I have a large site that's using WordPress. We have 75,000 pages in the site so far, and it's performing well on the front-end.

The issue is that if anyone on our team touches the page editor (wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=page), Apache eats up all the memory on the server.

I've tried disabling all plugins, but that didn't work. I also tried debugging on our live server which a 4GB box... it still eats up all the memory and comes to a hault.

On this install, we also have 20,000 posts. There's no issue loading those in wp-admin. Maybe we should move all pages to posts - that's going to cause an issue with permalink structure, though.

Are there special settings or configurations I'm missing for a large WP site?


1 Answer 1


The problem comes from the fact that, in order to display pages and their hierarchy, WP has to load all of them and then build the tree in memory.

So, you are saved if you can convert most of those pages into one or several non-hierarchical custom post types.

The permalink structure can be emulated.

  • 1
    Why is that? Can't it load just the number of pages requested by the currrent page (the one set in the screen options), then load their children, and exclude some from the end if needed to match that number? And the "parent" dropdown could be replaced with a simple search box (or keep the dropdown if # of pages doesn't exceed 100 or something)... Jul 6, 2011 at 21:15
  • Thanks. I'll need to research custom post types more. When they were first released, I remember you had to use a permalink structure like /cats/squiggles. But maybe I can use just /squiggles for custom post types now (that's our permalink structure for these pages). Hopefully it's a relatively easy fix!
    – Alex Cook
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:18
  • @One Trick Pony: Because the number of db queries would grow exponentially.
    – scribu
    Jul 6, 2011 at 21:21
  • Is this problem going to happen with the new bbpress forum plugin? I've been wanting to convert my vb forums (1.2million threads) to bbpress, and reading this is causing me to seriously doubt that I can do it
    – shawn
    Jul 7, 2011 at 4:10
  • @shawn: bbPress doesn't use pages. It uses non-hierarchical post types + a hierarchical taxonomy.
    – scribu
    Jul 7, 2011 at 9:35

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