Understanding Files & Images

Unless you've had previous experience with Drupal, working with images and files in SiteFarm may be somewhat different than what you expect.

One-to-One Relationship

Files and images by themselves, when used with your content, are permanently associated with that piece of content. 

What does that mean? It means SiteFarm doesn't have a media library where you can upload images and files and then pick and choose what pieces of content will use them, sometimes multiple times or in multiple places.

Say you have an article about the Provost and you want to use the official portrait image with the news piece. When you add the image, the database will assign the Provost's image directly to the news article and make it a permanent part of that content. 

Two months down the road you may need to post another article involving the Provost and you want to include the same image of the Provost as before. You will have to upload the image again; the first upload cannot be reused as it's been made a permanent part of the first article. 

What's happening in the background?

Even though you're uploading the same image or perhaps the same PDF file multiple times, the database will recognize these as individual files and assign them a unique identifier in the system. It will also make a connection between that unique file identifier and the content it is linked with. 

Don't worry if you have to upload the same file several times; your SiteFarm account includes plenty of space specifically for this reason.

Is there another way to re-use images and files?

Yes. You have the ability to create custom blocks that contain images and files. The same principle described above will apply to an image added to a block, but in SiteFarm a block is designed to be reused throughout your site. 

Learn more about blocks and how to create custom blocks to meet this particular need.

New Media Library on the Horizon

The Drupal community is in the process of developing the Media Library Initiative to address not just images, but all kinds of media, to make its storage, use, and reuse more efficient. Check out a recent update shared at the Vienna Drupalcon.

[Updated June 26, 2020] In the latest Media Initiative update, the Media Library project was updated on December 4, 2019 and listed as "Stable". Since then, the SiteFarm team has been working on its integration into the platform and we anticipate releasing this feature in summer 2020.