost was becuase of the recommendation by Joost de Valk himself (owner/developer at Yoast). All the affected plugins were:

  1. WordPress SEO
  2. WP
  3. WP Realtime Sitemap

After spending close to an hour on the phone with WestHost tech support we didn’t come to any conclusions but I had brought the only difference I could see was they had a lower PHP memory limit set by default AND that they had a newer version of PHP on the servers. He offered to put in a php.ini file in the root directory of my hosting account for me so I could increase the memory limit. 

Look for the PHP memory_limit that your hosting company provides you...I spent a little more time futzing around until I looked and noticed that while he put the file there for me, he didn’t increase the memory limit. I kicked it up from 32M to 64M and voila, everything worked as it should. To be fair, it is entirely possible that those plugins would represent no problem using a simpler theme (WP-Clear that is the basis for our sites has a lot of overhead) but these are the results of MY testing.

So, if you run into weird problems that should NOT happen in a new WordPress install, create a php test page by inserting the following code into a file on your site to check the configuration to be sure you have enough Memory available to you:



In most cases, this can be resovled by placing a php.ini file in the root of the website. Below is a sample that shows the increased memory:

Stalk Me...

Michael Gibbs

I'm a technologist at heart, assisting companies best utilize the Internet to market themselves and sell their products and services online. This includes organizations as large as Google and as small as one or two individuals.
At Over The Top and Exhibit A Communications, I've programmed solutions for Google as well as at least one other company that was later acquired by Google.

I've been CTO of an Internet SaaS company and spent my time pretty evenly between guiding the future technical strategy of the company, architecting software solutions for my dev teams, designing and running a data center to service our clients world-wide as well as being a technical evangalist/sales engineer to our media clients large and small.

I've also been Chief Photographer of the Daily Sun/Post newspaper back when it was a 5-day a week daily newspaper.

I also spent a great many years as a beach lifeguardfor the City of San Clemente as well as Jr. Lifeguard instructor and then as it's program coordinator.
Bragging rights
Private Pilot with Instrument rating and proud husband of soon to be 25 years (and counting).
Stalk Me...

Latest posts by Michael Gibbs (see all)

Leave a Reply