Can I reorganize my WordPress Media Library?

The short answer: No.

It is true, the WordPress Media Library is like one of those shoe boxes from the old days filled with pictures. Photos are added on top of the previous ones. There is no way to find a photo by tag or date taken. Well, it isn’t as bad as it seem, but first back to the answer.

The Media Library contains your images that you uploaded for use in posts. If you reorganized the contents of the library, moving photos into new folders by subject or some other indexing method, the URL of the images would change. Since the current URLs are used in your blog posts, those links would be broken. Your old posts would be all messed up. (That is not entirely correct, but I will leave that as a mystery statement for now.) Do not try to reorganize your Media Library even when it gets close to your storage limit with thousands of pictures. But don’t be disappointed that you can’t reorganize your library.

Here is the good news

Clearly you want to reorganize so you can find an image quickly. You actually can. Your photos are in reverse order of upload date. The most recent is at the top of the library. The very first image you uploaded is last. By default WordPress creates a folder for each month in which you upload images. You can easily reach any of those folders by clicking the All dates field. A drop-down menu lets you pick the folder for any month.

askludwig-170117-01This brings up the photos you uploaded in the selected month.

But wait, there is more!

askludwig-170117-06There is a Search field. Just type in that field and the images with matching text in their data fields, like Title or Caption, will be displayed.

The illustration here shows that the text “fl” was typed in the Search field. Two images come up.

Here is the first one:

askludwig-170117-04The matching “fl” is in the word “Butterflies” – the text does not have to be at the start of a word, it can be inside! The other images was a match because the word “Reflections” was in the title. Pretty neat, wouldn’t you agree? See, you really don’t need to reorganize!

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

How do I get to my WordPress Media Library?

Two ways come to mind. Reach in through a window or “walk” in through the dashboard. Sorry about this levity, but really these are routes to your WordPress Media Library. Let’s take the formal path first: Go to your WordPress Dashboard. The way there is by going in your browser to address yourblog/wp-admin, where “yourblog” is the web address of your blog.

If your blog is on WordPress.com, that is, the address is like blogname.wordpress.com, you can access the Dashboard by going to wordpress.com, click My Sites and scroll down to the bottom in the left pane. There click WP Admin.

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Notice the red arrow in the illustration above. It shows the URL of your Dashboard when you move the pointer over the WP Admin link.

In the Dashboard click Media in the left pane, or Library in the drop-down menu.

Here you can also see, in the lower left of your browser window, the URL of your Media Library.

Yes, of course, I could have told you about this address first, but it is just a little more complicated, that is longer, and harder to remember.

Your Media Library is the online location where your images, and some other media, are stored for use in your blog posts.

The storage order is by upload. The earliest item is at the bottom of this possibly very big “shoe box”. The most recently uploaded image is at the top.

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Now I did tease with another way to get into your Media Library. It is a little convoluted and not at all intuitive, but for some tasks it is the easier way.

Once again you can start at WordPress.com. Click My Sites, then Blog Posts. Either open to edit an existing post or click Add. This gets you into the online WordPress Editor.

Click the circled plus icon to insert content, and a window to your Media Library opens. You can pick an image to insert into your post, but you can do a number of other tasks. We’ll save those for another article.

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Next question, please.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

When I add a photo to a WordPress post, where does it go?

That is really a good question because images do not go “into a post”. askludwig-170114-02You actually know the answer, you just might not be aware of it. When you prepare a post, starting at WordPress.com, and you click the circled-plus icon to “insert contents”. It opens an overlay that shows your “Media Library“. It will look a bit like this:

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You can click on an image and then you’ll get an “Insert” button. This tells you already that your images are stored in your “Media Library“. If you wish to insert a photo that is on your computer you would click Add New. That opens another window, this time one that shows the files on your computer, and you can select the photo to upload to your Media Library.

As soon as you have selected the image and clicked Open, the file window closes and you are back to the Media Library, but now it shows the newly uploaded photo and it is already selected for you. Just click Insert and it is in your post.

There is another hint in the insert-option window. Take a look at the illustration above once more, but look in the lower left corner. There is tells you how much of the storage space you are using.

With your WordPress blog account you also get 3 GB of storage space. That is where your images are stored. In the “basement” of WordPress, I should probably have said in the WordPress server “cloud”.  If you are using a self-hosted blogging account it is just a bit different since you will be storing your images on servers at your hosting service.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

How do I show my copyright for photos?

When you press down on the shutter release you have established a copyright in the resulting image. You may then state your copyright. Many people will place an extensive copyright statement on the About page of their website.

The EXIF data of photos is used generally to also show a copyright notice. You can add it by right-clicking the file and selecting Properties. You will find a place for the notice. I generally use this as my copyright notice:

Copyright © 2016 Ludwig Keck. All rights reserved.

If the copyright symbol is not readily available, the accepted alternate method is to enclose the letter “c” in parentheses, thus: (c). You can see this in the illustration here:

msohtmlclipclip_image001.pngIn my case here the copyright notice was placed into the EXIF, properties, fields by my camera. It does not have the symbol © hence I use the alternate form. Also notice that in my photo files the notice appears in two locations, the Copyright field and the Comments field. Keep in mind that any thief can easily delete or replace this information. Not all cameras allow for this feature. For photos from other cameras I add the notice with a bulk select and opening the Properties dialog and I copy or type the notice in. I also add my name in the Authors field.

At the bottom of every blog post I add “boilerplate” like this:

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Note the short form copyright notice (there are links above and below this notice to my “gateway” sites).

All the notices don’t make a bit of difference to thieves. Images are still stolen all the time. I protect a little against that by only posting low resolution images (generally about 1200px on the big side). At least this will make the images not suitable for printing or where better resolution is required.

You can also register a photo, or a collection of photos, with the U. S. Copyright Office or equivalent agencies in other countries. The process takes some time. In the U.S.A. there is no charge, however a copy of each image must be supplied to the Copyright office. I have done that only with books, not my individual photos. Such registration gives you some additional rights and protections that come into play only in law suits. You have to go after the bad guys in court, nobody else does that for you. It is costly as you can imagine.

I should also point out that just because you have taken the photo you may not be fully entitled to use it any way you like. The little thumbnail photos above show people in recognizable form. That entitles them to protection of their own likenesses. I did not get “model releases” for these photos and therefore I am rather limited with what I can do. I can use them in blogs as those are “news stories”, but I can’t sell those images as “wall art” or for use in advertising or what-have-you.

Please note that I have explained here what I do. I can not tell you what you should do as I am not a lawyer and thus not qualified to give legal advise. Consult with a lawyer to learn what is appropriate in your own case.

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck