How to Fix POST Content-Length Exceeds Limit Error in PHP

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If you’re seeing this error, it means that your web application is trying to upload a file that’s over the allowed upload limit. This can happen due to restrictions set in your PHP configuration.

Understanding the Error

When a client attempts to upload a file via a POST request, PHP checks the file size against several settings defined in the php.ini configuration file. If the file exceeds these limits, the server rejects the request and throws an error.

Key PHP INI Settings for Upload Limits

  1. upload_max_filesize: This directive determines the maximum size of an uploaded file.
  2. post_max_size: This directive sets the maximum size of POST data that PHP will accept. This value should be larger than upload_max_filesize to accommodate other form data.
  3. memory_limit: This sets the maximum amount of memory a script is allowed to allocate. If your files are large, you may need to increase this limit as well.

Setting PHP INI Values

Via php.ini File

You can set these directives in your php.ini file:

upload_max_filesize = 10M
post_max_size = 20M
memory_limit = 256M

Via .htaccess File

If you don’t have access to the php.ini file, you can set these values in your .htaccess file:

# php 7.x
<IfModule mod_php7.c>
    php_value upload_max_filesize 10M
    php_value post_max_size 20M
    php_value memory_limit 256M
</IfModule>

# php8
<IfModule mod_php.c>
    php_value upload_max_filesize 10M
    php_value post_max_size 20M
    php_value memory_limit 256M
</IfModule>

Impact on WordPress

For WordPress sites, the upload limits can affect file uploads in the media library, plugin uploads, and theme uploads. Adjusting these settings ensures that your users don’t encounter frustrating upload limits when managing content.

Hiding Errors in Production

To prevent these errors from displaying on a production site, which can confuse users and break JSON responses, you can disable error display in your php.ini file:

display_errors = Off
log_errors = On
error_log = .ht_php_errors.log

we use .ht_php_errors.log with .ht_ prefix so nobody can access the files as the web servers like apache, nginx and others should block the access to it.

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