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Where Are WordPress Images Stored and How Can You Organize Them?

Imagery plays an important role when maintaining a website. From enhancing search engine optimization to improving visitor retention, your graphics are vital. When you upload images to WordPress, they are stored in the “/wp-content/uploads/” folder within your hosting directory. They are usually arranged by month and year subfolders. For example, you could have a folder in that directory for WordPress images as: “/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/” if you uploaded graphics in April of 2016. This can make finding specific images related to content easier if you use FTP programs such as CuteFTP or Filezilla. Information regarding your images, such as alt texts, are stored in the SQL database of your website.

Organizing Your Imagery

plugins

Currently, WordPress doesn’t give you the ability to customize where images are stored on the server. This can prevent you from organizing graphics into specific folders. However, you can still get some form of organization by using various gallery plugins.

Gallery Plugins

Some plugins, such as Envira Gallery, are useful to display your images in order to show off artwork. They are also useful when it comes to keeping your pictures organized and easy to find. This is done by creating albums or creating specific image tags.

Albums

Some gallery plugins will store all of your media and assign them to albums you create. This operates independently from the content editor of WordPress. Although the images can still be accessed like normal, the plugin can keep them organized in its own tool within the dashboard.

Image Tagging

Plugins can help keep graphics organized by creating tags for each file. These operate much like content tags as it tells the system what files belong to which entry. For instance, you could search for all WordPress images that have been tagged as “cars” if you set it up in the plugin.

NOTE: It’s Only for the Plugin

In most cases, albums and tags will be removed if you uninstall the image plugin. In many cases, you can deactivate the plugin and retain the information. The plugins themselves are what connects the data to the specific picture. WordPress will save things like alt text and descriptions, but not the tags and album coding.

Organizing By File Name

file name

Some developers will organize their images by using the file name. This gives you a method in which to search for specific media. For example, you could label the graphics you upload to WordPress with keywords that you can then use as search criteria. If you put in “cars” in the search box, all files that have the word will be displayed.

The problem with organizing the images by file name in such a way is that it can interfere with search engine optimization. Unless you plan on using topic-minded names for your uploads, it could distract from how engines like Google index your material. If you want to use this method, build a strategy that can be beneficial for you as well as the SEO of the website.

How to Access Your WordPress Images

Accessing images for your WordPress website can be done in two easy ways: through the WordPress dashboard or using FTP applications. Either way can be beneficial, but the dashboard method may give you more info regarding how your site uses the file.

WordPress Dashboard

wordpress dashboard

Go to the “Media” section from your dashboard. This will display all of your media as well as a way to filter the search either by month or file type. One of the biggest benefits to using the system as opposed to applications is that WordPress will give you a great deal of information regarding each picture. Dimension sizes, alt text, descriptions and anything pertinent to the graphic are displayed when you click into one. You can also edit those files directly from this screen.

FTP Applications

ftp applications

If you have experience using File Transfer Protocol, you can access the folders for the images by connecting to your host. While a lot of people prefer this method, it doesn’t give you the same data that is related to each file like the dashboard tool.

Keeping your images organized can help you keep the website properly groomed and maintained. The more efficient your site is, the greater are its chances of being successful. Keep a regular routine of cleaning up the site and reduce the clutter that can affect how it operates.

How many images do you utilize on your WordPress website? How often do you perform cleanup of the content?

Author: Josh Dargie

My name is Josh Dargie and I’m the Operations Manager at GreenGeeks. I’ve been with the company since 2009. I have over 16 years of experience working with and for various web hosting providers specifically in development, day-to-day operations and customer service.

Updated on December 15, 2017

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