Support » Fixing WordPress » Disk space keeps rising

  • I’m a newbie in the realm of self-hosted blogs, so please pardon any naivete.

    When I started self-hosting in January, my disk space was between 400 and 600 MGs. It’s been steadily ratcheting up — with periodic drop-offs of 200-300 MGs — and it’s now up to nearly 2 Ggs. I’m getting space from a HostGator reseller, and he’s been good about increasing my allotment, so far.

    The question: Is this disk space increase normal in this amount of time?

    If not, what’s going on? I don’t do any backups within the C-Panel. Nearly everything taken up in the disk space is in the public_html folder.

    Don’t want to seem alarmist, but this situation looks odd.

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  • Hard to say. Usually most disk space in a WordPress install will be taken up by media, more specifically your /wp-content/uploads folder. If you’re adding a lot of images, audio, video, et cetera, it’s gonna take up space quickly. Themes and plugins may also have a noticeable impact on disk space, if there’s a lot of them.

    Some trends I’ve come across with WordPress that could be eating up disk space…

    • If you upload a media file, then decide not to use it in a post, it isn’t deleted automatically. You have to explicitly delete it in the Add Media panel or from the Media Library.
    • If you’re using a plugin with a lot of custom thumbnails, WordPress will generate thumbnails for each size that’s given, each as their own separate file.
    • A plugin you’re using could be making some augmentation to your media. If this involves making copies of files into other types or sizes, this could be taking up disk space.

    Long story short, you’ll want to observe your blogging patterns and see if the amount of data being stored makes sense for the content you’re publishing. If something seems odd, you can take a look through your wp-content folder for further investigation.

    I hope this helps!

    Thanks. I’m pretty sure it’s not content that’s being loaded. I keep virtually everything off-site, including photos (Flickr) and videos (YouTube and Vimeo). I have averaged more than a post a day.

    I was looking in the cache folder, and there were A LOT of files in there. Could that be the cause? I’m using WP-Super Cache; does that need to be emptied from time to time?

    Ahh, there’s a potential lead. Caching plugins, such as WP-Super Cache, create HTML “snapshots” of your pages when they’re visited so that those who visit the page later don’t have to wait for the page to be re-processed. It essentially trades increased storage space for decreased processing time when building your pages. If you have a lot of traffic, it can really give your site a speed boost.

    After a while, cache files go stale and are marked for deletion. Depending on how you have your setup configured, WP Super Cache should go through periodically and clean out old cache files that have expired (depending on your expiry time). Your cache can also be manually managed from the Contents tab of the WP Super Cache settings page. I wouldn’t recommend going through and deleting files directly unless necessary – try using the tools built in to the plugin’s admin panel first.

    Now, as for the original topic… if most of your media is off-site and this is primarily the plugin you’re using, it’s likely this is where your storage is going, and it would explain the fluctuations in storage space (gain some when people visit new pages, lose some when the garbage collector goes through and clears out stale files). Still, if you wanna be 100% certain, I’d recommend connecting via FTP to the server and checking the folder sizes.

    And if this is really the primary cause, you can try tuning the settings in WP Super Cache to better match your traffic patterns. WP Super Cache, while pretty simple to use, isn’t a “set it and forget it” type plugin – at least if you’re looking for optimal performance.

    I hope this helps!

    I think I figured out the problem. I went into the Contents portion of the WP Super Cache settings and deleted the expired files (older than 3600 seconds). Within minutes, I gained almost 1.4 Gigs of disk space. Apparently the expired files were piling up, big time.

    I’m back to about 450 MGs on the disk space, which is about where I started when I started to self-host the blog.

    I may contact the folks at WP Super Cache about these old files apparently not being deleted. But I’m very happy I figured out the problem and was able to resolve it quickly and easily.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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