Why am I getting an error when trying to upload images to WordPress?

If you're getting an error when trying to upload an image or other file to your WordPress Media Library, you will usually see one of the following messages:

  • The response is not a valid JSON response
  • HTTP error
  • Post-processing of the image failed
  • Upload folder is not writable

The most common causes for either of the first two errors are that:

  • Your file name contains an apostrophe (or other special character). If you rename the image to remove the apostrophe and then try uploading again, you should be good.

  • Your browser session has expired - this usually happens if your computer has slept with the tab open, or you've tabbed away to something else for a while and the tab is no longer active. This can be the case even if you're still showing as signed in to your Dashboard. If you refresh the page and/or log in again, this should fix the issue.

  • Your file size is too large. We have a huge upload limit for WordPress (512MB, compared to the 15 or 20MB at many other hosts!), but it's worth checking your file is smaller than that, particularly if it's a video. If you're uploading an image, ideally it should be under 200KB for a full screen size image.

  • Your file dimensions are too large. For a full screen size image, you shouldn't need it to be more than around 1500 x 1500 pixels. If you try to upload a huge image, for example 5000 x 5000 pixels or greater, WordPress is likely to reject it.

We highly recommend resizing and compressing all images before you upload them to your website so they have much less of an impact on your site speed. For instructions on how to do that, please see How To Optimize Your Images For The Web.

  • If you're seeing the third error mentioned above, the "Upload folder is not writable" error, that's usually because you've just moved to us and your previous host hardcoded their upload path. This is especially likely if you've come from TSO Host. It's an easy and quick fix and doesn't affect any of your past images; all you need to do is raise a ticket with our support team and they'll fix it for you.

If none of the above apply to you, raise a ticket with our support team. Please include a screenshot of any errors, the name of the file you were trying to upload, and any other relevant information you can think of.

  • wordpress, http, http error, error, wordpress error, image error, error uploading images, json response, writeable, upload folder, image upload error, file upload error
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