PHP upload size for Strato web packages

Blogs and websites are becoming more and more multimedia. I, too, now like to use the video function on my cell phone to integrate multimedia content into blogs and websites, such as travel reports. Photos are less of a problem. It gets complicated when you want to embed videos. But not just videos, it generally affects all media files larger than 64MB.

why is it complicated

Videos require more storage space because they are larger. It becomes problematic when you reach the limit of 64 megabytes. A video with a resolution of HD quality, which is 1080 x 720 pixels, is not a very high value in my opinion. If this video then also has a duration of 2 minutes, you are probably already past this value of 64 megabytes. Today’s end devices, including mobile ones, can easily handle such a resolution. The times that you should or must use 320 x 200 pixels are in the past. Providing videos in different resolutions costs not only disk space but also time and increases the maintenance effort for the editor. You can reduce the bit data rate up to a certain point. However, this is at the expense of quality and it must be weighed up to what extent the reduction makes sense and is desired.

Bit rate setting

The setting of the bit rate has a major impact on the quality

Content management systems, in my case WordPress which is very widespread, use the HTML protocol via a PHP function to upload media. PHP is the programming language in which the content management system interacts with the server. This environment can be configured with parameters. For security and stability reasons, there are of course limits set by the operator, the so-called provider.

With the WordPress app you have a good working tool at hand to maintain the entries on a blog or on the website on the go. However, if you want to integrate a video and upload it with the app, you will fail exactly at this 64 megabyte limit. The upload fails and there may be incomprehensible error messages. Although Strato points out on its FAQ pages that PHP is now freely configurable in version 7.2, it has limits that are not exactly freely configurable. Among other things, exactly the size of the upload via HTTP and PHP functions.

Since I uploaded more videos to the website around the turn of the year and kept coming up against this limit, I tried to find a solution. Since the FAQ entry didn’t mention this limitation, I didn’t assume that it existed.

There is a limit of 64 MB.

To make a long story short. EA request from Strato’s support confirmed my assumption, which I found out experimentally after a few hours of testing and let’s say various gigabytes of data volume. There is a limitation on 64MB. The display showing the PHP environment is somewhat misleading. If everything is configured correctly, PHP Info says that the upload size is set correctly. So, in principle, one assumes that it works.

Max upload size

The first answer from Strato Support was that it is freely programmable. In the second instance came the revision and confirmation that 64 megabytes of hardware are set and if you want more you would have to switch to a dedicated server solution. It would have been nice if this strict regulation had been included in the FAQ entry. It would have been even nicer if PHP Info had shown me the real value. Then it would have saved me time and some data volume on the mobile phone.

How do you deal with media that exceed 64 megabytes in size?

Since you cannot use the PHP function and the HTML protocol in this way, you have to switch to an alternative. This means loading the media files onto the server, for example via FTP or SCP, and then adding them to the media library using the content management system. Among other things, this means the use of another plugin in the CMS system. Since this is not a standard WordPress function, you have to leave the WordPress app and work with other tools in parallel again. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make things any easier.

Conclusion

It shows once again that a small problem can produce a lot of work and the technology sometimes does not play as expected or needed. I was also a bit surprised that the PHP info function does not show the real setting. Even if it didn’t help me now, I was still positively surprised by the Strato support, which ultimately helped me with the confirmation.