General Questions

Can I legally use these photos on my website?

Yes, all photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.

Learn more about Unsplash license terms.

Can I search for individual photos by ID?

Yes! In version 3.1 of Instant Images you can enter id:{photo_id} into the search box to return a single result.
e.g. id:YiUi00uqKk8

Are photos resized on upload?

Yes, when you upload an image to your media library with instant Images it will automatically be resized into the custom image sizes specified within your theme.

Are there server requirements?

Yes, this plugin is required to write temporary images into an /instant-images directory within your WordPress uploads directory for image processing prior to being uploaded to the media library.

Note: The /instant-images directory is created on plugin activation.

Are the images uploaded to the Media Library?

Yes, images are processed on the server then uploaded to the Media Library into the various sizes set within your theme.

What WordPress user role is allowed access to use Instant Images?

By default, users with a minimum role of edit_theme_options are granted access. If you wish to modify the access restrictions to Instant Images the instant_images_user_role filter will allow you to update the role.

Can I make a donation to the development of Instant Images?

Yes, please visit and you will be redirected to PayPal.


I'm unable to download images, what is the cause of this?

Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why Instant Images may not work in your current hosting/server environment.

  1. Permissions
    Instant Images downloads a temporary image to the /instant-images folder inside the WordPress uploads directory. If this directory does not have at least 0755 permissions, image uploading may fail.
  2. allow_url_fopen
    Instant Images requires allow_url_fopen to be on to download images from the remote server to yours. Check your servers php.ini file and confirm it is set to on and not off.
  3. Max Upload Size
    If your Media Library has less than 16mb max upload size set, images may be prevented from uploading.
  4. HTTPS (CORS error)
    If your WP Admin runs under HTTPS and your front-end does not (or visa versa) you may run into Cross-Orgin Resource Sharing (CORS) issue.
    This is because Instant Images uses the WP REST API, which is front-end WordPress and your admin does not. The fix for this is to ensure both your WP Admin and public facing site use the same HTTP protocol.
  5. REST API Blocked
    Instant Images uses the WP REST API to process images and some security plugins offer the ability to block access. In this case, you should update the settings to allow access to the WP REST API.

I'm getting upload errors with Local by Flywheel, how do I solve this?

If you’re using Local you need to update the certificates otherwise there will be a cURL error.

From within Local:

  1. Right click the site name and goto Open Site SSH.
  2. Run apt-get update && apt-get install ca-certificates in the command prompt.
  3. Go back to Instant Images, refresh the page and try the upload again.

Local by Flywheel Admin