How to Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library

As a website owner or blogger, you’ve likely invested countless hours in creating the perfect WordPress site. The media library – a collection of images, videos, audio files, and documents – plays a crucial role in making your website visually appealing and engaging. But what if you need to download your entire WordPress media library, either for backup purposes or for migration to a new hosting provider? As experts in WordPress we fully understand how complicated this might seem, especially if you have never done it before. That’s why we’ll guide you through the process step by step and in the simplest way possible. So let’s get to work!

Why Should You Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library and How To Do It?

The WordPress media library is a treasure trove of all the visual elements you’ve added to your website. It helps you organize, manage, and retrieve your media files with ease. Downloading your entire WordPress media library can be beneficial for various reasons, such as backing up your files, moving to another hosting provider, or preparing for a site redesign. 

Person holding their head in their hands while trying to download your entire WordPress media library
Don’t stress – it’s very easy to download your entire WordPress media library.

Whatever your reason may be, having a copy of your media library is essential to ensure the security and longevity of your website’s content. Now let’s find out how to download your entire WordPress media library.

Getting Started: Installing a Plugin

The first step in downloading your WordPress media library is selecting a plugin that best suits your needs. A popular option is the Export Media Library plugin, which is easy to use and allows you to download your files in a zipped format. It’s also free of charge, which makes it even more attractive. Other options include the Filester – File Manager Pro plugin, which offers more advanced file management features. It all depends on your personal needs. Oh, and while you’re already researching, you might want to look at different cloud media storage plugins, too.

Once you’ve chosen a plugin, navigate to the WordPress dashboard and click on “Plugins” in the left-hand sidebar. Click “Add New,” search for the desired plugin, and click “Install Now.” After installation, click “Activate” to enable the plugin on your site. There you go – now you’re ready to download your entire WordPress media library!

Downloading Your Media Library

With your chosen plugin activated, it’s time to export your media library. Go to “Tools” in the WordPress dashboard for the Export Media Library plugin and click “Export Media Library.” You’ll see various options for file type and structure. Select your preferred settings and click “Download Zip” to initiate the download. It’s as simple as that!

If you’re using Filester – File Manager Pro, navigate to “File Manager” in the dashboard, and locate the “wp-content/uploads” folder. This folder contains all your media files. Right-click the folder and choose “Compress” to create a zip file. Once the compression is complete, right-click the zip file and select “Download” to save it to your computer.

After downloading your media library, you may wish to organize your files for easy access. Extract the zip file to a folder on your computer, and then use a file management tool or your operating system’s built-in file explorer to sort and categorize your media files as desired.

Uploading Your Media Library to a New Website

If you’re migrating your media library to a new WordPress website, ensure you’ve set up your new hosting environment and installed WordPress on the new server. You’ll also need to install the same media management plugin you used to download your library on your old website. So here’s a step-by-step guide to help you relocate your media library to your new site!

Woman drinking tea while working on her laptop
Migrating your entire WordPress media library to a new website can be done with a few clicks.

#1 Accessing the File Manager

To upload your media library to a new website, you must first access the file manager on your new hosting environment. Most hosting providers offer a cPanel interface with a file manager, allowing you to easily upload, organize, and manage your files. Log into your hosting account, locate the cPanel, and find the “File Manager” icon.

#2 Navigating to the Uploads Folder

In the file manager, you’ll need to locate the folder where your WordPress media library files should be uploaded. This folder is typically named “wp-content/uploads.” If it doesn’t exist, you can create it by right-clicking the “wp-content” folder and selecting “Create New Folder.” Name the folder “uploads” and ensure it is in the “wp-content” folder.

#3 Uploading the Zip File

To upload your media library, navigate to the “wp-content/uploads” folder within the file manager. Click on the “Upload” button or right-click inside the folder and select “Upload Files.” Locate the zip file containing your media library on your computer, select it, and click “Open” to start uploading it to the new website.

#4 Extracting and Organizing Your Uploaded Files

After uploading the zip file to your new website, you must extract its contents. Right-click the uploaded zip file in the “wp-content/uploads” folder and select “Extract.” Choose the same folder as the extraction destination to ensure your media files are organized correctly.

#5 Verifying Your Media Library Transfer

Once the extraction is complete, log in to your new website’s WordPress dashboard and navigate to “Media” to view your media library.  Ensure all your images, videos, audio files, and documents are present and organized as expected. You might want to consider cleaning up your media library while you’re there, too. Additionally, browse your new website’s pages and posts to ensure all media files are displaying correctly. If you encounter any issues, double-check your file paths and ensure that your media files are stored in the correct locations.

#6 Update Your Theme and Plugins

After transferring your media library, it’s a good idea to update your theme and plugins on your new website to match your previous site’s configuration. This will help ensure that your website looks and functions as expected. To do this, go to “Appearance” > “Themes” and “Plugins” > “Installed Plugins” in your new website’s WordPress dashboard and install, activate, and update the required themes and plugins.

Laptop with WordPress media library opened on it on a wooden desk
While you’re fixing the media library on your new website, it’s also a good idea to update your theme and plugins.

Be On a Safe Side and Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library

Downloading your entire WordPress media library is essential in backing up your website or migrating your content to a new hosting provider. By following these steps and using the appropriate plugins, you can quickly and easily download and transfer your media files, ensuring the security and continuity of your website. With your media library safely stored, you can focus on creating and maintaining a visually engaging and informative site for your audience. Or, even better, you can get in touch with WordPress pros and let them take care of your website for you.

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