Fixing the “Fatal Error: Allowed Memory Size Exhausted in WordPress” Error Section

Encountering the “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of #### bytes exhausted” on your WordPress site can be daunting. This error signals that your site has exceeded its memory allocation and, as a result, has crashed. For any website owner, losing access to your site is akin to a digital nightmare. However, there’s a silver lining: this problem is solvable with some focused troubleshooting, enabling you to restore your site’s functionality.

Pinpointing the Causes of Memory Exhaustion

The root of this error lies in the memory allocation for PHP scripts, including WordPress, on your web server. A specific memory limit is set in the PHP configuration, and breaching this limit triggers the error.

Common culprits for this overrun include:

  • Uploading Oversized Images: Large images can consume significant memory.
  • Resource-Heavy Plugins: Some plugins demand extensive processing power, leading to memory overload.
  • Plugin Conflicts: Incompatibilities between plugins can result in memory leaks.
  • Intensive WP-CLI Commands: Running commands that are resource-intensive can also contribute to this issue.

By identifying the specific trigger, you can effectively address and prevent this error in the future.

Linking to WordPress Customization

As a WordPress site owner, enhancing your site’s functionality is crucial. For instance, understanding how to export and import products in WooCommerce or find post and page IDs in WordPress are valuable skills. These resources not only offer solutions to common WordPress challenges but also provide insights into efficiently managing your site, which can indirectly alleviate memory issues by streamlining your site’s operations.

How to Fix the Allowed Memory Exhausted Error

Here are some step-by-step troubleshooting tips to fix the error, get WordPress working again, and stop future crashes:

1. Increase the Memory Limit

Increasing the memory limit provides more headroom for WordPress memory usage. There are two ways to increase the limit:

Via wp-config.php

Add the following line to your wp-config.php file using an FTP client or file manager in your hosting control panel:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

This will increase the WordPress memory limit to 256MB. Determine an appropriate limit for your specific needs.

Editing wp-config.php to increase memory limit

Via .htaccess file

Add this line to your WordPress site’s .htaccess file:

php_value memory_limit 256M 

This achieves the same increase to 256MB.

2. Deactivate Resource-Intensive Plugins

Plugins like WooCommerce, complex themes, and page builders like Elementor can use a lot of processing power. Deactivating non-essential plugins through the WordPress admin can free up memory quickly.

Re-activate plugins one-by-one while monitoring if the error re-appears to identify any conflicts.

Deactivating memory intensive plugins

3. Optimize Images

Large image sizes are a common source of memory exhaustion in WordPress. Use an image optimization plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer to compress images and strip unnecessary metadata.

Manually optimize any extremely oversized images by resizing or reformatting outside of WordPress before re-uploading them.

4. Enable Caching

Caching plugins like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache can significantly reduce server load and memory usage for WordPress sites by caching pages and assets. This improves performance and provides more headroom for memory-intensive operations.

5. Update WordPress and Plugins

Keeping your WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated is good practice. Updates often contain fixes for bugs and exploits that can indirectly cause memory issues. Eliminate any outdated, vulnerable code.

Preventing Future Memory Exhaustion Errors

Here are some tips to help optimize and monitor your WordPress site’s memory usage over the long term:

  • Choose lightweight themes and plugins – Avoidresource-intensive plugins and themes with many complex features. Opt for streamlined options.
  • Monitor memory usage – Use a performance plugin like Query Monitor or Debug Bar to identify memory-hogging plugins, themes, or pages.
  • Regularly maintain your site – Keep WordPress, plugins, themes, and web server software updated. Schedule regular backups. Tweak database and image optimization settings.
  • Consider upgrading your web hosting plan if your site grows and requires more resources. Opting for more memory, CPU cores, or employing a caching service can prevent future exhaustion.

Don’t Let the Error Get You Down

Dealing with technical WordPress errors like ““allowed memory size exhausted”” can be daunting. But some targeted troubleshooting to increase limits, deactivate plugins, and optimize performance can get your site back online.

Then you can take steps to proactively avoid future crashes by choosing lightweight tools, regularly maintaining your stack, and monitoring for resource hogs. Don’t let the error get you down for long – with the right approach your site will be better than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will increasing the memory limit slow down my WordPress site?

A: No, increasing the memory limit just allows WordPress to consume more memory before hitting the exhaustion error. It won’t negatively impact performance.

Q: How can I find the current memory limit for my WordPress site?

A: Install the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. It reports your current WordPress memory limit under the ““PHP Information”” section.

Q: How much should I increase the memory limit by?

A: Try increments of 64 or 128MB to find an optimal limit. Many hosts set 256 or 512MB by default, which works for most smaller WordPress sites. More complex sites may need 1GB or beyond.

Q: Should I also increase the max execution time limit?

A: Yes, you can increase max_execution_time in php.ini or via .htaccess to allow PHP more time to complete complex tasks without timing out. Try starting with 180 seconds.

Q: Will upgrading my web hosting plan guarantee no more memory errors?

A: Upgrading to a plan with more memory can help, but optimized code and efficient plugins are still important. You may still need to adjust memory limits and performance configurations at higher tiers.”

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