I'm having some real frustration with the Media Library, as a WP beginner. What I'm expecting is that I can upload an image, and then reuse that image where I want within the site, using a standard identifier of some sort. Seems simple and intuitive, but apparently that's not how things work. I've been searching for answers, but a lot of the stuff I'm coming across... I don't even understand the wording of the search results and page titles....

What I'm experiencing (3.5.1, btw) is that images are uploaded and stored at a URL that has the date of upload encoded in it, so that even if I try to upload a new image with the same name, rather than replacing the old one, it is simply added, because it has a unique upload date.

I'm using a plugin that asks me to enter a URL for images that it is displaying. Now see how this works out: I have already added image X with a given date, and copy-pasted its URL into the plugin's fields for lots and lots of pages. Now if I want to change the image, there's no way to replace the image at a given URL and have everything just work! I need to go back and change all the many, many references to the unique date-coded URL, which seems crazy! I also don't understand the idea of "attaching" an image to a post/page. Why can it only be attached to ONE post/page?

I'm sure I'm probably missing something, but this is definitely the most frustrating aspect of WP for me. I guess if I were to boil this down to a simple question (because I don't want to hear someone tell me I've done it all wrong and have to redo the site from the beginning!), it would be:

How can I upload an image and give it a custom, unique URL that I can embed into other places in the site, and such that I can replace that image whenever I want, etc.

I hope this makes some sense, and that someone can help. I'm normally a rational person and good explainer, but I feel out of my depth with this thing... because of not having learned yet how to "think WP" no doubt. Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Sharing my thoughts on multiple issues you mentioned. Hoping one or two of the following would help...

Firstly, you may visit your site's wp-admin/options-media.php and uncheck the option "Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders"

Why can it only be attached to ONE post/page?

An image can be attached to any number of posts / pages.

if I try to upload a new image with the same name, rather than replacing the old one, it is simply added, because it has a unique upload date.

If you upload a new image with the same name, the older image with the same name will not be replaced. Instead, WP appends a number in the name of the image. For example, if the name of the image is hello-world.png and if another image with the same name is uploaded, then it'd named as hello-world1.png. So, if you'd like to replace the existing image, you may have to replace it via SFTP or any similar methods. Alternatively, whenever you'd want to replace an image, you may delete the existing image at yoursite.com/wp-admin/upload.php and then upload it (with the same name) at wp-admin/media-new.php . This way the name of the image is preserved while the actual image is changed.

Whatever the method you'd choose, WordPress may still contain the thumbnails of the original image. So, you may wish to use a plugin to regenerate thumbnails.

  • Thank you, Pothi. Your comments were helpful. The main thing was learning that I could turn off the dates being inserted into file paths. Things got much easier after that. I still don't like having to refer to images by full URLs, but... I have a feeling the solution to that one is much more complicated.
    – Dave I
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 7:40

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