How to install a theme using FTP if the file is too big and you get an error

The uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini

This error arrises mostly from uploading large plugins, themes or photos into WordPress.

Easiest and fastest way is to use cPanel or hosting file manager interface

The default file size limit is actually a good thing for most users. Rarely does this interfere with WordPress development workflow.

The fastest way to upload large plugins and themes is to use cPanel and let the server uncompress the theme locally. Some themes and plugins can have several hundred files to upload and using FTP its dreadfully slow.

All you need to do is:

  • Log-in to your cPanel account or hosting and look for and click File Manager.
  • Browse to your WordPress theme folder /wp-content/themes/
  • Upload your theme zip file. This usually has a much larger file size limit.
  • Once the zip file is uploaded File Manager select it and press Extract.
  • Once extracted, delete the zip file you uploaded.
  • Browse to Themes inside your website and your new theme is ready to activate.

Advanced Fix: Adjust php.ini limits

This error is easy to fix and is based around the limits that your hosting provider has set. These settings can be adjusted in the php.ini file on your server. Just ask your hosting support to adjust the settings for you.

If you decide to adjust the php.ini file do not forget to reset Apache after making the change.

Some possible  php.ini settings

max_execution_time 600
memory_limit 20M
post_max_size 20M
upload_max_filesize 20M