Over the weekend I was working on a WooCommerce website. I was using an import/export plugin for products, and I notice there were duplicates appearing in the media library. These were not actually duplicates, but them importer using a 1:1 relationship between image and product, to learn more check out this article https://www.webtoffee.com/image-thumbnail-regeneration-duplicate-media-library-entry/. So, it was great that storage space was not being used up, but at the same time the media library was completely cluttered.
Table of Contents:
- Creating Categories
- Media Library Enhancements
Even before this weekend, I was still unhappy with the way WordPress handled media management. I wanted a bit more organization, especially with a massive ecommerce site. After searching for just a little bit, I found Enhanced Media Library. A plugin with both free and premium features that seemed to fit the bill.
I fell in love with it. So much so, that I ended up purchasing the premium version. The pro version is just a $25 one time fee, which was okay with me. To learn more, check out their website https://wpuxsolutions.com/plugins/enhanced-media-library
The free version of Enhanced Media Library can be found in the WordPress plugin repository. Making it simple to install from the WordPress interface. If you decide to get the premium version, you can uninstall the plugin and it will keep all your custom settings.
The bulk of the new settings are under the Media section of the Settings menu. We'll start with Media Library which has Filters, Order, Grid Mode, and Media Shortcodes.
This section is how your media is filtered out. I normally leave these on the defaults except for Include Children. This will show all child category images in a parent category, which to me seems a bit cluttered.
The Order section just allows you to set an order to the media page. By default it is set to Date, which is what WordPress automatically uses.
Grid Mode will put a caption under the image thumbnail. You can choose between Title, Filename, or Caption.
This section allows you to enable more advance media shortcodes for playlists. You can add your taxonomy terms to it for better filtering.
In this section you can control how your taxonomies interact with your categories and other elements of WordPress.
MIME stands for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. It describes what a document format is and how it works with the application. WordPress by default allows for a variety of MIME types to be uploaded. In this section you can choose which ones are enabled.
If you accidentally remove one, you can easily add it back or reset back to WordPress defaults.
Enhanced Media Library Utilities
In the utilities section you have the ability to import and export settings for the plugin, which makes it useful if you plan on installing it across multiple websites. You also have the ability to do a complete cleanup, which will not only deactivate the plugin, but remove its data from the database. This is extremely useful and a nice way to keep your database cleaned up.
Creating categories for your media is very straight forward. You just go through Media > Media Categories. From here you can create both parent and child categories.
Media Library Enhancements
At first glance, you are not going to see a lot of differences in the media library. You will see a new drop down menu called Filter by Media Category. This will allow you to filter based on the categories you have created or if there are images not in a category. This functionality is present throughout WordPress, so if you were to set a featured image you can still sort through the categories.
Clicking on an image will bring up the ability to sort it and perform some description edits. In the free version you can only select one image at a time. The pro version allows for multiple item selections.
Enhanced Media Library is now one of my must install plugins. Even though I have the pro version, the free version still offers a lot to the improvement of WordPress' media library. Hopefully in the future WordPress will add some of this to core.