How to Insert Media

We’re almost through my account of the basics of blogging and this week covers inserting media in WordPress. Most content management systems will have similar functionality, if not consider using one that does.

One reason I’m covering basics is there are additional options available depending upon your theme and plug-ins. Today I’ll keep it simple and consider how to insert an image.  There are hundreds of plug-ins that help you present images in various ways such as galleries and sliders.

How to Upload and Manage Media

So, open the post editor and below where it says “Enter title here” you will see a button that reads Add Media. Press it and the media library pops up.

If your blog is established you will see all the media you have previously uploaded to your website. You may see a mixture of images, videos, audios and pdfs. These are a part of your site and can be used as many times as you like on as many posts or pages as you like.

If you have a new image on your computer and you want to upload it to your site, click on the Upload Files tab. Then you can either drag and drop new files into the library or select files by pressing the button in the centre of the screen.

Reviewing and Editing

Return to the Media Library and then click on a thumbnail to select it. It highlights in blue, a tick appears in the top right of the thumbnail and a new section headed Attachment Details appears on the right. You can adjust the attachment details whilst the thumbnail is highlighted in blue.

If you hold down the shift key and click on another thumbnail, you will see the tick remains in the top right of the previous thumbnail whilst the new one is highlighted and you can work on its attachment details. This way you can add multiple images to a post.

Below the heading Attachment Details, you will see the image and then to the right some information about it, ie the file name, today’s date, the file size and the image dimensions. There are two links to edit the image and delete it.

If you press Edit Image, you enter a new screen where you can crop the image and rotate or flip it. On the right you can scale the image to the size you want or control the cropping to retain the ratio of length and breadth of the image.

Adding Meta-Data

Click cancel to return to the previous screen and look at the next 5 boxes.  These include meta-data, information about your media.  This helps your readers and also assists search engine optimisation (SEO).

  1. The first, marked URL contains the image’s unique url. This means if a visitor clicks on the image they will be taken to a full size version. This might help them see its detail. The url is also helpful if you want to insert the image elsewhere on the site, eg in a sidebar.
  2. The Title is the words that appear when you hover over an image. You can add extra information in the title, for example I often use the title for information about who owns the image.
  3. Caption is text that appears below the inserted image. This is the information it is essential for all readers see.
  4. Alt text has various purposes. If for some reason the image fails to download, the alt text will appear in its place, it is the words that users reading the site with a screen reader will hear and some search engines use it. This is the one box you must complete because it helps screen readers interpret the site. You need just a few words to describe the image. If the image includes text, it should be included in the alt text.
  5. Description is sometimes called a long description because the alt text is the short description. Sometimes you need more than a few words to describe an image, for example a diagram with a lot of text.

Inserting Media in Your Post

Below this you will see Attachment Display Settings. Alignment determines whether the image is on the left, right or centred on the page. Link to determines where the visitor goes if they click on the image, ie the full size image (which is the default), the page it’s on or you can insert another url. If you set it to none, then you can’t click on it. Finally there are four size options. You can try these out and decide which size you prefer.

Click insert into post to add the image to your post. If you hover over the image in the post editor you can either delete the image or edit it, eg to change the display size.


One word of warning.  For some reason copyright is a major issue with images.  My general rules are (1) I never use an image unless I am 100% certain I have permission to use it, and (2) where someone else owns the image, I acknowledge it, usual through the title.  See my post about copyright for more details.

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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PDF Files in WordPress - December 18, 2014 Reply

[…] the editor and then click the Add Media button towards the top left. Then click the Upload Files tab. You can drag and drop a pdf file from your […]

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