How I Use Flickr To Easily Post Photographs On My WordPress Blog

Welcome, and now we’re past the somewhat Smithsian title, on to the meat of the post…

When I started 35hunter it was as a free WordPress site, and whilst I now pay a small subscription to remove ads, and have a shorter custom URL, the storage is still pretty limited.

So to avoid filling my storage allowance up with images in the first few months, I decided to make use of Flickr, where I already had a large archive of my best photos.

Anyone else with a WordPress (WP) blog might like to try this too.

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The pros of this approach for me are –

  1. You don’t fill up your limited WordPress storage.
  2. Flickr can also act as an online archive of your best photographs, publicly or privately (see point 4).
  3. Flickr automatically makes a convenient set of resized versions of your original photo to use.
  4. If you don’t want to use Flickr as a public site, you can still use it to host your images as a backup and for use in WordPress, but keep them private (ie invisible to everyone but you) in Flickr.
  5. Flickr is pretty logical and straightforward to use.

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Here’s what I do when I want to display an image in a post in WP –

  1. Upload the image to Flickr, if it’s not there already. Set Privacy to Private if I don’t want anyone seeing directly on Flickr (I sometimes do this for pictures of camerasetc I don’t want part of my main Flickr photostream).
  2. Go to the image on Flickr, click on the download button bottom right and View all sizes. By default the Large 1024px size displays, the image size I use for my blog.
  3. Two finger tap (right click if your using a mouse) on the image, then Copy image address. If you’re on a PC right click and properties, then copy the URL, it will start with staticflickr something and end with .jpg. You don’t want to copy the page URL the photo is on (which will just end with the photo’s number) but the actual URL where the 1024px jpeg is.
  4. In WordPress, when composing a post, go to +Add top left in the toolbar then Media. In the window that opens click the Add New drop down, then Add via URL. Paste in the URL of the image you just copied from Flickr. Click Upload, then when the Insert button bottom right turns blue, click Insert.
  5. The photo should now be visible in your post. I then click on it and choose the align centre option immediately above, just because I like things centralised! If you want people to be sent to the photo’s page in Flickr when they click on the image in WP, you can then go back to Flickr, make sure you’re on the photo’s main page with the title, description etc (click Photo top left if you’re still on the page with all the different size options) copy that URL and paste back in WP. This is optional and doesn’t really add anything, especially if the photo is private in Flickr anyway.

That’s it.

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Sounds like a few hoops to jump through when you first read it, but once you’ve tried a few times it’s very straightforward.

I just timed myself adding the second photograph above and it took me 34 seconds. A typical post of mine might have three or four photos, so that’s a couple of minutes to add them in total. Quick and easy!

Of course if you want a smaller image on your blog, choose one of the different image sizes on the all sizes page in Flickr.

I prefer to choose something bigger and it just be scaled down on smaller screens, than choose say a 600px version and it be enlarged on larger screens and lose definition.

The same process is possible using an iPad, but a bit more fiddly. With a phone I wouldn’t bother but then I wouldn’t attempt to try to write a new post on a phone either.

With my iPad I go to my Flickr and WordPress via the Safari browser, rather than in the Flickr and WordPress apps, because the apps don’t give you as much functionality or control.

It still works if you paste the Flickr photo’s main page URL directly into the WP editor without using the +Add media options, just you can’t control the size, alignment, where it links to etc.

For a quick and dirty post on the go this might fine, I’d just rather do it the slightly longer way and have more control about how the image looks.

Being a photographer it’s important to me that the images look as good as they can on screen. Another reason why I have a fairly minimal theme (libre 2) and the central column is wide with no sidebars to distract from reading and viewing the photos here.

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I hope this has shown you a free and easy way to make use of Flickr to insert and control how your photographs look in your WordPress blog. 

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, or indeed to share your own tips on posting images in your blog that others might find helpful.

(Remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

55 thoughts on “How I Use Flickr To Easily Post Photographs On My WordPress Blog”

    1. Glad it was helpful. The only caveat of course is you’re reliant on Flickr being around, but that’s a risk with any platform online – including WordPress!

  1. I’ve used Flickr to host my blog photos from the beginning. Back then there were no tools, so I had to do it a harder way. I still do it that way as it works and is a habit.

    1. Go to the photo page.
    2. Click the Share Photo curved arrow icon.
    3. Click the Embed tab. In the dropdown, choose the size you want. I always choose one with 1024 as the largest dimension. Double-click the embed code and press Ctrl-C.
    4. In your blog post, switch to HTML view.
    5. Position the cursor where you want the image and press Ctrl-V.
    6. Switch back to Visual view, et voila.

    1. Interesting Jim, thanks for this alternative. Does this then mean you can click on the photo in your blog and it takes you to the original in Flickr?

      I have a basic knowledge of HTML from very early days online, and it still comes in useful from time to time, just knowing how to manually code a link with <a href tags and so on.

      I also find with the WP editor that sometimes on the visual mode everything looks even spaced but when I preview there are blank lines.

      When I switch to HTML view, these blank lines are obvious and I can delete them. so it's handy to have this basic knowledge.

      1. Yes, the link to Flickr is preserved in my method. BTW, the TOS with Flickr is clear that if you link to photos on Flickr that clicking the photo must take the clicker to that photo’s page on Flickr!

        Oh yes, basic HTML knowledge is still quite useful.

  2. Great tips, Dan. Thank you. I remember you mentioning this before (might have been in answer to one of Jim’s posts), but I still couldn’t figure it out – doh!
    I can’t put my finger on it, but I see a Fred Herzog quality in the first picture. I like 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments! I think I posted a brief version of it in at least a couple of places, so it seemed a good idea to make it a proper post if it’s helpful to people.

      Thanks re the picture. I’m not very familiar with Fred Herzog so I’ll check him out.

  3. I tried this once but it didn’t work for me. I mean it worked but I didn’t like it as it meant uploading everything I wanted on my blog to my FlickR and I kind of keep them as separate things in my publishing ‘strategy’ (if that’s what it is).
    I am using the WP storage at the moment and still have a little under 40% still available (after 2 years). I guess at some point I’ll have to deal with this but for now I like keeping WP things in WP

    1. SF, do you mean so people following your blog will see different images to those following your Flickr? Or, another way, to see all your images, people need to follow both? We tend to stick with whatever works for us – there’s always more than one way!

      1. Hmm.. no not really but kinda. I have always thought of FlickR as where I put my ‘favourite’ images and it is also known to family and friends. My blog is a different space for me and the two don’t always overlap. Not sure that makes sense but it’s what works for me.
        I know that you use Flickr as your image archive so I can see it that model it works.

        1. Interesting approach. I try to be consistent across the two (and when I was using Instagram, Twitter and Google+ too, tried to be consistent across all of them).

          It’s the same me, just hanging out in different places – 35hunter being my own place, the others being outposts owned by others.

          I’ve never really thought about having different spaces for different parts of me/my photography.

          1. I’m not sure I’ve ended up like this on purpose it’s more a historical condition. I already had Flickr as me (aka Nigel) and when I started blogging I felt (at least to begin with) I wanted to be anonymous so I was free to discuss things without offending anyone I knew. As my blog quickly and inevitably move more into the photography space I maintained the separation as personal and ‘professional’ windows into my work with Carrot Room becoming more of a brand (ha ha) I never really fully resolved that and the two have remained separate; both personal but one public and the other not so.

          2. The whole concept of online personas is fascinating isn’t it? It gives us a chance to be someone different to who we are in “everyday” life, someone better, smarter, funnier, whatever.

            But I think these days I can’t be bothered, I just try to me myself, even though the 35hunter me is probably more thoughtful and certainly more verbose than the offline me!

          3. I don’t think my intention was to not be myself per se, it was more to release myself from concerns about who might be reading.
            But yes, I agree there is a whole online image thing going on and you see a lot (especially on Instagram) of people trying to present a perfect version of their lives and even spending huge amounts doing it, getting themselves into debt. I guess it’s just an extension of ‘Celebrity’ that was once the TV and Radio community which, with people’s access to self publish, is now much broader

          4. Don’t worry I go off topic all the time… 🙂

            In a day job one has to be relatively conventional and restrained. Online I can be more myself, strangely. With my family (ie wife and children) I’m myself, but a different aspect to the one I am here talking photography etc.

  4. Thanks Dan that’s a really useful post. My main blog isn’t for photos so I’m not sure I’ll hit a storage limit soon, but useful to know about the Flickr option anyway.

    I have been wondering about having a subscription though. Are there significant benefits do you think?

        1. To be honest I upgraded for a few reasons.

          One, to remove ads – I just hate ads online and find them so intrusive to my general viewing pleasure. Even on other blogs I read frequently, the ads are jarring and annoying. This is the major reason I recently deleted my Twitter account. I love now that 35hunter is completely ad free, it feels like it’s all mine again. The equivalent of driving a car you chose the colour of, rather than having to have advertising plastered down the sides of it!

          Two, to get a bit more storage. Obviously you know I use Flickr for images on 35hunter, but I am still slowly using up my allowance here, I guess just with posts, comments etc. So I wanted more of a buffer there.

          Three, and this is partly a vanity thing, partly convenience – to have a simpler URL that is not wordpress. Now the visible URL for this blog is simply 35hunter.blog, rather than http://www.35hunter.wordpress.com. Easier to share, remember, and again makes it feel like 35hunter is my place now, not a rented room at the WordPress hotel.

          Another pleasant bonus I didn’t until literally a couple of days ago, is live chat support. You just type your question in a help box in your dashboard. Someone got back to me within two minutes and resolved my question in two minutes more. Super helpful and I will certainly explore more stuff on WP now I know I have the immediate support there to “hold my hand”.

          These features seem well worth the £3 a month it costs, and I just like supporting services that work well for me and I’m happy to recommend.

          1. That’s a great help, thanks! I might well have a £3 subscription myself too. I’m planning to keep blogging for a while yet so if I’m serious about it, I guess I should make it that little more professional.

          2. Richard, any site that makes it this easy to publish our work in a visually attractive and organised way is well worth my £3 a month, regardless of the other benefits I mentioned. Glad you took the plunge.

  5. Very helpful. Thank you! I don’t know what else I might do with my brand new Flickr account, but I’ve often found that once I have a new tool for a while I find unanticipated used for it.

    1. Yeh Doug I think often too it’s finding which apps work best for us in combination, not just which are best in isolation. For me, Flickr + WordPress are a great partnership. I use Flickr to host images to save using up my WP allowance. I also have a link to 35hunter and an invite to click through on every new image I add to Flickr. I use 35hunter to show images I’ve made and saved in Flickr, and link them back to the originals in Flickr, so 35hunter readers can explore other photos I have on Flickr that may not have featured in a post yet here.

  6. That first photo is great!

    As for WP, when I started I went with the free stuff and uploaded the photos in full resolution. Filled my allowance rather fast. So I changed my modus operandi and uploaded gelded versions at 1600 dotsi on the long side at 72 dpi resolution. That helped but soon I had to opt for a paid plan as I hit the limit pretty soon.

    Now I’m at over 40% of the allotted space and I’ll hit the limit again within a year of busy blogging (if I finally get my act together…). So your Flickr-trick might come in handy.

    If you simply delete photos from your WP media pool I guess they will disappead from the posts or not??

    1. I’ve always done this Flickr thing with images anyway, but a few months ago read about someone who had a pretty well established blog and they were very close to their limit so were thinking of starting a new blog and giving up the old one, simply because they wouldn’t be able to upload photos into posts anymore.

      I’m intrigued about how the last thing would work – I would assume if the image is deleted from your bank of images on WP then it would no longer display anywhere else on the site.

          1. Tried it! When I delete a photo from the media gallery it disappears from the post but leaves a blank placeholder. Adding it again does not bring it right back. I had to delete the placeholder and re-insert the photo.

          2. Thanks for letting me know.

            This has reminded me that some years ago with a former (non photography) blog, and before I’d got into photography myself as much as now, I would feature an image at the top of each post taken from someone on Flickr through a Creative Commons licence.

            I used a similar process to know on the technical side, but one reason I started using my own photographs was I’d sometimes go back to an old post with someone else’s image and it had since been removed from Flickr so there was a blank/broken image link.

            With Flickr I am of course reliant on them being active. If/when this isn’t the case, I’ll have to review my current approach.

          3. In a way I find this exciting though, we have to keep evolving, reinventing. It gives us the chance to start again, with all the knowledge we have from past ventures.

            I read a post by the very wise Derek Sivers recently who wrote that when building careers and contacts (he was talking mostly about musicians, but it applies far more widely) we should only rely on forms of communication that are not dependent on one app/company.

            For example, a text contact list rather than an Apple or Google calendar app, or email rather than Facebook or Twitter.

            We can “future proof” ourselves by not putting all of our eggs in baskets that might disappear in a year or two.

            I’m not quite sure how we’d apply this to blogs, other than stick with the one that seems most dependable at the time, which currently I would say is WordPress anyway.

          4. I have no fear for WP as it drives about 25 of the blogs around as it seems.

            Flickr is a different thing.

            But I still prefer multiple backups on physical disks and cloud stuff combined…. paranoid? Perhaps but I know why!

          5. Currently I am still using cloud and physical back up. I’m not sure what would need to happen to give up my physical HD. Maybe multiple cloud back ups by different companies? Google, Apple, Amazon… But then I think I’d still rather have a physical HD too.

  7. Nice one Dan, you told me not to miss this post so I didn’t.

    Some good workflow alternatives to consider here, and I was also thinking of doing the £3 WordPress option soon so nice to see the discussion go off-topic about that.

    Wonder if I can get away with ‘I’m thinking about stuff’ as a reason for sitting around seemingly doing nothing…

    1. Bear, thinking time is always of value!

      I’m more than happy to invest a little in enabling technology and software, and £3 a month seems very worthwhile for what WP offers.

    1. Interesting development, and I’m a bit confused because I’ve been having emails recently saying Flickr is now part of the Oath family. I guess this is all under SmugMug?

      I have a paid option with Flickr, I think it’s £25 a year for unlimited storage.

      Can’t see that they would want to lose paying customers and the vast Flickr userbase though…

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