I've got a WordPress site that's using too much memory, and I'm having problems with it on my shared hosting site.

So, to try to figure out where it's coming from without wrecking my live site, I cloned the site and installed into a local VM, where I deleted all plugins except Query Monitor.

That clone is still using 157M of memory with no other plugins installed.

On the other hand, I've got a fresh WordPress install that I installed Query Monitor into, and it's using only 4M of memory.

So clearly, there's something in my clone that's burning memory. It's not the plugins -- they're gone. It's not the theme -- I switched it to the same theme as the fresh install (stock 2017 theme).

I've looked through the output from Query Monitor, and I can't see a difference of substance.

What can I look for to try to figure out why my clone is consuming so much memory?

  • This is more of a general PHP question and you might have better luck on the main Stack Overflow site. There are some promising looking answers in this SO questionhttps://stackoverflow.com/questions/6114155/how-do-you-debug-php-out-of-memory-issues Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


I found it: it was a massive set of WordPress cron jobs that I had inadvertently accumulated. The technique I used was to keep removing things from the database in the clone that weren't in the blank install, watching the memory in query monitor to see what dropped it.

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