Media Library

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A section of the WordPress admin area that stores the media files for your website. This includes images, PDFs, MP3, etc. The Media Library provides an easy way to upload files, edit images, and modify information about your files.

Understanding the WordPress Media Library

We created a short video overview of the WordPress Media Library as part of our full course on how to edit images in WordPress. Check it out below, or watch the entire course for free on YouTube.

How to Access the WordPress Media Library

  1. Login to your WordPress site (yoursite.com/wp-admin/)
  2. Navigate to Media > Library

What is Stored in the Media Library

You should use the WordPress Media Library for all of your site’s assets. This includes:

  • images (.jpg, .png, .gif, etc.)
  • PDFs
  • other documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
  • audio files (.mp3, .wav, etc.)

Video files can be uploaded to your Media Library, but we highly recommend uploading them to YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia and embedding them onto your site. Hosting videos on your own website can use up a ton of bandwidth, which could increase your hosting cost.

Switch Between Grid View & List View

Use the two icons in the top-left of your WordPress Media Library to switch between grid & list view. Different options/settings are available to you in each view.

Media Library list & grid mode icons

Try Filtering & Searching Media Files

To get a better idea how your media files are organized, play around with the “All Media Items” and “All Dates” dropdown menus at the top of the screen. This let’s you filter your media items based on a few criteria.

Then try entering a search term into the search box in the top-right of the screen. This could help drive home how important it is to name your media files (especially images) before uploading them.

Name Your Files Appropriately!

I can’t stress this enough. Try to get into a habit of renaming your files before you upload them. Include keywords that describe what the file/image is. This could save you time as your site grows, and you begin reusing images on multiple pages/posts (see also: WordPress pages vs. posts: What’s the difference?).

Examples:

I like to prefix all of my logos, like this:

logo-company-name.png

If you run an ecommerce store, you might want to do something like this:

product-t-shirt-productname-color.jpg

Tips:

  • Be descriptive
  • Use hyphens to separate words
  • Devise a naming convention & stick to it