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How to Set oEmbed Max Width in WordPress (4 Easy Methods)

Do you want to limit the width of oEmbeds in WordPress?

WordPress automatically embeds third-party content like YouTube videos and Tweets. However, sometimes the embeds may get too wide and mess up your page layouts.

In this article, we’ll show you how to set oEmbed max-width in WordPress so you have more control over your site layout.

Setting oEmbed maximum width in WordPress

Why Fix the OEmbed Maximum Width in WordPress?

WordPress allows you to automatically embed content from select third-party websites into your posts and pages using a technology called oEmbed.

This allows you to easily embed YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations, actual Tweets, and many other types of content on your website.

This content is not hosted on your WordPress website. Instead, it’s displayed directly from these third-party sites.

Note: Although Facebook and Instagram both supported oEmbed in the past, Meta has since dropped support for oEmbed. The good news is that it is easy to repair this broken feature. For more information, please see our guide on how to fix the Facebook and Instagram oEmbed issue in WordPress.

WordPress is quite good at automatically adjusting the width of embedded content so that it perfectly fits the available space.

However, sometimes the embedded content may be too wide and overlap your website’s other content areas.

A WordPress embed overflowing the content width

To fix this, you’ll need to set a maximum width for third-party embeds. Unfortunately, there’s no way to do this using the built-in WordPress tools and settings.

That being said, let’s see how you can add this feature and set a maximum oEmbed width in WordPress. Simply use the quick links below to jump straight to the method you want to use.

Method 1. Using the Embed Shortcode (Best For YouTube Videos)

You can set a maximum width using shortcode. This method is easy, particularly if you only want to set the maximum width for a small number of posts. We’ve also found that this method works well for embedding videos in WordPress blog posts.

However, the embed shortcode and its width and height parameters don’t work for all oEmbed providers. For example, you can’t use it to set the height and width of a Giphy embed in WordPress. In that case, you can try one of the other methods mentioned below.

Instead of pasting the URL into the post editor, you’ll need to add a shortcode block. Inside it, you’ll need to use the embed shortcode and then add the width and height parameters.

You’ll then need to change the values of the width and height to suit your own requirements.

You’ll also need to replace the URL with the video or content you want to embed.

Embed shortcode width

When you’re happy with the page, click on either ‘Update’ or ‘Publish.’

The embedded content should now fit neatly into the available space.

oEmbed width adjusted

Method 2. Use Embed Blocks in WordPress (Quick and Easy)

The WordPress block editor comes with several embed blocks for different oEmbed services.

Embed blocks in WordPress

Some of these blocks allow you to change the alignment of the embed and set the content to ‘Wide width’ or ‘Full width.’

If you choose full width, then the embed block and the embedded content will take up the full width of the screen. If you choose wide width, then the embed block will take up the entire width but the content will remain the same size.

How these settings look on your website will vary depending on the content, and your WordPress theme. However, this is a quick and easy method so it’s worth seeing if it works for your website.

Simply click on the ‘Align’ button in the small toolbar above the block. Then, select either ‘Wide width’ or ‘Full width.’

Adding aligning to an embed block in WordPress

If this fixes the maximum width issue for the embed, then you can go ahead and publish the page. If you’re not happy with how it looks, then you’ll need to try a different method.

Method 3. Use CSS to Set Max Width for Embeds in WordPress

By default, WordPress automatically adds CSS classes to different areas of your site.

It also adds several CSS classes to embed blocks. You can use these CSS classes to to set a maximum width for embeds on your WordPress website.

This is useful if you want to use the same maximum size for a specific type of embed, such as YouTube embeds. It also allows you to create a maximum size for all embedded content, regardless of type.

To find out which CSS classes you need to target, simply embed content in a post or page, and then preview it in your browser.

Then, hover your mouse over the embedded content and right-click. In the menu that appears, select the ‘Inspect’ tool.

Finding CSS classes for embed blocks

This opens a new panel that shows all the CSS classes WordPress added to the embedded content. You can use these classes to set a maximum width for this type of embed.

To target a specific oEmbed provider, you’ll need to use the .wp-block-embed-providername class. For example, if you wanted to set a maximum width for Pinterest embeds only, then you might use the following custom CSS:

.wp-block-embed-pinterest {
    max-width: 900px!important;

Just be aware you may need to replace .wp-block-embed-pinterest with a different CSS class.

If you want to set a maximum width for all embeds, then use the following custom CSS:

.wp-block-embed {
    max-width: 900px!important;

To add the CSS to your website, simply go to Appearance » Customize in the WordPress dashboard. Then, click on ‘Additional CSS’ in the left-hand menu.

Adding custom CSS to WordPress using the Customizer

You can now paste the CSS code into the small code editor and click on the ‘Publish’ button.

After that, WordPress will use this value as the maximum size for your embeds.

Adding custom code using the WordPress Customizer

Method 4. Set oEmbed Max Width Using WordPress Filter

Sometimes you may want to set a maximum width for all embedded content. The easiest way to do this is by adding custom code to your WordPress website.

The problem with this method is that the maximum width attribute will only work if the embedded content doesn’t have a ‘width’ defined. If the embed code already includes its own ‘width’ attribute, then this method may not work.

If you haven’t edited your site’s code before, then take a look at our guide on how to easily add custom code snippets in WordPress.

Some guides ask you to edit the theme files manually, but this can cause common WordPress errors and may even completely break your website.

For that reason, we recommend using WPCode. It makes it easy to add code snippets in WordPress without having to edit your theme files. That way, if you ever update or change your theme, all of your custom code functions will be saved.

First, you will need to install and activate the free WPCode plugin. For more information, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Code Snippets » Add Snippet.

On the next screen, hover your mouse over the ‘Add Your Custom Code (New Snippet)’ option and click the ‘Use snippet’ button when it appears.

Adding a code snippet to WordPress

On the next screen, type in a title for the code snippet. This is just for your reference so you can use anything you want.

Then, open the ‘Code Type’ dropdown and choose ‘PHP Snippet.’

Adding a PHP code snippet to WordPress

With that done, simply paste the following into the code editor:

add_filter( 'embed_defaults', 'wpbeginner_embed_defaults' );

function wpbeginner_embed_defaults() {
    return array(
        'width'  => 400,
        'height' => 280

Don’t forget to adjust the height and width attributes to suit your needs.

Finally, click on the ‘Inactive’ slider so that it shows ‘Active.’ Then just click the ‘Save Snippet’ or ‘Update’ button to make the code snippet live.

Activating a custom PHP snippet

Bonus Tip: How to Easily Add Your Social Media Feeds to WordPress

If you regularly embed content from social media platforms, then you can save a lot of time and effort by using Smash Balloon.

Smash Balloon

Smash Balloon is the best social media plugin for WordPress and allows you to easily add your social media feeds to a WordPress website.

It supports all of the popular social media embeds including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. More importantly, Smash Balloon is mobile responsive and works with any WordPress theme, so your embedded content will always look great.

We hope this article helped you learn how to set an oEmbed max width in WordPress. You may also want to see our complete social media cheat sheet or our expert comparison of the best live chat software for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Reader Interactions

43 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. The problem of this is that it makes the max width of the images also to the size defined. What can I do if I want to limit the embed width in the editor but not the image one? Thanks

  2. Hi, it works perfectly for me.
    But this affects to the overall site, which have different widths since there are full-width pages, with sidebars, or forums, etc.
    Is it possible to discriminate this to affect only bbpress forum’s pages?

    It will be very useful, thanks!

  3. For anybody who can’t get this working or if Youtube videos and other iframe content are not getting resized, you will need to add the following code to your style.css

    /* Make sure embeds and iframes fit their containers */
    object {
    max-width: 100%;

    Hope this helps. And Syed, thanks for the great post!

  4. You can’t use iframe, object, embed { max-width: 100%; height:auto;} yes it gets the width correct and makes the video responsive, but it doesnt fix the height when viewing in the browser.

    Is there actually a way to do this? Ive tried pretty much everything, even fitvids dont work because you are setting a px base width in the functions, but it shows that width on mobile, then when you try to correct that with max-width, the height messes up even in the browser….

    im thinking media queries or something? ugh im beat.

  5. Hi, thanks for the tip, but it doesn’t work, here’s what you need in your function.php file :

    function yourthemename_embed_defaults($defaults) {
    $defaults[‘width’]=600; // or whatever you want
    $defaults[‘height’]=360; // or whatever you want
    return $defaults;

    it works great!

    • Not sure if the other commenter realized it, but the code has curly quotes and would break a site. Gonna test here to see if shortcode wrappers will prevent the change that broke the code…

  6. I am attempting to post a high-end animation film from YouTube to my WordPress blog. The bottom of the frame is cut off in the preview. Once the play arrow is clicked, this problem goes away. But the filmmaker is rightfully unhappy that the preview in the post will give the appearance of an error. Adjusting height and width in the post code works, but does not solve the problem. Ideas?

  7. Hi there,

    I used your solution for width and it worked great. But how do I set the height now? Is it just the same if ( ! isset( $content_width ) ) $content_width = 560; but with the word ‘width’ is replaced with the word ‘height’ ? I tried that and it did not work….

  8. hi,
    is there a way to force all ifreams in the site to be 100% widht. not omly youtube
    i have about 300 ifreams and all fixed size so… thanks in advance

  9. hi,
    is there a way to force all ifreams in the site to be 100% widht. not omly youtube
    i have about 300 ifreams and all fixed size so…

  10. I added this code to my functions.php but it made no difference, and I assume that’s because my theme doesn’t define $content_width.

    I see the link to the codex about defining it, but I’m not a developer and don’t have one on call; how does one add a $content_width definition to a theme? Where does it go? Thanks!

  11. This worked perfectly, is there anyway to force and default the video to HD quality instead of SD quality which seems to be the default even though in my YouTube settings I have it set to default to HD?

  12. Please note that the $content_width variable must be declared as global before this fix will work.

  13. WP seems to be updated by people who are unclear about the centrality of multimedia on the Internet. Why this basic preference would have to require code intervention I don’t know. WP clearly could not tell how wide my columns were. Anyway, all fixed now. You folks rock.

    • Well Nigel, there is more to it. They are trying to make WordPress easier to use for “users”. Overtime, WordPress has added one option after another. This gets really terrifying for new users. This is why they are going with decisions over options route. The hope with this oEmbed max width is that each theme designer should/will define it in their themes, so the end-user doesn’t have to worry about it.


  14. Hello
    Thanks for your post.

    But I can’t get this right, I wrote the other post you mentioned in the comments. But I still can’t get it working, I put this:

    At the begginin of my functions.php, but then my whole site stoped working. everything turned white, I had to edit the file through ftp to get it working again.

    What am I doing wrong?


  15. What value would be appropriate for $content_width for a variable-width or responsive design?

    • I was able to kind of get the responsiveness to work with setting a max-width: 100% on my iframes in CSS. Of course the height is set automatically depending on your content width but this should at least get it working correctly without using any extra js. Fitvid is the way to go, but this worked for me.

        • I use this CSS code for responsive design:

          iframe, object, embed { max-width: 100%; } ( if you want you can add -> height: auto )

        • Unfortunately Roman’s CSS either doesn’t work on some themes or doesn’t work with the new WP 3.6 media player that’s built-in to core. I just tried it and nothing. I’m trying to get a theme that’s responsive to keep the new WP 3.6 player responsive as well, but no luck so far. The 2012 theme seems to handle it very nicely, but I can’t figure out what they’re doing different than this theme I’m working with.

  16. I am a novice to WP & coding, with that said not sure where to put the code “if ( ! isset( $content_width ) ) $content_width = 600;” I went to the function.php file in my Suffusion theme and not sure where exactly to insert this code. I tried a number of places where it mentioned video attachment and it is not working. In my case, the embedded videos are now too big for my theme since upgrading to WP 3.5.

  17. It’s been released at right time!!! The name “Elvin” is so special,too.
    Thanks for your post.

    • Yup, totally agreed with you there. Only poorly coded themes will not have that. But there are a lot of those out there. A theme that one of our clients was using had that piece missing. Overall, its a good theme.


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