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Cleaning The Media Library

Many times clients are surprised that their WordPress websites are unexpectedly large, in some cases, initiating additional storage charges. There are two main reasons why a WordPress directory would grow to an unexpectedly large size.

First, many casual webmasters simply transfer pictures directly from a digital camera, scan, or other source without first “tweaking” the image. Today’s digital cameras take high resolution pictures that far exceed what can be displayed on the internet. Websites automatically reduce the appearance of the pictures to fit the display but not the actual size of the stored file. The size of an average display at the time of this writing is about 1024 pixels across. A picture file of that size should be about 100 – 200KB in size. However, if a picture is simply transferred directly from a digital source, the size could be anywhere from 100KB to 25MB. Uploading just 10 25MB files from a digital camera will use 250MB of space. And, something most casual webmasters do not consider is that it takes twice that space to back up a WordPress site. Therefore, if the site is 500MB, it will take 1000MB of space to back up the site: 500MB for the site and 500MB for the backup file. Making things worse is the fact that many backup programs will simply fail if they run out of space and will not produce an error thereby leaving the user without a valid backup. These same size issues apply to pdf files and other types of media files. There are many different ways to create and tweak pictures, graphics and pdf files for publication on the web. If you are unsure of the best solution, consult a professional.

Second, most casual webmasters do not realize that simply removing a link from a WordPress page or post does not remove the media file. The file will remain in the media library, indefinitely, or until it is manually deleted. When a media file is removed from a page or post, it should be immediately removed from the media library as well. Failing that, the media library provides a method for finding media files that are no longer attached to either a page or a post file. The following document explains how to find unattached documents within the WordPress Media Library. Please note that a backup is strongly recommended before deleting any files from your media directory.

Cleaning The Media Library

If you have additional questions concerning the size of your WordPress website and how it can affect your cost, backups, etc., please feel free to contact us.

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