Site Updates

Two things, only one of which is probably relevant to you:

  1. I’ve migrated my gallery into WordPress. It currently is just the work that was in my old gallery, but I’ll be adding new stuff going forward. (It’s also linked to in the nav bar at the top of the page!)
  2. I’ve made some behind-the-scenes tweaks, how image attachment pages work, and also added a plugin for improving how the WordPress media library works (FileBird is what I landed on, will explain my thoughts on it all below the cut). If you notice any broken links or odd behavior, please let me know!

I’ve been using WordPress for over 20 years, and one gripe I’ve always had is how it handles media. The media library, frankly, sucks. There’s a lot of decent functionality, don’t get me wrong, but the methods for organizing and managing your media are extremely lackluster, and has been a major reason I’ve been reluctant to bother trying to use many images or other media in my posts.

Third parties have certainly tried to fix this space – there are half a dozen well-rated plugins to update the media library to add folders and categories and similar… and all of them are (at best) freemium, where at least one feature you actually need to be effective is locked behind a license that can cost hundreds of dollars. I tried all of the ones I could find (in a sandbox, because holy crap do they all add cruft your database), and literally none were actually what I really wanted without spending more than I was comfortable with.

I eventually landed on FileBird. It gets me close enough:

  • Unlike some of the other plugins, it doesn’t require you to sign up for a service just to use the free version (which is a dark pattern that those developers should be fucking ashamed of themselves for doing).
  • It supports folders and subfolders (subfolders were often locked behind the “Pro” version for a lot of the other plugins).
  • It updates the media library to add folder support, so you can continue to use default options (you can use the standard WordPress gallery block or image block, no need to use plugin-specific blocks that break if you decide to turn off the plugin for some reason).

One thing I was hoping to do originally was to have the gallery pages auto-update when you added things to a given folder, but the more I thought about it, the more I gave up that notion: if you’re doing an archive page, that might be okay, but realistically you want to have more control over what images are highlighted and which aren’t, and that means having some manual control. And the folders in the media library give you enough control to see what you’ve added and what you haven’t.

So yeah, I’m not 100% thrilled, but it’s a start!

2 thoughts on “Site Updates

    1. Glad you like it! It was taken effectively at the same time as the Yellowstone sunset next to it. (Basically turned around and was like “whoa”.)

      I did take a look at MLA! It does a lot and is free and I’m sure scratches the organization itch for a lot of folks, but wasn’t quite what I was looking for – it was overkill in some ways, adding a ton of clutter to the interface that I didn’t really want.

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