Task 18: Media Library

WordPress has a centralized place to store all types of digital media, including pictures, recordings, videos, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, or any other type of digital object you want to distribute. You get to the Media Library by going to your Dashboard and then clicking the link for “Media”.

Themes vary greatly in how they display images. Some Themes use lots of images, and are perfect for photo gallery sites or other graphics applications. Other themes put most emphasis on text, and display images in more limited ways.

One of the most common uses of pictures is as a “Featured Image” on a Post or Page. A Featured Image is a picture that is shown on the Post or Page itself, and may also appear elsewhere on the site as a thumbnail link to that Post or Page. Themes vary in how they handle the layout of Featured Images.

Once a picture or other media object has been checked into the Media Library, it can be reused in various ways on your site. The best practice is to check each item in before you try to use it in a Post or on a Page.

It is possible to add pictures directly, without first checking them in to the Media Library, but it is better to check the image in as a separate step, particularly if you need to verify that the accessibility settings are correct. When you add something to the Media Library, be sure to fill out the text description fields carefully. There are rules for how to add text descriptions to media in ways that will make it easier for people with disabilities to interact with your site. People with visual disabilities will rely on the text descriptions. You can read a tutorial on best practices for text descriptions to ensure compliance with accessibility standards.

To complete this task…

As you experiment with Themes, you will need to have some images available to see different effects.

Upload at least two pictures to the Media Library and be sure that you fill out the alternative text fields. You will use these pictures as two Featured Images, one on a Post, and one on a Page. You may either create a new Post and a new Page for this, or modify content that you already have.

To add a Featured Image to a Post or to a Page, use the “Featured Image” controls in the lower right corner of the editing controls for both Posts and Pages. To add the Featured Image, click “Set featured image” and then navigate to the picture you want, which you should have uploaded to the Media Library beforehand. It is tempting to just upload without uploading them to the Media Library first, but cutting corners can lead to problems with your accessibility settings unless you are careful.

Add a Featured Image to a Post.

Add a Featured image to a Page.

Look over your site and see how your current Theme settings use these Featured Images. Where do they show up on your site? Can you change how these images are displayed using your current Theme?

After mastering the use of Featured Images, move on to learn other ways to insert images into posts and pages.

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