How to add Flickr photos to your WordPress website legally

Using Flickr images the right way in WordPress

Superman keeping watch over our photo gathering activity (Image JD Hancock via Flickr)

[NOTE: This blog post has now been superseded by a newer version that reflects changes at Flickr. Click through to it here: The new look Flickr is still a great source for WordPress blog images]

Because I believe that every blog post you publish should have at least one interesting and/or informative image included, I am often asked for tips on how to find and insert them into WordPress.

As with all things WordPress, there are often a few different ways you can do things, so I will share my process with you even though there will be some simpler and more complex methods out there.

Why illustrate this article with Superman or, rather, ‘Justice Lords Superman’?

Firstly, earlier this week I referred to the changing role of Clark Kent in the latest Superman instalment, from reporter at the Daily Planet to blogger. So using his image today will create a theme for my work this week.

Secondly, I want to stress my method ticks all the boxes with Flickr and the artists who share work there, so Superman is representing the purity of this method.

Thirdly, I couldn’t think of a particular image to use so I just used the method, below, and searched on the term ‘justice’ to see what Flickr suggested.

The photo finding, harnessing, cropping, and publishing process took less than five minutes. It might take you a little longer at first, while you get used to the steps. After that, you will be rewarded with sublime collection of interesting photos and illustrations to help you finesse your blog posts and website pages.

Finding and using photos from Flickr

Go to, click Search and then Advanced Search (that link should take you directly to the Advanced Search page)

Type your image topic or theme in the search box

Scroll to bottom of page and click all three Creative Commons boxes.

Click Search

Click on the image you want to use – save the URL (web address for that photos main page on Flickr, for example, the link to the Superman image, above, is and copy down the photographer’s name so you can credit them on your site

Click Actions > View All Sizes and download the size you need

In photo software (I use Adobe Photoshop ELEMENTS), crop to desired size (300 x 300 pixels is useful size) and Save For Web as jpeg or png

Back on your WordPress website, click the Add Media button above your Page or Post editing menu. Choose to Add Media From Computer and use the Select Files button to search your computer for the image you just edited from Flickr.

Insert image in your blog and in the Caption field, add Photographer’s name (like you see in the Superman image, above) and a link to the photo on Flickr <a href=“” target=“_blank”>Flickr</a>

For example, the caption for the Superman image looks like this in the WordPress ‘add image’ box:

Superman keeping watch over our photo gathering activity (Image <a href=”” target=”_blank”>JD Hancock via Flickr</a>)

NOTE: I also make sure I enter meaningful text in the ALT TEXT field when adding images, and I align my images to the right of the page so that my words can wrap around from the left. That is person preference.

Now you will be able to illustrate your Pages and Posts to make them more compelling for readers, when you don’t have images of your own to use.




  1. Vincent

    Flickr is a great resource and I agree, it is useful for finding images to insert into posts. However, I’m concerned that your instructions lack a few very important details that may mislead some into misuse of CC licensed photos.

    Firstly, there are six different Creative Commons licenses with varying degrees of permissions of what the owner is permitting to be done with their work. It is important to understand all the differences of the six licenses before using material published under a particular CC license. The CC By ND (Creative Commons, Attribution, No Derivatives) license, for example, does not allow cropping as you suggest doing in your instructions above.

    Secondly, all six Creative Commons licenses require that you make clear the license terms of the work to your readers. It is suggested that the best way to do this is with a link to the particular license page on the Creative Commons website. You can read more about Creative Commons licenses there and how to use them:

    Flickr does make it fairly easy to do this as the links to the particular CC license used are built into the page. I usually post a link to the owner’s Flickr page where the photo resides, as well as a link to the particular license used, eg:

    Photo by State Library of South Australia

    CC By

    I hope that helps.


    • Steve Davis

      Thank you, Vincent.
      It is because of the various levels of CC licence that I guide people to click ALL THREE Creative Commons options before doing a search for images in Flickr.
      This way we have filtered down to just those images where the owner has allowed for adaptation and commercial usage.
      And between you and me, I recommend this avenue to my clients to make it easier for people in small business and small organisations to at least start using images in their work, but it is all part of a master plan to build their confidence so that they can migrate to primarily using their own work.
      My recent crop of workshops and keynotes this year has been focussed on liberating people from thinking that good photography or videography can ONLY be done by professionals or OTHERS. There is ALWAYS a time and place for hiring in the help, but with understanding the importance of images (through sourcing CC licensed material) and then having some gentle guidance into how to capture and share their own material, I am seeing people use content sourced from third parties less and less.
      You would have also seen a migration away from Flickr-sourced images on this blog too, throughout this year in particular.
      Thanks for adding to the dialogue.

  2. Riaz Shah

    This is great thank you! I didn’t know that taking pictures can make me liable, it seemed so normal because most of my friends are doing that too


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chat With Us On Messenger