The Best Image & Media Library Plugins for WordPress

The WordPress media library is, well, a decent library, but that's about it. Many times we want to do more than just upload, somewhat edit and select an image or other media file. Here is a selection of the best plugins to improve your media library management and display images better, among a few other things.

This post has been updated.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of great plugins to enhance your WordPress Media Library.

While the WordPress media library is decent, you might want to consider upgrading it once your media file count starts to increase.

We’ve actually used some of these plugins ourselves. They’ve helped us become more productive and organized while boosting our site speed and SEO on our websites.

Let’s get started!

Plugin

Main Feature

Benefit

Link

Add folders and categories to your Media Library.

Organization

Add categories to your Media Library.

Organization

Clean up your Media Library from unused or broken media files.

Organization & SEO

Rename your media files.

Organization & SEO

Get your images retina-ready, replace images, regenerate thumbnails, size management and more.

Accessibility & SEO

Optimize your images and make them smaller, ensuring a faster site.

Site Speed

Offload your media from the Media Library.

Site Speed

Easily replace attached media files.

Productivity

Syncronize your Media Library with Lightroom.

Productivity

1. FileBird – WordPress Media Library Folders

FileBird is a user-friendly WordPress media library folders plugin.

With a large user base of 100,000+ active installs, its features are what the majority of users ask for. These features include a drag and drop interface, upload/download media folders, vast 3rd party plugin compatibility, a gallery and document block, and counting.

What sets FileBird apart from other media manager plugins is that it seamlessly fills the gap of WordPress’ shortcomings. It is simple and convenient to explore files via the FileBird folder tree, just as you would do on your computer.

Key features:

  • Drag and drop files and folders
  • Unlimited folders and subfolders
  • High performance: Works smoothly for thousands of files and folders
  • Wide compatibility: WPML, Polylang, WooCommerce, all major themes and image optimization plugins
  • Upload multiple folders: Get the files organized in the same folder structure from your computer to the WordPress media library, all at once
  • One click to download folder in ZIP: Easily keep media backups in folders to use them on multiple websites or online stores
  • Set startup folder: Choose a specific folder to start with, or always back to the previously opened folder to catch up on work
  • 10 ways to sort files and folders

The free version of FileBird allows you to create unlimited folders. Upgrading to the pro version costs you just a one-time fee, and will give you access to excellent features such as advanced sort/search, auto-update, live chat support for 6 months, and lifetime updates.

Price: Free version | Pro Version at $39.

2. Enhanced Media Library

The Enhanced Media Library plugin is a handy one for those who manage a lot of media files. It creates media categories for categorizing and filtering media items in your WordPress dashboard (both new and existing files).

You can add new MIME types, delete existing ones, and point out which file types are allowed to be uploaded.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited media categories / tags
  • Powerful category / tag / author Filters
  • Media items sort options
  • Custom re-order by drag’n’drop
  • Dynamic galleries / glaylists
  • Visual Editing for dynamic galleries (Pro)
  • Unlimited & super-fast bulk edit (Pro)
  • Auto-categorize for post media items (Pro)
  • Advanced search (Pro)
  • MIME Types Control
  • Export / Import for plugin options
  • Multisite ready

Price: Free version | Pro version at $25.

Alternative: Media Library Categories.

3. Media Cleaner

The Media Cleaner plugin from MeowApps finds unused and useless files from both your WordPress media library and uploads directory. To do this, it analyses your entire WordPress install and runs a scan to find how each of your files is being used.

The plugin checks all your post types (posts, pages, portfolios, products, etc), your metadata, your widgets, the theme, and goes the extra mile to resolve shortcodes to find more. It also offers more specific checks to support Page Builders. All this makes it easy to find broken media, unused media/files as well as orphan images (retina) in your system.

Key Features:

  • Detects which media entries (images, PDFs and other files) aren’t used, and deletes them.
  • The plugin analyses your posts, meta, widgets, and more.
  • WooCommerce support
  • Filesystem Scan (Pro)
  • Support for page-builders (Pro)
  • Support for exotic plugins (Pro)
  • Live-site analysis (Pro)
  • WP-CLI (Pro)

Pricing: Free version | Pro version starting from $24.

4. Media File Renamer

Media File Renamer is a WordPress plugin that works by renaming your media files. This can be done automatically (with certain pre-set conditions) or manually. It’s a great tool for SEP purposes as you can keep your WordPress site tidy and avoid file-name-related issues. All references to the file names you change will be updated across your entire site.

The plugin recommends file names based on the title of each media item, which you can automatically assign with one click. The manual version then gives you more freedom to set things up the way you want. For the developers out there, it also offers many actions and filters to automate the renaming process according to your needs.

Key Features:

  • File auto-rename when the title is changed
  • File manual-rename
  • Lock & unlock media entries to avoid further renaming
  • Filters and actions 
  • Transliteration (Pro)
  • Additional auto methods (Pro)
  • Numbered files (Pro)
  • SQL logging (Pro)
  • Syncronize your metadata with the title of the filname (Pro)

Price: Free version | Pro version starting from $24.

5. Perfect Images

Perfect Images (formerly WP Retina 2x) is a great tool to create image files that are required by Retina (or any high-DPI) devices. It displays them to your site visitors accordingly, depending on their device. This ensures that your website’s images look beautiful and sharp on any device.

The retina images are generated automatically (or you can choose to do it manually) and you can control everything from an intuitive dashboard. The plugin does not optimize the images themselves, however, there are tools such as the EWWW Image Optimizer (below) that integrate very well with Perfect Images.

Key Features:

  • Retina images
  • Image size management
  • Disable image threshold
  • Regenerate thumbnails
  • Replace images
  • Support for Retina for full-size (Pro)
  • Support for lazy-loading for your responsive images (Pro)

Price: Free version | Pro version starting from $24.

6. EWWW Image Optimizer

Images oftentimes slow down your WordPress site because they haven’t been optimized the right way (or at all). This speed difference can cause you to lose customers. That’s where EWWW Image Optimizer comes in. It compresses your images to make them faster while maintaining very high quality.

This makes a difference in your site visitors’ experience and has been proven to work on hundreds of thousands of websites all across the world. It increases page speed to improve conversion rates and also provides storage space and bandwidth. It works with both newly uploaded images as well as those that you already have uploaded on your site.  It even includes the option to choose between pixel-perfect compression or high compression options that are visually lossless.

EWWW Image Optimizer will also optimize images uploaded and created by any plugin, and features special integrations with many popular plugins, including the Perfect Images plugin mentioned above.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Images (Standard)
  • Auto-compress (Standard)
  • Auto-WebP (Standard)
  • Lazy load (Standard)
  • Auto-scale (Standard)
  • JS/CSS Optimize (Standard)
  • SWIS Performance (Standard)
  • US & EU CDN (Standard)
  • Global CDN Delivery (Growth)
  • Site speed audits (Infinite)

Price: Free version | Pro version starting from $7/month (includes up to 80% compression).

7. WP Offload Media

WP Offload Media

WP Offload Media enables you to copy files from your WordPress Media Library to Amazon S3, DigitalOcean Spaces, or Google Cloud Storage and rewrite URLs to serve the files from that same storage provider, Amazon CloudFront, or another CDN. 

With the Assets addon, WP Offload Media can identify assets (CSS, JS, images, etc) used by your site and serve them from your preferred CDN.

Key Features:

  • Upload your existing media library
  • Control cloud storage from the media library
  • Serve private media from Amazon cloudfront
  • Remove files from your server
  • Download and remove your files from cloud storage
  • Speed up the delivery of CSS, JS, Fonts and other assets

Price: Free version | Pro version starting from $39.

8. Enable Media Replace

Enable Media Replace

Enable Media Replace is a free, lightweight plugin to replace an image or file in your media library by uploading a new file in its place. This removes the need to delete, rename and re-upload files.

It includes a shortcode that picks up the file modification date and can display it in a post or page.

Key Features:

  • Easily update/replace files that have been uploaded to the WordPress Media Library.

Price: Free.

9. WP/LR Sync

We’ve seen a few plugins above from Meow Apps and this is yet another one. WP/LR Sync is a Lightroom Publish Service for WordPress. It exports all your photos to WordPress, including folders and collections, keeping them synchronized across the two. So, if you make changes to your photos (metadata, watermarks, etc), folders or collections, they will be replicated, keeping your site in sync.

Key Features:

  • Lightroom publish service
  • Exports your photos to WordPress
  • Exports your folders and collections from your Lightroom catalog
  • Keeps it all synchronized

Pricing: Free version | Pro version starting from $24.

Keeping your media library and files in check shouldn’t be an after-thought. Do it right the first time by properly naming and organizing all your files. If you need to make changes further down the line, use the above plugins to do it the right way.

What do you think of this set of plugins? Have you ever needed any of them on your WordPress sites? Comment below to share your experience.

Gabriella Galea
Gabriella Galea
Gabriella is the Content Manager at WP Mayor. Architect by profession, designer by nature, she is dedicated to helping readers navigate the online world of WordPress. You can find her on Twitter @GabriellaGalea.

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8 Responses

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for sharing a list of best media and image library plugins for WordPress. I haven’t tried media library plugin yet. As a WordPress user we should have media library plugin in our pouch for managing media library and files. I will use one of the plugins that you have featured in this post.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Praveen

    1. You’re welcome, Praveen. It’s definitely an area of WordPress that needs more love, so until that happens, these are great tools to use.

  2. Hello Mark! This is exactly what i needed! I was searching for a image media plugin and Real Media Library is just the perfect fit! It helps me in organising images within folder. You can also create, rename, delete or re-order your folders as needed. Thank you! Keep up the good work!

  3. Greetings, Mark

    I appreciate you sharing this list of WordPress plugins for adding media libraries and photo galleries. However, I have not yet tested the media library plugin. As WordPress users, we should have a plugin for managing media libraries and files in our pockets. In this post, you highlighted several plugins that I would like to use.

    Your contribution is greatly appreciated,
    Thanks

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