Plugin Research: Media Library Management

related: Unpublished\eTaktiker\Wordpress Plugin - Image Size

Plugin Research: Media Library Management

You can list unreferenced (unattached) images in standard Media library.

  • Media File Renamer by Meow is very important for SEO. Auto-renames your media filenames depending on their titles. When files are renamed, the references to it are also updated (posts, pages, custom types and their metadata). Free version does not allow you to change the filename directly but as you change the title of the media the plugin will then change the filename. Works perfect.

    My suggestion is to disable auto-rename and just enable manual rename. Probably deserves reading Tutorial

  • Enable Media Replace is another MUST plugin. With it, you can replace a file in your media library by uploading a new file in its place - no more deleting, renaming and re-uploading files! Again, a MUST.

  • To cleanup Media Library, use Media Cleaner by Meow. Please, read tutorial and ENABLE Media Library Trash / Recycle Bin feature in Wordpress.

Good read on Cleaning WordPress Media Library

The heavyweights

The main option I need is some way of grouping images, let’s call that media categories. Couple of plugins do that.

  • Enhanced Media Library can provide you with multiple taxonomies, but out-of-the box, it is working effectively and simple. Total customization of taxonomies and allows custom MIME Type.

  • WP Media Categories is very very small, simple, fast and doing its task. It is my second choice, but it is still beginning so not enough users and support for now. If have problems with it, just switch to Enhanced Media Library as you will NOT lose assigned categories.

    Note: Bulk category assignment is not working; not saving category.


  • Absolute champ in complexity is Media Library Assistant.

    Somehow too complicated without some extreme benefits, besides couple of beautiful options like: can extract EXIF data and put it in custom-fields. It is very customizable, thought.

  • Media Library Categories is 10 times smaller than others but it is NOT doing what I need - classifying images, because it uses existing post categories - and I want separate ones.

  • WP Media Category Management is not well-thought-out UI, and is a little too big.

How to regenerate thumbnails?

regenerate featured images; rebuild all image sizes

  • AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild: latest version on breiti/ajax-thumbnail-rebuild; probably the best for huge quantity of files; Review: “no other regeneration plugin would come close to finishing the process. This did the trick!"; the best functionality of regenerating single image thumbnail (but no option to regenerate in “List View” and there is no option to do multiple file regeneration)

  • Regenerate Thumbnails; the author of this plugin passed away but his plugins will be maintained by Automattic and members of the WordPress community; 1+ million downloads; regenerate single image but by opening a URL;

  • Bulk Generate Thumbnails; is actively maintained; respected author that cherish minimalism; simple results table helps me detect broken attachments; no option to regenerate single images

  • Force Regenerate Thumbnails; probably abandoned plugin but it has best options to regenerate in “List View” (better than)

  • The fastest should be to use wp media regenerate see via WP-CLI when having server access

  • Paid plugin Real Thumbnail Generator by experienced author; has free lite version on; has everything I need except it creates folder structure as subfolder of current location - need explaining

How to register new images from local folders?

import local images; create attachments from local files

  • There is new plugin Bulk Media Register that does the job; simple; by respected author that cherish minimalism
  • Media Sync is great to retrieve Media Library from uploads folder. Has great filters to check for attachments without files.
  • using WP-CLI command wp media import info; can import local but also from any URL remotely; should be the fastest

Using WP-CLI wp media image-size command we can list all registered image sizes

Post Thumbnail Editor to manually crop thumbnail images, one by one

This one can be useful: Media Library Filter as it filters the media in your library by the taxonomies and terms with which they are associated.

WP Users Media will disable the ability for users to access other users media files, only their own.

Plugin Research: Physical Folders in Media Library

I want a way to specify upload folder for media.

  • Real Media Library (2 plugin combo)

  • X4 Media Library for WordPress by x4wp works with physical folders. Can’t obtain Pro version and it is crippled without it. Works quite well but slow. It doesn’t sync with FTP created files but I can do that using some other plugins.

  • WP Media Folder by JoomUnited (2 plugin combo) I don’t think that “addendum” plugin is required anymore. But I don’t like its interface and “strange” folder Sync / Import - simply not logical.

    • WP Media Folder by JoomUnited doesn’t really “do” physical folders, but has some form of similar functionality via Synchronization of Server Folders and Media Folders. Has mostly raving reviews. Via addons has also support for Amazon S3 and other cloud storage providers.
    • WP Media Folders is not perfect, as it allows organization is via changing the URL for each picture. But it does what I want, in an ugly way. Also nicely integrates with WP Media Folder by JoomUnited
  • Organize Media Library (2 plugin combo) It’s straightforward and it works, but I can do better.

  • WordPress Media Library Folders can also sync folders when moving or uploading a folder via FTP. It doesn’t have formidable reviews but it does look like the best option for now.

Not working with “real physical folders

The following plugins can also be good.


Interesting tweaks

  • Custom Upload Dir is interesting utility plugin. We can put uploads in year/month-based folders as standard, but this plugin adds a lot of new variables like post title, category, post author, post date and more.

  • Custom Upload Folder you can select upload folder from predefined locations

How to stop the “bloat shit” in Media Library?

“Scaled” images?

Nothing removes “-scaled” images. It’s easy to stop them from getting created, but automatic removal is not possible. Just remove it using FTP or similar.

To disable “-scaled” images, deploy tiny PHP code (explained here or use an option named “Large image threshold” in Disable Generate Thumbnails plugin by Japanese minimalist.

Typical “categorize” plugins

The best and cleanest plugin of this type is HappyFiles. Free version limitation is only 10 categories, nothing more.

There is a lot of almost-copycat plugins in this category, and the most notables are:

Migrations Media Library Organizer has in built importers, allowing you to migrate from other WordPress Media Library Plugins: Enhanced Media Library FileBird Folders (Premio) HappyFiles Wicked Folders WP Media Folder

WP-CLI Import an image from the web.

date 05. May 2020 | modified 17. Jan 2023
filename: Plugins » Media Management