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What to Do When WordPress Exceeds the Maximum Upload Size for the Site

July 26, 2022

If you try to upload files that exceed a specific size to your WordPress website, you may see a server error that says, “WordPress exceeds the maximum upload size for this site.”

While there’s a good reason for that, the upload limit bottleneck can impact your experience, especially if your website handles plenty of media.

So, how do you get rid of this bottleneck? The solution is to increase the max upload file size in your WordPress settings or at the server level.

In this guide, we’ll take you through:

Why You Should Increase the Max Upload File Size in WordPress

Your installation will often come with a reasonable WordPress max file upload limit.

But, if you want to make some significant changes to your site, you may have to raise that limit. 

So, at what point do you do that? You should learn how to change the maximum upload file size in WordPress if you:

Install a Large Theme or Plugin

If you’d like to customize your website using a theme or plugin, you may need to increase the maximum upload file size limit in WordPress.

If you’re uploading and installing these digital assets to your website through your WordPress dashboard, an increased file size upload limit ensures you enjoy a seamless process.

Upload Larger Images and Videos to Your WordPress Website

If you’d like to upload larger images, videos, and design assets to your website, you may need to increase the file size upload limit.

Higher-quality files often take up more space, and you may need to allocate more resources to their uploads.

Update Your High-Traffic WordPress Website

If you update your website frequently because of high traffic, keep your file size upload limit at its maximum.

With enhanced limits, you and your audience can smoothly upload content to your website.

Sell Digital Files

If your website sells digital assets like e-books, audio files, videos, or images, you should increase your file size upload limits.

Doing so ensures your customers download high-quality media from your website every time they make a purchase.

The WordPress Maximum Upload File Size

The standard WordPress maximum upload size usually ranges between 4MB and 128MB. Most WordPress hosting providers set these limits at the server level, and they may vary across hosting plans.

These limits are essential because uploading large files can consume plenty of server resources. To prevent the WordPress exceeds the maximum upload size for this site server error, your host will limit these upload sizes.

You can control these settings directly from WordPress, but usually, WordPress can’t override the defaults set at the server level.

Before you change these limits for your website, here’s how to find out what they are:

How to Check Your Current WordPress Maximum Upload Size

You can check for the maximum upload size limit in two ways:

1. Check Your Site Health Information

Since WordPress version 5.2 introduced the Site Health tool, you can use it to debug your website and find out basic information about your installation.

The Site Health tool will display your WordPress and server maximum upload file limits.

First, open the Site Health tool and select the Media Handling dropdown. Check the value of the Max size of an uploaded file. This number is your WordPress limit.

Check the value of the max size of an uploaded file

For the server limit, select the Server dropdown. Look for the value for the Upload max file size.

Look for the value for the Upload max file size

2. Check the Media Library

You can also find your upload size limit in the media library:

1. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Media > Library.

2. Select the Add New button at the top of your media screen to start the media uploading process.

3. You’ll find your upload size limit inside the Drop file area and upload box.

How To Increase Upload File Size Limit in WordPress

There are several ways you can increase the upload file size limit in WordPress. Let's look at four of them:

1. Change PHP Settings Through the cPanel

You can change the maximum upload file size limit in the WordPress cPanel dashboard. This dashboard gives you control over many website and server settings.

Follow these steps to increase your maximum upload size limit:

1. Open your cPanel dashboard.

2. Select your PHP Version in the Software section.

3. Click Options.

4. Open the PHP Options dashboard.

5. Under the available PHP options, select upload_max_filesize and adjust the limit upward.

6. Save your changes. If using older cPanel versions, let it save your changes automatically.

2. Use a WordPress Plugin

Suppose you’d rather not go digging into your WordPress settings. In that case, you can still change your WordPress max file upload size using a plugin.

The Increase Maximum Upload File Size plugin is a good example of how to get rid of the WordPress exceeds the maximum upload size for this site error, especially if you like your settings as simple and easy as possible. Here’s how to use the plugin:

1. Install and activate the plugin.

Install and activate the plugin.

2. Go to WP Admin > Media > Increase Upload Limit.

3. That opens up a new screen. Here, select your new file upload size.

select your new file upload size

4. Choose the Maximum Upload File Size from the dropdown menu.

3. Update Your .htaccess File

You can also update the .htaccess file to increase your maximum upload size limit and get rid of the WordPress exceeds the maximum upload size for this site error.

The .htaccess file gives you full control over the top-level settings of your WordPress website. Here, you can alter the parameters of the upload _max_filesize, memory_limit, and post_max_size commands.

You must set these three values correctly to increase your upload size limit.

Here's how to update your .htaccess file:

1. Find the .htaccess file in the website's root folder. You can find it in your file manager or FTP client if it’s unavailable in the root folder.

2. Open the .htaccess file via your preferred text editor.

3. Add this code to your .htaccess file:

php_value upload_max_filesize 32M

php_value post_max_size 64M

php_value memory_limit 128M

php_value max_execution_time 300

php_value max_input_time 300

4. Set the values of the max_execution_time and max_input_time as above to speed up WordPress and PHP tasks.

4. Contact Your Hosting Provider for Help

If all else fails, or you’d rather an expert handle the WordPress exceeds the maximum upload size for this site issue for you, contact customer support.

Nexcess offers excellent customer support if you face problems setting custom maximum upload size limits or uploading files to your website.

You can contact our customer support through live chat and phone. Our experts are here to help you with your request.

Final Thoughts

You can now access your settings and increase your WordPress max file upload limit with the information above. Doing so increases the use of your server resources, so ensure your hosting plan is up to date.

Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Nexcess

Looking for a new hosting partner for your WordPress website? Check Nexcess’ Fully Managed WordPress hosting for a fast, scalable, and secure website.

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