Note: This post has been completely rewritten and updated as of 12th October 2016.
Remember back when you first started your WordPress site?
Everything was so fresh and uncluttered.
But as you started writing posts and pages, you probably began noticing just how quickly clutter can start piling up.
One of the biggest clutter attractors is the WordPress Media Library.
You’re likely uploading multiple media files for every single post and page you create.
Heck, this post I’m writing right now has 14+ images by itself. Multiply that by tens or hundreds of posts and that’s a lot of files in your Media Library!
In its default state, WordPress doesn’t really give you much help when it comes to wrangling all those files. The Media Library works fine in the moment, but if you ever have to go back and find an old file, you’re going to be in a world of pain.
That’s where WP Media Folder comes in. It brings some much needed order to your WordPress Media Library by creating an organized structure of highly filterable folders and subfolders.
In this post, I’ll take you through exactly how to use this plugin to organize your Media Library. Then, I’ll go deeper into all WP Media Folder’s features and some of the specific scenarios where it can make managing your WordPress site significantly easier and less time consuming.
How to organize your WordPress Media Library with WP Media Folder
Here’s exactly how you can add that order to your site by using WP Media Folder.
Before getting started, you’ll need to make sure you’ve:
- Purchased the plugin from JoomUnited
- Downloaded the .zip file of the plugin from JoomUnited’s website
Once you’ve got that out of the way, you’re ready to start organizing!
Installing and configuring WP Media Folder
Because WP Media Folder isn’t part of the WordPress plugin repository, you’ll need to install it by manually uploading the plugin’s .zip file to your WordPress site. You can do this by going to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin. Once you’ve selected your file, click Install Now:
After the installation process finishes, make sure to activate the plugin.
Right after activation, WP Media Folder will give you the option to automatically create folders for each category in your site:
If you select Import categories now, WP Media Folder will automatically create a separate folder for each category that exists on your site. If you’re not sure how you want to organize things, this is a great way to start.
If you already have a configuration in mind, though, it’s fine to choose No thanks. This option is always available in the plugin settings in case you ever change your mind.
Once you’ve made that decision, you can configure WP Media Folder by going to Settings > Media Folder:
You have a lot of options here. But don’t worry – you can safely leave most of them as the default. I’ll go through some of the common scenarios where you might want to change the default setting so you can decide if you need to do anything here:
If you want to be able to replace a file with a different file, enable the Override file option in the General tab.
If you want to add additional options for filtering your media files, scroll to the bottom of the General tab and edit the Filter and order feature options.
If you want to restrict access to folders based on user roles, go to the Media access tab and configure the user role settings.
If you want to automatically rename files on upload, go to the Media rename tab, enable the feature, and set up your naming pattern.
If you want to set up FTP import or server syncing, go to the FTP import and Sync external media tabs and configure the options there.
If none of those scenarios apply to you, you should be safe to leave all the settings as the defaults. Still, you might want to give everything a quick look to see if one of the smaller options catches your interest.
Navigating the WP Media Folder Interface
After configuring the plugin, you’re ready to jump into the WP Media Folder interface. You can access it by clicking the Media option on your sidebar or clicking on Add Media when editing a post or page with the WordPress Editor:
This interface essentially works the same as the folders on most computer operating systems.
A few examples to illustrate that:
To browse into any folder, all you need to do is click on it:
You’ll see all the files contained in that folder, as well as breadcrumbs telling you exactly where you are in the file directory.
If you want to move a file to a different folder, all you need to do is drag it to your desired folder:
If you want to select more than one file at a time, you just need to click the Bulk Select button and then you can manipulate multiple files with one drag and drop motion:
Moving files between folders won’t affect their frontend display. If you’ve already inserted the file in a post, it will continue to display properly even if you move it to a different folder in the backend.
Creating, editing, and deleting folders
To create a new folder, all you need to do is click the Create Folder button, give it a name, and click OK:
You can also create subfolders to further organize your files. You can nest subfolders as deeply as you want. I got a little folder happy to illustrate this point!
If you change your mind about anything, you can always edit a folder name or delete a folder by hovering over the desired folder and clicking either the Pencil or Trashcan icon:
By default, deleting a folder just makes all the files inside go back to your root Media library directory. It does not delete the files.
However, you can enable an option in the plugin settings so that deleting a folder also deletes all the files inside that folder. Obviously, if you enable this option, you’ll want to be very careful about deleting folders.
Filtering and ordering files to find them faster
One of the big perks of WP Media Folder is how much easier it is to filter and sort your files. You can filter by any combination of:
- Media type
- Upload date
- File size
- File name
Just click on one of the dropdowns or enter a name in the search box to start filtering:
As you narrow the filter options, the list of files matching those criteria will automatically update.
And if you’re staring at a folder full of files and want to order them, you can quickly do that by clicking one of the Sort dropdowns:
Creating a gallery from a folder
One really powerful feature of WP Media Folder is the ability to quickly create a gallery from the images in any folder or sub-folder.
When you click on the normal Insert Media button in the WordPress Editor, you can navigate to a new Create Gallery tab:
Then, all you need to do is browse to your desired folder and click Create a gallery from folder.
On the next tab, you can configure your gallery’s design and functionality. Then, you can quickly insert it into your post or page by clicking Insert gallery:
Stand out features of WP Media Folder
WP Media Folder is packed with an array of helpful features that I’ll discuss in the next section. But here are the four key features which really set WP Media Folder apart:
- Manage media with folders and subfolders – you can create as many folders and subfolders as you need to stay organized. WP Media Folder can even automatically create folders for each category you use.
- Create galleries from folders – if you ever need to insert a gallery into your post, it only takes a few clicks to create a gallery from all the media in a folder. You can completely customize the gallery’s design to fit your needs.
- Order and filter media – you can filter and order your entire Media Library based on multiple helpful criteria.
- Sync media with server folders – if you use FTP to upload your media files, you can have WP Media Folder automatically import and sync those files to preserve the exact same folder structure that you use on your server.
Other helpful features – user roles, renaming, replacement, and more!
In addition to the stand outs listed above, WP Media Folder also includes these helpful features:
- Drag and drop Interface – Moving files around is as easy as dragging them to where you want them.
- Restrict folders by user role – If other users have access to your WordPress dashboard, you can restrict access to folders based on their user roles.
- WooCommerce compatibility – WP Media folder is compatible with WooCommerce and other eCommerce plugins.
- Frontend download buttons – You can let your readers download files in a user-friendly way with WP Media Folder’s built-in, styleable download buttons.
- Compatible with page builders – WP Media Folder works well with popular page builders like Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, Visual Composer, Themify Builder, and more.
- Automatic file renaming – You can automatically rename files on upload according to your specified rules.
- Media replacement – If you want to replace an existing media file, you can use the replace function to overwrite that file while still preserving the same URL.
- Custom folder covers – You can add cover images to folders to make them easier to recognize.
- 3 media views – You can view your Media Library in three ways. A list, small thumbnails, or big thumbnails.
- Google Drive and Dropbox Synchronization (ADD-ON) – If you opt for the add-on, you can automatically sync your media library with Google Drive or Dropbox. This is a huge time-saver and especially helpful if your hosting server has file-size limitations.
When WP Media Folder can really help
WP Media Folder’s organization is great for everyday WordPress life. But, beyond that basic organization, there are a few potential scenarios where the plugin can save you significant time.
Finding and replacing unoptimized images:
If you haven’t always been diligent about optimizing your images, you may have uploaded some huge image files in the past. With the default WordPress Media Library, these files would be nigh on impossible difficult to find. They’d probably just sit there slowing your site down!
But with WP Media Folder, you can quickly filter for only files greater than a certain size. Then, you can use the media replacement feature to upload new, optimized versions of those images without breaking any of the old posts which include the unoptimized images.
Quickly accessing frequently used media:
If you have certain files that you use over and over, you can place them in a “Commonly Used” folder so that they’re always easy to find. Rather than having to search for the file or save the URL and manually insert it, you can just go directly to the folder.
Managing WooCommerce product images:
If you’re managing a store with WordPress, you probably have lots of product images you need to keep updated and easily accessible. With WP Media Folder, you can create a separate folder for each product or line. Then, you can quickly find and swap out product pictures as needed.
Moving to WordPress from a different CMS:
If you’re looking to move to WordPress from a different CMS, you can use WP Media Folder’s server import and sync feature to easily bring in all your existing media. Using the default WordPress Media Library, your only option would be to dump every single file into one container. With WP Media Folder, you can preserve the same folder structure as your current CMS.
Final thoughts and pricing
WP Media Folder is all about saving you time through better organization. You’ll spend much less time navigating and searching your media, which means you have more time to do the important stuff like writing content and promoting your site.
Beyond general time-saving through organization, WP Media Folder can also help you accomplish specific tasks like replacing old media files without breaking posts, quickly inserting galleries, and syncing all your media files with your web server.
With all those benefits, you’re probably wondering what WP Media Folder is going to cost you. The answer? Not that much. There are four different pricing tiers:
- $29 – you get 6 months of updates
- $34 – you get 6 months of support AND updates
- $39 – you get 1 year of support AND updates
- $49 – you get 1 year of support AND updates PLUS the Dropbox/Google Drive add-on
All the pricing options are one-time fees and allow you to use WP Media folder on unlimited WordPress sites.
Ready to start taking control of your WordPress Media Library?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but we only say good stuff when we REALLY mean it. Read more.