Stock photo from of stack of polaroid photos
Photo courtesy of Leah Kelley

WP Engine LargeFS and NextGen Gallery Error Creating Thumbnails

If you’re like me and host with WP Engine but offload storage using LargeFS to Amazon S3, you’re going to encounter an issue when trying to regenerate thumbnails in NextGen Gallery.

Because the LargeFS integration pushes your media library uploads images over to S3, those images are no longer stored in your media library folder. When you trigger the thumbnail regeneration process in NextGen Gallery, you’ll return an error saying that the image could not be created. That’s because NextGen is looking for the images in your uploads folder, but they are no longer there. So, how do you solve this problem?

You can either download your uploads folder from Amazon S3 and upload via FTP (or SFTP with WP Engine) and then attempt thumbnail regeneration again. Or, you can contact WP Engine Support and they will open a ticket to have someone download your uploads folder for you to your install and once it’s restored, you can simply go ahead and regenerate them.

Remember, these files will site on your server for 10-days, after which they will be pushed automatically back up to Amazon S3 through the LargeFS integration. It’s best to restore as quickly as possible, so you do not miss the window of opportunity to do so. Also, be aware that if you do restore your complete uploads folder, you may go over your storage limit, so you’ll want to ask WP Engine first about any billing impact that might have on your plan before you go through the process.

If you were pulling your hair out looking for an answer to this question, here’s your answer. Hope it helps!