How to Add an External Media Library to WordPress

WordPress has always come as the most wonderful CMS system for both written content and media files for decades. Its built-in Media Library allows users to upload and store images and videos in a breeze. You can easily embed them to any of your pages and posts.

Besides self-hosting images and videos, it’s possible for you to display Youtube, Vimeo, or Flickr files by adding their links into your content. Once previewing, you are able to view these videos in the same way as to how they appear in the edit screen. This helps remove the big file size burden on your WordPress site.

In fact, many site owners favor having a separate place to keep these files on their WordPress website. However, it raises the problem of WordPress file storage capability as well as messing up the current library.

Do you know that you can still create a remote library for files from third-party resources without affecting your WordPress storage? Our article will quickly answer this question by guiding you through how to create an additional median library for your WordPress site. Before that, we will brief some reasons why you should have an external library.

Let’s get the ball rolling!

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Why Adding Remote Media Library in WordPress

WordPress external media libraries bring numerous advantages to your WordPress site. The first and foremost benefit is saving time. Imagine you’re working on a page or post and plan to add a Youtube video or a Flicker image to your content.

It’d be great if you can have access to these platforms right on your site. As a result, you can import files from these services to your Media Library with ease. The process of opening a new window, browsing files, copying the link, then pasting it in the content is cut down.

How to Add an External Media Library to WordPress

Among numerous remote media library plugins, External Media stands out from the crowd thanks to its ease of use and feature-rich capability. It enables you to import files from other file hosting services into your WordPress Media Library. These platforms include Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.

The following guide shows you how to import files from third-party platforms to your WordPress site.

  1. Head to PluginsAdd New in your WordPress admin dashboard
  2. Type “external media” in the keyword box
  3. Install and activate the plugin. Then an option namely “Add from URL” will be added to your Media section.
  4. Go to External Media under Settings in your WordPress left-hand navigation menu. A screen of multiple tab displays allowing you to configure settings.
  5. Provide third-party credentials for each plugin configuration such as the API keys, App Keys, and App Secrets
  6. Go back to the MediaLibrary. Whenever uploading an image or video, you will see a selection of third-party services for you to choose from.
  7. Search for your file and import it to the media library

Since you already add these files to your WordPress Media Library, they become permanent. This means that all changes made to them via third-party services won’t affect your imported files.

On top of that, you don’t have to worry about duplicated uploads anymore. It’s because anytime you intend to import a file, the plugin will check if you used to add them to your WordPress site or not. If yes, the plugin will reuse the file instead of re-importing it.

External Media has gained trust from thousands of users and received a lot of 5-star reviews. The number of third-party services is limited if you’re using the lite plugin. The Pro version, on the other hand, supports more media platforms such as Unsplash, Instagram, Pexels, Pixabay, and AWS.

How to Auto-Protect Images in External Library

You have a social account to share images there such as family photos or event photography of clients. These files serve private or commercial purposes that should be secure from unwanted users.


Prevent Direct Access (PDA) Gold appears as a simple yet powerful solution to help you protect your imported file within seconds. Once imported from third-party services, all your files will be auto-protected. Here is how you get started to protect your files:

  1. Install and activate the PDA Gold plugin
  2. Visit the Prevent Direct Access Gold settings page added to your WordPress navigation menu
  3. Enable the option Auto-protect New File Uploads

That’s it! All your uploaded files will be automatically protected once you upload them to your Media Library, from your computer or other file hosting platforms. Only those with the right permission can view them.

Add and Protect Your External Media Today!

An external media library makes it simple for you to import files from other file hosting services such as Youtube, Vimeo, Unsplash, or Flickr. You no longer have to go to these platforms, find the files, copy the URL, and paste to your WordPress content with the support of the External Media plugin.

It’s recommended to protect your uploaded files so that unauthorized users couldn’t access them. PDA Gold plugin permits you to secure your files uploaded to your site automatically.

Still have a question about how to add an external media library to your WordPress site as well as protecting it? Leave a comment to let us know.