Yesterday, as I was installing and activating a new WordPress plugin I suddenly got a “Fatal Error” message in my browser window. It was something like this:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 46080 bytes) in …

As soon as I saw that error message, I immediately tried to go back and deactivate the plugin. I tried to access any part of my WordPress Dashboard but to no avail. I kept on getting the fatal error. The next thing I did was to manually delete the plugin folder from wp-content/plugins via FTP. After I deleted the whole plugin folder, I thought that evertything would be okay. When I refreshed my browser and tried opening my WordPress Dashboard, I still got a fatal error but this time it was associated with a different plugin. I did the same thing with the first plugin and deleted the whole plugin folder. Still the same.

After that, I knew that the problem wasn’t with the WordPress plugins. I thought it could be with my installation. Something must’ve been corrupted or something. The next thing I could do was to re-install WordPress. Before I proceeded with that, I sent a support ticket to Dreamhost. I stated the problem and copied the exact fatal error messages that I got. Then I went on and re-installed WordPress because I didn’t want my blog to be inaccessible while waiting for the response from the support staff.

A few minutes later, when I was done re-installing WordPress, I checked on my Gmail account and found a reply from one of Dreamhost’s support staff. It turns out that Dreamhost has been slowly upgrading the PHP installation for each web server and I wasn’t notified because they didn’t issue any warnings or notification to avoid confusion. I thought that re-installing WordPress would solve the problem but actually, the issue was fixed after the support guy manually updated my PHP.

So what did I learn from this experience? The next time I get any type of errors on my blog that I’m sure aren’t caused by WordPress, I’m gonna send a support ticket and wait for the reply before doing anything like re-installing my WordPress installation. Hehe :D



Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


  • JP Habaradas, June 3, 2007 @ 3:16 AM Reply

    @fruityoaty – Yup, I did learn a good lesson from it. Bout jumping into conclusions, I guess that holds true in any situation. You never should jump into conclusions, you have to find out the cause before doing anything.

    @Jam – Are you also with Dreamhost?

    @Ade – Yeah, I was a bit worried at first. I thought my blog would get messed up and I was expecting the worse. Good thing nothing happened and everything was okay. Hehe :D

  • Ade, June 3, 2007 @ 1:54 AM Reply

    That was scary, but well, all's well that ends well.

  • Jam, June 2, 2007 @ 11:36 PM Reply

    Hehe. Yeah, at least your learned something. Similar thing does happen to me sometimes. :)

  • fruityoaty, May 31, 2007 @ 5:59 PM Reply

    Well, as long a you learned a good lesson from your recent installation woes. :D

    The most important thing I've learned from doing software testing (as a career) that I've applied to other aspects of my life (lol): when troubleshooting an error/problem, don't jump to conclusions. What seems like the root cause of an error could just be symptom. Point being, sit back and see the big picture before solving the problem.

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