Support » Plugin: PHP Compatibility Checker » Plugin Too Large To Scan

  • Your plugin is great – for the plugins it actually scans. However, about half the scans are not performed for reason of “The plugin/theme was skipped as it was too large to scan before the server killed the process”.

    That is not a problem with your plugin, of course. But we need a workaround. Perhaps, in the future, you could find a way to scan known plugins, offline? For instance, the Yoast plugin is quite widely used. Perhaps you could have it on a test server of your own?

    Otherwise, with ‘no result’ for half my plugins, it’s not very useful, is it?

    Or… Do you already have a workaround?


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • davidvee


    WPEngine Employee

    Thanks for this feedback. We’re looking at ways to correct this behavior, but it’s a difficult problem to solve due to architectural concerns. Running the scanner in a local dev environment can often help here, so you might try that.

    Again, we’re looking into how to improve this in the future, but a running in a local environment should help 🙂



    I would like to take my site to php7 but I do not risk doing so because I am not allowed. The hosting service says the problem is with plugins or tame. When, however, I try to remove the plugins and verify the theme, I repeat the sentence: The plugin / theme was skipped as it was too large to scan the server. How can I solve it? Yet it is only scanning the theme …



    I’m trying to use the plugin before upgrading my site’s PHP, and get the same problem: most of my plugins are “too large” to scan. The FAQ’s list WP-CLI commands as a way to get around the time-out issue, but I’m not versed in all of this. When I click to try to find out how I might implement it, I just get directed back to the plugin’s main page. There is a reference to the “Other Notes” tab, but it must be well-hidden: I can’t find it! I’d really like to be sure my site won’t break when I upgrade, and I don’t have the expertise to run a local server version. Any help would be appreciated!



    WPEngine Employee

    Hey @jsa922 – Here is some guidance that should help with approaching your PHP upgrade to help ensure your site won’t break. Apologies if you already know much of this…

    TLDR: Make a copy of your site in a PHP 7.X instance (i.e. “staging”). Ask your host for help. Use something like (free) to run the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin locally to avoid server timeouts. Use the “linting” report the plugin generates as a list of clues for testing your staging copy.

    To get started with a good test plan, you’ll need to clone your site in a PHP 7.X “instance” on your web host (i.e. “staging). You will use this copy of your site to test if everything still works correctly regardless of how you use the PHP Compatibility Plugin (e.g. you’ll still want to test your designs, forms, any ads, and so on).

    If everything works as expected, you would then push from that “staging” version to your live site. If you don’t know how to create a copy for testing, contact your web host’s technical support and they can help you. At WP Engine we have a bunch of tools to help customers automatically do this, and there’s a good chance your host does as well.

    Once you have a staging copy of your site, you can use this PHP Compatibility plugin to run a report to show what parts of your site might be problematic with the new version of PHP.

    The PHP Compatibility plugin is a “linting” plugin which surfaces parts of your code (e.g. plugins, etc) which might not have perfect PHP 7.X code.

    While errors might be surfaced for a particular plugin, that might not mean the plugin is not functional.

    This is why I like to use the PHP Compatibility plugin reports as a list of clues for what to test on the staging copy of the site I’m working on. e.g. “If a plugin throws up an error, I’ll test what that plugin does.”

    Relative to the plugin getting hung while scanning your site, it’s hard to say without knowing more about your hosting environment. There are CLI approaches that can get around the server timeout issues; however, I recommend you run your site in a local version of WordPress (e.g. it will run on your computer vs. your hosting provider’s servers).

    There are many tools that can help you run a local instance of your site. I recommend which is a free tool made by the company I work for.

    Once you have your site in the local environment, you can run the PHP Comp plugin and likely avoid the timeouts. The plugin will then provide a report of possible problem areas which you can use as a guide for what to test on your PHP 7.x test copy of your site on your host.

    If anything on your site doesn’t work in the test environment on your host, you’ll have to troubleshoot why and maybe update/replace one plugin, theme, or the other.

    All that being said, if you have a simple site and everything works just fine on your site in a PHP 7.X test environment, then you could consider that good enough with or without using this plugin 🙂

    In any case, I hope this is helpful!


    I’m running into the same problem. I really don’t want to set up a local environment. I would rather just reset the timer to let the program do its work. I can run the test overnight as needed.

    I see that there is a custom_timeout.php filter available to override the timeout. How do I use it? Do I simply put it in the plugin’s directory? Is there something else I need to do?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    It says the plugin was too large to scan. Is this a file size or time issue?

    Is there a PHP setting to help resolve this?

    Could it be max_execution_time?
    Mine is set to 6000.

    I suppose I could set it to 12000 and see what happens. Any recommendations??


    Hi @davidvee, can you tell us please what the environment conditions need to be on the test server where we are running this plugin, or what are the CLI approaches that can get around the server timeout issues which you mention? I have copied my clients site to my test server, and am getting this error message. I increased max_execution_time in php.ini to 3000 (50 minutes), and after 20 minutes all 15 plugins were scanned and all had this error message against them. Just how should we set up a test environment for this plugin to work?

    I tried this plugin on my live WordPress installation and about half of the themes and plugins failed to scan due to the server killing the process. I copied my installation to XAMPP on my local machine and tried it again and EVERYTHING failed to scan. I tried increasing the max_execution_time in the php INI-PRODUCTION, INI-DEVELOPMENT, and Configuration Settings files and it made no difference (re-started the Apache server after making the changes). I suppose for me this doesn’t matter because my site seems to be working fine running in XAMPP under PHP 7.4.2. Just adding my experience attempting to utilize this plugin, it has not been useful at all to make sure I can safely upgrade PHP on my site.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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