Last week, Getty Images announced its new open-embed program, which removes the watermark from many of the images in its library for non-commercial use. In exchange, Getty’s iframed images are plastered with its logo and force a row of large, unattractive social sharing buttons on each embed. Getty reserves the right to remove content from the embedded viewer at any time, which could potentially leave a trail of gaping black holes throughout your blog.
Many photographers and bloggers are unimpressed with Getty’s implementation. Even with 35 million new “free” photos flooding the blogosphere, Creative Commons images are likely to remain the preferred option, as they provide more creative freedom in styling the attribution and can be used in galleries, videos, design, etc.
WP Inject: A Homegrown Alternative to Getty’s Free Images
WP Inject is a new free plugin that makes it easy to use CC-licensed images in your WordPress content with just a few clicks. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the admin. The plugin adds a search box to the post editor. The search is hooked up to Flickr’s vast library of CC-licensed images.
WP Inject lets you compare multiple keyword search results to find the best match. Adding an image to your content is as easy as clicking on the size you want. The plugin automatically places it within your content and adds the correct attribution. It also saves the image to your server.
Designed for Blogger Convenience
WP Inject, although somewhat unfortunately named, does not fail to impress in the features department. Every aspect of the plugin was designed for the blogger’s convenience, including the following:
- Set the featured image for your post with a single click.
- Insert multiple images at once and create whole galleries.
- Sort by selected Creative Commons licenses.
- Choose between several image sizes easily.
- Modify the templates of WP Inject to change how images get displayed in your posts.
- Images are saved to your own server and added to the WordPress media library.
- Automatically populated ALT and title tags of the image for search engine optimization.
- Can use and insert your focus keyword set in WordPress SEO by Yoast for easier image search optimization.
Thomas Hoefter, the plugin’s developer, is also the author of the WP Robot plugin and founder of CMS Commander. WP Inject is a side project that grew out of his personal need for a solution to add featured images to new posts as quickly as possible. He said:
Since I think finding good images for their posts is a problem lots of bloggers face, I have polished the plugin up last week and then released it. While there are a few alternatives out in the wild already (e.g. Photodropper), I found that most of them lacked features (at least some of which I needed) and/or are not actively updated anymore.
Hoefter plans to update WP Inject regularly and created a website with a tutorial on how to use the plugin. In the future, he intends to include more image sources in addition to Flickr. He also hopes to make it possible to inject other types of media, including videos, ads, products and news stories.
After testing the plugin, I found that the in-post search is fast and convenient, since you don’t have to leave the WordPress admin to locate images for your content. It keeps you in the flow while writing and removes the hassle of having to open more browser tabs to search. WP Inject is a solid alternative to Getty’s free images. Download the plugin for free from WordPress.org.