When you run a site on wordpress with a huge volume of content and it surpasses the available php memory , wordpress can behave pretty strangely. This is often referred to as the white screen of death by some , which basically means that the server’s memory limits have been reached and wordpress may show a blank white screens with a few lines of source codes , timeouts and other errors.

While you may try figuring out what’s wrong with your php codes, it will be a waste of time as the codes isn’t where the problem lies. It’s the php memory. Here are some situations when you should check with your host if you need to upgrade the available php memory and the compatibility with a localized memory increase :

  • Experiencing issues with opening various WP admin screens
  • Issues with leaving comments and no screens returned after leaving comments
  • Explicit php memory errors
  • Experiencing timeouts during pageloads or uploads
  • Broken plugins

These issues may be addressed by increasing the php memory limit for your wordpress blog. You can check your available php memory by uploading a phpinfo.php file with <?php phpinfo(); ?> to the server. Open it in the browser and find the line “memory_limit” — the numerical value is the current php memory limit assigned to your server.

If you decide that you will incrementally increase your php memory, then the first thing you should do is to backup your files. The most important one in this case is the wp-config.php which you can find in the wordpress root directory. Afetr backing it up , open it and place this code just after the opening php element as shown :


Now, upload the file to your server and check how it responds. If you still experience the timeouts, errors and other issues , then try deleting and creating a new wordpress object cache. If even this doesn’t solve your problems, then try increasing the php memory incrementally depending on your present memory settings. Here are some values that you may use while increasing the memory.


Looking for WordPress plugins I found a very interesting WP -memory- usage, which displays the version of PHP installed on the server, the maximum limit of memory that can be used and the amount that is currently being used.

These data are useful, especially the last one , to control the amount of memory used by certain plugin, and if necessary ask your hosting company to increase the limit of memory available to PHP or change the ” php.ini ” .

Another approach to solving the problem is to maintain a php error log. This may help you locate the exact files that are giving rise to the memory issues. Once you know the source, you can make changes to the memory of that specific file to resolve the issues. This doesn’t always work, but it is better than generalized memory changes.

You can also try to reduce the number of plugins that you use on your blog or temporarily switch a bulk portion of your content to “draft” mode to find if that resolves the issue. The aforesaid steps should be taken only if you are sure that there is no coding error and that the issues are arising because of the memory limit.

If the above solutions do not solve the problems you are experiencing, then your site might actually be experiencing the growth pains and you will have to upgrade your package and increase the php memory limit assigned to your wordpress site.