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WordPress: Gallery Limitations and Ways Around Them

WordPress.com is an awesome platform, filled with great features that help people start up their own blog. Bloggers aren’t the only people using the WordPress platform, but for the most part, they’re the main audience. Blogging is a hobby, or a career, which is filled with media. Writing is only half of the battle, trust me – I know that I will spend just as long looking for relevant media, making sure that the media fits the content of the article. However, after some time, you’ll begin to fill your gallery up, slowly but surely – And when you do, you’ll be left with a headache – One wondering how you get around it. Do you delete the files? Do you make a new website? Here’s a few ways you can get around these limitations.

Why Media Matters

First of all, let’s talk about why media matters. The first thing you’ll note is the large image above, sitting in a prominent position immediately after a title. They say a picture tells us a thousand words, which sometimes is true. Indeed, when you find a good bit of media, it’s great to include it – It can tell people what you’re writing about, as opposed to just simply telling them about it. People will see images and if they’re relevant, they may be more inclined to read the article further. Afterall, if the author doesn’t know what sort of picture to paint, how will the audience?

On this website, I make a habit of making sure there are relevant and interesting images to be featured with an article. However, WordPress.com limit their blogs to 3GB of storage, with you being able to buy a Personal, Premium or Business plan. Here at GeekOut South-West, we use the Personal plan, which I pay for every year. It’s not too expensive and it increases us from 3GB of storage up to 6GB. This is a good step, but even this can run out pretty easily. Today then, I’m going to offer you a few alternatives you can use, or any ways to increase the amount of storage you have, without having to upgrade further.

Please note, we’re not endorsing any of the methods below, but rather showing what options there are out there.

Saving To A Hard Drive

Want to keep all of your old media files, but find the process of saving them all one by one just that little bit too tedious? You can set up a WordPress.org installation and use this to get all of the images on your hard drive. Do not get me wrong, this will be a big process, but it’ll ultimately be worth it in the long run.

Get yourself WordPress.org and follow the setup instructions for your own self hosted WordPress.org website. However, you needn’t get it set up on the web – Just so long as you set it up so you can access the WordPress.org backend. Effectively, you’ll have working website files, but no real website so to speak. From there, you can then export your WordPress.com media files using the export tool and then export them to the WordPress.org site you have on your PC. This’ll then put all of the files in your own folders, on your hard drive.

I think this is an ideal way of doing it, but it’s not the best way for anyone who doesn’t like to get a little bit techy. If this is something people want a tutorial on in future, share your thoughts in our comments so I know to actually do a tutorial on this in the coming weeks.

Using Online Tools

Okay, so downloading all of that content isn’t good for your machine. Perhaps you have a laptop with limited space, or perhaps you really just want to be able to access this information anywhere (excluding the use of an External Hard Drive). You can download each of your images one by one, which is a tedious process, but if you’ve got a lot of patience and are willing to do this, then consider getting yourself a free Google Drive account. This gives you 15GB of free data storage, so at least you’ve always got an easy way to store the media.

This might not solve the problem on how to keep your older articles with media files still on them, but ultimately, this is a problem you can resolve by making a new WordPress.com website, or by upgrading the plan you’re on.

Deleting Old Content

Perhaps the toughest choice is deleting old content. You spent time working on it, you spent time making sure it looked right, so deleting it is a hard thing to do. It’s fair to point out that by deleting an article, you do not delete the media. As such, you can delete old content simply by deleting whole articles and associated media, or you can just delete the old media. This means the old articles will still be there, but no media will be available for those articles. At which point, you may as well make backups of them.

WordPress gives you very little few tools to help out on this front, unfortunately. It is possible to wipe the website completely via Settings, however this will delete everything… There will be no website left! As such, you can go through your posts or media content one by one, ticking the tickboxes for the ones you wish to remove. This is a time consuming process which will make you seriously question whether or not you should take a punt for more storage! But if you’re patient, like with the Cloud Services method mentioned above, then this is probably the best way you can do it.

Create Another WordPress Website

Finally – Just a really quick one – You can create another WordPress.com website and if you wanted your current to remain as your active one, use the XML export to upload to another WordPress.com website. You can even make that one private, if you just want it for storage. It’s free to do this and you’ll get 3GB every time you do so.


Whatever you plan to do with your old media, you’ve got to seriously consider how it’ll impact your website going forward. Whatever route you go down, I hope the above four options have given you some food for thought. All in all, we too are coming to that crunch time where we need to consider what to do with our own media. No matter what way you go, make sure you are fully aware of the implications of each – and share your favourite way to store your media once you’re low on space on your website. Leave your comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter.

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