Plugins Not Working in WordPress 3.1? Maybe This Will Help.

by Bill Bliss on March 1, 2011

in WordPress

I’m pretty much a WordPress newbie, so maybe this won’t help anyone.  Then again, maybe it will.

If you’ve recently upgraded to WordPress 3.1 and plugins that were working before (and appear to be working for the rest of the WordPress community) suddenly stopped working, you add/activate a new plugin and it won’t work, or if you’re seeing other intermittent HTTP 500 errors or other malfunctions…check how much memory you have allocated to PHP and WordPress.  From what I can tell, every new release of WordPress is getting closer and closer to using up the 32M of memory that is allocated to PHP by default on many hosting sites, and PHP applications such as WordPress aren’t particularly well behaved in low-memory conditions.  That happened to me, and it was easy to fix once I figured it out.  But I was banging my head against the wall for a while!

Here’s my story.

A few weeks ago I had just created a brand new site on 3.0 using the Thesis theme, but hadn’t added any content or installed too many plugins, so when 3.1 was released I just upgraded without thinking much about it.  After all, I didn’t have anything to lose.

At first, everything was fine, but then I started to see some flaky behavior.  I tried to configure the RSS Widget to integrate my Quora feed, wp-save-buttonbut when I tried to save its settings, the Save button appeared with the spinning GIF (see right), but then it never went away.  I figured that maybe there was a bug somewhere, although I couldn’t find any evidence of it when I searched for it.  The next day, I installed the Better RSS Widget plugin, and while it more or less worked, it also had the spinning GIF problem – it just happened at a different point (after having saved the widget settings as opposed to before).  I had to refresh the widget admin screen to notice this, but the widget was working otherwise.  I reported a bug to the plugin’s author, and he was very responsive but had no suggestions – after all, he had just tested his plugin on WordPress 3.1, and I was the only one reporting the problem.

Then a little while later I tried to edit my menus, but when I attempted to save my changes, I got another 500 error.  That’s when I knew something was really messed up, so I did something I should have done earlier: I checked my server logs.  Bingo!  Scattered throughout were telltale errors:

[01-Mar-2011 00:20:07] PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 122880 bytes) in [server-path]/wp-content/plugins/better-rss-widget/includes/widget-form.php on line 58
[01-Mar-2011 00:23:02] PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 113349 bytes) in [server-path]/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 791
[01-Mar-2011 00:25:53] PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 80 bytes) in [server-path]/wp-includes/class-simplepie.php on line 14568
[01-Mar-2011 00:26:37] PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 122880 bytes) in [server-path]/wp-content/plugins/better-rss-widget/includes/widget-form.php on line 58

33554432 is 32M, and clearly the same error in different files indicated an out of memory error.  It’s easy enough to fix this problem (scroll down to the comment by MichaelH), although since I don’t have access to my php.ini I had to do it in my .htaccess file.  But once I raised my memory to 64M, all the weird problems went away.  Voilà!

Tweet this: @bill_bliss New post: Plugins Not Working in WordPress 3.1? Maybe This Will Help. http://wp.me/p1pkik-1O #php #memory #plugins #wordpress

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

vikas@niche bloggers April 4, 2011 at 12:23 am

same thing was happened with me but its fixed now. Thanks!

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Robert Strong May 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Well we learnt a hard lesson over the last 15 hours – we had a clients Wordpress built using Windows and not Linux – causing a few plugins to not work correctly…… It has been a learning experience to say the least!

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