Although the accounts on my server generally have a lower memory limit, I've configured my Wordpress user accounts with a memory limit of 32Mb using the php.ini file and memory_limit = 32M

Unfortunately I've found that I'm still getting the odd memory error, even on small tests blogs. I've had to increase the limit to 64Mb which in my mind seems a little high for normal usage.

What should be a reasonable upper memory limit to have on standard Wordpress installs with popular plugins? For your information some of the plugins that I suspect might be causing memory issues are:

  • W3 Total Cache
  • Role Scoper
  • Smush.it

2 Answers 2


Obviously this question is a little squishy, as YMMV, but I've run several WP sites using W3TC and similar plugins to yours on 32M, and haven't had an issue.

That being said, when are you typically running into issues? Is it on post submission? On gallery operations? Looking for a pattern there could be helpful. Let us know if you find one.

Also remember that a limit is just that, a limit. The majority of the time your site will not be running at the max of 32 or 64M, especially with a caching plugin like W3TC installed and properly configured. PHP may burst to 64, but so long as your server can handle bursts up to that level, then you should feel comfortable with it. Generally, memory limits can be set a little higher than what you'd expect, and so long as you aren't causing your server to thrash then you are fine. Try running top or free -m -s 5 to examine memory usage over time, and see if you're constantly running close to the limit, or if it will continue fine as it is.

  • Yes, I do appreciate my question was a bit of a broad one and perhaps difficult to answer. Thanks for your help.
    – baritoneuk
    Aug 20, 2011 at 7:45
  • A very good general purpose question however that many others are probably wondering as well. Hope you are able to find a satisfactory result for your projects.
    – Joshua
    Aug 21, 2011 at 16:50

Sidenote: Translation also adds (some MB) to the consumed memory.

  • Is this commentary or an answer? :) Sep 1, 2012 at 0:20
  • @BrianFegter Sad to say: An ANSWER. I've spent a lot of time in the german/inpsyde WordPress forums - the memory on shared hosts (still) is mostly around 32MB and most of the (crappy) plugins out there already jump in on the dashboard and the language file made the rest. So it's a "real life" answer.
    – kaiser
    Sep 1, 2012 at 1:17
  • Good to know. I don't use a shared host at all. Sep 1, 2012 at 1:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.