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