Images are likely to be key components of most posts and pages on your website. Including plenty of images breaks up your text and makes it easier to read, adds visual appeal, and can help clarify or add value to your written content.
Adding images to a post or page and optimizing them for search engines requires attention to detail, to ensure that all the necessary steps are followed. However, once you’ve practiced importing, optimizing, and formatting your images for display, the process becomes very straightforward.
In this article, we’ll explain how to import images to WordPress, and tweak them so they’re as effective as possible. Then we’ll discuss how to manage and troubleshoot your WordPress Media Library. Let’s get started!
Importing Images into WordPress
Importing images to WordPress is the first step in adding them to your site. There are a few methods for doing this, each of which is simple enough for WordPress users of all skill levels to manage. We’ll start by explaining how to import images directly into your Media Library.
The Media Library is a helpful tool for importing, organizing, and managing the images on your site. To access it, select Media in your admin dashboard:
You can then navigate to the library itself, where all the images you’ve imported are stored. Alternately, you can select Add New to be taken directly to the file uploader:
To add new images to your media library, you can drag files over from your desktop, or click on the Select Files button to choose from files that are saved on your computer. Once you’ve uploaded an image, you’ll see a thumbnail of it on the same screen.
If you navigate to your Media Library now, you’ll see that your new image has been added. You can also upload images here, by clicking on the Add New button:
If you prefer, you can import images while editing a post or page. Start by adding a new image block:
You’ll be prompted with three options for inserting an image. You can drag an image from your computer files or upload one – either method will add the image to both the block and your Media Library. You can then add a caption, edit the image’s size, and include other key details:
You can also place images that are already uploaded to your site, by selecting the Media Library button and navigating to the second tab:
You can use any combination of these methods that feels most comfortable to you. Often, it’s easier to add individual images to posts and pages while you’re working on them. On the other hand, if you need to upload images in bulk, it can be simplest to do so directly through the Media Library.
Optimizing WordPress Images for Search
Of course, simply uploading your images isn’t enough. You’ll also want to optimize them, to ensure that they perform at their best.
There are two main components to optimizing your images. First, you’ll want to make sure the file sizes aren’t too large, which can slow down your site. Scaling your images down using a plugin or other image compression tool, such as Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer, keeps your site fast and easy to use.
In addition, you’ll also want to optimize your images for search engines, to improve the chance that your content will show up in search results. One of the best ways to do this is to add ‘alt text’ to each image. This will be displayed to users who can’t see your images, and used by search engines to determine what they are all about. You can read more about image optimization in our resource guide on the subject.
Adding Images to Pages and Sliders
Incorporating many images into a single post or page without cluttering up the available space is often difficult. Yet there are many reasons you might want to use a significant number of images, such as to build a portfolio or a photo album.
Using sliders to display multiple images on a single page is a smart way to keep your site looking sleek and organized. What’s more, there are many plugins that will help you create image sliders. Just remember to optimize the individual images in your slider, in order to keep loading times down.
WordPress Lightbox Images
Lightboxes display images in a full-screen format, while dimming the other elements on the page. This feature is useful for enabling users to closely view one image in a gallery at a time.
For sites with important visual elements, whether that’s product images or pieces in a portfolio, lightboxes can direct visitors’ attention exactly where you want it to go. For more information, check out our resource page on lightboxes, which includes several plugins and themes that will help you add them to your site.
Cleaning WordPress Media Library
It’s easy to import images to your Media Library and then forget about them. However, keeping your library lean by eliminating duplicate and unused images offers a multitude of benefits, from preventing slow loading times to simplifying media management.
On our dedicated resource page, you’ll find more details on the benefits and methods of cleaning up your Media Library regularly. We’ve also included some plugins that can help streamline the task for you.
Troubleshooting WordPress Media Library
The media library is, generally speaking, a reliable system for importing and using images on your WordPress site. That being said, it’s possible you might run into some trouble with certain Media Library functions.
If that’s the case, our resource page on troubleshooting your WordPress Media Library offers solutions to several of the more common issues you may encounter. Most problems are easy to solve, meaning you can get back to creating and editing content quickly.
The Ultimate WordPress Digital Experience
WordPress is one of the most widely-used platforms on the web. No matter what kind of site you need, WordPress is capable of helping you create one with perfectly-optimized and beautifully-displayed images.
What’s more, here at WP Engine we provide web hosting, resources, and a support system to WordPress users of all kinds. Our plans offer a variety of features to help you maintain your site, and bring the ultimate digital experience to your users!