Shared hosting is a wonderful thing but it still has its caveats. That is, some people will encounter wordpress memory limit problems when they administer their websites. I came across this problem recently when I started getting 404 errors after making posts and trying to re-configure one of my websites using the theme settings. I inquired with my web host provider Dreamhost and was told that my websites were approaching the memory limit.

They gave me advice on how to track and reduce my memory usage and also mentioned that I could simply upgrade to a private server account in order to increase my memory threshold. This disappointed me a bit because I wasn’t quite prepared to extend the budget for web hosting just yet.

That said, I tried to figure out a few more ways to reduce my memory limit with a little research and tinkering on my own. I’ll list my findings below:

1) Examine Your Scripts

In my case I had a bad script which was putting visible gobblety gook on the header of my web page. It was a problem I noticed but didn’t realize was related to my memory/page speed problems. Bad scripts can slow down a page significantly. You most likely wont have any added scripts if you are just starting out but as you implement other features into your website you may be required to paste a script or two into your header and this is where the problems can start.

2) Use Firebug

You can test for all web page loading elements by using the Firefox browser and the FireBug add in. Speed page is another tool you can use and it works well with Firebug. It will examine your webpage and give you advice on what you need to do to bring page load times down. This is where you will notice how plugins are loaded on your blog even the ones you have disabled which brings us to my next point.

3) Delete Any Unused Plugins

Try to keep your installed plugins as lean and mean as possible. I like plugins just like the next person but in the end having so much functionality only adds the memory load that your pages have.

4) Use Your Own Computer Power When Possible

If you run the Thesis wordpress theme on your site you are in luck. You can locally install wordpress on your machine and then make site configurations on your own computer. After that, save the file and upload to your site using the built in Thesis “manage options” feature. This is how I got past the barrier of being able to change column sizes live on my thesis website. The manage options feature is another plus to having a Thesis theme. Read my review on Thesis here. I know this step focuses on those who have a Thesis theme but I’m sure there are other ways that you can put your own computer power to use such as in the next step.

5) Optimize Images

Making sure you optimize your photos for the web, that way when you include them in your post, there is less crunch time required to post/load them on your website.

You can optimize images use software to do this such as Adobe Fireworks or you can use the following website: Webresizer

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