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How to Speed Up the Blog Image Hunt

It was late and I needed to repeat the use of an image I uploaded a year ago to the . I know WordPress is working on a new image uploader and multimedia management interface, but it can’t come soon enough for me. Clicking through only a few groups of the hundreds of images I’ve uploaded to the blogs is time-consuming and frustrating.

Then the light bulb went off with a bang. Use Google?

Google indexes your blog’s uploaded images, stored with the keywords within your image’s ALT tag (hopefully you are using them!). I needed an image that dealt with “tags” so I went to and typed in the search form:


Google image search offers a way to search for your blog images fast

The search results brought up thumbnail images of all the images with “tag” in the file name and indexed keywords. Within seconds I found the image I needed for the article, copied the link and inserted it into the blog post.

The link from the search results page is a Google mess. You can open the linked image and pull the link from the source, or just clean up the Google link, depending upon how much of a hurry you are in. I cleaned.

The link looks like: //

Remove the Google clutter to the specific image location link:

This process is so much easier than clicking through the current WordPress image browse feature when you are dealing with hundreds and hundreds of images.

I reuse a lot of images on , so I leaving the Google Image tab open all the time next to my blog post tabs, bringing easy access to my images. This has dropped my image hunt time to seconds.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted February 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I also stumbled into the use of Google to locate images in posts but,I sincerely hope that will be introducing a means of actually managing our images in the future.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to bring something else about image management forward too. When bloggers do make the transition to self-hosting their own WordPress install they can import their blog contents (pages, posts, special fields, categories and links) into their new blogs but there is no bulk upload of import and export of images available. This means that they are faced with 2 alternatives.

    (1) Keeping their old blog up as a mirror blog set to “private” and hotlinking to the images to avoid the duplicate content Google problem; or,
    (2) Uploading all the images into the old post in the new blog one at a time and, retiring the blog when done.

    Granted that a Linux bash script can be used to make the images attachments to the posts that they appear in but, this does not address the inability to manage them under “uploads” and, locating them is further frustrated by the fact that the url’s will change so using Google to locate them isn’t a breeze. And just like (1) above bloggers are compelled to retain their old blogs because if they delete them their images will disappear.

    I observe that due to this clumsy situation the estimated numbers of ‘active’ blogs hosted by are inflated by these ‘private’ blogs.

    I’d truly like to see staff tackle this and develop their own image management alternatives for their users.

  2. Posted February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    @ timethief:

    As usual, my friend, we think alike. I totally agree. My method of dealing with the image issue when moving my WordPress blog from one domain to the other is to use MySQL database search and replace, which is fast and does the job like a hammer. This is why I no longer use relative links for my images, too. Much easier to search and replace not only images but internal links to the new in-site links.

    I, too, would love to see this improved. Thanks for bringing it up.

  3. Posted February 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m a nervous neophyte so when it comes to managing my install. It’s regrettable that once the installation is accomplished there’s very little in the way of transition assistance available to those of us who do make the leap. Frankly I nervous about posting to the org forum because some of the treatment I have seen others getting there made me cringe. So, thanks for the link re: MySQL database search and replace and thanks for the don’t use relative links for images tip too.

    Most of all it’s good to hear my validation of my belief that staff ought to develop their own image management alternatives for their users.

  4. Posted February 21, 2008 at 10:23 pm | Permalink right now has the basic structure under manage > uploads for a much better solution if they would simply expand that page to show say 24 thumbnails as opposed to the maximum of 12 they have now. That page could easily be expanded to show 24, or more, and it would not I suspect be that big a deal to add a search feature that would search “alt” tags and/or the file name. It’s a database query, not rocket science.

    WordPress is obviously also a little [sic] short on good UI designers and virtually all of their pages could benefit from a good tightening up and pruning. I’m a big fan of white space, but many of the pages in the wordpress interface have way too much and it actually makes the interface less useable. The new interface slated for release in 2.5 (self-hosted version) is not that much better really.

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