I've been looking at ways to organise and display several thousand images in the media library as well as a gallery-style page.

Just to put things into a bit more perspective... The website I'm creating for my client is a fashion and sewing website for their company. In particular, what they would like to do is display a list of the patterns they have available, all of these patterns have two distinct features - type and brand. An example of types might be bridal dresses or general clothing or formal jackets or whatever (up to the client)... Examples of the brands are "New Look" or "Simplicity" who are the companies that make the patterns.

Ideally, my client would like to upload photos of the pattern covers (organised by type) and have the ability for customers to browse the patterns by type to find ones they like.

I've looked at solutions such as enhanced media library, however, that only allows categories, as opposed to an actual structure. This also means they have to go and tag each individual image with the categories... which with 3000+ images, will take a lot of time and effort.

They would ideally like to be able to upload their existing folder structure (or upload images to the media library and quickly organise them into that same folder structure through drag/drop and have a folder-display on the media library).

The second half of all this is displaying the images in an organised way. However we categorise or sort out these images... The client needs to have a page which lists the categories of types for the patterns, and then the customer can click on a category and view all the patterns inside that category... However, it needs to -only- display the galleries/categories relating to patterns.

An example might be:

Main Pattern Gallery:

  • Formal wear
  • Bridal
  • Sleep wear
  • etc...

If they click on "Formal wear"

Gallery displaying the patterns classed as "formal wear"

I've tried a few gallery plugins, including Gallery Bank, Gallery, Gallery by supsytic, a couple I can't remember the names on...

All of them (from what I've seen) only allow display of a single select gallery, or display of -all- galleries...

I also had a play with next-gen gallery, however it seemed to have broken my wordpress (whenever I click on manage gallery it downloads an admin.htm rather then loading the gallery... and it won't delete things)... I'm going to try a fresh WP install with it to see if it works and to see if it offers any of the requirements I am after.

1 Answer 1


I had a very similar issue not so long ago, albeit, my scenario was allowing the user to select images by type of room, color, feature etc..

Using inspiration form this site: Inspiration and a combination of these two plugins, Custom Upload Dir, Media Tags it worked out quite well.

I dont think your going to be able to do what you want though without going through every image and tagging it in some form or other.

Again I had the same issue as developing a site AFTER uploading images. In the end I categorized all the images by type into folders on pc, then selected all images and whilst in windows,adding a tag to the copyright exif.. couldn't workout how to get the keyword exif :)

Then using this piece of code, the copyright exif info got written to the meta tag (tag) on upload.

add_filter('wp_read_image_metadata', 'hk_filter_add_exif','',3);

// this hook function adds also the exif tag "copyright" in the database of each uploaded image
function hk_filter_add_exif($meta, $file, $sourceImageType)
    if ( is_callable('exif_read_data') &&
        in_array($sourceImageType, apply_filters('wp_read_image_metadata_types', array(IMAGETYPE_JPEG, IMAGETYPE_TIFF_II, IMAGETYPE_TIFF_MM)) ) )

        $exif = @exif_read_data( $file );

        if (!empty($exif['Copyright']))      $meta['tags'] = $exif['Copyright'] ;

        return $meta;

Could then use standard wordpress functions to get this tag info to use in the plugins.

This isnt an answer as such, but hopefully it may give you ideas.

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