What Kind of Media Files Does WordPress Support?

WordPress is pretty versatile. It offers an open-ended platform that you can use for just about anything. Need a corporate site? It can do that. Need a recipe blog? Well, it can do that, too. But one thing that remains as a constant across all different kinds of sites is the need for media files.

Media is what brings your site to life. And thankfully, WordPress supports quite a few different file types, which makes building the site you want (as you want it) a whole lot easier. If you’re not clear on what’s supported, keep reading.

Supported Media Files Types

According to the WordPress Codex, specific media files are supported by the CMS for uploads. Supported images include .jpg and .jpeg, .png and .gif. Supported audio files include .mp3, .m4a, .ogg, and .wav. Several video files types are supported as well including .mp4 and .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mpg, .ogv, .3gp, .3g2.

This gives you quite a bit of freedom in terms of what you can upload. Generally, these file types will serve the needs of most people.

Uploading and Managing Media Files

While you will usually upload your media files using the uploader within the post editor, there might come a time when you need to upload so many files at once that this is just not practical. In these cases, using FTP to upload your media files is a much better option.

Now, you can upload files via FTP into your WordPress directory with ease. But they won’t automatically appear in your Media Library, which is really important if you ever plan on inserting them into your posts and pages—which I assume you do! According to WPMU DEV, you accomplish this using the Add From Server plugin.

Once installed, this plugin will let you import media files from your WordPress directory into the Media Library with just a few clicks. Go to the main menu for the plugin to see the various folders in the directory. Select the one where you uploaded your files then check the boxes next to those you want to import. Then just click Import. It’s that simple.

If media is a mainstay on your site then there might come a time when the standard Media Library just isn’t enough. That is, it’s not organized enough to be truly useful when dealing with so many files. In this case, you might find using a plugin like Media File Manager to be helpful.

Once this plugin is installed, you can create subdirectories within the uploads directory. This way, you can create subdirectories for specific categories of files. So, you could create separate folders for audio, video, and image files. Or you might create one for each file type. Or perhaps subdirectories for media files attached to posts and those attached to pages. You get the general idea. This plugin is really versatile and easy to use, which can make it a good addition to media-intensive sites.

Support for Additional File Types

Though WordPress comes with base support for a set of media file types, you can add compatibility for others. However, you’ll need to get your hands dirty into the code a bit to make this happen. Your first step is to back up your site (files and database). Then open your functions.php file in a text editor and get ready to add some code.

You’ll need to look up the mime type of the file you want to add support for first. This must be accurate so make sure you jot it down to the letter.

Below is the snippet of code you’d add to support .EPS and .AI files, for example:

// Added to extend allowed files types in Media upload
add_filter('upload_mimes', 'custom_upload_mimes');
function custom_upload_mimes ( $existing_mimes=array() ) {

// Add *.EPS files to Media upload
$existing_mimes['eps'] = 'application/postscript';

// Add *.AI files to Media upload
$existing_mimes['ai'] = 'application/postscript';

return $existing_mimes;

And that’s all there is to it!


We’ve established that you can build any kind of site you want to using WordPress. And though it comes with built-in support for specific files types, you can do a little legwork and add support for other file types and implement better methods of uploading and managing media files.

At the end of the day, that’s the true beauty of WordPress: its versatility. Even with media files, you can customize the platform to suit your purposes.

Have you made any modifications to your site’s support for media files? If so, what did you do?