If you are on a shared host such as 1and1, and try to upgrade your WordPress installation via the automatic update method in the admin panel, you may run into the following error: “Fatal error: Out of memory”. This error is the result of 1and1’s shared hosting memory limitations for PHP.
There are a number of options that you can experiment with to resolve the issue.
Option One: The easy road, but less reliable…
The first, and easiest option is to disable all of your plugins, then try the automatic upgrade.
Option Two: A little more complex, but will not be over-written upon another update
The second option is a bit more complex, but not overly difficult. This option requires you to to override the default PHP memory limit. Fortunately, this is quite easy to do by use of a small php.ini file placed in the root directory of your site. Here are the steps…
- Create a new text file called php.ini.
- Open the file in a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++.
- Add this line to the file: memory_limit=48M
- Using the 1and1 web-space explorer or an FTP application, upload the file to the root directory of your site and to the wp-admin directory of your WordPress installation.
- Now, try the automatic update again. It should complete without error.
Option Three: More complex and might be overwritten
The third option requires you to modify some of your WordPress code. I think that this is a less than desireable option, since any changes that you make in this manner may be over-written upon the next upgrade of WordPress… Here are the steps for this option:
- Open up the wp-config.php file in a text editor. You may need to use an FTP client such as FileZilla to download the file to your computer…
- Add the line “define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);” to the top of the file, right before the line containing “require_once(ABSPATH . ‘wp-settings.php’);“
- Upload the file back to your server
- Now try the update again.
WordPress 3.2 issues…
It appears that the 3.2 version of WordPress is experiencing a similar failure. Try one of the above options to see if it fixes your issue. Always remember to back your site and database prior to performing a WordPress update. Good luck!