The History Of TimThumb

Previous to WordPress having post thumbnails built in, there was a script called TimThumb. I know quite a few themes that integrated TimThumb in order to automatically generate post thumbnails instead of relying on the old method of using a custom field. Ben Gillbanks has chronicled the short history of TimThumb.

Development was started by Tim (hence the name) one of the programmers at Category4 where Darren worked. Shortly after the release of Mimbo Pro, with Tims blessing, we decided to open source the code releasing TimThumb on Google code, and that’s when everyone else started using it. Nowadays 95% of the premium themes teams are offering TimThumb support – and it’s a great feeling, knowing so many are making use of code I worked on.

The article was published in 2009 but I was fooled because I saw it as a recent submission on Still worthy of a good read though.

Would you like to write for WP Tavern? We are always accepting guest posts from the community and are looking for new contributors. Get in touch with us and let's discuss your ideas.


  1. Good riddance. TimThumb was awful for performance and reliability. Every individual page load would require another request and page load (and a heavy one on that) for every single thumbnail, every single time.


  2. @Jake Goldman – I just double checked and Hybrid News actually runs an image script created by Justin Tadlock in 2007 called Get The Image.


  3. @Jake Goldman – I’ve always seen TimThumb as a terrible solution to a very real problem. The thinking behind it was good (provide an easy way to resize images on-the-fly) but the execution was terrible (let’s expose that resizing functionality on the front-end and potentially open up a huge security hole).

    Sad part is, most of the functionality that TimThumb provides, I was able to replicate in a recent plugin entirely using internal WP functions.


  4. @Jeffro – I have been using Get the Image by Justin Tadlock for over a year now and it’s great. Most of Solostream’s themes support Get the Image out of the box also. I have never had problems with Get the Image.


Comments are closed.