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Within a plugin I am generating an image, I would like to save this image to the upload folder and update the WPDB with the location of said file. I cant find any build in wordpress functions to handle saving/writing/adding a file to the upload folder, should I just do this the old fashioned way with php, or is there something built into WordPress that I'm missing?

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Have a look at media_handle_upload – kraftner Mar 21 '14 at 13:15

Check into the functions: wp_handle_upload() and media_handle_upload()

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You need only to save generated file in the upload folder!... Use php.

If you need to add this file in Media libary than use wp_insert_attachment()

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