Archive for category: wordpress

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I’ve seen this far too many times on WordPress sites, and for a long time struggled with the solution.  I finally figured it out and since I use it without trouble every time now, I simply have to share.  While there are many things that could cause the error, in all the cases I’ve experienced, it’s been a problem with the owner of the WordPress files on the Apache server.  So the solution involves connecting to the site through SSH.  Navigate to your wordpress directory.

  1.  Find out who the web user is on your copy of apache by running this command: ps aux | egrep ‘(apache|httpd)’
    You should get a list of files and their owner, and the most common owner name will be what you want to use.  It’s probably something like ‘apache’ or ‘www-data’ or ‘root’, but for this purposes of this explanation, I will assume it is ‘www-data’.
  2. Assuming your wordpress installation is in an htdocs folder, the first thing you want to do is reset the ownership of all the wordpress files to this web user:
    chown -R www-data htdocs/
  3. Maybe not required, but you can also change the group ownership of all the wordpress files:
    chgrp -R www-data htdocs/
  4. And finally, give full privilege for the directory:
    chmod u+wrx htdocs/*

Hopefully you, like me, will now magically have back the ability to keep WordPress automatically updated again!

I’ve run across this problem many times in my career with WordPress – suddenly the page-edit.php screen or the page-new.php screen starts loading up blank. This is a very common problem that has a LOT of solutions. Deactivate plugins, deactivate your theme, and so on. But for the first time ever, this was not the problem for me.

After some creative sleuthing, I discovered that if I had less than 56 pages in the database the problem went away. This naturally led me to check PHP’s memory limit, and sure enough it was set to 16M! I also turned on errors and got this lovely note: “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 16777216 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 58368 bytes) in /wp-admin/menu-header.php on line 84

So short story shorter, check your memory limit! 16M is pretty small for any website running off a database. Â I would just like to add that to the long list of things to check. Â Here’s a good article on increasing memory limit.