Guide: How to upload a large image or video to WordPress (Works!)

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

Sometimes you may want to embed a large media file in your WordPress site but the WordPress media uploader will fail. The failure could be for a number of reasons, the file is too big, your server has limits on WordPress uploads, or the server timed out during the upload process. To fix this, some people may recommend you edit your .htaccess file or the PHP settings in CPanel. This is nice, in theory, but not everyone may have access to these settings or your host may not even give you access – but there is another way!

To upload large files to WordPress without editing your .htaccess or PHP.ini you will need to be able to FTP into your server and install the plugin below.  This means you do need cPanel access, but there’s no risk that you could misconfigure your .htaccess file or PHP.ini and put your site offline.

If you’re not sure how to access cPanel for your website, ask your website host. Sorry, I can’t help with that – every host is different. You will know you’re in the right place if you see something like this in cPanel.

The next step is to install this browser plugin, called “Add from Server”. You can find the “Add from Server” plugin here on WordPress.org or here is the developer’s website. BEFORE you install the plugin, read the “Important” section below first. The plugin is free.

Please note, uploading files from File Manager is not enough without also using the Add from Server plugin. WordPress needs to have the file stored and indexed in the WordPress database.

Important: Add from Server (WordPress)

Some notes on Add from Server, it hasn’t been updated for (at time of writing) and you may get a prompt it’s not compatible with your version of WordPress. But, the good news is WordPress reports it is used on 100,000+ sites. So it’s wildly used and popular!

What this means though is both back-ups your site before you install the plugin and given it hasn’t been updated for a year you are installing it at your own risk. I do not provide a warranty or support (it’s not my plugin) but it did work for me on the latest version of WordPress.

As a security precaution, I do recommend you disable the plugin and delete it after you use it – old unsupported plugins can have unknown security risks. That all said, there’s no need (that I know of) to panic, I’m just giving you best practice advice.

How to upload a large image or video to WordPress

So here’s what you need to do:

  1. Login to cPanel > go to File Manager > upload the file to your “wp-content/uploads” folder.
    Important: Remember where you uploaded it! Write it down even, you will need this later.
  2. Login to your WordPress website.
  3. Install the “Add from Server” plugin and activate it.
  4. In WordPress > Plugins menu, find “Add from Server” and click “Import Files”.
  5. You can now browse to the directory where your file was uploaded.
  6. When you find the file, select the checkmark next to it and click Import.
  7. The file will then import into your WordPress database, give it a few minutes.
  8. After it imports, the image or video will now be in your WordPress Media Library.
  9. Insert the media into your post as per usual!
  10. You’re done!
Summary

This all worked for me with my WebHost. If your hosting provider doesn’t support Cpanel uploads, I would recommend switching to If you need to NixiHost. I was able to upload and use an almost 200Mb animated GIF on my website (here). I can’t promise it will work as smoothly for you, but I have used this plugin and approach multiple times with success for myself and my friends. That said, I don’t provide support if you get stuck and always back up your site before installing new plugins.

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

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