A Simple Way to Organize Media Upload by Users

Encouraging users to interact with your site is old but gold in engaging them and improving their browsing experience. To achieve that, you can provide live chat, enable comments, or simply upgrade the linking structure.

Another common way is to allow users to upload images and other media files to your WordPress site right at the front end. This helps free them from back-and-forth email communication. You can also permit profile pictures, product reviews, or guest post submissions without asking users to register or to log into the admin era, especially for one-time scenarios.

In this article, we’ll center on how to let WordPress users upload images to your site. But first, let’s discuss some typical cases.

Why Should You Allow Image Uploads?

There are various reasons motivating you to grant users permission to upload files to your WordPress media library. You may want to accept guest post documents, support screenshots, approve user profile pictures when they sign up for your site, and tons more.

  • Guest Post Submissions – You offer a Write for Us option for guest authors to submit their posts. The file upload form makes it convenient for them to submit their Word document or a screenshot zip folder.
  • Product Reviews – Testimonials stay powerful to build trust in site visitors and customers. It’s redundant to create an account just to leave a review, isn’t it? A file upload form where these users can upload their profile pictures tied up with their words would be more flexible.
  • Photography Contests – You hold a photo contest receiving hundreds to thousands of entries from photographers. Obviously, not all of them should be able to access to your WordPress admin area due to security issues.
  • User Profile Picture – This case best suits membership, submission, and forum websites. Users have a chance to provide their profile photos which helps strengthen your online community and boost your site’s reliability.

The challenge now lies in how to organize these media files in the Library. You can’t simply contain every file from all users in the same play which may mess up your Library, in which WordPress arranges your files in time order.

It’s recommended to create a separate folder for every single user to store their files. This makes it easier for you to find them out when necessary. Plus, users aren’t able to touch others’ properties.

How to Organize WordPress File Uploads by Users

We advise you to seek assistance from the WP Users Media plugin for the media library organization. With 4K active installs and a 4.9/5-star review, it proves a powerful solution to successfully sort images and videos by users.

WP Users Media basically prevents each user from accessing other members’ files and attachments. To get started with the plugin, you need to:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and open PluginsAdd New
  2. Type “wp users media” in the keyword box
  3. Click Install Now then Activate to have the plugin ready on your site
  4. Go to WP Users Media under Settings to configure the plugin’s settings

There are General and User roles settings tabs.


By default, admin users are able to view all media uploads from all users on their site. Enable the first option and these users can see the attachments they upload only.


On the User roles settings page, you can authorize individual roles to see their files only by switching on the toggle in the same row. The plugin already lists all of your user roles there.

To take one example, we will allow authors to view their attachments only.

Now, create 2 or 3 new users and assign them the Author role. The next step is logging in to the admin dashboard under each of these accounts. Anytime you log in as a different user, try uploading a few images or videos.

When landing in the Media Library, you can notice that you’re restricted to viewing and inserting images you’ve added before.

Protect Media Uploads by User Roles

Apart from organizing files by roles, have you ever thought of protecting them from unauthorized users? For instance, only users of a specific role can access your files via original URLs. Others will be redirected to a 404 not page.

Pikaboo! Here PDA Gold is. The plugin comes as the pioneer of the WordPress file protection niche. Not only does it assist you in media security, but PDA Gold also aims to organize and manage your private files effectively.

You have multiple ways to protect and grant file access permission, in the attachment page, media library grid view, Add Media button, and even in the plugin’s popup.

Go through the process below and guard your files by user roles via the Prevent Direct Access File Protection Popup.

  1. Find your desired image or video in the Media Library and click Protect under its name
  2. Hit the Configure File Protection option
  3. Open the File Access Permission tab and choose the user roles.

That’s it!

Keep Individual Users’ Files Private!

It’s not ideal to let users see uploads of others due to management issues, multi-author WordPress sites in particular. In this article, we’ve shown you how to use the WP Users Media plugin to disable each user role against accessing other members’ attachments.

Don’t forget to safeguard your WordPress images and videos by user roles. As a result, just specific people logged in with the correct role are permitted to open them directly.

Check out other useful features of PDA Gold now!