WordPress server that worked flawlessly for months now runs out of memory and crashes for no apparent reason. How to troubleshoot and fix?

In the last month my server just started blowing up randomly. I had a perfect installation that worked flawlessly for 9 months but in the last month the load and memory usage just randomly start spiraling out of control.

It appears that something external causes this to happen but I have no idea what it could be. Rebooting the server will make it run normally for anywhere from a few minutes to 18-24 hours but that’s about the max.

The memory usage just keeps going up and up and up until the Apache process core dumps. The load spirals up to 20+.

[Tue Jan 05 11:31:22.629436 2016] [core:notice] [pid 1246] AH00052: child pid 8127 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)

For 9 months prior to this this server operated flawlessly with loads [in top] ranging from .01 - .20.

The server is running digital ocean’s one click WordPress installation image, it has 1 GB of memory and 1 GB swap file.

My list of active plugins is as follows: Blubrry PowerPress, CloudFlare, Disqus Comment System, Jetpack, Login LockDown, Monarch Plugin (Share On Theme123.Net), Nofollow Links, TinyMCE Advanced, Yoast SEO

None of the plugins have been changed in many months.

My server is running only one WordPress installation and one site. WordPress and plugins are always updated to the latest version. There are no major modifications on the site.

I have had problems in the past 100% on every WordPress installation with the sites being crashed via brute force hacking attempts to /xmlrpc.php I have had to completely deny access to that even though it screws up jetpack because I have not been able to get Order Allow,Deny to work. It either causes 520’s to all URLs across the whole server or it reports “order not allowed here” in the error log and it doesn’t work. This is a separate issue but I would be very grateful if anyone can explain that one either. Past experience indicates leaving xmlrpc.php open to the public will result in crashed sites 100% of the time.

Can anyone help? I’m getting really desperate here this is destroying my site. Haven’t been able to keep it online for more than 24 hours since early December. Nobody has any answers.

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Hey guys/gals, I was having this issue and found out it was a brute force attack on my site via the XML-RPC feature in Wordpress. See if this fixes your problem:

I have exactly the same issue, added swap but still blowing itself up! Cant see why? Its a new install and barely used.

Have you solved the issue? I have multiple Wordpress installations, all of them are running on separate droplets. All of them have the same issue you provided above.

Please let me know if you have solved it.