I'm having a small issue with one of my queries here. I cannot increase my wordpress memory limit as long as hostgator sets it to 64mb. I'm not sure if its possible to reduce the amount of memory used making some changes to my code, here is the code I'm using to query users from a specific role and displaying their name, profile and avatar:

<?php $users = get_users('role=s2member_level3'); ?> 
<?php foreach ($users as $user) {
    $avatar = get_avatar($user->ID, '96');
    if (get_the_author_meta('description', $user->ID) == "" && stristr($avatar,"gravatar.com/avatar")) { continue; }
    <div class="colaborador">
        <div class="imagem-colaborador">
            <?php if ($avatar == "") { 
                echo '<img src="http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/ad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536?s=96" alt="Avatar" />'; 
            } else { 
                echo $avatar;
            } ?> 

        <div class="texto-colaborador">
            <h2 class="nome-colaborador"><?php echo $user->display_name; ?></h2>
            <p><?php the_author_meta('description', $user->ID);  ?></p>
<?php } ?>
  • Not that I'm a proponent of direct DB access, but if you're running into extreme memory situations, would that be a solution for you? get_users() will cache each "gotten" user in RAM; if you have a buttload of users, this will eat a ton of RAM. You might bypass this with a direct DB query.
    – Tom Auger
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


In your example, you are getting all the fields in the get_users call, but you are only really using the ID and display_name fields. So you can save some memory by forcing get_users to only get the fields you need.

$users = get_users(array(
  'fields'=>array('ID', 'display_name'),

That will help reduce your memory footprint.

  • Hey Otto tried your suggestion but the problem persists :/ Aug 29, 2011 at 22:26
  • You could also save some memory by getting the user_email field as well, and passing that directly into the get_avatar function instead of the user ID.
    – Otto
    Aug 30, 2011 at 12:35
  • Furthermore, your check for $avatar being blank is useless, since get_avatar will always return a valid avatar URL. So your call to stristr is also pointless and consumes memory for no reason.
    – Otto
    Aug 30, 2011 at 12:36
  • Hey Otto, just figured it out and removed this line hehe, but the memory problem still there. I also, tried to use pagination but with no success. I`m thinking about changing the default avatar adress, so it will load an image located on my localhost, do you think it will make any difference? Aug 30, 2011 at 12:41
  • By the way, is there any way that I can check what is actually using the memory on this page? Aug 30, 2011 at 12:42

Call author data

You could change your multiple get_the_author_meta() calls against a single $author_data = get_userdata( $user_id ); call. Then simply extract everything from the object like $author_data->ID;. This should save you some memory.


If you leave out the avatar you will also save a lot of mem. Avatars take a long time to load and use a whole load of memory.

  • What about avatar-related functions uses a lot of server memory?..
    – Rarst
    Aug 29, 2011 at 21:16
  • I just took a look at how the avatar uses memory (via Chrome dev bar) yesterday. I don't really understand why, but it seemed that there's something about it.
    – kaiser
    Aug 29, 2011 at 21:19
  • actually the avatar is the main thing about this page, unfortunatly. But i'll try your suggestion Kaiser, not really sure if it will work though, but lets give it a try. Thank you! Aug 29, 2011 at 21:26
  • I do not follow. How does Chrome show PHP memory usage? From quick test get_avatar() call increases memory usage by 88 bytes.
    – Rarst
    Aug 29, 2011 at 21:27
  • 1
    Avatars don't use any real memory on the server. That's just in the browser. Don't worry about that.
    – Otto
    Aug 29, 2011 at 22:05

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