Textual content is no longer enough to entice users. While this may seem like a recent trend, the importance of rich media was analyzed in as early as 2011. Websites need to have a mix of texts, images, videos, and other types of evolved rich media like GIFs and vines. Only then can they attract readers and give them what they need.
But this need to publish richer and creative content comes with the responsibility of handling them. You need to be able to access and manage these media files from your website backend. However, the native WordPress media library isn’t user-intuitive enough for some basic functions like sorting, categorizing, or editing. Which is why you need a media library management plugin that helps you declutter your media library and keep it organized. Before we go through the best solutions available, let’s first understand why exactly you need a media library management plugin.
What Does a Media Library Management Plugin Do?
Imagine an e-commerce website that does dropshipping and has about 100 products in its inventory. Assuming that each of these products has at least five images, that’s about 500 different images. Add to that the images used for social media, blog posts, demo videos, and some infographics that show how certain products are supposed to be used.
For a website administrator, managing this large repository of media files can be daunting. Sure, the in-built search and editing options available in the WordPress dashboard are helpful. But what do you do when you want to edit them, delete them in bulk, or optimize them for SEO?
Media library management plugins to the rescue! Let’s take a look at the top five plugins based on user reviews, critical analysis, and usability.
Note: Before trying any of these out, we recommend backing up your website. Plugin incompatibility issues may break your website. With a backup in place, you can rest assured that you can restore your website back to normal at any time. If you do not already have a backup plugin, consider BlogVault.
Top 5 Media Library Management Plugins
A list of the top five tools – all available in the WordPress plugin store – ranked based on their features and quality.
FooGallery is loved by website owners looking to add an extra touch of style and color to their content. In addition to the basic media management functionality, FooGallery can also create beautiful galleries. These galleries can be easily inserted in between textual content to make your visitors stay on your website longer and therefore increase the engagement rate.
Let’s say you run a photography website. You want to showcase photos taken in different settings and styles. This customization can help you present your work in different styles and give your visitors a better idea about your photography skills and range.
Pro Tip: It works great with other photos and editing plugins like a Lightbox (FooBox, for example). So, if you own photography or a design website, this is the plugin to go for. Both FooGallery and FooBox have gallery features that help your media gallery stay organised for optimal use.
This is on top of our list because of its stylish Windows-like interface and smooth user experience with a drag-and-drop functionality. After installing it on your WordPress website, it will automatically take over as the default media manager, collecting the existing info from the WordPress library.
FileBird lets you tag your files and categorize them into folders and subfolders. This way you can create different folders for different product types (and sections, depending upon the type of your website). The drag-and-drop feature is a no-brainer but what makes it the #1 choice for most is its compatibility with eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce.
Available in multiple languages including Spani
sh and Mandarin, there are two FileBird plans: Free and Pro. The Free version allows you to create only 10 folders, so if you have a huge website with hundreds of sections, we recommend going for the Pro version.
Pro Tip: Their customer support is fantastic. So, if you have a query, drop a line on the WordPress repository or Facebook page.
This is a no-nonsense media management tool. No complex features, no frills – just simple management of a media library. Built for beginners, it is a cool tool that helps you manage your media using folders and subfolders
The biggest feature of MediaMatic is that it has a single permalink for files. This means that you can change the location of an image and its URL will remain the same. Very intuitive, isn’t it?
Unlike FileBird, there are no limitations in the Lite version. But if you need tagging and bulk editing features you need to get the Premium version. If you deal with a variety of content types, we recommend MediaMatic.
Pro Tip: Based on user reviews, we recommend using this plugin if you own a recipe blog, as its user base is largely made up of food bloggers.
Most plugins listed above depend on the file name for their search indexing. Media Library Assistant makes use of ALT attributes, slugs, and image captions to make it easier for users to search. Since there are limitations in file naming, you can also track them based on these extra elements. Moreover, it also allows for batch editing of ALT and title attributes, a feature that will make a digital marketer love this app.
Its advanced capability with support for WPML and Polylang multilingual plugins is a feature that attracts advanced users. It is also compatible with Jetpack, making it one of the best media management tools around.
There are a lot of features packed in so if you decide to go with this, we recommend reading the documentation for optimum use.
This is yet another media library management plugin that focuses on an easy interface. At first glance, it looks very similar to the native WordPress media library tool. But what sets it apart from its competitors is the category feature. After the plugin is installed, you instantly obtain Media Categories for categorizing and filtering media items. So, when you want a specific infographic you can search for it and the Enhanced Media Library will fetch it for you through the category search.
It also allows usage of shortcodes and the creation of playlists and slideshows which can help you display media in a much better way. This is only the second plugin on this list that goes beyond the basic concept of a library management tool.
Pro Tip: This plugin is not often updated, so it might help to assess if you really need its features. Alternatively, use any of the other four plugins on this list.
Bonus Plugin: WordPress Real Media Library
As a bonus media management plugin, we’ve included WordPress Real Media Library. This plugin is only available on Code Canyon, but it’s worthwhile including in this list.
Real Media Library allows you to organize your media into categories in your library. You can create, rename and reorder folders in your media library and then drag and drop your images into the folders. You can filter when inserting media or upload directly to folders.
Real Media Library also works with FooGallery Pro so you can load galleries from your Real Media Library folders.
There you have it – the five best media library management plugins ruling the WordPress market today. While each of them has one or more defining features, all of them are capable of the basic functionality. And, they all do a neat job at it.
If you are in a dilemma between two different plugins, we recommend installing and checking them one after another. You can then continue to use the free version of the plugin that you like and then decide to upgrade depending upon your requirements. But before you do any of that, make sure you back up your site.
We are always trying to provide the best tips and tricks to our readers. We would love to hear from you about your choice of the best media library management plugin. Let us know in the comments.