New Grid View Coming to the WordPress Media Library

Your experience in the WordPress media library is about to get a whole lot better. Very soon you’ll have the option to display media items in a grid view. An exciting project to enhance the media library is well underway and will eventually be added to the WordPress core. The good news is that you don’t have to wait. This new feature, although still in development, is now available as a plugin.

Media Grid, developed by Shaun Andrews, just showed up in the WordPress plugin repository this weekend. Shaun has been a busy bee lately and he’s on a roll. The Media Grid plugin is the second plugin he’s released with improvements for the WordPress core UI. His first was the Widgets Area Chooser plugin that we featured earlier today.

When combined with the MP6 plugin, the Media Grid plugin currently lets you select between seeing the library displayed in the old list style or with the new grid view:

WordPress Media Library Grid View
WordPress Media Library Grid View

What’s cool about this plugin? It lets you toggle the thumbnails to a larger size for ease of browsing. Pagination is handled beautifully via infinite scroll. The search is also very responsive and returns results instantly as you type, even if you only enter one letter.

We’ve seen a lot of changes lately when it comes to WordPress user interface design. These rapid changes have been set in motion to arrange information in a way that is easier to use and understand.

Scientific studies of neural memory encoding have shown that the human brain remembers pictures better than words. If you’re searching for an image you recently uploaded, browsing through thumbnails is likely to be much more helpful than trying to use words to search for your image. An optional grid view makes a lot of sense for this interface and I’m hoping it will become the default view.

When Will We See the Media Grid in the WordPress Core?

Of course, the burning question everyone wants to know, is when can we see this added to the WordPress core? The Media Library Grid View project is led by Helen Hou-Sandi. The plugin is part of the “Features as Plugins” initiative that enables developers to propose new features to core in the form of a plugin. Last time I checked with Shaun he said that they would love to have it ready for 3.8 or 3.9 but really it comes down to whenever it’s ready.

This plugin is the future of the WordPress media library. I’m convinced that once you try the grid view you won’t ever want to go back to the boring list style. Although the Media Grid plugin is still being actively developed, it’s working quite nicely already. Shaun Andrews welcomes your suggestions and patches. If you’d like to help test it you can download Media Grid from the WordPress plugin repository.

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