Extend the WordPress Media Library With These Plugins

Gone are the days when site content was only about text. Today, different media elements have made the web more visual than ever. The Instagram users are overtaking Twitter with a major rise in videos and infographics which clearly depicts the improved user experience with new media elements. Long paragraphs of text still seem fine may be for academics and for the purpose of research, but site visitors find them dull and boring.

Images and videos make your blog content engaging, they build a more personal connection, break up large pieces of text, and highlight the most important aspects of a post. It’s no wonder why the demand for free stock photos has dramatically increased over the past few years.

WordPress powers more than a quarter of the websites on the internet and a major credit is owed to its robust media library. Here, the media elements are not only stored but can also be edited, browsed or deleted if required.

The core team has significantly improved the functionality of media library during the previous updates in the last year or so. Despite all these facts, a room for extension always exist. There are certain scenarios where users want media files to be handled with greater ease or at an advanced level that’s exactly when media library plugins come in handy. Our free WordPress plugin repository contains more than a 1000 plugins that you can use for extending the media library component.

That’s what this post is about. I have hand-picked a few good media library plugins which can extend the functionality of WordPress Media Library.

WordPress Media Library

Every media file which you upload to a WordPress site can be accessed from the media library. Just like Posts and Pages, it is yet another menu inside the admin panel which manages web elements like images, videos, audio, and for some cases even documents.

You can view, edit and manage them all from one place.You can access this section from the sidebar of the dashboard through Media > Library. Users can search for images by file type, date uploaded and keyword. WordPress media library is a full-fledged file manager system, but it is also very flexible and customizable. That’s why you can integrate various plugins to raise the bar of its functionality.

Extending WP Media Library

Let’s take a stab at it and find out what plugins can help us extend the media library.

Enhanced Media Library

enhanced media library

Enhanced Media Library plugin is a complete file manager solution for your media elements. If you have to manage a lot of media files, then this plugin is quite handy.

  • Categories: It creates multiple categories for the media items and later adds the ability to filter your files w.r.t categories. You can assign a category during the upload process which means both new and existing media items can be categorized.
  • Extendibility: Enhanced media library includes several plugin filters which help you sort images according to file types e.g. audio, video, PDF, etc. Likewise, you can also adjust which filters will appear in the Grid and List view modes. The plugin is fully compatible with the native WordPress shortcodes and other custom post types.
  • Export/Import: The plugin settings also include an export/import option which helps you move media files to another website. It offers an incredible support. It also has a Pro version which provides more advanced features and costs about $25.

Media Library Assistant

media library assisstant

Media Library Assistant amps up the media library feature-set by introducing multiple intuitive characteristics.

  • Content Templates: It provides excellent content templates which let you create value from multiple data sources and then mix the literal text with these data values. Finally, it tests for empty values and selects among two or more outputs accordingly.
  • Shortcodes: The main highlight of this plugin is its shortcodes for advanced gallery settings, most-used media terms and displaying hierarchical taxonomy terms.
  • Formats & Info: Once installed, the users can know where a particular media file is used on your site and gets additional information about file size and image dimensions. The plugin is capable of processing IPTC, EXIF, and PDF metadata so that you can know about when and where your images were created.
  • So Many Features: Media library assistant plugin also takes full control over post MIME types, file upload extensions/MIME types, and file type icon images. Similarly, to add options like slideshows, thumbnail strips, etc. it integrates with Photonic Gallery, Jetpack, and other third-party plugins. The plugin is multilingual and extends complete support for all taxonomies.

Media Library Categories

media library categories

Media Library Categories plugin adds the ability to use categories in the media library. You can also add subcategories to your media files.

  • Light Weight: The plugin is quite lightweight and straightforward in functionality.
  • Simple Categories: When you hit the Activate button, a drop-down list of categories will appear in the media library. From here you can change categories for multiple media items in a few clicks.

Media from FTP

media for ftp

Media from FTP is a versatile plugin which registers files to media library that are uploaded by FTP.

  • FTP Uploads Recognition: It creates a thumbnail for every image file and metadata for images, audio, and video.
  • Date Change & More: The plugin allows you to change the date and time of media files which you have uploaded to your website. It also registers the Exif data to the file captions.
  • Command Line Execution: There are several Schedule options which function periodically. Media from FTP also supports command line execution which makes the plugin developer friendly. The feature to export the file to a CSV format is there as well.


From the simple uploading of media files to the sophisticated features of compression, WordPress media library plugins are making the lives of WordPress admins quite easy especially for folks who need more custom features for media elements. In this post, I have discussed a few good plugins that can help you manage media files more intuitively.

You can pick any of these and make your website visually stunning as well as more easy to manage. How many of you use a Media Library related plugin on a regular basis? Which one is it? Let us know in the comments below.

Finally, you can catch all of my articles on my profile page, and you can follow me or reach out at Twitter @mrahmadawais; to discuss this article. As usual, don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments below, and I’ll aim to respond to each of them.


Ahmad Awais

Ahmad Awais

I am a senior Full Stack WordPress Developer, WP Core Contributor, Front-end Fanatic and an accidental writer. I love to write, talk, build, and share everything about WordPress. You can reach out to me at Twitter @MrAhmadAwais.

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