WordPress via Digital Ocean: Increase Upload Size

If you attempted to upload photos through the WordPress admin console you were probably disappointed to find the upload size defaulted to 2MB.

However, if your site is hosted through Digital Ocean or you have access to your own server you can quickly change this.

We can make the changes to PHP’s configuration file however, it will apply to all of your PHP sites. Alternatively, we can make the changes to an .htaccess or Apache virtual host configuration for more control.

Regardless of the approach, we are interested in three configuration directives: 1) post_max_size and 2) upload_max_filesize and 3) memory_limit. The default values are 8MB, 2MB and 128 MB respectively. You should not need to alter the memory_limit directive unless your post_max_size is close to or greater than memory_limit. Second, your post_max_size should be larger than your upload_max_filesize in order to successfully upload your files.

Now let’s log into our web servers.


Make your way over to the PHP installation folder at /etc/php/. Your path may be slightly different depending on your PHP version. Drill down to the version folder you are using and into the apache2 folder (i.e. /etc/php/7.2/apache2). Here we will find the file php.ini.

Use the following commands to locate the line numbers for these directives in php.ini.

more php.ini | grep -n "post_max_size"
more php.ini | grep -n "upload_max_filesize"
more php.ini | grep -n "memory_limit"

Now, use your favorite editor to update these directives and save your changes. Please note that php.ini uses only “M” to denote “MB”. Restart the Apache server to apply your changes.

.htaccess or Apache virtual host configuration

If you are setting your configuration through an .htaccess file change your working directory to your WordPress folder and use your favorite editor to edit your .htaccess file.

If you prefer to do your configuration through an Apache virtual host, head over to for your virtual host’s configuration file ( /etc/apache2/sites-available).

Add the following lines with your specific values, save your new configuration and restart the Apache server to apply your changes.

php_value post_max_size 12M
php_value upload_max_filesize 3M
#php_value memory_limit 128M

The max upload size in your WordPress admin console should now show your new upload limit.

If you are interested in hosting your own VM with Digital Ocean, please consider using my referral link so we can both earn Digital Ocean credit. Please visit this link to learn more about Digital Ocean’s referral program.

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