How to Do Basic Image Editing in WordPress

Humans are highly visual creatures. Believing it or not, 90% of what our brains process is visual information. Visual content like images helps break up large text blocks and make the post more readable. Instead of skimming masses of text, we prefer content with illustrations.

However, do you make sure all of your images are ideal before uploading? In fact, each of them needs one or two extra polishing in order to look perfect. An image editing tool can effectively support you in this case. However, you have to learn how to use them from scratch.

Fortunately, WordPress takes this burden off your shoulder by enabling you to edit your images on a basis. You can easily crop, rotate, scale, flip images, and many more without any hassle.

The following guide will walk you through the 3 main steps of editing your WordPress images. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Upload Your Image to WordPress Media Library

To start making any changes to your images, you must have them available on your WordPress Media Library where you store files. It’s possible for you to upload an image via a page/post editor or directly from the Media Library.

In your WordPress admin dashboard, simply go to MediaAdd New. Then click Select Files or drag and drop a file from your computer.


After that, go back to your Media Library page. There are 2 options of list and grid to view the collection of media files. The former lets you see file information like the author name, upload date, and current location. The latter, meanwhile, displays a wide range of media files only.

Step 2: Open The Image Editor

pda-media-library-listvs pda-media-library-grid-view

If you are in the list view, hover the image you’ve just uploaded and click the “Edit” option.

In case you’re in the grid view mode, click on your desired image which will then show an Attachment Details page. Hit the “Edit Image” button and you can start adjusting your file now.

It will then lead you to the image edit screen where you have the capability to crop, scale, and set a thumbnail for the file.

Step 3: Edit The WordPress Image

As you can see in the example below, there is a list of options at the top of the image:

  • Crop – Enable you to cut your image. It corresponds to the IMAGE CROP feature of your right-hand menu. The selection will be the current file size. Once you move the file’s border, the new file size will appear in the “Aspect ratio:” box.
  • Rotate – Turn your image to the left or the right. This comes in handy when your image appears sideways from the orientation desired.
  • Flip – Overturn your photo upside down or left side right.
  • Undo/Redo – Let you revert the previous/the next action if you don’t want the current change.


On your right-hand menu, you can

  • Scale Image – Control your image size to make it smaller if you don’t want the image to take up the full width of your content area. The minimum size is 300px. You should use this option before cropping your image in order to keep its proportions.
  • Aspect Ratio – Refer to the relationship between an image’s width and height to describes its shape. The formula can be 3:2 or 1:1 (for square images).
  • Thumbnail Settings: All the changes you’ve just made now can be applied to all images, only thumbnail images, or all photos except the thumbnails, depending on the option you choose from.

Remember to save your changes by clicking on the Save or Scale button. In the Media Library, WordPress will apply these adjustments right on your image. However, it will make a new copy of that one on the server and following these changes.

Step 4: Restore Your WordPress Images

In case you’re not satisfied with the updated image later on or accidentally edit the wrong image, it’s possible for you to restore it.

In your Media Library, hover the one you want to change to the previous version, then click Edit. There will be a “Restore Image” button under the Scale Image feature enabling you to discard the changes and get back to the original image.

Please notice that WordPress still keeps the previously edited image in the Media Library.

Step 5: Edit WordPress Image Attachment Details

You need to pay attention to attachment details since Google will base on them to understand and rank your images.

In your Media Library, choose the image you plan to make changes, and hit the “Edit” option. Your image main information will be displayed at the right top of the page, including the file name, type, the uploading date, size, and dimensions.

It’s important for you to fill in the Alt Text of the image. Since crawlers can’t see images, they will read the alt text to know what your image is about. You’re allowed to explain a little bit more about the photo via the Caption and Description box.

Once you upload an image to WordPress, a file URL will be immediately created for that image. You’re unable to edit the link unless going to the attachment page.


Step 5: Protect WordPress Images

There might be times when you don’t want visitors to view your images. They can be event photos of customers or images in a premium online course.


WordPress isn’t equipped with a default feature to secure your images though. Fortunately, you can solve the issue in a finger snap with the support of Prevent Direct Access Gold plugin.

The plugin gives you a helping hand in shielding your private images from unauthorized users right in the Media Library. All you need to do includes:

  1. Install and activate the PDA Gold plugin
  2. Head to your WordPress Media Library
  3. Click “Configure file protection” then hit the “Protect this file” button

That’s it! Nobody has the ability to open your image except the permitted users now.

Don’t Make Editing WordPress Image a Hassle

It’s straightforward to edit your WordPress images right in the Media Library. You can easily crop, rotate, flip, scale, or even restore the original version. You should also provide alt text and description for your image so that search engine crawlers can understand and rank them more quickly.

Plus, you’re allowed to protect your WordPress images via WordPress Media Library or while editing them with a single click. Simply install the PDA Gold plugin and let it handle the job.