How to Manage Images and Files in WordPress

WordPress has one centralized location to manage all the media on your site – Media Library. This is where you can add, change, and view any media including documents, images, and videos to be used throughout your site. It allows you to organize and filter your uploads, edit images, attach media assets to certain pages and posts, as well add additional information such as alternative text and captions to assets.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to manage media assets in WordPress.

Uploading images and files

Within Media -> Library

To access the Media Library, navigate to the side menu and click Media.

To upload media, click Add New. The next page will present you with two ways to upload:

1. Select Files: brings up the file explorer to navigate and choose your content.

2. Drag & Drop: if you already have the media ready, drag and drop into the Media Library.

All uploaded media will be displayed in either a table or tile/grid format.

You may also sort the assets by File (Name), Author, Uploaded to, Comments, and Date by hovering over the column name until you see an Up/Down arrow.

Within posts and pages

Navigate to Post or Page and open up the editor. The easiest way to add media assets into the page is to drag and drop.

If it is an image, it will be embedded directly onto the page.

If it is any kind of document, it will display as hyperlink text with a download button next to it.

Another way to upload media assets is by adding a File or Image block onto the page. (Click the + or start typing “/image”)

Image blocks will give the option to Upload via File Explorer, Media Library, or Insert from URL. File blocks will only give Upload via File Explorer and Media Library.

Filtering

Along the top of the Media Library you will find filtering options.

As mentioned before, you can choose how to view all your assets: Table or Grid. There is a filter for media type: All Media items, images, unattached, and mine. The second filter is by date uploaded.

Once you have set your filters, click the Filter button. If you know what you are looking for, you can also enter a keyword into Search.

Attach files to posts

When viewing the Media Library in a Table view, there is a section “Uploaded to” which shows where the image was uploaded and what it was attached to.

By default, “Unattached” will signify that the media asset was uploaded through the media library.

If the asset was uploaded through a page/post editor, the name of the page or post will be shown. This is also the case when you choose to attach after uploading.

The option to attach a media asset is simply to keep track of where the asset is located – it does not embed the image or file into the actual post for viewing.

Retrieve File URL

Within the Media Library, hover over the desired media asset until you see “Edit”.

Click on Edit and you should see a “Save” section. Here you will find the file URL.

Editing uploaded images

Hovering over the media asset, click “Edit”. Click the “edit Image” button under the image. The following settings will be available: Crop, Rotate left and right, flip vertical and horizontal, and scale image.

The crop button will let you drag the areas the crop out while the Image Crop section will change the aspect ratio and adjust the selection’s pixel size.

Adding Alternative Text, Captions, and Description

  1. Alternative Text: add descriptive text when image cannot be loaded; helps with SEO
  2. Caption: Displays under the image
  3. Description: displays on the image attachment page

Attachment Page

By default, WordPress creates a separate page to display the media asset any time it is uploaded into your site. This page has a URL path separate from the image URL found in the Edit window.

To view the attachment page of an asset, hover and click View. The page will be structured with your image Title, Caption, image, and description.

While attachment pages make sense for individuals who rely on further describing images, having an attachments page is generally not beneficial for SEO. This is because it removes “link juice” from the blog post since the attachments page will appear in search results despite not offering the beneficial information of an actual blog post.

Your attachment page may outrank the page that matters or may show these irrelevant pages instead of the content you worked to publish.

Improving SEO

One solution is to install the following plugin: Attachment Pages Redirect
No configuration is needed after installation.

If the media asset is attached to a page in the media library, a 301 redirect will take the visitor to the attached page.

If the asset is not attached to any page, a 302 redirect will take visitors to the homepage of your site.

Media Settings

Navigate to Settings> Media. This will allow you to change the maximum dimension in pixels of the Image sizes for thumbnail, medium, and large size.

At the bottom, you can also have the uploaded media assets in the Media Library to organize by Month/Year folders.

Summary

The Media Library is an all-in-one place to upload media assets, view them in an organized way, delete multiple assets in bulk, change information, edit images, as well as attach them to specific pages and posts. There are ways to improve SEO by actively adding alternative text and installing a plugin to redirect any attachment pages to other pages on your site.

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