This is one of those frustrating stories for a tech, where you bang your head against a problem for a few hours, finally fix it, then try to break it again to document it and it doesn’t behave the way you expect. But it’s still working, so maybe it will still help someone else…
I was trying to upload a 4 MB photo to my WordPress 3.4.2 site hosted at 1&1, and the uploader told me that it was too big — that the maximum upload file size was set to 2 MB in php.ini. It doesn’t appear that 1&1 gives me access to the main php.ini, so I tried to add one to the root folder and/or the wp-admin folder of my WordPress installation. Neither seemed to work, but I eventually figured out that I needed the file in the wp-admin folder and I needed to log out and back into the WordPress dashboard. Here’s the simple php.ini that I added to the wp-admin folder:
upload_max_filesize = 10M post_max_size = 10M
What was extra frustrating was what happened when I removed the php.ini to document this: instead of going back to 2 MB, the maximum upload size went to 8 MB. That’s bigger than I needed, and if it had started that way I wouldn’t have had to go through all of this. I can’t explain it!