WordPress 3.5 Media Manager

As you all probably noticed, WordPress.org gave us the perfect Christmas present: the new 3.5 WordPress version can now be downloaded.

Named Elvin (after jazz drummer Elvin Jones), this version came out to rock (or jazz?) the  WordPress world by changing and improving quite a few things.

The main feature is the new process for uploading media and creating galleries but also you will notice the new Twenty Twelve theme, which comes with lighter, minimalist and responsive design (that means we won’t see the large bulky header image never again!).

Another news: a brand new color picker, the Link Manager in hidden and the dashboard supports HiDPI (Retina) displays, easy content-import from Tumblr and supports for Instagram, SoundCloud and Slideshare embeds.

Media Manager in WordPress 3.5

This version’s marquee feature – the Media Manager – allow you to upload images and other files and also to insert them into your posts a quite different than you’re used to. Also you’ll definitely like the new way the galleries are created.

Uploading Images

You can now upload media (specifically images) by dragging and dropping them into the Media Upload area. You can drag-and-drop more images at the time.

Also, you will notice that each uploaded file will be edited in a different page. That’s not a bad idea, but it also requires the click that you saved when uploaded the images by dragging and dropping them.

Inserting images into posts

When you decide to insert media into post, the new Manager, instead of listing the images – as it used to – will display the thumbnails of each image and you’ll be able to select and insert more than one at the time (with the possibility to reorder).
More than that, it has a side-pane, where you can add or edit information like title, caption, description and also you can make display settings.

Probably you will notice the absence of Use as featured image when uploading an image. Don’t worry, it’s not gone, just that it has a place of its own in Media Manager, just like Insert Media and Create Gallery.


The media gallery interface is a great improvement. It allows you to choose multiple image thumbnails at the time and to create a gallery, which can be edited by reordering the images and by making some gallery settings.

Yes, we like it!

This new user interface and experience is a major step forward, for both WordPress and users of all kind. Some disadvantages are covered by other advantages and so on. But at the end of the day, you will realize that playing with the new Media Manager was a great new experience and you have witness to another WordPress improvement.

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9 thoughts on “WordPress 3.5 Media Manager

  1. I totally disagee about the greatness of the new media manager….it is taking me 2x as long to get my posts together…I recognize that I need to get used to it….but right now I have to do many more clicks to simply get my pictures into my posts….not an improvement at all.

    1. Absolutely agree – spent so many time to upload new images to post. It could be a nice feature if they provide possibility to manage it in the user profile like enable / disable NEW MEDIA LIBRARY.

  2. Pretty crap, and not at all intuitive. A step backwards. How can I tell what images I attached to a particular post?

    Methinks this is image over substance.

  3. @Rochelle: Unfortunately i can’t agree with that point of view, at the very least (if it really doesn’t make doing attachments easier) it looks better, and loads faster. It doesn’t have the expand/collapse interface like the old one which can be very long and you’d need to scroll to see what you want. And oh yeah the delete button was beside “Set as featured image” which can be easy to accidentally click.

    @Paul: You can use the dropdown below the Upload Files and Media Library Tabs and choose “Uploaded to this post”

    What’s with all the hate? Come on people, if you think this is a step backwards, can anybody point out a comparative single instance/scenario where the old one was better?

    Also for developers who want to use this new media manager, i’ve written a tutorial on how to do it.

    1. “Come on people, if you think this is a step backwards, can anybody point out a comparative single instance/scenario where the old one was better?”

      OK sure. Virtually every time I want to add a picture to my post, it’s a new picture. I used to easily be able to see what I was doing. Now the whole center of the screen is full of my old pictures and the details of the new one are squashed away over on the right. If there was some way to adjust the size of these windows, I wouldn’t hate it so much. Maybe I wouldn’t even hate it at all. But if you think it’s so great, perhaps you can explain what is the advantage in having most of the screen taken up with my old pictures when I’m trying to add a new one?

  4. Hi,

    I’m using your Custom Fields Creator plugin (great plugin btw). Was wondering how can I integrate WP’s new media uploader into it instead of the thick box plugin that you use?

    Sorry didn’t know how else to get in touch with you.

    Many thanks in advance

    1. Hi Dev,

      We’re actually using the previous Media Uploader for this. I don’t know when we’ll add support for the new one, but right not that’s not on our short list.


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