My server has 756m of RAM. Every few days I get

[error] server reached MaxClients setting, consider raising the MaxClients setting

  • 1
    The message you get is a message from your server. Please consult your servers manual first to understand what it means. Additionally please consider using a server support forum first, like serverfault.
    – hakre
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 10:02
  • This is quite clearly from the title asking what sort of Apache tuning should be done specifically for Wordpress. That is specific enough to belong on wordpress.stackexchange.com IMHO. Send it back where people with more experience relating to Wordpress may be hanging out.
    – dunxd
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 13:13
  • Amusing. I'm tempted to edit the title and remove WordPress as this basically has nothing to do with WordPress apart from the title.
    – anu
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 14:41
  • I don't see any benefit of draining all the Apache related questions from a Wordpress site, given that it is one of the more popular web servers. And since the OP specifically decided to post it here, and asks a general question in the title, it would be better to try and get them to clarify which of the questions they mean to ask than simply bumping it over to a different site. There are voting buttons here - use them to encourage the OP to improve their question.
    – dunxd
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 9:56

2 Answers 2


Just to break cycle of "doesn't belong here".

WordPress basically has no specific requirements for web server itself (which doesn't even have to be Apache), aside from permalinks.

The message you are getting seems to be performance-related and may or may not be connected to you using WordPress. For starters check if your traffic had recently increased and ask your hosting if they recommend specific Apache configuration for your hardware and traffic.


Depending on your server configuration, you can change the setting for MaxClients in /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf.

[edit: Since I've only been given a line or two about it myself from my server admin, here is a better explanation as to what MaxClient is...

ServerLimit controls the maximum configured value for MaxClients. Reducing MaxClients on a webserver that is serving dynamic content (e.g. WordPress) can make a big difference. If you experience a traffic spike on your VPS and your MaxClients is set too high your server will more than likely get stuck in an endless loop of swapping pages from physical memory to virtual memory, commonly referred to as thrashing. The accepted way of calculating an appropriate MaxClients value is dividing your total available system memory by the size per Apache process. For example, if you had a 500MB left for Apache to use and each Apache process was using around 10MB you would set your MaxClients to (512-12) / 10 = 50. To check real time memory usage on your VPS use top.

-from The Theme Foundry]

As others have suggested, consult a server administrator before changing settings if you don't know what you're doing.

As for your more general question, I would steer you to a similar question I asked some weeks ago: What are best practices for configuring a server for Wordpress sites?

  • As you suggest it in your answer: What does changing of MaxLcients mean for a WordPress installation?
    – hakre
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 10:24

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