I’m just starting with Wordpress and want to know if it’s possible to embed graphics and photos by simply linking to them elsewhere on the Internet, rather than having to upload everything?
There’s no question that the most engaging blog posts are those that have images, and that more images (well, within reason!) are better than less images. We’re visual and so photos, pictures, graphics and illustrations are all excellent additions to a blog entry or article. The wrinkle is this pesky thing called copyright. If I include an image here on my site, it becomes my intellectual property and legally I gain a level of copyright protection that helps prevent others from capitalizing on my work and imagery.
The point? That if you include images or photos from other sites, you need to be very savvy to the legal rights and copyright of those works. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, or that it’s legit. Common usage is that everything’s actively in play, but particularly if you are using images for commercial purposes, you definitely should be aware of these constraints.
With that in mind, however, it’s pretty easy once you know the URL of an image or photo to include it in a blog post in WordPress. On the back end your composition window includes the following:
Click on “Add Media” and if you’re paying close attention, you’ll see that there are more options than to just use an image already in your media library or upload a new one. In particular notice the lower left…
I think most people completely miss the Insert from URL option, actually, not because it’s hidden, but simply because as soon as a big shiny display of images shows up, it kind of blinds us to everything else on the screen.
Not to worry, that’s why you’re reading this, right? 🙂
Click on Insert from URL to proceed.
As you can see, the top box is where you want to enter the exact URL of the image or photo in question. It should start with “http:” and end with a .png, .jpg or .gif to work best. So not the URL of the page that includes the image, but the URL of the image itself.
Not sure how to find that? Simply right-click or Cmd-Click (PC or Mac) on the image you want from the source page and choose the appropriate entry from the pop-up menu.
Once you paste the URL WordPress goes out to see what’s there and shows you some options:
You can see in this case that I’m actually linking to another image here on AskDaveTaylor from a previous blog entry. I paste in the URL and it automatically grabbed and displayed the preview, letting me specify a caption, alt text, etc, as desired.
The last two are super important, so let’s look a bit more closely at them:
The alignment indicates how the image should be embedded relative to the text and other content around it (I generally use “Center”, as demonstrated by the images in this article). The Link To lets you have the image be a button, to let people click to a specific page (“Custom URL”) or not (“None”) or, for reasons I don’t really get, link to the image itself (“Image URL”).
I choose “Custom URL”, enter the URL of the page that contains the image, click the “Add to Entry” button, and it shows up in my current blog post, no additional effort needed.
Hope that helps you get things set up and going with your own WordPress blog. Just keep in mind the potential of copyright problems and also remember that if you’re linking directly to an image hosted on another site, there’s a chance that it could change URL or otherwise go away with a redesign or change. In which case you then have a broken image link, not so professional looking…