WordPress Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for WordPress developers and administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd wish to use WP 3.x standard Media Librery rather than relying on 3rd party plugins like NextGen no matter how well they're written. I just don't like duplicating functionalities.

Media Librery actually can handle well images, provides thumbnails, captions...

But I think lacks of organizing images in collections, folders, categories, terms.

Is there a way to tweak/extend wordpress to add certain images in the media gallery to collections, categorize them and assign custom terms to each image?

In this way, from the frontend, one would be able to generate page with galleries pertaining similar subjects or displaying images belonging to the same category/term...

Any ideas? Everytime I google something related to gallery / image / media management for Wordpress I end up with pages suggesting to use Nextgen... but I don't see why it should be almost mandatory to use to achieve these goals.

share|improve this question
if I'm not mistaken the media library is a custom post type? could it be extended as other post types with custom taxonomies? – unfulvio Apr 12 '12 at 8:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've had this same problem for ages and have currently landed on the following combination of plugins to resolve the issue:

  • Media Tags
  • Tag Gallery
  • Cleaner Gallery

Additionally, I made two modifications to the tag gallery plugin (to remove TimThumb and allow reverse ordering)

This solution still has a lot of downsides including that it uses three plugins, one of which I hacked, but it's also the best solution I've come up with after months of thinking and searching.

(@fulvio, The "Media Tags" plugin does register a custom taxonomy onto the attachment post type, so you're certainly right. It also improves the UI. If WordPress ever just supports the normal taxonomy UI on attachments, a lot of this problem would resolve itself quite quickly...)

share|improve this answer
thanks mrwweb, in the end I think I'll be forced to switch back to Nextgen, at least it's a solid plugin, better use one than three, at this point – unfulvio Apr 18 '12 at 20:27
Update: With the changes to the media gallery in WP 3.5 (out today!), this will all become much more possible to do with a good plugin in the very near future. – mrwweb Dec 11 '12 at 18:08

I think the best solution for this is the plugin Real Media Library:


enter image description here

It can organize the media library with folders. The words of the product description says all:

Turn your WordPress media library to the next level with folders / categories. Get organized with thousands of images.

RML (Real Media Library) is one of the most wanted media wordpress plugins. It is easy to use and it allows you to organize your thousands of images in folders. It is similar to wordpress categories like in the posts.

Use your mouse (or touch) to drag and drop your files. Create, rename, delete or reorder your folders If you want to select a image from the “Select a image”-dialog (e. g. featured image) you can filter when inserting media. Just install this plugin and it works fine with all your image and media files. It also supports multisite.

If you buy, you get: Forever FREE updates and high quality and fast support.

Creating beautiful galleries with the combination: RML + Justified Image Grid

The developers of RML and JIG are working together to create a best solution for media organization and beautiful galleries.


With the obvious visual advantage of JIG, a more important feature was created. The ability to show and traverse from any selected point of the RML tree. You can select folders and collections to display, not just galleries. JIG creates virtual pages according to the tree and allows navigation using a breadcrumb. It is a pleasure to work with MatthiasWeb and it is the first time a source could be included in JIG with mutual compatibility. Other sources won't change because of JIG's needs, so we make compromises. Fortunately, with WP RML it's not necessary.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.