DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Poll Results: How Do You Use the WordPress Media Library?

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Back in January, we asked How Do You Use the WordPress Media Library?. After more than 700 votes, the results are in:

Overall, looks like happy endings for the WordPress Media Library. As you can see, it appears that a majority of users are quite content with the Media Library and use it frequently. Nearly 60% of users love it or use it occasionally for their media-management needs. Personally, I’m in the “hand-coding and FTP” crowd, so it’s good to see some representation in that area.

[ Poll Results: How Do You Use the WordPress Media Library? ]

Yet, as much as people seem to use it, there is always room for improvement. An unacceptable 11% of voters aren’t using the Media Library because they don’t understand how it works. That’s a significant percentage of users who just aren’t feeling the love..

There was also some good conversation about the WordPress Media Library, including a number of shouts to the NextGen Gallery. Here are some of the thread’s highlights:

Nicolas
I use the Media Library on my personal site but installed NextGen Gallery on most of my clients site for galleries. It’s just much easier for them to put out new pictures and create galleries.
carlos
I use the Media Library just for the necessity of uploading images and to quickly get the url path instead of going through the ftp or whatever editor to search for the images. I don’t seem to have much more use for it but that of a library of media.
Chris Coyier
I hardly ever use it, since it used to be such crap. I’ve been more interested in it lately though since I like how images/file are associated to the particular post they go with, which opens up some cool programming possibilities. Plus stuff like the_post_thumb() in WordPress 2.9 relies upon you using it. I’ve always hated how it adds a bunch of class names to images you insert with no obvious way to turn that off.
Tom
My wife uses it on her site (no need to complicate her life w/ an FTP program, too) but the poll needs an “I don’t like it but I struggle and use it anyway” option. I don’t like how it seems to over-complicate the image sizing process, and how you can’t add multiple images at once w/o making it a gallery. Or, perhaps I need to spend more time w/ it myself. Bottom line is it is somewhat lacking.
Cindi
Used the medial library exclusively until I installed NextGen Gallery. Wanted to use the tag feature but the tagcloud disappears everytime you click on a choice. Leaves the customer wondering where to go next. Lots of talk in the forums but no solution. Everything else on WP is great but I cannot get a sort by tag on my photos. Seems simple. Will have to learn more code.
Russell Heimlich
I really like the WordPress Media Library. It makes uploading a bunch of images a breeze without relying on FTP. I do wish you could insert multiple images into a post with one button press and from there organize the images as you see fit. The ability to set your own sizes and have WordPress resize those images on upload sure makes my life easier. And if you decide on different image dimensions in the future you can just use the Bulk Image Resize plugin to correct all of your previously uplaoded images. http://mfields.org/2009/11/24/bulk-image-resize-utility-video/
Randy
I have used the nextGen Gallery but I have found I can do so much with the native media gallery. The things that I do not like about the native WP media is that users can’t select an image from their existing media library to add to a gallery for a post unless that image in the media library has NO association with any current post. Together with http://www.viper007bond.com/wordpress-plugins/jquery-lightbox-for-native-galleries/ I get nice looking galleries that are easy to maintain for the clients.
samuelclough
I use the media library for what it is. It’s not the best, but not that bad either. I’ve also used NextGen gallery which has some amazing features. To me, NextGen serves a completely different purpose than the media gallery. It’s one thing to have one place to put images used throughout the site which media library does pretty well. It’s another thing to have albums and various photo display capabilities which is what NextGen does well. To me they are two different products serving two different purposes.

Thanks to everyone who voted! Stay tuned for the next DiW poll! :)

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