raising WordPress memory limit to 256 mb

Raising WordPress Default Memory Limit for SiteGround Clients

At SiteGround we always strive to go the extra mile for our clients and make website management on our platform as easy and hassle-free as possible. This is especially true for WordPress websites, us being one of the first web hosts to start offering managed WordPress services to spare you tons of manual work and hassle. The extra effort we put into it goes steadily throughout the years, complemented by a strong involvement from our team in the WordPress dev and hosting projects. 

As of recently, we have been receiving a growing amount of requests from clients for an increase of the default WP memory limits – a request reinforced by a new discussion within the WordPress community about raising the default memory limit of the software, since the current values are old and no longer relevant to the present day. Being the resource efficiency geeks that we are, we decided to increase the default values at a platform level and offer a global solution for all WordPress users on our hosting.

Why is an update of the WP memory limits needed?

The WordPress ecosystem, including WordPress themes, plugins, and the software itself is constantly evolving and growing and with that, the need for more resources. WordPress site builders, online store management, e-learning management, etc. get more complex and heavier with time, and require more resources to operate properly. If you have a low memory setting, this can lead to issues with saving your page (as WordPress does not have enough Memory to save the page content to the database). This can also be a cause for critical error messages, or memory-exhausted errors on your WordPress site.

The current WordPress default memory limits are 40 МВ for WP and 64 for WPMU – while many new plugins and themes require a minimum of 128 MB of memory to run properly – and most of them recommend 256 MB, if possible. We’ve always made sure to provide plenty of hosting resources for our clients but unfortunately, the way your application default settings are set to work plays a big role into how efficiently you are using the resources we provide. For example, the current PHP Memory Limit on SiteGround servers is 768 MB, so it definitely allows a higher WP Memory limit.

Currently, if you’re using a heavier plugin, and need a higher WordPress memory limit, you have to specifically contact your hosting provider and request it, or you have to do it manually yourself. But it’s a hassle, even if you know what you’re doing. 
That’s why we decided to override the default WordPress memory settings for SiteGround clients, increasing them to 256M from the default 40 МВ for WP and 64 for WPMU. Here is how we went about it:

All new WordPress Installations on SiteGround Now Come with the Higher Memory Limit Out of the box

We started out by including a new custom config file which overrides and automatically updates the default memory limit for all our new WordPress installations through SiteGround Site Tools. That way all new WordPress instances on our servers get a head start straight from the moment of installation. Same goes for all new WordPress transfers from other hosting companies to our servers, performed with our free WordPress Auto-migrator plugin.

All Existing WP instances will be gradually updated to the new default ones

The situation with our existing WordPress clients was a bit more complicated to tackle, since we needed to be mindful that some of you may have already set a custom WordPress memory limit on your applications. So our solution will not override any custom WordPress memory limit you might have set yourself.

Since we always test, double test, and then test some more everything before going full-scale, we have decided to start gradually updating only the default WordPress memory limit server by server to monitor and perform health checks for each. 

!NB If you have installed WordPress manually in your account, and have not added it to your Site Tools, then our system has no way of knowing about you using it, and your default WordPress limit will not be updated. You will need to do that manually yourself, if needed. In any case, adding your WordPress applications is quite easy. You can do that with a few clicks from Site Tools > WordPress > Install & Manage > Add Existing Site.

That’s why we highly recommend you use our WordPress installer whenever launching new WordPress installations, or WordPress Auto-migrator when migrating an existing WordPress site to us. That way you can take full advantage of our best-in-class WordPress managed hosting services, and multiple improvements that we keep on adding.

How can you check your WordPress Memory limit?

To check the current WP memory limit of your installation you can access your WP admin backend and go to Tools –> Site Health. Then select “Info” and expand the “WordPress Constants” list. Look for WP_MEMORY_LIMIT – this is the memory limit for the website you want to check.

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author avatar

Hristo Pandjarov

WordPress Innovations Director

Enthusiastic about all Open Source applications you can think of, but mostly about WordPress. Add a pinch of love for web design, new technologies, search engine optimisation and you are pretty much there!

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