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[closed] WordPress's utterly hateful Featured Image (30 posts)

  1. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I absolutely despise the way WordPress handles Featured Images. They cannot be accessed via third party desktop publishing, you cannot use remote images from Flickr or other photo services for featured images, the iPhone app has no support for it, and there isn't even a function to automatically feature the first image of a post to save time or the aggravation of having to go into WordPress admin to do it manually, or even an option to set a default featured image for posts that are text only.

    I don't care if some themes have functions that work around these limitations, what if I happen to like and use a theme that doesn't?

    And for those who obnoxiously comment on how Featured Image will not hotlink content because that's bandwidth or copyright theft, wah wah wah, etc., I guess you haven't considered those of us who are hotlinking to our OWN farking photos so WE can SAVE on bandwidth. I love how despite being a Flickr Pro user with a stock gallery of my own photos to draw from, I still have to resize, download, upload, transfer, log into WP Admin, this, that and the other thing and waste my fricking time with this fark all crap because of the way Featured Image was coded.

    Please, will some levelheaded WP dev find a way to improve the Featured Image function for future releases. Thank you.

    [Thread title edited.]

  2. paperlate
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I totally sympathise - I have a domain specifically for external storage of my own images for hotlinking. Remarkably there are a couple of services now that don't like that. wtf?

  3. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    The only consolation I can find is in the use of CDNs such as Amazon s3 or MaxCDN, where your images are pulled from your host server and redistributed to save bandwidth and improve performance, but not everyone does this, and it doesn't address the issue of disk space either. While I'm allotted "unlimited" storage at Flickr, I'm already using up half the disk space at my host, and that's only because I've been able to hotlink most of my photos, otherwise I probably would have maxed out already.

  4. jaumesala
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I agree the way WordPress handles Featured Images it's not good at all.

  5. ClaytonJames
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    And for those who obnoxiously comment on how Featured Image will not hotlink content because that's bandwidth or copyright theft, wah wah wah

    That's odd. I seem to be able to hotlink to any image I like that's not protected from the source server and use it as a featured image. I just tested it again to make sure I wasn't making it up in my head.

    As far as flickr goes, could this have any bearing on your results?

    Where is the HTML code and photo file link?

    The HTML code to embed a photo in a web page that you used to find on the All Sizes page is now only in the Share menu above the photo, to the right of the Actions menu. We now also include BBCode! (standard message board code)

    There are a few cases where the code may not be available: 1) If the photo is restricted. 2) If that person has turned off "Share this" or access to original files.

    The direct link to a photo file is no longer shown on the page. Per the Flickr Community Guidelines "pages on other websites that display content hosted on flickr.com must provide a link from each photo or video back to its page on Flickr." Linking directly to the photo file doesn't do this.

    Source: http://www.flickr.com/help/photos/#2265887

    So, if I interpret that correctly, is that something flickr prohibits rather than WordPress? (hotlinking, I mean)

  6. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Clayton,

    How are you accomplishing that exactly? Here's what I'm doing:

    I click on the link "Set featured image" at my post page.

    I select the tab "From URL" and enter the information accordingly. The only option at this point is to "Insert into Post" so I click on that. There's no option to set this hotlinked image as featured. It can only be done if you load it from your computer, or if you use the media library built into WordPress.

    To double check, I tried hotlinking a photo from my OWN server (the same server my WP site is on) and again, there was no option to set it as a featured image. It's impossible to do (this was confirmed by a few WP developers themselves.)

    The only workaround is to use the plugin Auto Generate Thumbnails, which grabs a copy of the image and uploads it to the media library, then sets it as a featured image. Note the image still isn't hotlinked, it's merely copied and uploaded, so we're still dealing with images that are being used locally.

  7. ClaytonJames
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I tried hotlinking a photo from my OWN server (the same server my WP site is on)

    That isn't "hotlinking" per se. It's simply displaying an asset located on your own server.

    Hotlinking is a term used to describe the display of an image or other resource on a (your) web site by linking directly to that resource on a remote (someone else's) site/server. The term usually implies that the resource is also being displayed without the remote site/server owners consent - but not always the case - And it is indeed, bandwidth theft. You are using bandwidth that someone else is paying for, to pull that image or resource into your site for viewing, every time it is displayed. So you can see why it gets frowned upon.

    How are you accomplishing that exactly?

    I created a post just now. I'll detail what I did.
    -New post >
    -looked in right side lower column >
    -selected "set featured image" >
    -selected "from url" >
    -pasted the url to an image on some other web site in "Image URL" field, filled in title, alt and caption, selected "link to image", inserted it into the post and published.

    The image is now at the start of my post and opens to the original image on the remote server when clicked. I can also manually manipulate the size of the image displayed in my post to create a thumbnail - without actually needing to re-size the source image - of course.

    There's no option to set this hotlinked image as featured.

    I can only provide information about what I just did and the results it yielded. Perhaps you and I are interpreting the use of the "Set Featured Image" function differently? Maybe I am using it in a different capacity than you are, or perhaps I'm not completely understanding how it should be working.

    It certainly would not be the first time I misunderstood or even abused a WordPress feature for my own purposes! :-)

  8. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    You're right, I wasn't actually hotlinking, just simulating the idea by using a URL rather than uploading an image via WP's media uploader.

    It's not bandwidth theft if you own the content on both ends. In Flickr's instance as a Pro member I can hotlink any image of mine that I want, and also hotlink Flickr images based on whether the user grants permission via CC licenses or not.

    As for how you're adding images, I see what you're doing, but you're not in fact adding any featured images after all. It's a bug in WordPress: they included the "set featured image" link in the "Remote URL" options even though it's completely nonfunctional. To confirm, you need to go to a post page to edit, and check the featured image block. If no image is showing then no featured image was set.

  9. It's not bandwidth theft if you own the content on both ends.

    Minor semantics: It's not bandwidth left if you have permission to use the image on your own site.

    Owing the image on flickr doesn't actually stop it from being bandwidth use. If flickr says it's nor permitted, even if you own the image, it's still theft. (And I have no idea if they do or not, but if we're gonna talk about it, we should be careful in our usage of hot-button terms and use them wisely. :D )

    I wonder if it's a technical limitation due to the way themes are permitted to use featured images. Look at Twenty Ten. If you make an image featured, it changes the header image for that post. I suspect that aspect would fail if you used an external image, though I'd have to dig further into the theme. With that in mind, this would definitely be plugin realm. TimThumb may be able to do that, though I have no personal experience with it.

  10. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Just to clarify with Flickr, they absolutely do NOT allow outright hotlinking, whether you own the image or not.

    You may link to photos on flickr, if you follow their TOS. Which specifically states that the image must click-link (my terminology) back to the image on flickr.

    If the image is not linked to the source (as in, you click the image, you go to flickr) then it is in violation of Flickr's TOS

    This is regardless of being a Pro member or not (I've been a pro member since it was offered, Flickr was very kind to point this out to me)

    Just wanted to clarify that, as I'm sure it would suck to get locked out of your flickr account

  11. It looks like plugins like http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/flickr-gallery/ are allowed via your API key, just as a point of confusion!

  12. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    The fact is hotlinking is allowed as long as you follow the guidelines, and since the media uploader in WP provides a means to add a click-link (your terminology) back to Flickr's pages, there is no excuse why the option to set them as featured images as well is not available.

  13. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    These plugins don't do anything with featured images though. The only one that does is called Auto Generate Thumbnails, but it is a rudimentary plugin that checks ALL of your posts every time it's run for images to be set as featured.

  14. As I said earlier:

    I wonder if it's a technical limitation due to the way themes are permitted to use featured images. Look at Twenty Ten. If you make an image featured, it changes the header image for that post. I suspect that aspect would fail if you used an external image, though I'd have to dig further into the theme. With that in mind, this would definitely be plugin realm. TimThumb may be able to do that, though I have no personal experience with it.

    Basically what I'm saying is that it's possible (and likely) that due to how WP was engineered to be entirely self-hosted, you can't include data into the DB that doesn't exist and, thus, cannot be accessed by other functions. Remember, when you add a file via Media Uploader, it gets its own line in the table, as well as a lot of meta data. Once you start talking about external images, NONE Of that data is stored, which means it can't be used by other functions (like featured images) which depend on it.

    Think of it as 'painted into a corner' if you will.

    (TimThumb claims to be able to integrate with your theme and essentially replicate the featured images actions.)

    Please don't double post. It's preferable to edit your post :)

  15. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I see, so the featured image set is probably similar in that regard.

    Upon reflection, another problem is also autonomy. My photos are spread out unevenly throughout all my machines (from my iPhone to my desktop). If I'm on my work machine, I have no local photos to draw from to use as a featured image for my posts, so I have to go to Flickr. I'd then have to download the photo, reupload them back into WordPress admin, then add all the info from there before inserting it into the post. If I want to use multiple photos, I have to repeat this process ad infinitum.

    If I'm on my MacBook I would use Marsedit to blog and insert images, but again, if I want to set a featured image, I have to go back into WordPress to edit my post, resize my image and then upload an image from my MacBook, or go to Flickr and download the same image, then upload it again, then add all the details again. Compounding things is that I resize my photos to a smaller size before uploading them, so it would require keeping a redundant library of photos specifically resized for Internet use.

    Just thinking about the steps required here makes me tired. There has to be a better way.

  16. There should be a better way, but WordPress can't possibly be all things to all people. And as I was reminded, one of the tenets of WordPress core is "Don't trust the user." So allowing for the unwashed masses who DON'T understand hotlinking to run rampant is probably not gonna happen :/ I know you said NOT that reason, but it remains a reason.

    My photos are spread out unevenly throughout all my machines (from my iPhone to my desktop).

    Oh, yeah, I have that problem, too, but I've started using DropBox to manage that and it helps a lot.

  17. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Do you use DropBox for all your photos? I have that on the iPhone but haven't used it much, although that might be an option as a repository for resized photos. Hmmmmm...

  18. I use it for photos and data I need to access from multiple computers.

    I know that not ALL of my photos will go on my blog, and I know which ones will. But I find it easier to stash them there for a while while I'd fiddling. it's a workflow shift :)

  19. ClaytonJames
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    It's a bug in WordPress: they included the "set featured image" link in the "Remote URL" options even though it's completely nonfunctional. To confirm, you need to go to a post page to edit, and check the featured image block. If no image is showing then no featured image was set.

    I know it feels a bit like beating a dead horse, but it's just a thumbnail. I also don't think it's actually a bug. I also think Ipstenu's thoughts sum it up perfectly:

    "...you can't include data into the DB that doesn't exist and, thus, cannot be accessed by other functions. Remember, when you add a file via Media Uploader, it gets its own line in the table, as well as a lot of meta data.... ...So allowing for the unwashed masses who DON'T understand hotlinking to run rampant is probably not gonna happen :/ I know you said NOT that reason, but it remains a reason."

    In my swiss cheese brain, by allowing the "use as featured image" dialog under the "From URL" tab, and then placing the remote media in, and then retrieving that media from, the media library like the other two options do, WordPress would essentially be giving the appearance that it doesn't mind facilitating the scraping and theft of images, and in the process would have to assume responsibility for the eventual fallout it would cause.

    Not everyone is as honest as you or I, so why leave a gaping hole like that wide open for abuse? But, I could be too far out in left field on this one. :-)

  20. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Clayton, I think it's important because based on numerous studies on user behavior, having a thumbnail that's featured in excerpts and posts attracts visitors to dig in and read further. Even a friend of mine tells me he glosses over my excerpts unless he sees a picture, then it's "Ooooh pretty! *clicks*" Seriously, it's a very powerful visual cue that I definitely want to use as much as I can.

    This got me thinking about the Dropbox solution though. If I can stand the added step to export resized photos from iPhoto to my dropbox folder, that could preclude the need to use Flickr and other sites as a universal repository to extract photos from no matter what medium I'm using to blog.

    As for bandwidth, I'm exploring the option of using a freebie like Cloudflare as a CDN solution. If they cache my images that would take care of bandwidth concerns as well.

    Still, I can't stand the fact that I cannot control featured image options from anywhere except inside WordPress admin. Blah.

  21. Still, I can't stand the fact that I cannot control featured image options from anywhere except inside WordPress admin. Blah.

    You can control the options, you cannot remove the SOURCE of the featured image, due to the way it's integrated with the rest of the code. Among other things, I was right, you WILL break themes, and that would be bad. Many themes use featured images as they are currently designed, and it would be quite monumental to recode it to allow external images that didn't destroy theme's ability to parse and manipulate featured images on the fly.

    Probably a better way about it, if you really wanted to use flickr, would be to upload the ONE featured image into WP when you want it, and then use a plugin to show the rest of your flickr gallery, with the featured image pointing to the gallery.

    Like I said, it's a bit about changing your workflow. Sometimes you can make the river go where you want, sometimes you have to take what it can do and find a way to work with the direction you're going :)

  22. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Hmmm, I'm not sure I follow. Let's say I'm using MarsEdit and upload a photo normally rather than using Flickr. That's easy enough to do, however, I can't specifically set it to be a featured image if I want. I don't think it has anything to do with the source, it's just a matter of telling WordPress "Heeellllooo, I want this image to be featured!" I don't know if WP makes this possible via an API call, but if not, they should.

  23. MarsEdit != Flickr. That's a highly inaccurate analogy (and close to saying 'I can edit a .docx file in Word, but not in FTP.')

    MarsEdit (last I recall) is an app that, much like the WordPress iPad app, lets you create and edit posts for your WP site. Flickr is a external hosting site for images.

    If MarsEdit doesn't let you edit featured images, and it certainly CAN, then that's a flaw in the interface software, nothing more.

    it's just a matter of telling WordPress "Heeellllooo, I want this image to be featured!"

    Ah, okay, the problem is that is NOT what WordPress is doing. mean, yes it is, but it's also doing a number of other things. You're thinking too 'magic black box' here. Your car does a number of things when you turn the key, right? I mean, you personally JUST turn the key, but in most cars, the brake has to be pressed, and when you turn it, the magic internal combustion engine does its thing, primed by the battery etc etc and so on :) YOU say 'I want the car to go' but the CAR does a lot more.

    Such is the featured image. It's integrated with a lot more than JUST 'Hey post, this is my featured image.' It's got entries in the wp_post_meta table to say 'I was uploaded here, here's my data, here's my size, here's my settings.' You don't get those with external images.

    The REASON for all that meta stuff is so that when your theme says 'Hey, I want to grab that featured image and show it on the news slider on your front page to be all cool and sexy!' it can grab the image, do any magic the theme coded into it, parse it, resize it, etc etc, and make your site look cool.

    It NEEDS the meta data to do that. Take it away, and it won't work.

  24. ClaytonJames
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Clayton, I think it's important because based on numerous studies on user behavior, having a thumbnail that's featured in excerpts and posts attracts visitors ... ...then it's "Ooooh pretty! *clicks*" Seriously, it's a very powerful visual cue that I definitely want to use as much as I can.

    I guess I would have to ask you what portion of my response makes you feel that I am dismissing its ( a thumbnail, or "featured image", that is ) importance to visual appeal. I think because it just wont bend to your will, you may have already formed some hardened perceptions against the "Featured Image" function, and you may be overlooking my entire point, which was simply this;

    You don't need the "Featured Image" function to put an "Ooooh pretty! *clicks*" Seriously, it's a very powerful visual cue that I definitely want to use as much as I can..." featured image in your post. You just don't. Remember when they were just called thumbnails? Still pretty to look at, still a strong visual cue, still linkable and click-able. It's no more cumbersome than adding any other link or image in any post. I guess it just comes down to what you are willing to do for yourself, -vs- what you want something to do for you automatically.

    I hope you find a happy compromise. I know it can be frustrating trying to find that winning combination that works perfectly for your needs. My only intent was to show you that you could indeed link to a remote image - assuming you have permission - post it as a thumbnail (or featured image, or whatever) and size the featured image/thumbnail to your liking without downloading it to your own host. My apologies if I muddied the water for you.

  25. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    You don't need the "Featured Image" function to put an "Ooooh pretty! *clicks*" Seriously, it's a very powerful visual cue that I definitely want to use as much as I can..." featured image in your post.

    You are not getting my point or what I'm trying to accomplish. I DO NEED TO USE A FEATURED IMAGE IF I WANT IT TO APPEAR IN EXCERPTS. IT DOES NOT SHOW UP OTHERWISE.

    Get it now? Or do you need a diagram too?

    I've been thinking about this, and the solution I'm really looking for has less to do with the way featured images is set up and more to do with the need for the ability to sideload images into WordPress's media library from a central repository (whether DropBox, Photobucket, Flickr, a private LAN etc.) Once it's IN WP's media library I have far more autonomy in how I can utilize the images for WP posts, and it would preclude the need to perpetually keep photos synced across 5 different computers.

    Only one or two plugins take a step towards doing this, such as one that adds a tab for your DropBox files right next to your media library tab on the post page, making it easy to select and choose from a grid of Dropbox files right there on your WP interface, but it hotlinks the files rather than sideloads them into WP's media library.

    The solution just isn't there yet.

  26. No, we get it. Please be polite to Clayton, he's a regular volunteer here and means well. Being snippy to people here is .. well rude :D Just like in real life. So take a breath, remember we're trying to HELP you, even if we're telling you things you don't like.

    You want to:
    1) Offload images to reduce bandwidth usage
    2) Have these offloaded images show up as featured images

    I am 90% sure that a CDN plugin can do this (that is, if you host images with a CDN, they still show up in WordPress), which is probably the best way to do what you need.

    Look at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cdn-sync-tool/ for example.

  27. Delete Me
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Sorry, been a frustrating day.

    It looks I'm going to have to use a CDN to cut down on image bandwidth, no choice really.

  28. Yeah, it generally boils down to buying more bandwidth. When you get big enough, it's all that's left. Personally I do it via VPS and keep self hosting, but I'm sort of paranoid about things :D

  29. kbancroftbillings
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Is there a way to set a feature image only once to all my posts? I'm using a custom theme but there is a space for the feature images. I just want to be able to set it once and post a press release and not have to worry about setting a feature image all the time.
    Thanks.

  30. kbancroftbillings - Please make a new topic for this.

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