I have been using WordPress for many, many years now. I have watched it get better in multiple ways. However, one area that I think is definitely a weak point of WordPress is the backend admin panel.
For one, I think the styling of the admin area is a little… old. I think the post list screens can get unwieldy really quickly. I think the dashboard is too cluttery. I can’t say enough about how the admin notifications are displayed and are made worse by developers abusing them for overt advertising. I could go on. 🙂
But, another area of weakness is most definitely the WordPress media library.
There is practically no ability to organize it. No ability to easily filter it (outside of file types). Basically, you just drop images and files into the media library and let it grow.
This very site has been around for a long time. As of this writing, I have 4,120 files in my media library. And I cannot say I’ve done the best job of organizing it.
Well, the good news is that plugins can fix all problems. 🙂
Of course, it sucks we need to use a plugin for this. It should be built-in. Perhaps one day it will be if they ever get around to making the admin panel suck less. In the interim, however, we have really good options.
My Choice: FileBird
Filebird let’s you organize your WordPress media library into folders and organize everything via drag-and-drop. It also comes with many sorting options, a beautiful interface, an optional user-based folder view (for multi-author blogs), export options and a lot more.
There is a free version which is quite popular. I went ahead and bought the PRO version because it was a no-brainer for the pain the plugin solves. The PRO version is only $39 for lifetime and is purchased through Envato.
You can view a full comparison of free vs. paid right here, but the short version is PRO enables folder themes, folder colors, bulk move, sorting as well as support for pretty much all major page builders.
First of all, I noticed that the FileBird plugin is pretty streamlined. The latest version of the plugin was only 1.2MB in size. It loads quickly. It feels native… like it was always there.
I immediately began tackling some organization of the over 4,000 files in my library.
Obviously, I’m just getting started using this here at BMA.
Each folder has a nice contextual menu. You access it by right-clicking on any folder. It feels completely natural.
There you’ll see the ability to change the color of the folder icon on individual folders so you can make it suit you.
Renaming, bulk-select, sorting… all of it feels native. Extremely simple to use.
When adding or editing posts, the same interface comes up from the editor. So, it is super easy to use these folders to find existing images or document in your library to use.
Since I use Elementor on this site as my page builder, I went and tested it there and it works the same way. Just drag and drop an image widget into your page and the folder structure shows up right where you expect it to.
FileBird does have a settings page.
The per-user setting is useful for multi-author blogs if you want to give each author the ability to organize files their own way.
You also have a few settings for the user interface, including a few themes. I just use the default theme, but they have made it so you can make the folders look closer to your operating system.
Under Tools, you’ve got an API for FileBird (for remote access of the file structure). There’s also the ability to clear all data… which will allow you to remove all data form the database so that you can uninstall FileBird without leaving any trace.
Lastly, you’ve got an import/export function so you can move your folder structure around.
That’s FileBird PRO in a nutshell. There’s not a lot to it because there doesn’t need to be. It has one job and does it well.
This is cool: FileBird Document Library
Awhile back, I did a video and post on how to create a Wordpress PDF Library on your site. To be clear, that option will still be more robust. However…
FileBird has it’s own Document Library addon plugin. It will display a document library right on your site based on folders you choose. This can be pretty handy for membership sites who want a resource library for their members.
There is no embedder with this setup. It simply links to the file directly for download.
If you want to play around with other options to organize your Media Library, there are others to choose from.
Media Library Folders is a popular one, too. While the interface is not nearly as nice or user-friendly, this plugin does come with more capability. It can actually physically organize the files on your server’s file system (rather than just month/date structure). It also supports categories, more organization tools, thumbnail regeneration, integrations with other plugins (like ACF).
There’s also an S3 add-on for the PRO version of this plugin where you can easily offload assets to Amazon S3. That’s handy.
CatFolders looks pretty nice. Looks very similar to FileBird to me, but looks like a nice option.
The Folders plugin, by Premio, is another robust option. Again, pretty similar to FileBird with a few additional bells and whistles (like dynamic folders).
Feel free to search around. There’s many alternatives but, all in all, they pretty much all do the same thing.
Got A Question? Need Some Assistance?
Have a question about this article? Need some help with this topic (or anything else)? Send it in and I’ll get back to you personally. If you’re OK with it, I might even use it as the basis of future content so I can make this site most useful.