Where Does WordPress Store Images on Your Site?

If you are about to start a WordPress website, you probably have a lot of questions some of which are related to images you plan on using. We at WP Full Care know full well how important it is to organize your media library in an efficient way. But how and where does WordPress store images on your site? Continue reading as that’s what you’re going to find out because in this article, we’ll cover following:

  • Where are images stored on your WordPress site?
  • How does WordPress display information about files?
  • Does WordPress allow you to store images on your site in any other way?
  • How to enable users to upload images to WordPress?

How and where does WordPress store images on your site?

Your WordPress website is equipped with a built-in system to manage media uploads, such as pictures, videos, audio files, and documents. This approach makes it simple for you to upload different types of media to a designated folder on the hosting server for your WordPress site.

Person uploading images to a WordPress site and looking for best ways to store them
WordPress made it very easy to access Media Library and modify existing images.

You’ll be able to find these files in the media library on your WordPress admin page. Simply go to Media » Library and you’ll instantly access all your uploads. Here, you’ll also be able to modify or delete them.

Where are images stored on your WordPress site?

Within WordPress, the folder referred to as the uploads folder can be found nestled within the wp-content directory. WordPress organizes your media files by year and month and stores them within the uploads folder on your computer. For example, you’ll be able to find all of the media files that you post in the month of July 2022 in /wp-content/uploads/2022/07/.

If you want to examine these files and directories, you need to connect to your WordPress hosting account using an FTP client. Alternatively, you can use the File Manager software that is located within the control panel of your hosting account.

Photo of a screen with programming codes on it
Use an FTP client to connect to your WordPress hosting account and examine all of the files and directories from your website.

When you access any folder, you’ll find multiple copies of different images. This is because when you upload a picture to WordPress, it automatically creates different size images. Along with the original image, you’ll probably see a thumbnail, medium, and big version of the image, too. In addition to that, the theme or plugins you use on your site may also generate additional picture sizes.

How does WordPress display information about files?

WordPress saves information about the images you upload to the database. It comes in the form of an attachment post type. You can easily find it within the posts table. When you insert photographs into posts or pages, WordPress further saves information in the posts metadatabase. Let’s take featured images as an example. When you set one for your post, WordPress will preserve this information as a meta key called _thumbnail id and will save it in the post meta table of your database.

WordPress knows the precise location of the file on your hosting server because the hosting server informs it by the information that’s already in your database. This means that if you delete a file from your server using FTP, WordPress will display those photos as broken. In a similar manner, if you remove the reference to a picture from the database that WordPress uses, the file will continue to exist on the hosting server but you won’t be able to see it in your library. Even if you, for example, hide featured images in WordPress, they will still be visible on the hosting server.

Does WordPress allow you to store images on your site in any other way?

You will not be able to modify the location of uploads in WordPress because this setting is disabled by default. The only modification available to you is to turn off the month- and year-based folders. Simply visit the Settings » Media tab if you want to make this change.

Another thing you can set is the maximum dimensions in pixels for your picture uploads. You can do this on the same page – Settings » Media. There are ways to manually modify the default folder that WordPress uses for uploads. However, as that requires extensive WordPress skills and it’s not suitable for beginners, we’ll skip it in this article.

How to enable users to upload images to WordPress?

By default, WordPress grants the ability to upload and store images to every user who has the ability to add posts on your site. Users having the Administrator, Author, Editor, and Contributor user roles all fall into this category. But what if you want other users on your website to be able to upload images without giving them access to your admin area?

Upper left corner of a laptop with WordPress plugins page opened on it
If you want to allow users to upload and store images on your WordPress website without having admin access you can use a WP Forms plugin.

To do this, you will first need to install and activate the WP Forms plugin. This plugin includes a “file upload” field that enables users to effortlessly post photographs, documents, and other media files without having to create a user account or access the WordPress admin area. The best part is that you won’t need a pro version of the plugin to access this option but you can use it for free.

In order to allow users to upload images to your site, you need to create an image upload form. Simply go to WPForms » Add New page and start by giving your form a title and selecting a template for the File Upload Form you want to use.  A field for uploading files will be included in the form by default. You have the ability to modify the labels of the fields on your form, add or delete fields, and rearrange their order.

You can also alter the parameters for the File Upload field by clicking on the field itself. For example, you can select what type of files users can upload and what is their maximum size. Also, you can limit the number of images a single user can upload. It’s as simple as that!

Final thoughts

We hope that after reading this article, you are no longer wondering how and where will WordPress store images on your site. Of course, you can always reach out to our team of WP experts, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any WordPress-related questions as well as keep your website in great shape.

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