8 Plugins to Help Supercharge Your WordPress Media Library

Posted on April 6, 2017 by in Tips & Tricks | 32 comments

8 Plugins to Help Supercharge Your WordPress Media Library

The WordPress Media Library is a baked-in element that offers basic media file management for your website. While its feature set is generally sufficient for the average user, for media-heavy sites its limitations become increasingly apparent. For example, you could struggle to find previously uploaded images, find that unoptimized media is causing strain on your server, or even find your site’s speed suffers as a result of a bloated media library.

In this post, we’ve rounded up eight plugins that will make your life easier when using the WordPress Media Library. Let’s get started!

1. Enhanced Media Library

The Enhanced Media Library plugin.
Focused mainly on providing better media organization, the Enhanced Media Library plugin enables you to categorize and reorder your files in a number of different ways. It also comes with additional functionality such as the ability to create dynamic galleries from media file categories or tags, and insert them into custom posts or pages using shortcodes.

While it’s not the only solution for organizing your images, Enhanced Media Library is a full-featured free plugin that can be upgraded to a premium version if necessary.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to organize media by categories, tags, or even third-party taxonomies.
  • Lets you sort media by date, title or manually.
  • Offers the ability to use shortcodes to dynamically display media galleries based on different taxonomies.
  • Lets you add or remove upload support for different file types.

Pricing: Free | More Information

2. Media File Renamer

The Media File Renamer plugin.

While WordPress gives you a lot of baked-in options for tinkering with your media files, it doesn’t let you rename your media files directly. Making sure your media filenames are descriptive offers a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefit, as well as a neater Media Library to boot.

The Media File Renamer plugin enables you to automatically rename your media files based on the title you set within the Media Library. The premium version adds functionality such as renaming the file based on your post’s title, your alt text, or even manually.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to automatically rename media files based on their title.
  • Offers the ability to auto-update references to your media files after renaming them.
  • Lets you bulk rename all media files, or manually enable auto-rename for individual files.

Pricing: Free | More Information

3. Imsanity

The Imsanity plugin.

Quality images are important for a modern website. However, uploading high-resolution images to WordPress can often be overkill given that you’ll likely use a scaled down version within your posts and pages. Of course, the original version of your image is still in the WordPress Media Library, eating up valuable space.

Enter Imsanity. This plugin automatically takes your uploaded images and automatically resizes the dimensions to something more manageable. In other words, it helps you make sure you hit a ‘sweet spot’ with regard to the dimensions of your uploaded images, which of course impacts file sizes.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to configure custom dimensions and adjust JPEG quality.
  • Offers set-and-forget functionality.
  • Lets you choose between image sizes from an image preview panel.
  • Enables you to run bulk-resizing operations on existing images.
  • Offers a BMP to JPEG conversion option.

Pricing: Free | More Information

4. Imagify

The Imagify plugin.

The Imagify plugin could be seen as a complement to Imsanity, because while it’s primarily an image optimizer, it also includes a similar resizing feature. Image compression can help you to improve your page load speeds, and is particularly relevant for a mobile-friendly website. Of course, you also get to save valuable server space due to the reduced file size.

During our own (admittedly non-scientific) tests, we were able to reduce image size by over 50% with barely any visible loss in quality, which was pretty impressive!

Key Features:

  • Provides three different compression algorithms.
  • Enables bulk compression of existing images.
  • Offers a backup option to help keep your original image intact.
  • Provides compatibility with WooCommerce.

Pricing: Free | More Information

5. Image Watermark WP

The Image Watermark WP plugin.

Image Watermark WP is the ideal plugin to prevent people stealing your images and re-uploading them to their own websites, or even worse ‘hotlinking’ them and stealing your site’s bandwidth.

This plugin negates the need for graphic design skills, as it automatically watermarks any uploaded images based on your predefined settings, effectively making image theft harder and a lot less appealing.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to upload a custom watermark image and set its position.
  • Lets you control the transparency or opacity of the watermark.
  • Offers a preview option.
  • Lets you disable drag-and-drop and right-clicking on images.

Pricing: Free | More Information

6. Media Credit

The Media Credit plugin.

Properly crediting your media files can be cumbersome process, especially when you source media from multiple websites. Media Credit takes the pain out of the process by providing a dedicated field when uploading or editing your media files. The credits you add are tied to that image too, and will be automatically included whenever you insert the image.

Key Features:

  • Automatically adds credits to inserted media files.
  • Offers customization of your credits via CSS.
  • Lets you display all media credited to a specific author on a dedicated page.

Pricing: Free | More Information

7. Quick Featured Images

The Quick Featured Images plugin.

Together with your title, featured images can literally make or break your post’s performance. They’re essentially your post’s first impression, so they need to be compelling and captivating.

Of course, WordPress makes it easy to set featured images out of the box. However, changing them later means editing each post individually. The Quick Featured Images plugin solves this by letting you bulk edit your featured images. What’s more, it enables you to define custom rules so you don’t have to manually set a featured image for each post. Instead, you can automatically assign one based on your settings.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to bulk edit your featured images.
  • Offers custom presets and rules to automatically set featured images for posts.
  • Provides filters to let you apply rules to certain pages or posts.

Pricing: Free | More Information

8. Media from FTP

The Media from FTP plugin.

Our final plugin is Media from FTP. Sometimes, uploading large media files directly through the WordPress interface can let you down. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t natively support alternative media file upload options. While you can always upload files through your web server’s control panel, a custom script, or File Transfer Protocol (FTP), WordPress won’t register those files.

Media from FTP was designed to solve this exact problem. Whether you’re having issues uploading files through the WordPress interface or just prefer FTP, Media from FTP does what it says on the tin. It enables you to upload media files via FTP, then displays them within the WordPress Media Library as with any other images.

Key Features:

  • Lets you look up media files in a specific physical folder, then register them inside WordPress.
  • Enables you to set media properties such as date and time stamps.
  • Lets you set a predefined schedule to run the plugin at specific intervals.

Pricing: Free | More Information

Conclusion

The WordPress Media Library is suitable for many users as-is; however, if you need additional functionality you could be left wanting. Out of the box, WordPress’ functionality lacks for some users who operate media-heavy websites.

The eight plugins we’ve suggested in this post focus on extending the WordPress Media Library’s functionality, as well as closing the gap on some of its limitations. Whether you’re looking for a new way to organize images, a method for applying credits to your media, an alternative upload method, or even an optimization method or two, there should be something here for you!

What functionality are you missing within the WordPress Media Library, and have any of these plugins helped you close the gap? Let us know in the comments section below!

Article image thumbnail: Vector Goddess / shutterstock.com.

32 Comments

  1. This post is perfect for me as I’ve just taken on an existing site to manage for a client where 75% of their images aren’t optimised. One jpeg is 13mb! The Imagify plug in will save me hours of time, thanks!

    • John Hughes

      You’re welcome, Simon! I’m glad you found what you needed. 🙂

  2. I need some pluggin to delete not used images. Any recommendation?

  3. Hey John and thanks

    I need an image server where the sites i make can download images and run them in a slider on there site

    Example
    http://www.site1.dk image 1 – 2 – 3
    http://www.site1.dk image 1 – 4 – 5
    http://www.site1.dk image 3 – 2 – 5
    and so on

    I hope you can understand my question

    • John Hughes

      Hi Andre. I’m afraid those links don’t seem to work for me, and it’s hard to help without knowing your exact setup. Try posting in our forums (https://www.elegantthemes.com/forum/) to see if another user has any ideas.

  4. Hi,

    good information, as usual.

    I’d lik,e to add 2 plugins that have really helped me with my media library:

    – WP Media Folder from Jommunited – lets you organize media from the native media library in folders

    – Media cleaner from Jordy Meow: it still requires some improvement but used with care I helpd me go from over 700 media present on the media library to only 150 media that were really used on the site! Follow carefully the instructions ad do a proper backup of your database and upload directory BEFORE using it but it’s worth a try.

    Louis

    • John Hughes

      Thanks for the suggestions, Louis! We’ll be sure to check them out. 🙂

  5. Great post – thanks! Do you know if these plugins add much weight to your site? Will they affect page load speed?

    If you use some of these plugins to move, rename, create folders, etc., will all current links to those images be reassigned automatically?

    Thanks!

    • John Hughes

      You’re welcome, Bob! The answer to both your questions is that it depends on the plugin. Try contacting a specific plugin’s support or posting in its forums for more detailed information.

  6. I want to be able to find and delete images that are not used.

  7. Two more plugins that I use as a photographer with many thousands of photos on my website is MLA (media library assistant) and WP/LR (WordPress Lightroom). WP/LR allows me to send files directly from Adobe Lightroom to the media library using a Lightroom publish service, and automatically updates them within WordPress when I make edits in Lightroom.

    MLA picks up the files as they arrive in the media library, assigns category tags from the Lightroom keywords, and then creates dynamic galleries via shortcodes.

    I use these extensively to keep about a dozen dynamic galleries up to date on my website simply by assigning a keyword to photos in Lightroom and pushing the publish button.

    • John Hughes

      Hi Wade! Thanks for the suggestions; we’ll be sure to check them out.

    • I use both of these too – being able to manage all my images from the source in Lightroom is a huge advantage – I can also watermark them when I export to WordPress – so it doesn’t have to be a separate step.

  8. Very fruit full information as always.
    Great post John!! Thumps Up..

    • John Hughes

      Thanks! 🙂

  9. Yes indeed, WP Media Folder is doing 70% of those features and a lot of others with a single plugin (and it work great with DIVI Builder!). It may avoid a bloated admin by installing 10 plugins 🙂

    • John Hughes

      Thanks for your comment, Tristan, and for the suggestion. 🙂

  10. I was looking at the Image Watermark WP plugin which looked ideal. Loaded it for my art gallery site. Unfortunately it only works on GMedia and doesn’t work on WPMedia and the Divi Gallery. As I have bought the Divi package and want to use Divi gallery this was no good for me. On the settings there is a link for support. I tried that and got a 404 error. Looks, as I said, like an ideal package for our use but is unusable at this moment. The link error doesn’t exactly inspire.

  11. Hi John,

    I am always looking for new plugins that can help me accomplish something on my blog. I haven’t heard of a lot of these plugins.

    Although the Enhanced Media Library looks pretty good. My media library could definitely use some organization.

    I may have to play with it on my localhost to see how it works. Thanks for sharing these plugins with us.

    Now I know what I am going to do today.

    Have a great day!

    Susan

    • John Hughes

      Thanks for your comment, Susan! I hope that plugin works out well for you. 🙂

  12. How does the WP Smush plugin (free version) compare to the Imsanity and Imagery plugins for image resizing and compression?

    • John Hughes

      Smush Image Compression and Optimization is another good option. Any of the three plugins you mentioned should suit your needs.

      • I use Smush free version and am quite pleased with it. No clue about the others. This one being simple and efficient I did not shop around.

  13. I have installed the plugin Enhanced Media Library, and works fine but when I use Divi, the Images module does´not recognize the categories or tags. What’s the problem?

  14. Media file renamer by Jordy Meow is one of the pulgins I rate *****. I’m glad to see it on your list.

    • John Hughes

      Thanks for your input! 🙂

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