Thanks to Lisa Coleman, hostess for Bird Weekly Challenge, photographer, and graphic artist, for spending about an hour with me researching to write this post, searching for files, editing and making adjustments to our WordPress Media Files.
Before we start, here’s my main question to you this week. Are you blogging on WordPress.com or WordPress.org? I have done both for almost an equal number of years. My preference for ease of use is WordPress.com because I’m a technophobe. I’d rather concentrate of writing and photography – that’s hard enough.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
I wrote this article experimenting with the media files in WordPress.com. Whether you chose to make changes to them or not, is up to you. The media files for WordPress.org work the same way, but the problem may not stem from the media file.
If you are a .org user, your best help will come from your hosting service. As Sarah found out, her problems stemmed from lack of storage.
I had that problem, and I had a speed of loading problem. Both Bluehost and SiteGround successfully helped me, but I spent way too much money and time with technology experts on the phone. SiteGround provided slightly more responsive, speedy, and knowledgeable service, but I needed their help far too often.
WordPress.com has several levels of service that rival any of the hosts that me my needs and it was completely compatible with my WordPress site. I’m not trying to sell services here friends, just sharing some of my nine years of blogging experience.
Try to Search Your WP Media Files!
Every picture you’ve ever put in any of your posts is in your WordPress files unless you manually delete them.
Uh huh, searching wasn’t as successful as you thought it would be, was it? LOL
Search by First Words of Post Title
When I typed in SS for Sunday Stills. I got everything from “Publishing Process” to “How to Overcome Messed Up Instructions.” Do you see the pattern?
Search by date.
I tried 2012 without quotes and got 108 pictures from every year between 2012 and now.
I tried “2012,” and only 20 pictures appeared.
Guessing from the pattern in my last search, I concluded that if the media contained any date starting with 2 or 20 or 201, it would show up. But I have many more than 108 pictures in the last nine years. So I was at a loss and more than a little irritated.
Search by Subject
I tried searching for history – bad idea – my blog address is tchistorygal.net, which is on EVERY MEDIA FILE!
I read the WordPress help post about searching and editing the Media Library. I still had a lot of experimenting to learn how to find my files and fix them so I could find them again.
Labeling Photos Before They Come to WordPress
I label my photos in Photoshop when I process multiple photos. If your don’t have a name on your files in your computer, when you load the picture into WordPress, you might have a picture called 20140403_230945000_iOS.jpg. This label becomes the title of the picture, or in some cases the alt-text unless you change it manually in WordPress. These files are super hard to find in a search.
Usually the name from my computer describes the picture, not the title of the post. If the title of your picture doesn’t include the title of the post, searching by post title WILL NOT WORK.
You want a specific media file to put in a current post. Search for the post, NOT FOR MEDIA, by categories, tags and even specific words. You WILL find the post.
Now, you found the post which will help you find the media file, just not directly. Finding the post allows you to see the photo information such as the alt text and the description as well as the title.
If you know the alt-text, the title of the photo or the description, you can search the media file to reuse the picture. This can save you hours of work trying to find the original photo in your computer files, if they are not organized, or don’t go back far enough, or the file is stored in drive other than your computer.
Now you know the Alt Text. YAY!
If you find commonalities in the alt-text or titles within the post, this will allow you to know the keyword to search. All the photo files in my post, Willis Tower Joke, had the alt-text of Chicago. Lucky me.
If I think I might want to use the photo again, I can edit it in the post and update the alt-text, or I can go in and edit it in the Grid (probably easier in the long run to add in the description). The description box is missing in the Block edit on your post. However, you can only edit one photo at a time in the grid.
- Add the post title in the Description box.
- Add my name or my brother’s name in the alt-text, title or Description box.
- Add a date in the Description box.
- Add the name of the building or exact location in the Description box.
- Add other tags that are on the post in the Description box.
- Add tags that are on the original photo in your file in the Description box.
Tidbits of Information
- If you reblog a post, you have all the media files from that person’s post.
- When you edit more than one media file, click on it when you’re done so that you don’t have to keep scrolling through it for every file you edit.
- Correct your spelling errors as you find them. The search engine doesn’t allow for mistakes if you search by the correct spelling.
Should You Edit All Your Photo Files?
Lisa Coleman and I both agree that editing all your photo files would be onerous. If you have just organized your photo files on your computer , external hard drive, or online storage it might be easier to add a duplicate if you need that picture.
However, if you can’t find your photos on your computer, these tips will help you find them in WordPress. Once you find them, you might want to take the time to make changes.
Lisa and I both agree, it’s best not to delete files, either.
Frank at Beach Walk Reflections is hosting this weeks Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge. Be sure to link your post to his this week. We will both follow up with them.