Adding Media Files to WordPress and Getting an HTTP Error Notification?

I saw this question in the Facebook Group the other day and it caught my attention because this was happening to me yesterday on a client’s site, and I am not going to lie, it was MAKING ME CRAZY!

A few others commented on the thread, so the data doesn’t lie: this is officially a “thing”.

Situation: You add an image to your WordPress website (in the case of my sample we are all using Divi) and you get the twirly wheel forever, and eventually get a HTTP Error.

Fixes: I say this all the time, there is always a solution, it’s just a matter of figuring out which applies to you and may require some trial and error.  Kind of like figuring out how to lose weight – your friend gives up sugar and drops 10lbs in a week.  You drop sugar and are cranky and annoyed and gain 4 pounds overnight.  I have a few options for you to try, and hopefully you will resolve the issue before you get to the end of the list.

  1. Resize & compress. Is the image very large?  If you download an image from Unsplash or upload something from your camera it can be 5000 pixels wide.  Depending upon where the image will be used on your site it probably doesn’t need to be larger than 1280 pixels.  Also compress the image, I like to use tinypng.
  2. Check the PHP version you are on.  I was able to resolve this issue for one client by updating to PHP 7.
  3. Do you need to increase the memory on your hosting?
  4. Clear your cache (this resolves a lot of problems).  Sometimes it’s a simple refresh, sometimes you need to be more aggressive, you may have to try a couple of times.
  5. Change the extension file of the images (if you are using jpg try png or visa versa).
  6. Plugin conflict.  Check to see if you are using an compression plugin.  Deactivate the plugin and try to upload an image and see if that improves the ability to upload a photo.
  7. Do you need to update your plugins, themes or WordPress?
  8. Does your image have a special character in it?  Try removing ‘ or / or $, etc.
  9. Try a different browser
  10. Is your WordPress install set up correctly so the file path is as it should be? You are looking for wp-content/uploads

I love to crowd source solutions, what has worked for you?  Please share.

A little about the author, Eileen Lonergan

Eileen Lonergan is a WordPress website designer and internet marketing specialist. She is the founder and Community Manager of the Divi Theme User Group on Facebook. Eileen's focus is on web design, content marketing and search engine optimization.

6 Comments

  1. Victoria

    I have found the solution to this for me is by making sure I’m using https:// because oftentimes I’m trying to upload an image from the frontend visual builder and I get the error… but when I check out the address bar the URL is using http:// nonsecured. As soon as I change it (being sure to save my changes before doing that) I’m able to upload images 🙂

  2. James

    Along the lines of what Peter suggested, depending on the size of your upload file including its dimensions, themes and plugins often define multiple thumbnail sizes, so every time an upload is attempted, these thumbnails are created in the same process. That could take a while with the number of thumbs and the size of the original.

    • Eileen Lonergan

      This is an excellent point, as you may not have any issues with one site, but troubles with another!

  3. Peter Stubbs

    It can also be the setting for the PHP maximum execution time

    • Eileen Lonergan

      Good point, if people are unsure of how to check or fix this, place a call or open a support ticket with your hosting provider.

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