Solve WordPress problem when you can’t add images to posts

WordPress is a great CMS, but sometimes a little sensitive when installed plugins are starting to mingle with the quality of your admin backend. This article shows how you can debug when your insert media (with the media manager) doesn’t insert the images in your post anymore.

Required for debugging

  • Access to your WordPress admin backend
  • Google Chrome (developer tools)
  • A bit of experience with debugging (not much)

What goes wrong

The video below shows in 15 seconds what goes wrong. Please have a look.

How to debug and solve this WordPress problem

Open in Google Chrome the developer tools (CTRL-SHIFT-I) or via the image button in the upper right corner and select Tools-Developer Tools. Make sure you do this on the page where you are editing your post where you want to insert the image. The display should look a bit a like this.


First press the imagebutton below the “console” tab. Everything that is below this button is now cleared. Now click on the “Add Media” button and repeat the process to insert an image.

Now chances are big that it will come with an error on the place were you just cleared the content.


At the right of the red message it is also telling us where it went wrong.


Now double-click on this file name to open up it contents to the exact line where the error occurs.


Now hover with your mouse over the filename in the tab to see where exactly this file is located on the web server.


There you are “/wp-content/plugins/smart-image-link-widget/js/uploadjs?ver=3.8.1″. The most important part is the what is marked in yellow, for it tells us that the problem is with a plugin called smart-image-link-widget.

Now you have 2 options. You can deactivate the plugin or you can see what is wrong and debug it yourself. My advice is not have any plugin in use that is in conflict with your administrator needs.

Let’s deactivate this WordPress plugin and see what happens

In this article I showed you how a WordPress plugin was the problem. It doesn’t mean that your problem is as easy as this one, but try this method first before following other advises I have read on the internet. Many of those suggest that you first should deactivate all installed plugins (or even delete them) to find out what is wrong. That is on a live website something that you should avoid at all times.

Johan van de Merwe
Dedicated to professional software development since 1985. Has worked since 1992 as IT manager in several international operating companies. Since 2007 CEO and Sencha Ext JS web application developer at Enovision GmbH.


  1. I wish this was the case for my issue. I’ve got some small bug somewhere that’s 302 redirecting AJAX requests to the home page. I know the issue, just can’t find the culprit.

  2. Magnus

    Worked like a charm – good to know when you take over a site that someone else started.


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