WordPress Media Library Image on Laptop

How to Use the Media Library in WordPress

November 7, 2016 | Wordpress

One of the main areas of WordPress you’ll want to understand before getting started is the media library. The media library is basically a giant folder where all of your images, pdfs, audio, and video are stored. Although truth be told you probably won’t be storing much audio or video as most of the time those files are too large to be uploaded into the media library. There is a 10mb upload limit set by default.  You can update the max-upload size to help accommodate video but that will not be covered in the scope of this article.

To upload an item into your media library, you can either go directly to your media library or click the “add media” button when editing a post. If you click the media link in the sidebar (shown below) you will be taken into the media library.

Media Library Tab

Once inside the media library you’ll notice there are a few options to sort your media at the top of the page. You can sort by type or by date by simply clicking the option in the corresponding dropdown menu.

Media Library Types

If you’d like add a new item to the media library, you simply click the blue add new button shown below.

Media Library Fiters

Once you click the add new button, you should seed the window expand to reveal  an option to upload an image. You can click “select files” and navigate to the media item you’d like to upload OR you can simply drag and drop the image into the dotted area to upload. As you can see here the maximum image upload size is 10 megabytes.

Media library upload

Once your image has finished uploading, you’ll have the opportunity to add what is called meta-data into various text fields (show below). This information may be used by different plugins and search engines. Although it is not required you fill them in, it’s not a bad idea. For example, many image gallery plugins use the image title and the image caption. Also, your Alt (or alternate) text is important for SEO (search engine optimization) as well as people with disabilities. It allows screen readers tell the visually disabled what your image is about. Maybe you have a pie chart that shows your product has a 95% user satisfaction rating. Without appropriate alt text, visually impaired individuals wouldn’t know about your user rating!


Once your image is loaded in your media library, you can add it basically anywhere on your site! Also once an image is uploaded, it is given a unique URL. So if you’d like to send a link of a .pdf rate card to a client, all you’d have to do is copy and paste the media link (the field shown above that says URL) and send it to your client via email, text, twitter, or whatever!