Fixing the “Disk Full” Error on Your WordPress Site
Experiencing the dreaded “Publishing Failed. Could Not Update Post In The Database” error on your WordPress site?
This frustrating issue can bring your site to a grinding halt, prevent you from publishing new content, and ultimately lead to downtime if left unresolved.
The good news is, with some troubleshooting and website cleanup, you can get past this error and get your site back up and running smoothly again.
The Quick Solution: Scale Up Your Web Hosting Plan
After extensive troubleshooting, the ultimate fix for my “Publishing Failed. Could Not Update Post In The Database” errors was to scale up to a larger web hosting plan with more storage capacity.
The ‘Publishing Failed. Could Not Update Post In The Database error’, is basically just a ‘Disk Full’ issue.
Checking your host’s ERROR LOGS will let you know that.
I was on a basic shared cloud hosting plan, and my site’s growing traffic, images, and stored backups had finally exceeded the allocated disk space.
Upgrading to a plan with a lot larger storage space, gave my site breathing room to continue growing. No more disk space errors!
So if you’ve already tried all the tips below and are still hitting disk limits, consider upgrading your web hosting plan as the ultimate solution. Many hosts make it easy to scale up your account resources.
7 Ways to Troubleshoot the “Disk Full” Error
If upgrading your hosting isn’t ideal right now, don’t worry – there are still several ways to troubleshoot and fix those frustrating “Publishing Failed. Could Not Update Post In The Database” messages:
1. Delete Unneeded Files
The first step is to scan your site for any files you can safely delete to free up space:
- Old unused themes/plugins
- Outdated backups
- Unnecessary images/media files
- Temporary cache/log files
- Inactive databases
Tip: Sort folders by size to see the biggest space hogs first.
2. Compress Images & Media
Images, video, and multimedia files tend to consume huge chunks of disk space.
3. Move Static Files to CDN
Offload static files like images, CSS, and JS to a content delivery network (CDN).
This stores them off-server while still delivering them quickly to visitors. Less files stored locally means more free disk space.
4. Update Inefficient Code
Bloated, unoptimized code can waste disk space on stuff like:
- Bulky page caching
- Excessive debugging/error logging
- Duplicate data
Tweaking themes, plugins, and functions for leaner operation frees up resources.
5. Limit Database Bloat
Over time, the database can accumulate cached data, stale records, and unnecessary overhead.
- Enable auto-pruning in your database
- Manually purge caches & temp tables
- Archive/delete old data
- Optimize tables & queries
This “spring cleaning” works wonders.
6. Block Hotlinking Sites
“Hotlinking” is when other sites link directly to your image and media files. This can drain your bandwidth and disk space unnecessarily.
.htaccess rules, you can block these sites from leeching your assets. Your disk will thank you.
7. Upgrade Hosting Resources
If your current hosting plan’s storage limits are simply inadequate for your site’s size and growth, it’s time to scale up.
More disk space, monthly transfer, memory, and computing power will give your site breathing room to grow.
FAQs About Fixing the “Disk Full” Error
What causes the “disk full” error?
It typically means you’ve used up your web hosting account’s allocated disk space through some combination of:
- Large media files
- Inefficient code and databases
- Excessive logs and records
- Cached temporary data
- Backups and archives
Rapid traffic growth can also overload limited space.
Where can I check how much disk space I have?
Log into your web host’s control panel or CPanel. It will show your total available space and current usage.
Alternatively, use SSH to run
df -h and see all mounted disks and space left.
How do I find large files to delete?
Log into your web server via SSH or FTP and:
- Navigate to folders like wp-content/uploads to find large media
- Sort folders by size to see the biggest hogs
ducommands to locate large files by type
Only delete files you know are safe to remove.
Should I be concerned about disk performance?
Most hosting accounts use high-performance SSD storage.
But if your site feels oddly slow, ensure your host didn’t put you on slower HDD storage, which could indicate a performance bottleneck.
What is the best disk space for a WordPress site?
It depends on your site’s size and expected growth. But as a general guideline:
- Small site: 10-20 GB
- Medium site: 25-50 GB
- Large site: 50-100+ GB
Leave ample headroom to accommodate surges too. Upgrade as needed.
Can I just keep adding more disk space forever?
You can only add more disk space up to your web hosting plan’s limits. Exceeding these may require upgrading to a higher tier plan with greater resources.
Most managed WordPress hosts offer plans accommodating huge websites with unlimited disk space and smooth auto-scaling.
Don’t Let Disk Space Errors Slow You Down
With this troubleshooting guide, you should now have several techniques to resolve annoying “disk full” errors.
The key steps are:
- Audit and delete unnecessary files hogging space
- Compress media using optimization plugins
- Leverage CDNs to offload static files
- Clean up databases and temporary data
- Block hotlinking sites from leeching your files
- Upgrade hosting for more disk capacity
Implementing even a few of these can get your site back online and running smoothly again. No more frustrating downtime or error messages.
What strategies have you used to fix disk space issues on your WordPress site? Share your tips and experiences below!