Media Library

This is part of the Phase 3: Collaboration roadmap. The main projects are Real-Time Collaboration, Workflows, Revisions, Media Library, Block Library, and Admin Design.


The media library has been an area of slow iteration during the first phases of the blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor. It’s time to put more focus on it. The main goals are to expand the media management capabilities, unify the block edit and single media interfaces, and improve upon the major media flows.

Screenshot of the media inserter panel in the editor.

On the management side, it’s time to look at categorization and tagging, better handling of attached media, design improvements to the library views and filtering. Several important functionalities are already present but not presented in the best way. For example, media attachment functionality (items anchored to a specific post) is often hard to discover, the interface is not the most intuitive, and the connection doesn’t necessarily carry through other editing flows in a clear way. For larger teams, media ingestion can often be an entirely separate process from writing posts. The ability to bulk attach media files and connect them to the relevant content pieces is thus an important part of the collaborative process.

We should also revamp the image editing interface and align with the current block editor tools. Cropping tools in particular need to be unified and further improved. Iterate on how users can visualize and toggle between different thumbnails, while reducing the burden on picking the right file size (WordPress should determine that for you at runtime). Review default thumbnail sizes to accommodate current screen sizes distribution. It should also be possible to set a non-destructive duotone effect directly in the library. It’d be nice to bring UIUI User interface tools like focus point control to the library flows, so that media objects can store that information and be leveraged automatically when inserting on a cover block, or when using an image on a cropped featured media container.

When managing the media library, it should be easy to check and keep track of attribution. As we look into expanding the presence and touch points of Openverse, it’d be interesting to see how contributions to the commons could work directly from a user’s WordPress install. Another area to look at is improving handling and presentation of other media types (audio, video, files) and their connection with blocks and the block APIs. We should resurface work on a native Playlist block, ideally powered by the Interactivity API.

Finally, we should take a look at the publishing flows for media and format driven posts (where only one block type is present) to allow more expressive freedom.


  • Tackle design improvements of the media library elements and see about a path to migrate to wordpress/data and newer UI components. Make it even easier to reuse and connect the media experience anywhere on the adminadmin (and super admin) and blocks plugins.
  • Look into adding categories and tags support. Explore better browsing organization (for example, date headings and other improvements to the filtering UI).
  • Improve inline and freeform cropping across block editor and standalone image editing. Connect cropping variations with defining custom aspect ratios across the block UI.
  • Explore how patterns could be incorporated into media flows. For example, being able to preview a selection of media (or all attached media) within different media patterns quickly.
  • Connect with Workflows: for example, to require certain steps, such as adding a caption, attribution, alt text, or prevent things like publishing with external images.
  • Media flows and block integration should be excellent. For example, make blocks aware of attached media so that inserting an image block could automatically display unused media or allow an author to cycle through those without opening the full media library or browsing through an entire collection.
  • Expose relevant media tools and actions in the command center.
  • Improve presentation of media in other editing contexts, like showing small media previews in the block list view.
  • Incorporate featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts. in the canvas of the post editor when the single template uses a featured image block (this is a lingering task from the site and post editor interface work).
  • Look at the possibility of supporting other featured media types beyond images.
  • Improve upon bulk editing operations, including attaching already uploaded media to a post type.
  • Explore treating focal point as image data and make it available to plugins and blocks.
  • Allow operations like drag to upload media anywhere on the editor — and then maybe anywhere on the admin.
  • Follow through on updates to the attachment theme template and single image expand functionality.
  • Review outstanding tasks on main media blocks (image, gallery, cover, video, audio, file, etc) for enhancements and bugbug A bug is an error or unexpected result. Performance improvements, code optimization, and are considered enhancements, not defects. After feature freeze, only bugs are dealt with, with regressions (adverse changes from the previous version) being the highest priority. fixes.

Get Involved!

What other improvements would you like to see around the media library experience?

#gutenberg, #phase-3