Support » Plugin: Unsplash » I wouldn’t recommend using this, try Instant Images instead

  • Unsplash is sketchy. I used to promote them and contributed but no longer do.

    The terms of Unsplash have changed in the past, and may again in the future. The terms themself are less bad than the duplicitous nature in which they have talked about it. It causes me to mistrust their intentions.

    It’s unclear why they want you to use their CDN and make that the default, it’s probably to support their new advertising business model and get analytics for it. Running a CDN is expensive, and if you’re not paying for it then you are the product. I would not be surprised if Unsplash hotlinked images broke at some point in the future.

    If you want a CDN, you should run one for your entire site, not just certain images from a single source — in fact having multiple CDNs running at the same time could slow down your site because of the additional DNS lookups.

    If you want restricted stock images, I’d recommend going with another service that doesn’t have such a controversial or troubled history and ethics. WordPress also recommends a number of places with Creative Commons Zero and GPL compatible licenses:

    There’s also a different plugin provides access to the Unsplash library but that doesn’t require user login or hotlinking of images:

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Marius L. J.. Reason: Removed link reference
Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • This is not a review of the plugin, and since Jetpack (owned by Matt via Automattic) includes a competing service called Pexels, this is also a pretty big conflict of interest. Matt, are you taking the role of “Benevolent Dictator of WordPress” or “Automatic CEO” here, or both?

    This review sets a terrible example from a moderator, much less the lead of the WordPress project. It’s a philosophical opinion, and not a review of the plugin’s functionality or ability to meet the needs of users.



    This isn’t a review so much as it’s a tizzy.
    How is this “review” still posted?



    Dear, I’m not an inevitable friend and great critic of WordPress. @matt @darrylschmidt @cliffseal @johnstonphilip


    I think that Matt has given a constructive review here. There have been other users with the same problem.

    This is a review of the service and the associated plugin and its function.

    Here it is clearly pointed out by Matt and other users that ONLY the images are loaded via a forced CDN from Unsplash.

    I want to choose if only single images, all images or the whole content is loaded via a CDN. Matt is right. I don’t like Jetpack, but this loads ALL images over the CDN and it’s optional. The Unsplash plugin forces the system to do this.

    You can also use other image CDNs for loading.

    Matt did not refer to Jetpack see below, but to the already known Instant Images plugin. Therefore the conflict of interest is excluded here.

    He points out here quite clearly the differences to the Plugin Unsplash, CDN and Instant Images.

    Just if one attaches importance to respectability, such statements and reviews are important. I would like to choose myself.

    Thanks a lot. Cheers and stay healthy these days.

    @firefliespilots Matt does not need to refer to his competing service in order to benefit from leaving this negative post of his competitor.

    The fact that he didn’t disclose that he owns a competing service actually increases the conflict of interest here.



    @johnstonphilip Dear Phil, This is correct. But what would be new to me is that the Jetpack is the same and does the same as the Unsplash plugin.

    Or did I overlook in Jetpack that it is now possible to download photos from the Jetpack service and deliver only these photos via the Jetpack CDN?

    I think not. (-; Cheers

    Jetpack is not the competing service. Pexels is (and it’s also the first option in the link he provided as alternatives).

    If your local barber left 1 star Google reviews for all of the other barbers in town, that is also a conflict of interest.

    Matt can express his opinion in many places, but leaving a 1 star review here is problematic. I never said his opinion of Unsplash was wrong. I am saying that leaving this 1 star review here is a conflict of interest.




    Well, the link is rather for all other alternatives. Of course his is there as well. But when it comes to that, you shouldn’t use WordPress anyway and rather switch to like me. (-;

    Therefore, I use for WP – ClassicPress, CodeIgniter, Laravel etc. For an independence.

    But still the one star here clearly refers to the misleading in the plugin. It is of course clumsy to evaluate something if you have your own service that offers something similar. But that would also mean that I can’t rate other things that just don’t do what they say and mislead users.

    For example, if I have my own WordPress theme as a web designer and a customer wants a different theme that I buy for him, or he wants to install, set up etc., I can’t evaluate other things that just don’t do what they say and mislead users. But then the customer has problems with it, problems I constantly accumulate, the theme is faulty in the code, makes false promises or or. Then the customer will come to me.

    I will and can therefore despite my own produced theme the other evaluation and should I also around others the experience to bring near.

    Sure, Matt would have had to let out his own Pexels. But you can also overdo it. Because the other services are linked as well and in this case even Instant Images is / was more clearly linked and recommended.


    It’s more than just clumsy. It’s unethical and an abuse of the platform and his position. He isn’t leaving 1 star reviews on anything except companies that compete with his.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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