How to Bulk Upload Files to the WordPress Media Library Using FTP

Copying multiple files to the WordPress media library is easy enough. However, copying hundreds to your website is another story.

Unfortunately, you can’t just simply copy files into the Uploads folders in your WordPress directory. While the files will appear in your folder, they will not appear in your media library. WordPress doesn’t not recognize files that are not uploaded via the dashboard uploader.

In today’s Weekend WordPress Project, I’ll show you a straightforward way to transfer media to your site via FTP.

Feature image
Bulk upload images with the Add From Server plugin.

Uploading with Add From Server

The Add From Server plugin offers a simple solution to bulk uploading media to your site. The plugin lets you import media and files into the WordPress Uploads folder from any location on your server.

To use the plugin, install and activate it. Then go to either the Plugins interface and click on Add From Server > Import Files or in the admin sidebar go to Media > Add From Server.

The plugin will display folders in your WordPress directory. Choose the location of your files and check each of the files you want to upload to your media library. If you want to select all files, check the box next to “File” at the top.

Add From Server plugin
Select the server folder where your media is located and check the files you want in your media library.

While testing this plugin, I uploaded 500 images from my desktop to the Uploads folder in my WordPress site. Next, I opened Add From Server and selected “Uploads Folder.” Then I selected all files and at the bottom of the page I clicked “Import.”

It took a little while for the plugin to do its thing (I had 500 files, after all), but sure enough the files all appeared in my media library.

The plugin was last updated in May 2013, but still works fine and I had no problems using it with WordPress 3.9.1. Even with thorough testing and hundreds of files I didn’t receive any errors.

Comments (9)

  1. Thanks Raelene. This is helpful. Too bad WP stopped recognizing FTP uploads about 3.8.3 or so when the drag and drop uploader became the standard. I have done 200 thru the drag and drop and it gets done but nowhere near as fast as FTP. Maybe if enough complain about the loss of the FTP recognition, WP will put it back.

    In the meantime, I will give this plugin a try.

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