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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, Tweets, or Facebook posts. 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 can 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, Facebook posts, 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.

WordPress is quite good at automatically adjusting the width of the embedded content to your website’s content or sidebar areas.

However, sometimes these embedded content may be too wide and overlap your website’s content areas, like in the example below.

A WordPress embed overflowing the content width

To fix this, you’ll need to explicitly tell WordPress to use a maximum width limit for third-party embeds. Unfortunately, there is no option in WordPress settings to do that.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily set oEmbed max width in WordPress without breaking anything.

We’ll cover 4 different methods, and you can choose the one that best suits your needs:

  1. Set oEmbed width with WordPress shortcode
  2. Set oEmbed width with WordPress Embed Block
  3. Set oEmbed max width with CSS
  4. Set oEmbed max width with WordPress filter (Code Method)

Method 1. Use the Embed Shortcode in WordPress

This method is easier and works really well for setting a max width for video embeds in WordPress.

Instead of pasting the URL or using the YouTube block, you’ll use the shortcode block. Inside it, you need to use the embed shortcode and include width and height parameters.

[embed width="900" height="600"][/embed]

Feel free to change the values of the width and height to your own requirements, and replace the embed URL to your own embed.

Embed shortcode width

You can now preview your post or page and see the embed in action.

oEmbed width adjusted

The embed shortcode and its width and height parameters don’t work for all oEmbed providers. For instance, you cannot use it to set the height and width of a Giphy embed in WordPress.

In that case, you can try one of the alternative methods mentioned below.

Method 2. Use Embed Blocks in WordPress

The default WordPress editor comes with several embed blocks for different oEmbed service providers. You can use them to embed content in different areas of your posts and pages.

Embed blocks in WordPress

Some of these blocks also allow you to change the alignment of the embed and set the content width to wide or full width.

Block width and alignment

You can try using these options to see if it fixes the maximum width issue for the embed.

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

By default, WordPress automatically adds CSS classes to different areas of your posts and pages.

It also adds several CSS classes to embed blocks. These CSS classes can be used to set a maximum width for embeds on your WordPress website.

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. Right-click by taking the mouse over to the embedded content and then select the Inspect tool.

Finding CSS classes for embed blocks

You’ll be able to see all the CSS classes added to the embedded element. You can use these classes to set a maximum width for this type of embed.

For instance, if you wanted to set a maximum width for all embeds, then you can use the following custom CSS.

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

You can also target specific oEmbed providers by using the .wp-block-embed-providername class. For instance, if you wanted to set a maximum width for only Pinterest embeds, then you can use the following custom CSS.

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

Method 4. Set oEmbed Max Width Using WordPress Filter

This last method requires you to add custom code to your WordPress website. If you haven’t done this before, then take a look at our guide on how to easily add custom code snippets in WordPress.

For this method, we will add our own code into WordPress to set the default width for oEmbeds. Simply add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or the Code Snippets plugin.

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 your own requirement.

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

Bonus Tip

If you regularly embed content from social media platforms to your WordPress website, then you should start using Smash Balloon.

Smash Balloon

It is the best social media plugin for WordPress and allows you to easily embed custom social media feeds in WordPress.

It supports popular social media embeds like YouTube, Twitter, and more. It also allows you to embed Facebook and Instagram content, which is not supported by WordPress.

More importantly, all social media feeds are mobile responsive and work with any WordPress theme.

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.

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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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