[closed] The WP Media Manager is Absolutely Terrible (35 posts)

  1. ursinus
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I love WordPress. I do WordPress sites for a living. I know the platform well, and I come from a background of coding html/css sites in notepad and Dreamweaver. I have to say that as great as WordPress is the media manager is absolutely awful. It is without a
    doubt one of the most awful, horrible, inept, inadequate, pathetic pieces of software I've ever seen. It' absolutely bewildering how such a robust platform has such a completely incompetent, incomplete, inefficient, largely useless interface for such a critical part of the user experience. I literally find it bewildering.

    1. No folders. I know, it's a DB, who cares, there should absolutely be folders, unlimited levels of nesting, etc. I manage sites with 5k + images. It's utterly absurd not to have a folder structure for organization. It's completely insane. Sorry, tags, searching, etc. is a very poor substitute. A massive waste of time.

    2. 20 items per page and only a post.php hack to increase. Are you friggin kidding me? This must be a joke.

    3. Tiny thumbs in the insert dialog. Completely useless.

    etc., etc., etc ad infinitum

    Using the WP media manager is like trying to do a rubik's cube blindfolded in a straightjacket buried under ten feet of sand.

    Sorry to be so reserved and conservative in my critique. I definitely held back considerably.

  2. pixelnate
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I have to agree with (most) of what @ursina is saying. I mean, I have never tried the Rubik's cube thing, but there are serious usability issues with the way media is being handled in the admin. It was so much easier to manage media file imports with the old system before everything was switched to backbone.

    My main gripes:

    - Only 20 viewable items on a page. This really is a ridiculous limitation and if you have hundreds of images it's a terrible pain in the arse to find the one you are looking for. There should be an option in the Settings area that would allow for more items on each page.

    - There is only one way to view the files, a list with a tiny icon. If you are looking for specific images it would be much easier to find them with thumbnail views in sort of a masonry/pinterest sort of way.

    - And during media uploads it is not obvious that you have completed the upload. There is not enough visual cues for the user to understand that their images have finished uploading. All they get is a slider bar that moves to 100%. There should be a flash that indicates the file is uploaded and they should be gently asked to add the meta data that they'll need to find the image later in the huge pile of images that the Media section has become.

    I'm with you, @ursinus, the Media section leaves a lot to be desired. [Unnecessary comments about a forum moderator removed]

  3. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Try using a gallery plugin that is more suited to your needs.

  4. Andrew Nevins
    Forum moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @pixelnate, I'm just posting to thank you on your contributions to the WordPress community.

  5. pixelnate
    Posted 2 years ago #

    That doesn't fix the working feature broken by bad UX decisions by Automattic & Co. I love using WordPress, and the files are saved reliably on the server (where they are organized by folders), but the interface changes are a major step backwards for those that use the feature the most.

    Telling users to use 3rd-party software because you have broken a previously working feature while completely dismissing the issue is not alright.

  6. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    That doesn't fix the working feature broken by bad UX decisions by Automattic & Co

    There were no bad decisions. Just decisions that you do not seem to agree with. With roughly 70+ million users, it was inevitable that the UI team could not please all of the people all of the time. In reality, the number of "complaints" have been extremely small.

    Telling users to use 3rd-party software because you have broken a previously working feature

    I'm flattered that you should think that I managed to do all of that work myself. Sadly, I was only able to help in a very, very, small way. Most of the work was carried out by a very hard-working team of core developers across the WP community who asked repeatedly for feedback over 4 months whilst 3.6 was in beta. Were you able to pass some of your potential issues to them during that period?

    while completely dismissing the issue is not alright.

    No one has dismissed anything. All that has happened is that people have pointed out alternatives.

  7. ursinus
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I don't know how it got this way, all I know is it is almost unusable, up there with Blender in the annals of terrible UIs. And it's not a small thing, working with media is a major task. It lacks almost everything it should have. It is so basic and so difficult to use. The way to fix it is clear and obvious.

    1. (virtual) folders for organization, unlimited nesting, easy drag/drop organization and renaming w/o affecting links. This is so basic!! You can't have a proper graphic-intensive cms without this.
    2. No square thumbs, for God's sake, thumb sizes for choosing
    3. User defined # of items per page, no limit
    4. Full screen insert dialog with actual thumbs
    5. Much better display of file info from within dialogs, it's awful at the moment

    You didn't get complaints because people just suffer through it and are not experts in UI enough to articulate it. I am a UI consultant, and this thing would get a 1/100 if we had to use a scale.

  8. ursinus
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Try using a gallery plugin that is more suited to your needs.

    That's exactly the point. Take a brilliant gallery plugin like Global Gallery by Luca. A marvel of efficiency and UI design, and it is crippled by the horrible WP UI component. Everything is a huge pain and takes ten times longer than it should. There aren't even file names under the useless tiny square thumbnails for god's sake. It's baffling, because the overall WP UI is pretty strong.

    The square thumbs, generally a very bad idea in a cms backed, are a huge extra problem with premium themes, where the dev is often uploading multiple versions with different aspect ratios to use in different preset parts of the theme architecture. It's a mind numbing waste of time when you have hundreds of images to deal with.

  9. Mel Choyce
    Posted 2 years ago #

    20 items per page and only a post.php hack to increase. Are you friggin kidding me? This must be a joke.

    Just an FYI: you can increase the number of media items shown within the screen options panel.

  10. ursinus
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I'm using 3.6.1 and my screen options panel has no setting for this

  11. shaunandrews
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Ursinus, while I think you have some valid points, the way your presenting these issues is not going to get you anywhere.

    I tend to agree that the existing media manager is less than ideal — but its light years ahead of the previous UI for my use case. I understand that this may not be true for you.

    While I get that folders seem like the best solution for organizing a large library of media items, you (and I) don't know that for sure. I tend to think tagging, and smart filters is way better for the majority of use cases. Again, I get that you may disagree. But neither one of us has any proof that either concept is better than the other.

    Your best option is to present some solutions to these problems (some of which you've done), and rally a team together to fix them. New features in WordPress (3.8 and likely forward) will be built as plugins. Build a prototype. Test it. Learn. Get some proof that folders are the way to go.

    And, even if your plugin never makes it into core — its still available for the rest of the community to use.

    You have the power to take the reins and make things better — this is one of the fundamental "things" that makes WordPress great.

  12. ursinus
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I manage several sites with 1k+ images. In my opinion tagging is a huge waste of time and nowhere near as efficient as organization by folders. I've been doing graphics heavy sites for 14 years now, pre and post wordpress, and have 16 years as a professional photographer doing captions and keywords for tens of thousands of images. I think this above position is a matter of fact, born out of thousands of hours of experience. If I had any doubt I would have never posted that.

    Folders aside, the media manager is deficient in almost any area you can name. Everything about it is poorly designed and inefficient. I love WordPress in general, just calling it like I see it, though I realize for others it may not be such a pain.

  13. shaunandrews
    Posted 2 years ago #

    In my opinion tagging is a huge waste of time and nowhere near as efficient as organization by folders.

    I don't know why you feel tagging is less efficient that folders. You could tag 1,000+ images just as easily as you could move them into a folder. A huge benefit of tagging is that a media item could have multiple tags. Its confusing to think of having a media item live inside multiple folders. Think of how Gmail uses labels, versus Outlook's folders.

    I think this above position is a matter of fact...

    You can't use the phrase "I think" and then follow it by declaring it a "fact." The truth is you don't know. Folders may be easier. Tagging may be just as easy, but perhaps more useful. The only way to truly know is to build it, test it, and repeat.

    Everything about it is poorly designed and inefficient. I love WordPress in general, just calling it like I see it, though I realize for others it may not be such a pain.

    I'm glad to see your realization that your problems are not shared by everyone. And I'll repeat — if you think the media manager is so terrible, please do get involved and help to make it better. That may be through a few quick sketches, a thorough blog post, a masterful design comp, or a fully baked plugin.

  14. arnieswap
    Posted 2 years ago #

    It's really bad. It's a nightmare to find the previously uploaded image and I have over 4-5k images. Search is terrible - it find nothing. So I have to re-upload same image over and over again wasting space. And I din't find any decent replacement of Media Manager.

  15. cyberviews
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Hello everybody,

    I am working with Joomla for quite some years now and I always felt not really happy about WordPress as a CMS.

    I had to develop a blog for a client for who I developed a site in Joomla and he wanted to have the blog done in WP, because "everybody tells me that a blog has to be a WordPress installation!" (although Joomla can do exactly the same).

    I had my troubles but manged to make a decent theme with all the files, and extra codes to make it as comfortable for my client as possible (although the theme logic is no exsiting logic for me).

    But I still don't understand the hype about this software.

    For me it is, still, not a mature Content Management System. It is a Blog System and everybody is trying so desperately to push it to the CMS level.

    The popularity comes from wordpress.org where every little child is able to create an account and to pick some presets and to say "Hey I am a webmaster! I have my own blog! I am soooo cool!"

    So clients are more and more persisting to have their business websites with all the bells and whistles like web-meetings, shops and bookings in WordPress instead of a decent CMs like Drupal, Contao, Typo3 and, yes, Joomla.

    So I obey to the wishes of my clients and to the need to earn money and I started this holidays again with WordPress.

    Loads of things which comes native with Joomla have to be realized with plugins or coding which are found after ages of searching with Google.

    This shows me that WordPress is still adolescent when it comes to being a grown-up CMS.

    I am using 3.8 now making a "copy" of my current site just to practise. I want to organize my portfolio and create folders. One folder for each client I want to show on my site with all the screenshots of that project in that specific folder.


    And I want it MY WAY and I hate to be ruled by some coding which tells me what to do and how to do it.

    So Ursinus is absolutely right that the media handling of WordPress is absolute crap [Expletive moderated].

    The media Manager (in fact this name is a joke for this stupid solution. It should be called "The Chaotic Clueless Media Container " is the worst solution I have ever seen.

    And I am not even able to play with the code to crack the WordPress dictatorship concernning managing (oh well) media.

    In Joomla there is also (of course) a media manager and this manager is entitled to be called a MANAGER.

    One sees the structure of the folders inside the folder "images", which comes automatically with each installation and one can create folder, delete folders and rename folders.

    One can create folders per FTP and they will appear in the media manager as well as the uploaded files in that folder.

    Why is that not possible in WordPress? Is there a good reason or argument not to offer this option in WordPress?

    Just enable webmasters, developers and all the people who are working in the backend to create their won folders and to upload the files they need in them.

    I am looking now for three days to find a propper solution without gallery extensions (I want to manage images and other files without the burden of extra php- and other files coming with this extension!

    Maybe my logic is different than from WordPress users but in my opinion this issue is just awkward and the developers of WordPress should be ashamed.


    Rob van Linda

  16. visnevskis
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I guess the categorical opinions come from fact, that people invest time going wordpress, thinking of such feature as obvious must-have. And though I don't think WordPress developers owe anything to anyone, I do agree with most of what is said.

    I'm waiting a year already for something decent to appear regarding media management. Now I have to decide what I'll use. It seems people grasp the problem as some half-decent plugins begin to appear, but using plugins for basic functionality is quite destructive for system. You won't get the devil back once it's out. If WordPress will be only a brand and functionality will be elsewhere, the title will go to someone else sooner or later. Someone will put together an out-of-the-box working solution thus eventually forking the idea of WordPress. No jingle of simplicity and stylish backend will save it then.

    Anyway - perhaps not perfect, but anyone is free to comment:

  17. Mike Price
    WP Engine Tech Support
    Posted 2 years ago #

    While I do understand the original poster's gripe, there are some wonderful plugins that actually fix the issues he has with WordPress Media manager. Here are some great plugins

    http://wordpress.org/plugins/media-grid/ (see your media library as grid images instead of thumb, author, etc-easily toggle between the two views)



  18. cromermusic
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I think the new Media in WP is good. Just name your images before you upload them and you'll find them easy. I have almost a thousand images in my blog and I have no trouble finding them because I've named them all.

  19. cyberviews
    Posted 2 years ago #


    Well yes, but there are loads of people who have other things to do.

    My clients have a business and their primary job is to take care of their business.

    They want an easy solution with no hassle or too much learning about how to maintain their websites. They pay my bils so I need solutions for them which are extremely easy, because their skills lay soewhere else.

    And even flat files CMS like "GetEasy", which is very similar to WordPress, have a media management which allows users to create folders and subfolders.

    So the request for a better media manager is in fact quite ridiculous because a system which is used so often should have this in it's core.

    It is just due to the [Demeaning remark moderated] that it isn't there yet.

    Very unprofessional to my opinion.

  20. cbh
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I'm generally OK with the file management capabilities of the media manager - at least as far as the way they work to show what images you have in a particular page or article. A lot of it also has to do with the way one organizes file naming when setting up image to upload - that helps with the search function. The thing that I find annoying, though, is that the image fields don't map well as far as metadata is concerned from programs such as Lightroom - metadata for caption in that program ends up in Description in WordPress, which, of course, is useless as far as captioning large quantities of images - which, for my portfolio site, I need to have. I've installed plugins that others have mentioned that do this, but really, this kind of thing should, IMHO, conform to the standards out there for metadata processing. Particularly since these plugins seem to work well within WordPress itself, but not so well when using the image manager with particular tools and thems - the Studiofolio theme comes to mind as it's the one I'm working with here at the moment. Core functionality rather than some extension might resolve these kinds of incompatibilities, as I can't really expect plugins and theme developers to necessarily build tools that work with each other. I'd like to think though, that if the functionality was built into WordPress itself, it'd be more likely to work in themes, etc.


  21. Frug
    Posted 2 years ago #

    To call the built in wordpress media "library" a library at all is to give it too much credit. Failing to provide proper management of files remains (in my opinion obviously) the biggest failure of wordpress.

  22. cyberviews - Please stop swearing and calling moderators dictators.

    The developers care. In fact, we have a lot of tickets that need even more expert coders to help out.


    As of 9 months ago, the decisions has been to not create subfolders for media: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/23594

  23. visnevskis
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Sure, we all are people and what is requested takes a lot of effort that can't be proven as worth-it until someone actually tries it, but making the "decision" and closing the conversation so it's not public how many are for it is a very characteristic dictatorship trait.
    Such system demonizes the deciding end in eyes of discussion participants and creates a sense of conspiracy of some sort.

  24. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    making the "decision" and closing the conversation so it's not public how many are for it is a very characteristic dictatorship trait.

    The conversation obviously was not closed as it's happening (again) here. Only the Trac ticket was closed. That is simply the way in which Trac works.

    Again, please drop references to "dictatorship". Such name calling is detrimental to the community. If you want a greater say in the way that WordPress is developed, then join one or more of the development teams. That way, you can have real input.

  25. Trac can still be commented on, actually, and it's very public, but can be hard to find. That's why I linked you to it, so you could learn how we process things that move from support/ideas to practical code, and then onward to new features. :) you're welcome to join, though I suggest everyone remember that calling names rarely needs you positive results, no matter the CMS. :)

  26. visnevskis
    Posted 2 years ago #


  27. M. S. O'Bryan
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Like others here I would like to see some improvements made to the way media is handled in WP to include the use of folders. Obviously (I would think) this need/wish/desire is known to the fine folks working on the next iterations/versions of WP and so I'm curious if there are any current plans/projects/updates that might be included in near-future updates?


  28. I don't know about any specific plans for the media manager (aside from some neat Audio/Visual work) but this is a great place to see what's going on in development.


  29. johnmackay61
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Just for perspective, I have at present 14,995 image files in a single WP install. I use a strict naming convention and I am able to search for files and find them instantly, as opposed to navigating through folders by successive http request until i find the right image which from my perspective would be really tedious. Because I have a strict naming convention I don't even bother with tags.

    I am interested in this discussion however as I am about to let other authors upload their own images and will need to look at:

    1/. programatically forcing the naming convention; and
    2/. restricting authors to browsing just their own images.

    Off the top of my head the first one is easy to implement using Wp Toolset, the second one am currently looking into when i came across this post.

  30. jonazu
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @johnmackay61: Can you give a little explanation about your naming convention? I'm curious about how you organize so many pictures.

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