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What is: Memory Usage

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In WordPress, memory usage is the amount of memory used by a PHP script. This script could be a theme, a plugin, or a core WordPress file.

Badly written scripts can use a lot of memory and slow down your WordPress website. Your web hosting provider or a caching plugin can help minimize the effects of excess memory usage.

Glossary: Memory Usage

How PHP Scripts Use Memory on Your Web Server

A well-written WordPress plugin or theme will attempt to reduce its own memory usage. This ensures that it does not cause a heavy load on your server by using excessive memory.

PHP scripts consuming too much memory can also slow down a website. In the worst cases, they can cause website downtime and sometimes even suspended hosting accounts.

How to Protect Your Web Server’s Memory Usage

Many of the best web hosting service providers have safeguards in place to automatically kill PHP scripts that exceed their allocated amount of memory.

To optimize memory usage in WordPress, it is strongly recommended that you use a caching plugin. This will reduce the load on your web server by serving cached copies of web pages.

If needed, you can also ask your host to increase your allocated memory when running scripts or plug-ins that require them. However, this is not recommended unless you know exactly what you are doing.

How to Check Your Website’s Memory Usage

Knowing how much memory your website normally uses will help you to spot when things are abnormal and possibly a risk to your website.

In many cases, you can see for yourself how much memory the server you are hosted on is using cPanel or another dashboard provided by your hosting provider.

For example, in your cPanel dashboard, you may see ‘Service Status: Click to View’ at the bottom left of the page. The memory usage will be shown as a percentage of total memory.

In the worst case, a fatal Memory Exhausted error will be displayed when trying to visit your website when too much memory is being used.

We hope this article helped you learn more about memory usage in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

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Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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