How To Fix WordPress Auto Updates on 1&1

I’ve been running this blog on 1&1‘s service since I first started it.  When WordPress introduced the ability to upgrade with a single click, I thought it was a great idea.  When I saw the same functionality for plugins, I thought that was just amazing!

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

It never worked.

It didn’t matter what I tried, I still had to do upgrades manually!

As far as I was concerned, this was just how it had to be and there was clearly a bug or a conflict or something in WordPress.  One day, I even went through the process of uninstalling all my plugins just to see if the WordPress upgrade would run.  It didn’t.

So I’d resigned myself to a life of manual upgrades and decided that I’d only upgrade once every few months.  Then I started running some sites on HostGator.

Imagine my surprise when “just for fun”, I tried to run an automatic upgrade for one of my plugins on this new Hostgator hosted blog, AND IT WORKED!  I hastily went through all of the automatic upgrades that were available and EVERY SINGLE ONE WORKED!!!


Clearly, the problem was with 1&1.  I validated this by testing a number of other blogs hosted on the same platform and sure enough, the problem only ever manifested on 1&1.  When I finally reached the point of helping a friend with their blog which was also hosted on 1&1 (thanks to MY recommendation!) I decided it was time to find a fix.

It turns out that the fix is really easy, once you understand the problem.

Inside the WordPress admin interface, the upgrade processes take quite a bit of memory.  On Hostgator, the defaults for PHP are set high enough that you shouldn’t encounter a problem, but on 1&1 they’re set too low for our needs.  To fix this, all we need to do is to set a higher memory limit, which we do by creating a php.ini file.  This file needs only one line:


Once you’ve created the file, upload it to your wp-admin directory and you should find that the problem’s been fixed! 🙂

Hope this helps!

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About The Author


John is a Senior Solutions Engineer for a U.S. IT company, specialising in Software Defined IT Infrastructure. He has an extensive background in IT and spends way too much time sitting at his PC's, making videos for himself and other Internet marketers and dreaming of spending more time boating. He's also passionate about Jesus.


  • Affordable Website Design

    19th June, 2010

    I was wondering about this; I have a client who uses 1&1 and to update or add plugins, you gotta supply your FTP info (which doesn’t match your common FTP info) every time. After reading this post, I will surely advise against 1&1 for people who use WordPress blogs.

  • John

    20th June, 2010

    Hmmm, I’ve never seen the FTP thing that you mention.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I still recommend 1&1 to any clients who are based in the UK so that they don’t have to worry about dealing in dollars or having to manually dig out invoices, etc. One thing 1&1 are REALLY good at in the UK is running a professional, reliable business that businesses can work with.

    Does that make sense?


  • Same problem as mine. I really need this kind of information. Hope it will help. By the way thanks for the idea to solve mine too.

  • Mark Peace

    7th December, 2010

    Fix also works with 3ix hosting. You’ve saved me from having to do yet another manual update.