Intermediate WordPress User

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Managing Settings: Media

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How does WordPress store images?

This short video will give us an overview of managing our media settings. Visiting the Media Library lets you view and filter through all your media items. But do you know how WordPress stores images? To understand that, we need to go to “Settings” and click on “Media.” WordPress automatically generates three sizes when you upload an image: thumbnail, medium, and large. But you might be asking, “Why?” If you upload a large image, WordPress resizes it to fit these categories to improve site speed. Some themes can instruct WordPress on which image size to use in various locations, such as featured images on posts or thumbnails in a blog listing.

Selecting resolution size

You will notice that when I add an image to a page, the large size is added by default, as it is a reduced file size compared to the original image I added. When selecting the right resolution size for your images, it’s important to consider the intended size of the image on your website. For example, if you have a photo that you want to use as a banner at the top of your website, using the medium or thumbnail resolution would result in a pixelated appearance. In contrast, thumbnail sizes are more suitable for small preview images in lists or widgets, while medium sizes can be used alongside other elements on a page or post. It is advised to optimize images before uploading them to your Media Library or using an optimization plugin to achieve maximum optimization. Check out our video about image optimization to gain a better understanding. You can update the width and the height of image sizes, but I suggest leaving the default settings as is.

Uploading files

The last option, under media settings, allows you to choose how media will be filed in your site’s uploads folder in the back end. By default, WordPress will save your media in folders according to month and year. If you deselect this option, all images may end up in one folder.