Fix WordPress "Memory Exhausted" Error by Increasing PHP Memory Limit

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Introduction

Learn how to fix the WordPress "Allowed memory size of ____ bytes exhausted" error by increasing the PHP memory limit on your 1&1 Cloud Server running Linux.

Requirements

  • A 1&1 Cloud Server running Linux (any distribution).
  • WordPress and LAMP stack (Apache, MySQL, and PHP) installed and running.

Background

WordPress running on a server is like any other program running on any form of computer: it requires a certain amount of memory to run. The harder WordPress is working, the more memory it will use.

WordPress has a default memory allocation rule in place to prevent the application from using up too much of a server's memory. This is a useful measure to prevent a broken script from using up all available server memory and crashing the server.

However, WordPress's memory limit defaults to a very conservative value: 64MB. This is often not enough for a WordPress installation which is receiving a lot of traffic in the form of visitors and/or comments.

Increase the PHP Memory Limit

To increase the PHP memory limit, you will need to edit your site's wp-config.php file. This file is located at your WordPress installation's root directory. Edit this file, for example with the command:

sudo nano /var/www/html/wp-config.php

Add the following lines to the file, above the line which reads // ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** // :

/** Increase PHP memory limit */
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );

This will increase the memory limit to 256MB. You can customize the number to increase the memory limit to a higher amount if you wish.

Save and exit the file. Visit your site in a browser. The "memory exhausted" error will be gone. If the error is still occurring, you may need to increase the WordPress memory limit to a higher number, and/or increase the size of your server itself.

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