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How can I reuse the file url of a deleted media image

  1. I have a file url of an image that is referenced by widgets elsewhere, but I need to change the image but obviously want to use the same url.

    I cannot amend the image (as far as I know), and I believe deleting and reloading the image with the same name wont work either as the new image will just assume an incremental file name.

    Can a url be amended by staff

    If not, how long after an image is deleted until the same file url can be assumed by an uploaded image.

    Hoping someone can find a solution.


    The blog I need help with is

  2. What is the URL? If the file is still in your Trash, you cannot reuse the URL. I have heard that it takes up to a month after the image is gone from trash to reuse the URL.

  3. The image I want to change has not been deleted. I want to amend the image, but I don't think that is possible.

    I tried previously deleting an image and then reloading the new variant with the same name, but as the old deleted image does not get wiped immediately (after all, they are only 'flagged' for deletion in database terms), so the new variant is added with an incremental url name (e.g. deleted image had url image.140x70 and the new image would assume the url image.140x701

    The question is whether or not an image can be amended (apart from crop, rotation etc)

    Or can staff rename a url (as in swap new and old urls)

    Or can staff tell do a manual file deletion rather than wait a month for a scheduled wipe.

    I used to work in database admin so I know the logistics, it's all feasible of course, but of course I dont have access or know how WordPress do their stuff, hence the request via forum.

  4. If you do not delete the image, the URL cannot be reused. Like I said, it has to sit in Trash awhile before you can use the same URL. Why not delete the image from the post where you want it and just re-upload whatever image you want there?

  5. I wish it were that simple my friend. The url is listed within some html that other bloggers already use in a text/image widget, so unless I can very quickly reuse the url the widgets wont work. Best still would be to change the image, but users dont have access to do that :( unless you know otherwise :)

    Sorry to be a pain, eh?

  6. Knowing WordPress, this will probably need a manual intervertion by Staff.

    If not, how long after an image is deleted until the same file url can be assumed by an uploaded image.

    Even if an image is deleted, I don't think it will be re-usable. The default way WordPress uploads an image is to put it into directories based on upload year and month (if you notice, common image URL is:

    So you even if the image is gone, you will need a time machine to go to the same month and then upload an image with the same filename, to get the result.

    Since getting access to one such machine is currently impossible (not that I know of), let's see whether the Staff can manually do that for you instead. I've tagged this thread so one of them can have a look.

  7. Or I could my ask my 6 year old as he is convinced that his Spiderman tent is also the device you mention.

    Thanks for your help...

  8. What is the URL of the file you are referring to?

  9. Helllo...

    Thanks for the reply.

    There are 2 corrections I wanted to make regarding images where other bloggers are already referencing URLs in widgets, so the naming is the issue.



    And then I want to use a newer image on another, but I dont want to delete the old image without having the replacement showing the same URL. So the following needs to take place at the same time, or as soon as practicable, so the widgets referencing the URL work ok. Hope that makes sense. Am I correct in that only staff have access to this and that I am not bothering you unnecessarily?




  10. I've just ran a few tests. If you delete an image it should make the file url available again. Have you tried deleting the old image and then re-uploading the image using the same file name?

    Looking forward to your reply.

  11. As far as I understand, that should work as long as the new image is uploaded still within 2014/03.

    Just another point, if the original image is deleted permanently, is it still hanging around in the site cache for a little longer (typically 3 days)? If so, would the system then append the image with -2?

  12. Interesting, but I don't believe the permanent deletion from your site cache happens that quick.

    I had a image on there called Spikey guest 400x140 which had an assigned url of

    I deleted that on 2014.03.09 (nine days ago).

    I reuploaded it this morning, 2014.03.18, and the old flag-deleted name was obviously still on your side as the url created became

  13. @unclespikes-That is the timeline which we forum volunteers have come across in the past, so it seems that Staff will need to flush your site cache for you since I can still access spikey-guest-400x140.jpg directly

    One thing you might want to consider for the future is hosting such images off on a site which allows hotlinking them to your WPcom site. I did so when I had a constantly changing image on my old site and the URL was being used in an image widget.

  14. Yes I agree, and will certainly look at that in future. I have just started using Flickr as my WP account is filling up with all my uploaded photographs.

  15. Before you get too far along, do have a look at flickr's guidelines. They are OK for linking/embedding photos and images back to your site, but are kind of unhappy about blog graphics.

    You could also look at other services, such as dropbox or cloudup (recently bought by's parent company). And there's also the list on though I do not know how up to date that list is and I do believe that some of those services have a bandwidth quota.

  16. Thanks for the advice. My main problem will be storage as my free chunk is rapidly diminishing. I planned to dump a load on Flickr and just link back to them as I write my normal posts

  17. Just keep in mind that Featured images and images in a Gallery must be uploaded to your site to work.

    If you're running out of space on your site, you'll also want to optimize your images before uploading them.

  18. Oh, very good points, hadn't considered them. Thanks.
    Worst case, I'll stick 'added WP capacity' on my birthday list - my wife always moans I awkward to buy for :)

  19. @unclespikes - Is this working for you now? I can still access each of the above files (140 and 1404) individually.

  20. No change.... the problem is that you seem to see more than I can. There is no 140 file in my Media Library, just 1404

    The issues are shown above in my comment of Mar 18, 2014, 9:10 AM

    It's the 200*70 issue I really want to sort out

  21. Were you able to look at this

  22. Were you able to look at this by any chance?

  23. You can upload the image using that same file name, but since it's April now it will be saved as 2014/04 instead of 2013/03.

  24. Yes I know that, but the point is that the url will not match, and therefore bloggers who have that url in their widget will be affected. Hence I wanted to replace like for like.

  25. I'm sorry, that won't be possible. Those using the old link will high likely need to update its URL. Best practice is to let each image keep its unique URL. However, there are no restrictions if you set up a self-hosted WordPress installation. We have hosting recommendations at the following link if you are interested:

  26. ok thanks for that

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