This article compares plugins that convert the WordPress Media Library into a file and folder manager. If you are planning to build a blog with regular posts and lots of images, this is an essential plugin to help organise the images into a hierarchy of folders.
The comparison at the time of writing this article is Firebird 4.0.5 and Real Media Library 4.9.1, and will be referred to as FB405 and RML491 respectively.
- Both plugins requires you to setup folders at the “Media Library” Tab, before you can use them.
- Both upload require a single click before you can see the folder list.
- RML491 has allows you to 1) search the folder name, and 2) expand/collapse the folder list. FB405 does not have this feature. The issue is that if you have say 2020 with 12 folders and 2021 with another 12 folders, it will show an expanded dropdown list of 26 items. This makes it hard to navigate and find a folder.
- Verdict: RML491 has a significantly superior uploading page.
Compare Firebird and Real Media Library
- FB405 uses a right-click menu that allows renaming and moving folders by drag and dropping, which feels more like “Windows”. This function is available in the free version.
RML491 has similar functions but uses a separate button on top of the folder tree for drag/drop, reordering , renaming and deleting folders. We are not able to test the drag/drop and reordering of folder as is is a paid pro function.
Other Design Notes
The following are some points worth noting at this time, however, they are subjected to changes in future due to constant development and upgrade.
- Firebird’s page at Codecanyon wrote that sidebar is resizable, but it does not seem to work on our site. This could be due to conflict with other software.
- We are confused by some of Real Media Library’s features such as “Filter in insert media dialog”. We are not sure if this is enabled in the free version and how it works based on the short movie below.
- RML is a virtual folder system, and it also comes with Real Physical Media addon, which creates the real folder structure on the web server. This means when you access your image directory in FTP, you can actually see the same structure as you have created in the plugin.
- Another nice feature of RML491 is that it allows user to set a default folder. Say if you have a default folder that is actively in use, you can set this as the default folder to open each time instead of having to search 100 or 500 folders for each posting.
Real Media Library 4.9.1: We like the search, expand and collapse function of the Uploading Page. We find that this is an important design feature as it would impact how we upload our images into folders. Furthermore, it allows user to specify a default folder on opening, so you don’t have to search through X folders everytime, to go to the current folder that is actively in use.
Firebird 4.0.5: We like the right-click popup context menu with the rename function. We also thank the developers for providing the folder drag/drop function free of charge.
In conclusion, we feel that Real Media Library is great for large sites with many folders. If you have photos arranged into one folder per month and over say 5 years (60 folders), it will be easier to find a specific folder in the uploading page.
Firebird should work very well on sites if there are not too many folders.