Understanding the Basics of WordPress Media



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Next week: July 3rd, 7pm, new location: 16th floor of the Omni Hotel (7th and Brazos) at the Capitol Factory offices. Look for announcement on Meetup.com coming soon!


Main topic: Understanding the Basics of WordPress Media Features

Presenter: Eric Weiss

Demonstration live on a brand new WordPress install, using the Twenty Eleven theme.

Media Settings:

  • Image Sizes – different themes will have different settings here; you can modify your settings if you need to do so.
  • Uploading files – you can change the default location to upload files; usually you should just leave this alone. Organizing uploads into month and year based folders – usually a good idea to leave this checked.

Adding media:

  • You can add files by dragging and dropping into the box. You can select multiple images and drag them in all at once.
  • You can add media from a URL, but note that this can be risky. Usually this is a good option only if linking from an image hosting site such as imgur.com or Flickr.
  • Title – will display when you hover over the image.
  • Alternative text – this is the “alt tag”. It is what search engines, screen readers see; also what is displayed when images are not displayed. Very important for SEO. Will be given more priority over title. You should always include alt text if the image is content for your site/blog (though not for decorative images).
  • Caption – adds a caption under the image.
  • Description – information for your own use.
  • Link URL – if you want to link image to another site/page.
  • Alignment – will determine where the image displays in relation to your text.
  • Size – options are determined by size of original image. You may not get all of the options on an image.
  • Attachment Post URL – allows you to link to a different display of the image
  • Using the File URL will allow you to link the thumbnail to a full-sized file that is suitable for printing.

Once you have inserted an image, in the Editor window you can click on image and edit the image. This opens up a box to Advanced Settings that allows you more fine-tuning of the the size of the image and other settings.

All images you add to a post will display in your Media Library. The Attached to column will show you which post(s) or page(s) the image appears on.

Edit Image button:

  • In the Media Library if you click “edit” under the image you can crop, flip, rotate or resize an image right within WordPress.
  • Using the crop option you can modify your thumbnail image. By default it selects a section from the center of the image but by cropping and applying to thumbnail only, you can change how the thumbnail displays.

Inserting a Gallery:

  • A gallery is a display of all images, as thumbnails, attached to a post or page.
  • Once you have multiple images on a single post or page, the gallery option will show up at the bottom of the listing of images attached to that page. You get a variety of options including how many columns to display and what the thumbnail will link to.
  • When you insert the gallery you will get a shortcode (in your HTML editor you will see the shortcode in brackets [ ] ).

Featured Image:

  • You can set the featured image on a post/page in an option on the right side of your editor window. This will display as the main image for that page, and how it looks (and the required dimensions) will be theme-dependent.
  • Some themes don’t use featured images, some rely on them for the homepage layout, so this is something to consider when choosing your theme. Many themes that have sliders on the homepage will be using featured image option as well.
  • The featured image is also the image that will be associated with your post on Facebook, Google, etc.
  • You can also choose to select an image as your featured image when you upload the image.


There are a lot of plugins that allow you to modify and manipulate your images. A few ideas:

  • NextGEN Gallery creates its own media library
  • IMSanity allows you to specify the maximum file size you want to upload.
  • Vintage JS allows you to make your images look, well, vintage.
  • Add from Server allows you to import media & files into the WordPress uploads manager from the Webservers file.
  • SSDownloads is a plugin that will allow you to require an email address for a file download.
  • JW Player can be nice for flash videos.

Embedded video:

  • You can insert a YouTube link directly into your blog and it will create an embed link automatically.
  • YouTube will give you some options that you can modify and get more specific embed code.
  • If you want more control, WordTube gives you a bunch of configuration options.
  • Append code at the end of your YouTube video to get it to start later in the video. So #t=30s starts the video 30 seconds in. You can change the 30 to any seconds, or put in m instead of s for minutes. Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycLFcMUd64U#t=30s .