WordPress Skills Guide: Working with Media

Upon occasion, you may want to include media (images, audio, video) in your site’s posts and pages. There are generally two approaches to handling media in WordPress:

Uploading Media

You can upload the files into your site’s Media Gallery and then link to them in your posts/pages. This works very well for images, and when you take this approach for images you have the added benefit of being able to make use of WordPress’ built in (albeit rudimentary) editing tools. Also, when you upload images to WordPress, it automatically creates different sizes that you can use, as needed.

However, uploading media doesn’t work as well for audio and video. In order to have your media files actually show up in a “player” (with controls for stopping, pausing, etc.) you’ll need to install a plugin. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to include links to the files.  In addition, audio and video also take a up a lot of your space on Plymouth Create. For these reasons, we generally recommend you use media service sites like YouTube and embed that media (as described below)

Embedding

You can embed media from other sites easily in WordPress. Embedding an image just means providing a URL to its location elsewhere on the Web. Instead of uploading it to the server, WordPress grabs that image from the external source and displays it on your post/page. However, with this approach you lose your editing capabilities as well as the resizing feature.

Embedding audio and video from external sources becomes easier with every version of WordPress it seems. These days, you can embed video and audio from many external services (YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, and many others) by simply pasting the full URL of the audio/video location on it’s own line in your post/page.

Our general advice is to use externally hosted media whenever it makes sense and works. This is usually the case when you need to use audio or video. For images, if you need to do basic editing and/or require different sizes of images, upload them to your site. Otherwise, consider referencing them from another location (your Flickr account, for example).

Learn more about working with media: 

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Materials & Meaning Handbook Copyright © by Phil Lonergan. All Rights Reserved.

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