WordPress Image (Photo) Management

This blog post is for those of you maintaining your blog on the WordPress platform, and are challenged with, or have overcome challenges with, having a WordPress plan with limited image/photo storage.

Several of my fellow WordPress bloggers have expressed frustration over the limited amount of photo storage allotment and having to either delete older posts or delete posted photos to manage their storage. So I thought I would share my experience and tips and ask for other experienced WordPress platform bloggers to comment with their tips for managing image storage limits on WordPress.

The Free Plan

When I started blogging in October 2013, I started with the free plan. This plan gave me 3 GB (gigabytes) of storage for photos I wanted to post and within a year I noticed I was quickly using up my allotted free storage.

Here is what no one told me when I started blogging (that I so wish someone had told me): you need to reduce the size of your images you post in a blog post.

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I was able to stay on the free plan for another year or so by reducing the size of my photos. Eventually after 2 – 3 years on the free plan, I decided I wanted to double my available storage (especially since I now knew how to stretch it out) to 6 GB;  I wanted to remove advertising by WordPress; and I wanted to move my domain name from “tierneycreates.wordpress.com” to “tierneycreates.com”.

Managing the size of every image I add to a blog post, here is what my Photo Storage looks like after nearly 5 years of blogging (and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you know I post a lot of photos!):

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I think I can make this last another 5 years. If I had known how to do image management from the beginning I know I could have made it 5 years of blogging with my original 3GB storage allotment. Since I upgraded my plan, I’ve never had the incentive to go back to my early posts and resize their images – too much work!

How Do I Manage My Image File Size?

First a disclaimer: I figured out what worked for me and I am not even remotely an expert in photo editing and image management.

You may find my process cumbersome and I bet there are more efficient methods but here are my steps from taking a photo to posting it onto my blog:

  1. I use an iPhone for my images and use the regular image settings (I do not use HDR or Live photo settings as I assume that would be a larger photo).
  2. I have an Amazon Prime account which comes with unlimited photo storage. I have the Amazon Prime Photo app on my phone. I review images on my phone, delete the ones I do not keep and then open Prime Photo and it automatically uploads all photos not already uploaded to Prime Photo. I then delete the images from my camera to manage photo storage on my iPhone.
  3. I blog from a MacBook, and go to the online Prime Photo website and download to my desktop or to a folder all the photos I want to use in a blog post. (Note once I am done with the blog post I delete all the photos I downloaded from my laptop as I do not want to take up a bunch of space with photos that are stored online).
  4. Most photos taken on my iPhone are in the range of 3000 x 4000 pixels. There are a 1000 pixels in a MB so each photo is about 4.5 MB. 4.5 MB does not sound like a lot but there are 1024MB in one GB and you could see before you know it, especially if you put 5 – 10+ images in each post, you could quickly work your way through your 3GB allotment (if you are on the free plan). So I reduce each photo by 50% using the Preview feature on my Mac.
  5. I select all the photos I’ve downloaded from Prime Photos and open them up at the same time using Preview. Within Preview I do any needed photocropping and then I go to the Tools menu and select “Adjust Size” and reduce the size from 100% to 50%:

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As you can see in the above screenshot, the size of my image went from 4.5 MB to 1.4 MB (look at the “Resulting Size” section in the screenshot). So my reducing the image size by 50%, I have gained the ability to store 3 photos instead of 1.

Even if you do not have a Mac and use a Windows based PC or laptop, you can see the general concept: you need to reduce the size of your photos to manage your storage. 

If I do not care as much about the resolution/quality of an image on a post, then I might resize the image to even smaller like 45% or even 40%.

 Other Photo Management Tips

In addition to learning how to resize my photos before posting, the most important thing I figured out as a blogger was to be judicious in the amount of photos I share on a post.

At first I just shared any photo I wanted to share that I felt went with a blog post. Now I carefully think through how many photos and what specific photos I want to share to enhance the text of a blog post and tell a story. I am a visual person and I appreciate looking at photos myself when reading others blog posts. However I realized I do not need to try to do an extensive photo essay of an experience I want to share.

A few carefully selected photos can tell a story just as well as 10 photos can.

If you want more and likely more efficient ideas on WordPress photo management and storage (and ideas for those on blogging from Windows based devices), you can check out websites such as this one: The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Image Management

This website uses fancy phrases such as “image optimization”.

You can also Google (or whatever search engine you use) and find articles on plug ins for WordPress image management and “digital assessment management” (see – they are using more fancy phrases).

I am completely self-taught on WordPress (lots of online help and YouTube videos) and I have so much more to learn but I wanted to share what I do, which seems to be working…

Okay experienced WordPress Bloggers – please share your tips and ideas in the Comments/Thoughts Section 🙂

Feature image credit: Shelia Rosamond, free images.com

35 thoughts on “WordPress Image (Photo) Management”

    1. Okay so I am honored an experienced blogger like yourself found something useful in this post. I imagined the experienced bloggers would be rolling their eyes at this post – ha!


  1. I also take most of my photos with my phone (Samsung Galaxy Tab S7). I then use Photoshop to edit them. I first reduce the size to 750 pixels wide (or high, depending on picture orientation). This way they end up as wide as the wordpress column size and it reduces file size (but not enough). I then use the “Save for web” option to reduce the file size even more. With this option you can compare the original photo quality with what it will look like if you save it ar high, medium or low quality. Often it’s hard to see a difference even when saved as medium. Most of the pictures on my blog end up at less than 200kb and I think they still look fine when viewed on a phone or laptop screen. Of course Photoshop is quite an expensive software but I could get it at a reduced price through my job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks. I am still on free. I will look into photo optimizing. I normally only use one photo and once in a while a second photo. A few years ago I went back and edited old posts to add a print function to my recipes. I removed many photos that was in the way of printing the recipe. I started out doing a food blog in order to share recipes with friends and others. My goal was not building a following or a site. On a site that I used to blog about other things had an pixel reducer when posting pictures. So this isn’t new I just didn’t think about reducing the pixels. So thank you for reminding me how important that is. It is nice for readers of your site when it doesn’t take forever to load.

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  3. I’m still using my free allocation too, but have watched the amount of room available drop. So this is a great tip, and I will give it a go. By the way….to you have any way of organising photos in WorpPress? Occasionally I want to us a photo I have used before, but have to trawl through them all to find it. I rarely caption photos. Maybe I should.

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    1. I found that you can search for a photo if you know the file name or a word in the name. This is only useful if you rename your photo files from the automatic name your digital camera gives them. I’ve been trying to remember to rename my files. However since I use amazon’s Prime Photo, I find the file in Prime Photo and see what date it is stored under and then I can either scroll there in my WP Media files or do a search as I will now see the file name. There might be a better way but I have not figured that out yet 🙂


  4. I use the WordPress app on Android for blogging. It has a setting to shrink your photos as they are being uploaded, you can choose your maximum size. I take all my photos with the same phone on which I have the app, it’s my PDA rather than a phone really. All nice and easy. 🙂

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  5. Great post! I’ve been blogging just over a year, and I’ve noticed my storage space is getting lower. I’ve never thought about reducing the image size to maximize storage, so this post is informative! I have a question- if you delete the images from your WordPress media storage, do they stay in the blog post? Or do they disappear everywhere?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Also, if you are using Photoshop, you can “Save for web”. That compresses a .jpeg loosing just a tiny bit of quality and stripping out unnecessary metadata. The photo is still large and pretty for your blog, but it is at a much smaller file size.

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  7. I actually have three free sites each with a different purpose.
    thephotoimpact.wordpress.com for photographs
    idlemindsdoodle.wordpress.com for drawings
    developerunchained.wordpress.com for more technical/development

    In each of the sites, I post images that have been optimized and reduced in size for the web using Photoshop.

    More specifically, when I open an image in Photoshop I do the following

    Top Toolbar
    Image > Image Size > Pixel Dimensions
    Change the drop down to Percent
    Width: 15% Percent
    Height: 15% Percent
    Click Ok

    Top Toolbar
    File > Save For Web
    Check Optimized
    Metadata: None
    Image Size (Modify if needed) adjusting to appropriate height and width
    Click Done

    Like the great tierney, I consider what photos to display, and which to just print off and keep in my photography book. I do go back and prune the site because sometimes the photos do not quite match the theme anymore.

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  8. Great tips!! I mainly started reducing the size of my photos’ because I realized how annoying it is to go onto someone’s blog and wait forever and a day for the images to load. I’ve found putting them to 500 to 1000 pixels on the longest side makes for good loading speed, saves storage space, and still keeps them at an easily visible size. Despite my photo heavy posts, i’ve never used up more than 30% of my 3GBs of storage.


  9. Oh, where was this wonderful post a couple of years back when I forked out for more storage?! 😆 I usually resize my pictures within WordPress to their “large” size, which I think scales them down to 800px on the longest side. I don’t like to go too small though, because the whole point of the photos on my blog is to point out any teeny details people might miss in a more “big picture” shot! One way I’ve found to save space is to make a mosaic of pictures in another app or program and upload it – so that’s 1 image, instead of 3 or 4. I used to use Picmonkey for this, but since they put up a paywall, I’ve found BeFunky just as good, if a little less slick to use. Cheers for the tips, Tierney (and everyone else who commented)! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I wish my post had been there when I first started Ha! Those are some great tips you shared and hopefully this post and the tips of people are sharing in the comments and help other bloggers wrangle their photo storage 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a very low tech method of taking the photos on my phone and then emailing them to myself from the phone. The phone email app compresses them automatically. Plus, then I have a copy to save on my computer if for some reason the phone dies

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