Happy Monday everyone!
I found really great question in my compiled list for this month:
How do you manage your Media Library when it starts growing out of control?
I look forward to hearing your answers!
Before uploading files to the Media Library, name them in short, descriptive plain English. With spaces between words. For example:
Debonair goat reading newspaper.jpg
Then when you upload the files, they will automatically be given tidy titles.
If you expect to upload a lot of images, and if many of those images have something in common, name them in a standard fashion. For example I recently uploaded 100 icons to represent health issues. They had names like:
Dentist round green icon.png
Hospital square blue icon.png
Doctor square red icon.png
That will make it so easy to search for all red or all round icons, or all icons for dentists. The ability to search for media is key, because Wordpress out-of-the-box provides no way to categorise media.
Every image should be given an ALT (alternative text) tag. Whereas the title is mainly for your benefit within WordPress, the ALT tags should be meaningful to the visitor.
But what if you are going to have hundreds of images? Use a plugin such as WP Media Category Management (can't vouch for it, not used it, there are others) to enable categorisation of media.
Or, if you are comfortable adding a little code to your site, read Creating Categories and Tags for Your WordPress Media.
I'd 2nd Jason's suggestions. The #1 thing to do is preemptively title media in the library immediately upon uploading it. Any other way risks neglect and lost knowledge. (I also like to store information about the date and photo credit in the Description field when doing this.)
People often are unsure about how the Title and Description fields in the Media Library are used:
A few times, I've used the Enhanced Media Library plugin. This adds Categories and Tags to media items along with useful filters to quickly browse the media library.
But even then, it's hard to beat the Search used in conjunction with good titles!
My company is actively developing a plugin to help manage the Media Library, which inevitably gets messy as a site gets older:
Media DeDuper Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/media-deduper/
This plugin, the first of it’s kind, helps you find and eliminate duplicate images and attachments in your WordPress library. Not only does it clean up your library, but it prevents future duplicates from being created.
Take a look and let us know if you have feedback!
I tell users to only upload an image once, insert it however many times you need. Do they ever listen? I tried a similar plugin once and it failed to spot if images were being used as a Featured Image, so couldn't rely on it.
But I notice that your Media Deduper plugin does has that feature, so will give it a try and eave a review.
May I make a suggestion? If you don't already, display a message recommending the website owner makes a full backup before using it. Not everyone understands how their own website might use images in galleries, shortcodes etc.