If you run a WordPress website that makes heavy use of images, video, or other media, you probably spend a good deal of time in your media library. For many users, this media management interface is good enough.
But, you don’t need to settle for “good enough.”
In truth, as your file count grows it becomes more challenging to organize your media assets and locate the content you need when you need it. However, with the help of a WordPress plugin or two, you can sort your media assets in a way that saves you time and boosts your productivity. WordPress plugins can also help you edit your media items in bulk in a way that better serves your overall site.
That’s why, in this post, we’ve compiled 11 of the best plugins to enhance your WordPress media library. This includes plugins that organize your file system, as well as optimize your content and titles with ease. Let’s get started.
Best Media Library Plugins for WordPress
- Enhanced Media Library
- Media Library Assistant
- Media File Renamer
- Media Library Categories
- Media Library Folders
- Real Media Library
- SVG Support
First up on our list of recommendations is FileBird, a file manager plugin that helps you organize and keep track of your WordPress media files. A leading plugin in this space, FileBird can help reduce clutter in your media library, saving you time and sanity.
FileBird adds a folder-based file system to your WordPress media interface and lets you smoothly drag and drop your media items into folders like you would on your computer’s file manager. The aesthetics of the tool meld well with the existing WordPress back-end interface, so much so that you might forget you’re using a third-party plugin.
FileBird can handle thousands of media items, including image, audio, and video files. It works with many popular plugins and page builders, including WooCommerce, Elementor, and WPBakery. It’s also compatible with leading themes like Divi, Avada, and Uncode.
FileBird is available as a powerful free version. However, you’re limited in the number of folders you can use. FileBird Pro is available for $25, which gets you unlimited folders and file uploads, plus six months of support from the developers.
Oversized images and bloated files are a surefire way to eat up your storage space and slow down your web pages. But, resizing individual images also can waste a lot of your own. The solution is an image optimization plugin like Imsanity.
Imsanity is a free WordPress plugin for resizing and compressing images on your WordPress site. This plugin automatically resizes the files you add to WordPress. With Imsanity, you don’t have to worry if a contributor uploads a larger file because it will automatically shrink any file to a more standard size. It also allows you to free up space with its bulk resize feature — choose a group of images and scale them down with a click.
Another popular free plugin for managing media, Enhanced Media Library lets you apply categories and tags to your media items, like you would with pages and posts. You can also apply taxonomies provided by different plugins (like a WooCommerce “product”) to your media files. Then, sort and filter your media library by label for easy locating.
In addition, Enhanced Media Library makes some other small improvements to your media interface, including adding the ability to display or hide metadata (like title and filename), select files in bulk, and reorder assets with drag-and-drop.
It’s also worth noting the PRO version of this tool, which lifts limits on bulk editing, adds advanced search features, and can auto-categorize media resources for you. Enhanced Media Library PRO is available for a one-time purchase of $25.
The Media Library Assistant plugin is designed to enhance your WordPress media viewer in several small ways while blending into the existing WordPress back-end interface. It’s also totally free to download and use.
Highlights of this plugin include a bulk editor in which you can update the author and taxonomy terms for multiple posts at once, an enhanced search tool that allows you to search by meta-information (like alt text and taxonomy terms), and a gallery shortcode, which lets users add an image gallery to any page or post. Items in this gallery are controlled inside Media Library Assistant, providing a simple way to make your pages more dynamic.
Not only is it important to organize your files, but they should also be easy to recognize at a glance. However, if all of your media items are named with cryptic strings of characters, it can make your media gallery harder to use and understand, especially to newer contributors.
This is where the Media File Renamer plugin comes in. This tool automatically changes the names of your media files based on their titles. The plugin does this by taking each title, removing symbols and punctuation, adding dashes between words, and assigning this new string as the file name. It also updates all instances of these file names on your pages and posts accordingly, so you won’t end up with broken media embeds. A clear, consistent naming scheme also improves SEO by placing keywords in your image and media files.
The free version of this plugin will rename your files in bulk, though you can select to exclude individual files from the renaming process one-by-one or with filters. Starting at $24 annually, the pro version adds some extra features like numbering and additional means to automate your file naming.
For those in need of a simple means to categorize media assets, give this plugin a try. The Media Library Categories plugin assigns categories to items in your media library, either by single file or in bulk. You can also use your categories as filters in your searches — this makes files easy to locate in your content library.
Media Library Categories may not have the sleekest interface compared to other plugins on this list, but it gets the essential job done without weighing down your WordPress site with excess code and features. There’s also a premium version of the plugin for $25 that gives you the option to use the plugin’s filters when inserting media into your pages or posts.
The name of this plugin says it all — Folders adds a virtual folder interface to your WordPress back-end, making it easier to organize and find content. You can place media files, as well as pages and posts, in unlimited folders and subfolders with a drag and a drop interface. Note that moving a file between folders won’t change its source URL, so you won’t have to worry about your content disappearing from pages after moving it.
For a little extra convenience, the Premium Folders Plugin lets you create folders by post type, sort your folders based on data, lock folders to certain users, pin and bookmark folders, download folders as zipped files, and more. Plans start at $25 per year for use on one site.
On a similar note, the free Media Library Folders plugin is an alternative for organizing your media content into a folder system. Everything is based on drag-and-drop interaction, allowing you to rearrange, copy, and delete folders with minimal effort. There’s also a handy built-in feature to regenerate your image thumbnails, and an Image SEO tool that adds ALT and TITLE attributes to images as you upload them.
If you like what the free version has to offer, consider purchasing Media Library Folders PRO, which gets you add-ons that can better organize your folders, integrate with WooCommerce, and enable the plugin for use on multisites. You can buy a single add-on for $39, or purchase all add-ons for $49.
Real Media Library is a WordPress plugin to aid your media management. With it, you can group your media files into folders and drag and drop files with your cursor. It’s also easy to create, rename, or delete an unlimited number of folders, as well as create shortcuts for special folders. Users of popular themes like Avada, X, BeTheme, and Bridge will also appreciate this plugin’s extensive compatibility, and the tool also works with all popular WordPress page builders.
Real Media Library is available in a free lite version, which comes with the features described above, and a paid version. The paid version is built to handle especially large, content-heavy websites with thousands of media assets. Even with this amount of content, site performance shouldn’t be noticeably affected. The paid version of Real Media Library costs $39.
As mentioned, bulky and uncompressed images can cripple your WordPress site. This is why you may need an image optimization plugin, and Smush is another solid contender.
The Smush plugin — part of the plugin suite by WPMU DEV — will automatically optimize your existing images and any images you upload. The free version of Smush will optimize image files of up to five megabytes, and there are no limits on the number of images the plugin will compress. Plus, all the compression is done on Smush servers and won’t impact your site performance.
The premium version of this plugin, Smush Pro, incorporates the “Super Smush” algorithm to further reduce file size without a drop in image quality, plus a CDN to deliver your images over 45 globally distributed servers.
11. SVG Support
Scalable vector graphics, or SVGs, are pretty cool. Images in this file format can scale infinitely large or small without a change in quality, making this format great for company logos, interface elements like buttons, illustrations, charts, and infographics.
However, the media library in WordPress doesn’t accommodate SVG files by default. To use SVG files like you would any other type of media, use the SVG Support plugin, the most popular of its kind. Not only will you be able to organize your SVG files alongside your other media — you can also style your SVGs directly in WordPress using custom CSS, and even animate your SVG elements.
Get Your Content Under Control
If you’re just starting out with WordPress, you might not see an immediate need to organize your media library or optimize your content for performance and SEO. But, before you know it, your library may become packed with content assets with seemingly no good way to keep track of everything.
The good news is that, with a plugin from our list, you can nip this issue in the bud. Best of all, most of these options are freemium, allowing you to test the product for free and upgrade when you see fit. After all, WordPress is your content management system — managing your media shouldn’t be a burden.
Originally published Feb 20, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated February 20 2021