Need help with how to manage WordPress images in a better fashion? Images play a huge role on your site and, while the WordPress media library is helpful most of the time, it’s not always the most efficient tool…by itself.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can better manage WordPress images using some neat plugins. In this post, I’ll go through some of my own personal tricks and tips to better manage WordPress images.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to accomplish these tips with free plugins. So even if you can’t code and don’t have a big budget, you can still get a ton of value from this post.
Alright, let’s jump right into the tips…
1. Put Your Image Optimization On Autopilot
Optimizing your images is a huge way you can speed up your WordPress site. The average website’s file size is comprised of almost 65% images. That means you can drastically cut down your site’s file size (and page load times) by reducing the size of each of your images.
Optimizing your WordPress images is a two-part process:
- Resizing the dimensions to match the max-width allowed by your theme.
- Compressing images via either lossy (loses quality) or lossless (no quality loss) compression.
While you can do both of those things manually, a far more convenient solution is to automate the whole process with a plugin.
There are a whole heap of image optimization plugins out there but my personal favorite is Imagify because it can automatically resize your images as well as compress them via both lossy and lossless methods…all in one fell swoop.
The only downside of Imagify is that you can only compress 25MB of images for free. Personally, I think it’s worth paying for a plan starting at $4.99 for 1GB.
2. Manage a Cluttered Media Library With Folders and Tags
When you start your WordPress site, your media library is easy to manage because it’s pretty much empty.
But as you start uploading more and more images, it can quickly become totally unmanageable to find old images in a mess of clutter.
To wrangle your images, you basically have two options:
- Add a tagging/category system to your media library to find old images
- Add media library folders that work just like the folders on your computer. You can then drag and drop images between folders to organize them
Some people prefer one method over another. But there’s actually a plugin that offers both methods in one package. With WordPress Media Library Folders Pro from MaxGalleria, you can either pick your favorite or use both at the same time. The only thing to consider is that the plugin isn’t free – it will cost you $29 for the Pro version.
If you’d prefer a totally free solution, Enhanced Media Library doesn’t cost a penny and lets you add category tagging and sorting to your media library – just no folders.
3. Rename Image Filenames Without Leaving the WordPress Dashboard
By default, WordPress lets you change an image’s title and alt text…but what if you want to change the filename? Without third-party help, you basically have to re-upload the image with the new filename.
Thankfully, the free Media File Renamer plugin lets you automatically rename files based on their title attribute. You can also purchase the Pro version to manually rename files to anything your heart desires from your WordPress dashboard whenever needed.
What’s extra cool is that the plugin automatically updates existing references to the image so that you don’t have any broken images on your site.
- Free version – automatically rename files based on their title
- Pro version – manually rename files to whatever you want
The Pro version only costs $10, which isn’t exactly breaking the bank.
4. Bulk Upload Images via FTP and Import Them to WordPress Media Library
Have you ever tried to upload hundreds of WordPress images through the media library interface? It’s a massive pain.
I mean, the WordPress media library uploader is totally fine for small numbers of images. But if you have to upload a whole heap of images at once, it’s much easier to do it over FTP.
The only problem with that is that the images you upload via FTP won’t just show up in your media library.
That’s where the free Add From Server plugin comes into play. Once you bulk upload files to your media library via FTP, all you need to do is hop into the plugin’s interface and click Import to register those files with the WordPress media library.
Then, you’ll be able to manage them just like the images that you uploaded through the actual media library uploader.
5. Find and Insert Stock Photos Without Leaving Your WordPress Dashboard
When analyzing popular blog posts, BuzzSumo found that blog posts which used more images (one image per ~100 words) got twice as many social shares as blog posts that used fewer images.
You can find plenty of other stats backing that up as well. On average, having more images in your blog posts is almost always a good thing.
But…sourcing all of those images can be a pain. Especially if you have to jump out to external stock photo sites, search for a keyword, download the image, and then upload the image to WordPress…every single time you want to use an image.
Thankfully, there are easier ways to add stock photos to WordPress. In fact, you can do it without even leaving the WordPress Editor.
For a free option, you can use Dreamstime Stock Photos, which searches 62,000,000 free and Royalty-Free stock photos.
If you’re willing to pay, PixelRockstar is a premium solution that sells images for as low as $0.57 per download.
6. Automatically Regenerate Image Thumbnails If You Change Image Sizes
WordPress lets you define set image sizes that it automatically resizes images to, which is especially useful for themes. But what happens to your already resized images if you ever change your thumbnail dimensions down the road?
It’s a common problem you’ll face when managing your WordPress images, which is why the plugin I’m about to show you has well over 1 million active installs.
To regenerate your thumbnails after changing image dimensions or themes, you can use Alex Mills’ free Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.
As for creating your own custom WordPress image sizes, the free Simple Image Sizes plugin makes that a cinch.
7. Automatically Add Watermarks to WordPress Images
If you upload a ton of original images to WordPress, you probably have dealt with the pains of people stealing your images.
One way to combat, if not 100% prevent, image theft is to add watermarks to your images. But to manually add a watermark to every single image that you upload is a massive pain.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it manually. There are a number of free plugins that let you automatically watermark the images that you upload to WordPress.
I’ve previously tested a bunch of these plugins. In the end, I found Image Watermark to be the easiest to use.
It makes it simple to choose your watermark’s position and opacity. And you can also turn the watermark on or off for specific image sizes and post types.Try Image Watermark for Free
8. Use or Upload Images from Google Drive, Dropbox + More
Ever wished that you could insert images directly from your cloud storage service of choice instead of the WordPress media library?
The free external-media plugin makes it easy to do that by letting you either link to or import images from a variety of services like:
- Google Drive
It gives you new buttons on the Add Media screen so that you can do it with just a few clicks, which is much easier than trying to accomplish the whole thing manually.
If you choose to link to the image, the image will remain hosted on the cloud servers. But you can also quickly upload the image directly to your media library if you’d prefer to have the image hosted on your own server.
Best of all, it’s 100% free, though the developer does accept donations.
Those Are My Tips to Manage WordPress Images
And that rounds up my list of tips on how to better manage your WordPress images! While I don’t use every single one of these plugins on all of my sites, I have used all of these plugins in one form or another.
I hope they help you get a better handle on your WordPress images. And if I missed a good tip that you think should be on the list, please let me know in the comments!