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Image & Asset Management

Image & Asset Management

Large organizations produce large libraries of digital assets. Images, pdfs, videos, word docs, and forms all add up over time. For rights managed assets, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) software solution is an absolute must.

WordPress is an exceptional partner, or in worst case scenario an acceptable stand-in to help you manage your digital assets.

Digital Asset Management

For rights managed assets, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) software solution is an absolute must. WordPress is not a plug-in replacement for a sound asset management solution. Where we often see a need for asset management is the space between the DAM and your other digital properties. While assets get loaded and managed in DAM software, the second they leave the walled garden of the Communications department, they are at the whim of every user with access to the internet. If your organization isn’t running, or can’t run, a digital asset management solution, a well architected WordPress approach can be a great start to well managed digital assets.

Image Optimization

WordPress features a straightforward asset library. Out of the box, it handles managing basic properties of digital assets like titles, captions, and alt tag attributes. A well built WordPress website or application will leverage this asset library to create the appropriate thumbnails, featured banners, and mobile optimizations of these assets as needed throughout.  Many CMS applications lack this feature of producing appropriately sized image assets for your specific needs. It’s also worth noting that it’s frequently a feature that is ignored or poorly executed by developers new to the WordPress platform, so make sure your development partners are considering asset generation.

Extensions

We find that most colleges and universities need a more robust tool set to manage their digital assets online than is provided by WordPress out of the box. Thankfully the media library tools are extendable. Additional features can and should be built to help your organization succeed when it comes to images and files.  Consider the following feature extensions when planning your project.

Organizational Tools

As asset libraries grow, the default organizational tools in WordPress are often lacking. Adding additional categories or tagging functionality to digital assets accompanied with a set of user interface filters can help editors keep their assets organized and quickly find what they’re looking for.

Data Tracking

Additional metadata is often necessary. By attaching “Photographer’s Name” data to images (or similar data) you can keep the essential information associated with an image tied to the image itself – rather than sitting in a Marketing Director’s brain or inbox.

For some types of information this is helpful to your editorial staff, but not a life or death situation. For other types of info, surfacing this information can be of critical importance. Highlighting the rights usage requirements for an image can help you avoid unpleasant repercussions of misusing digital assets and copyright.

Image Quality & Brand Consistency

Your communication or marketing department produces high quality imagery that is on brand, and approved for use. How often do you find that imagery appropriately used by your departments? How often do you find a well intentioned graduate student has scraped together some poorly produced clip art off the web instead of using your approved imagery?   This is a problem that we see across organizations of all size and stature.  By populating a library of images for your organization’s staff to use, properly tagged and organized, you can help ensure that your careful brand messaging is executing across all departments.

Popular Digital Asset Management Tools

Cloudinary

Widen

Flight

Woodwing

WordPress is the central piece powering web at Washington State University. Our primary installation currently serves over 2 million page views per month across 1,000 sites on 50 networks.

Jeremy Felt @ WSU