Disable Media Pages

Description

Completely disable “attachment” pages created by WordPress.

By default, WordPress creates a page for each of your attachments. This is can be undesirable because of two reasons:

Search engine optimization

Attachment pages don’t have any content, except an image, so they provide little value and can negatively affect your SEO because they are so-called thin content. Even worse, attachment pages may in some cases rank higher that your actual content pages which leads to a poor user experience.

Reserved slugs

Attachment pages can accidentally reserve slugs on your site. Let’s say you upload an image named contact.jpeg, an attachment page https://example.com/contact is automatically created. If you then try to create a page named Contact, the URL for that page will be https://example.com/contact-2 which isn’t that great.

How it works

This plugin works by automatically setting all attachment slugs to an unique id, so they won’t conflict with your pages. If an attachment page is accessed, the plugin will set a 404 status code and display the “page not found” template.

You can also mangle any existing attachment slugs so they won’t cause any issues in the future.

Thanks

Special thanks to Greg Schoppe for his research and inspiration that helped a lot with developing this plugin.

Support the plugin

Maintaining a WordPress plugin is a lot of work. If you like the plugin, please consider rating it on WordPress.org. You can also support me on GitHub sponsors. Thank you!

If you are interested, you can also check out my other WordPress plugins:

Installation

  1. Install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard
  2. Activate the Disable Media Pages plugin via the plugins admin page
  3. From now on, media pages will be disabled and new media items uploaded in the library will get unique id slugs

FAQ

How to mangle existing attachment slugs?

Go to the SettingsDisable Media PagesMangle existing slugs. This will show you a wizard to mangle existing attachment slugs.

Why not just use Yoast SEO? It has a feature to redirect attachment pages to parent

First of all, not everyone uses Yoast SEO. More importantly, while Yoast SEO can fix the duplicate content issue, it does not help with issue of media files reserving slugs for pages.

What if I want to redirect attachment pages to parent page instead?

Instead of displaying a 404 HTTP error, some people recommend you to redirect attachment pages to the parent page instead. I think this can be a good short-term solution if the attachment pages have been indexed by Google and you want to preserve SEO ranking for these URLs. There’s a plenty of plugins on the plugin directory that let you to do that. In my opinion returning the 404 error is the correct long-term solution and if you are launching a new site, it’s best to simply disable these pages so they won’t ever end up in Google index.

What kind of unique id is used?

The unique id is an UUIDv4, without dashes.

Can I restore the attachment page slugs after mangling?

Yes, this functionality is available in version 1.1.0. The attachment slug restoration tool allows you to restore the attachment slugs back to ones based on the attachment title.

Can I find this plugin on GitHub?

Yes, check out the GitHub repository.

Reviews

Agustus 5, 2021
This plug-in does what it needs to do and it does it perfectly. It prevents conflicts between attachment pages and other permalinks while allowing media to be opened directly. Yes, this feature is built into SEO optimization plugins. However, not all sites need or want the added bloat of SEO optimization plugins to perform this task. Thank you @joppuyo for creating this plugin.
Méi 19, 2021
EVERY single article I've looked at after searching for a way to solve this issue has said to install an SEO plugin and just redirect the permalink to the original file. That doesn't solve the underlying problem. I have a logo file called square.png, that is tucked away nicely in the wp-content folder as it should be. But WordPress (in its infinite wisdom) decides that people want to see a page of information about the file when they visit example.com/square. What if I want to put a page at that url? Even if I use an SEO plugin to redirect it, that url is still taken and the page I create is put at example.com/square-2. Wordpress doesn't allow you to edit the permalink of an attachment or put them in their own namespace like example.com/attachment/square. This plugin solves ALL of that trouble, all of the permalinks now refer to the url of the actual file, with the url of the attachment page renamed to a long random alphanumeric string so it won't conflict with anything.
Read all 7 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Disable Media Pages” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“Disable Media Pages” has been translated into 6 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Disable Media Pages” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

1.2.3 (2022-05-25)

  • Fix: Test in WP 6.0

1.2.2 (2022-02-05)

  • Fix: Add missing localization string
  • Fix: Minor readme updates
  • Fix: Optimize acceptance test database size

1.2.1 (2022-01-28)

  • Fix: Fix typo

1.2.0 (2022-01-28)

  • Feature: Improved plugin code structure
  • Feature: Add donate link
  • Fix: Readme update
  • Fix: Fix issue where the plugin was unable to mangle slugs that contained UUID along with some other text

1.1.3 (2022-01-28)

  • Fix: Bump supported WordPress version to 5.9
  • Fix: Readme updates
  • Fix: Add automated test for slug restore functionality

1.1.2 (2022-01-19)

  • Fix: Remove debugging statements
  • Fix: Fix typo in readme

1.1.1 (2022-01-06)

  • Fix: Minor fix to the icon

1.1.0 (2022-01-06)

  • Feature: Add a tool for restoring media slugs back to the original ones
  • Feature: Add status page for the plugin which tells you if you have attachments without unique ids
  • Fix: Add menu for the plugin under Settings on the WordPress dashboard
  • Fix: Update plugin icon

1.0.8 (2021-07-24)

  • Fix: Bump supported WordPress version to 5.8
  • Fix: Update dependencies

1.0.7 (2021-06-14)

  • Fix: Update dependencies
  • Fix: Update FAQ
  • Fix: Tweak icon

1.0.6 (2021-06-09)

  • Fix: Fix issue with deployment

1.0.5 (2021-06-09)

  • Fix: Bump tested up to @ 5.7
  • Fix: Add acceptance tests

1.0.4 (2021-01-02)

  • Change: Add icon

1.0.3 (2020-12-31)

  • Fix: Change required WordPress version correctly to 5.0
  • Fix: Optimize autoloader

1.0.2 (2020-12-31)

  • Change: Release on WordPress plugin directory
  • Change: Changes to internal plugin structure
  • Fix: Make plugin translatable
  • Fix: Load JavaScript and CSS only on plugin page

1.0.1 (2020-12-19)

  • Fix: WordPress 5.6 compatibility, thanks @tnottu

1.0.0 (2020-09-26)

  • Initial release