WordPress Plugins

Restoring the Media Library

In migrating a WordPress site to a different WordPress site, I ran into an issue with the media library. It didn’t migrate!

I downloaded the backup, extracted the files, placed them in the proper file structure, and uploaded them via FTP to the server. I figured this would be the simplest way to go about it. I was a tiny bit wrong.

I remember having this issue before, and there’s a whiz-bang fix for it. The Add to Server plugin. The catch: This plugin hasn’t been updated in a year or tested for the last 3 versions of WordPress. Also, there’s this comment on the plugin page:

Please Note: This plugin is not designed to replace the media uploader. This plugin is not designed to be used for migration of sites. This plugin is not designed to re-import your media upload history. This plugin is not designed to Batch import your media. Etc. This plugin is 8 years old and designed for importing singular large files which could not be uploaded through the administration interface.

I found an article (older, yes) that used the plugin the way I’m thinking to use. So, I decided to test out the Add to Server plugin, anyway. It still works! It’s clunky, but it works. Be prepared to sift through each folder of uploads individually, and you can’t select the imported time to the file’s date as default. You have to select that option with each and every folder. It’s tedious work, but it works!


  • Have a scratch pad handy to help you keep track of where you are in the file structure.
  • Uninstall this plugin when you completed your restoration project. Keep the plugin in mind, but don’t keep it installed.

Is there a better way to do this? I’m not sure, but I hope so. That idea is going into my research pile. Do you have any ideas? I’d love to hear them!

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