Where and How WordPress Stores Images on Your Website

By October 22, 2018 WordPress

WordPress users find the WP platform easy to use and efficient as well. However, some users (especially beginners), wonder where and how WordPress stores images when they are uploaded at the back-end of a website. Really, let’s not take image storage for granted as this is important in managing, sorting, and organizing your uploads.

How It All Happens in WordPress

Know that the WordPress platform incorporates a built-in system that handles image uploads. In fact, the same system stores uploads of your documents, music files, videos, etc. Likewise, you can edit and delete files from the same system path.

So, where does WordPress keep the file uploads on your website? Well, to put it simply, we can say that all the files we just mentioned above go to the /wp-content/uploads folder on your dedicated server. As of this writing, the uploads folder is organized using month and year pattern.

Here’s an example on how to find an image file uploaded on August 2018:

/wp-content/uploads/2018/08

Please note that you can also find said files and images in WordPress itself. The reason for this is that WP saves these files when they are included in a post. You just need to find the meta table in your pages or posts.

Now, if you want to see your uploaded images and other files, you can connect to your server using an FTP client like FileZilla (it’s one of the most popular, and it’s free).

What Happens When You Delete Image Files From Your Server by Using an FTP Client

When you delete uploaded files from your server, the images will still remain in your WordPress database. If this is the case, your WordPress site will still show the images – but as broken images (which is not as good as this will result in poor user experience).

If you want the images to be totally removed from your site, you will have to remove them from your WordPress media upload. As a side note, keep in mind that the images on your website will be gone even if the image uploads are still intact in the server.

How to Change WordPress Settings on Media Uploads

You really can’t change the way image files are stored in the WordPress Dashboard or admin area. The only thing that you can do is to remove the dates in their filenames. To do this, click on the Settings section and select the Media Page.

In the Media page, find the box which says something like “Organize my uploads into month and year.” Uncheck the box by clicking on it and save the changes you made. From this moment on, WordPress will store image files and other media files directly to the /wp-content/uploads folder (without the date format).

Settings and Media in WordPressHow to Organize Images in Your WordPress Site

Currently, there are no available ways to organize your uploaded images in your WordPress and even in your server. However, there are plugins that can help you with that. Just search for image organizers and read some of the user reviews on the most popular plugins. You can then choose the one that best suits your needs.

Are Your Images Safe?

These days, nothing is safe on the Internet – but don’t let that knowledge discourage you from making an online presence (especially if you’re running a business). As long as you back up your image files and avoid uploading sensitive files, you’ll be OK. And if you have a business site, keeping your files organized will help you in updating and redesigning your website.

If you know of other ways to store your WordPress images, do share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. All of our readers will surely appreciate your input.