To protect web servers from abuse, there is a time limit set for how long a PHP script can run.
The actual time limit varies across hosting companies, however most of the times the maximum execution time is set between 30 – 60 seconds.
When a script reaches the maximum execution time limit, it results in maximum execution time exceeded error.
There are a number of ways to fix this error:
Method 1 - edit file wp-config.php
Add the following to wp-config.php:
Method 2 - edit file .htaccess
Add the following to .htaccess:
php_value max_execution_time 300
Method 3 - editing php.ini
Add the following to php.ini:
max_execution_time = 300