Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: rogerd & travelin cat

Message Too Old, No Replies

WordPress Media Library Organization

Ideas for organizaing photos other than relying on plugins

3:55 pm on Apr 1, 2015 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
votes: 101

Maybe someday the WP core development team will come up with a better way to organize photos than "by date of upload" folders but, until that happens, how do we institute our own improved system of media - heavily slanted towards photos - organization?

I'm thinking of pre-pending a category descriptor at the beginning of every image upload's filename. For example, if I have a site about adventure or outdoor activities, with categories such as canoeing, hiking, biking, etc., then I might use image filenames such as "biking-trail-new-hampshire" and "biking-tour-vermont-fall-foliage". That way, when I view WP's "Media Library" I can click to organize the files "on the fly" by executing a sort-by-filename - as long as I prepend the category name to the image file name.

I can imagine as a site grows in size this may / will present issues as the software / server sorts through 1000s of images.

I'm reluctant to turn this task over to a third-party plugin, especially a paid one, since media control / management is a very important "management function" and I don't want to watch someday as the plugin dies from a lack of support.

So, do you have any ideas for managing and/or organizging photos and other media - in addition to how we might label our files?

Methinks that, as long as I'm keeping a backup of my images files for any site on my local machines, that I'll be able to run sorts locally - as needed - to unburden the server / website IF I'm just looking for a few particular images.
9:50 pm on Apr 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 15, 2003
votes: 7

I quite like the solution that Joomla has for media management. It is a good model to go from if you are thinking about authoring your own tool or hijacking the core media manger.

The problem with keeping all the media in one folder only appears when you need to list the contents of the directory.... basically when you issue an "ls" or "dir" type command, but asking for a file from that directory it can still retrieve it quite quickly.

If you are thinking of building something custom you can index all the media in a DB and store the location and reference images or any media file directly.

Good media managers include auto resizing images at time of upload to a max of something that can be configured to something like 1200px so you don't end up with massive files. It needs to auto create a thumbnail image in a separate /thumbs/ directory so you can load thumbs easily when needed. It is also nice when it forces images to a common type, EG they upload gif or jpg, it changes it to png.

One of the best features of the Joomla media manager is the ability for the user to create directories, I think Wordpress needs to hand more control over to the user. I think the reason it hasn't is that it's users for the most part aren't savvy to use this type of control to their benefit and usually will shoot themselves in the foot with a tool too powerful.

The good thing about Wordpress is you can customize it yourself... Start your own branch with a better media manager.
12:40 pm on Apr 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 31, 2002
votes: 4

You could write your own plugin and change the behaviour pretty easily. Start with these resources: