Instant Images – One Click Unsplash Uploads


Instantly upload photos from Unsplash to your website without leaving WordPress!

Instant Images is the fastest and easiest way to upload high quality FREE photos from directly to your media library.

The perfect tool for users who want to save time and frustration by uploading images directly inside their WordPress installation and for developers who want to prototype and develop using real world imagery.

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  • Image Search – The Instant Images search let’s you quickly find and upload images for any subject in a matter of seconds!
  • Image Orientation – Filter search results by landscape, portrait or square images.
  • Time Saver – Quickly upload amazing stock photos without leaving the comfort of your WordPress admin.
  • Theme/Plugin Developers – A great tool for developers who want to prototype and develop using real world imagery.
  • Gutenberg – Instant Images directly integrates with Gutenberg as a plugin sidebar.
  • Media Modal – Instant Images is available as a tab in the WordPress Media Modal.
  • **Page Builders – Instant Images integrates with page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi.
  • Edit Image Metadata – Easily edit image filename, alt text and caption prior to uploading to your media library.
  • Accessibility – Automatically include a relevant alt description for screen readers, visually reduced users, and SEO.
  • Easy to Use – It couldn’t get much more simple, just click an image and it’s automatically uploaded to your media library for use on your site.
  • No Account Needed – An Unsplash account is not required for use of this plugin. Just activate and you’re ready to go.

Tested Browsers

  • Firefox (Mac + PC)
  • Chrome (Mac + PC)
  • Safari (Mac)
  • IE 11 >

How Can You Contribute?

Pull requests can be submitted via GitHub.


Screenshot (schermate di esempio)

  • Dashboard - Browse, search and upload images to your WordPress media library
  • Search - Find and upload images for any subject in a matter of seconds!
  • Image Metadata - Easily edit image filename, alt text and caption prior to uploading to your media library.
  • Post/Page Edit - Unsplash images in a lightbox on your post edit/new/post pages.
  • Gutenberg post edit screens. Add as featured image, insert into post or just upload photo.
  • Instant Images is available in the WordPress media modal as a custom tab. It is available in front end page builder like Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi.


How to install Instant Images.

Using The WordPress Dashboard

  1. Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
  2. Search for ‘Instant Images’
  3. Click ‘Install Now’
  4. Activate the plugin on the Plugin dashboard

Uploading in WordPress Dashboard

  1. Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
  2. Navigate to the ‘Upload’ area
  3. Select from your computer
  4. Click ‘Install Now’
  5. Activate the plugin in the Plugin dashboard

Using FTP

  1. Download
  2. Extract the instant-images directory to your computer
  3. Upload the instant-images directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  4. Activate the plugin in the Plugin dashboard


Can I legally use these photos on my website?

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

Can I search for individual photos by ID?

Yes! You can enter id:{photo_id} into the search box to return a single result.
e.g. id:YiUi00uqKk8

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. Please read through the FAQ on our website to view some potential causes.

Can I update the filename or metadata prior to upload?

Yes, click the cog (options) icon in the bottom corner of the image to bring up an edit screen where you can modify the filename, title, alt and caption before the image is uploaded.

Are the images upload to the Media Library?

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

Are raw uploads stored on the server?

No, once an image has be uploaded and resized the raw download will be removed from your server.

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.

Some hosts lock down their servers and you may be required to update your php.ini or .htaccess in order to use this plugin.

Do I need an Unsplash account?

No, there is no need to sign up from an Unsplash account to access the photos server via Instant Images.


9 Ottobre 2020
I have been using WordPress for > 15 years and this is the first time I've felt properly, properly compelled to write a review for a plugin. This plugin has literally saved me hours of work. Logging into unsplash, searching, downloading, compressing, uploading etc. Yawn. However, this plugin wouldn't have been possible without the superb service unsplash, so credit there too. All round awesome!
24 Marzo 2020
Due to a double error, from me and a coworker, we got confused and thought that the plugin was not working properly. We were wrong. This is what I wrote: "This plugin is promoting and using pixabay, not unsplash, and they declare the opposite." I'm sorry for the momentary confusion. Indeed the plugin works really well, and I support it.
5 Novembre 2019
This plugin features a pleasant interface that you can easily search for images for your various needs. I like how it's easy to download and then edit the image in WordPress. Keep up the good work!
30 Maggio 2019
Just what we really need and waiting for it!
7 Maggio 2019
I have a podcast that I publish every week and I always grab a photo from Unsplash as the feature image for the episode. I've been doing that manually for ages, but this plugin makes the whole process take just a few seconds. It is integrated into the block editor (Gutenberg) beautifully to make it incredibly easy to search Unsplash for an image and add it to the post content or as a featured image. It's been a while since I've been this impressed with a plugin that does a great job with an excellent and well thought out UI. Love it.
Leggi tutte le recensioni di 27

Contributi e sviluppo

“Instant Images – One Click Unsplash Uploads” è un software open source. Le persone che hanno contribuito allo sviluppo di questo plugin sono indicate di seguito.


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Changelog (registro delle modifiche)

4.3.5 – August 14, 2020

  • FIX – Fixed issue with WP 5.5 and REST API warning messages when WP_DEBUG is true.
  • FIX – Fixed issue with undefined $suffix variable when WP_DEBUG is true.

4.3.4 – August 11, 2020

  • FIX – Fixed issue with Yoast SEO meta boxes not appearing in Classic Editor.
  • UPDATE – Code cleanup and some refactoring of media enqueue scripts.

4.3.3 – August 10, 2020

  • NEW – Adding Instant Images tab to Media Modal windows everywhere, including page builders and taxonomy terms pages.
  • NEW – Added new plugin setting to hide the Instant Images tab in the Media Modals

4.3.2 – May 28, 2020

  • UPDATE – Switched REST API methods to POST requests from PUT. This will hopefully reduce issues users are having with PUT being disabled on their servers.
  • UPDATE – Added Instant Images media button back to Classic Editor post screen.

4.3.1 – April 13, 2020

  • FIX – Fixed issue with Instant Images causing Yoast SEO metabox to not show correctly in the classic WordPress editor. Not really sure why, but the Instant Images JS dependencies seemed to interfere with Yoast.
  • FIX – Added user privileges checks to the new Media Modal functionality.

4.3.0 – April 9, 2020

  • NEW – Adding Instant Images tab to the WordPress Media Modal.
  • NEW – When images are uploaded directly to a post the current Post ID is attached to the upload as the parent post.
  • NEW – Adding default alt text directly from Unsplash API.
  • UPDATE – Updated image uploader API to hopefully improve stability of the upload and resize process. The new process uses core WordPress functions for the upload.
  • UPDATE – Switching tab navigation from <a/> to` for better accessibility.
  • FIX – Added a fix for JS error regarding PluginSidebar registration on non-gutenberg editor pages.

4.2.0 – December 14, 2019

  • NEW – Added image orientation search filter
  • FIX – Fixed issue with instant images being rendered in Gutenberg editor for users without permissions.
  • UPDATE – Updated WordPress role requirement from edit_theme_options to upload_files.

4.1.0 – July 23, 2019

  • NEW – Added support for updating image title prior to upload.
  • NEW – Added link to edit image after upload process completes.
  • UPDATE – Updated functionality to trigger photo upload immediately after triggering a Save when editing image metadata.

4.0.1 – April 18, 2019

  • FIX – Fixed issue where Instant Images sidebar plugin would not appear in Gutenberg if removed as a pinned item.

4.0.0 – February 12, 2019

  • 4.0 adds Gutenberg support. You can now access instant images directly from inside the block editor.
  • NEW – Added Instant Images to Gutenberg as a Plugin Sidebar.
  • NEW – Added Gutenberg featured image support.
  • NEW – Added Gutenberg Create Image Block support.

  • UPDATE – Improved a11y (accessibility) of photo listing items.

  • UPDATE – Updated REST API methods to prefix function names.
  • UPDATE – Various other UI/UX enhancements.

3.3.0 – January 10, 2019

  • UPDATE – Removed cURL usage for downloading images in place of core copy() PHP function.
  • NEW – Adding Axios for HTTP requests
  • NEW – Removing /instant-images folder in uploads directory on plugin de-activation.
  • FIX – Added fix for directory permission issue when creating uploads/instant-images.

3.2.1 – September 25, 2018

  • NEW – Added Instant Images to media upload tabs. You can now upload a photo and insert it into a page or page immediately. Please note, this is currently not working with the Gutenberg editor.
  • UPDATE – Better cURL error handling (hopefully).

= 3.2 – July 31, 2018
** NEW – Added functionality to edit image details (filename, alt text and caption) prior to uploading – edit image detail by clicking the options icon in the top right corner of each image 👍.
** UPDATE – Improved error handling and messaging for common REST API and cURL issues.

3.1.1 – June 15, 2018

** NEW – More stable image uploading 🎉.
** NEW – Added instant_images_user_role filter to allow for control over user capability.
** FIX – Fixing permission issues with uploads when using basic HTTP authentication on domain.
** UPDATE – Better error handling
** UPDATE – Added permission 755 to the uploads/instant-images directory created on activation.

3.1 – January 2, 2018

** NEW – Adding support for searching individual photos by ID. Prefix a search term with id: to search by Unsplash ID. e.g. id:ixddk_CepZY.
** UPDATED – Updated to meet revised Unsplash API guidelines.
** UPDATED – Better Error messaging for upload/resize errors.
** NEW – Added clear search button to remove search results.
** FIX – Fixed JS error that occurred when SCRIPT_DEBUG was set to true.

3.0 – September 21, 2017

** NEW – Instant Images has been completely re-built using React and the WordPress REST API.

2.1.1 – June 6, 2017

** NEW – Added infinite scroll while viewing Instant Images on large screens.
** FIX – Fixed missing js file error in browser console.
** UPDATE – Updated Masonry/Imagesloaded image load functionality.

2.1 – May 12, 2017

** UPDATE – Remove App ID setting – Unsplash API is now open for everyone without API limit restrictions.
** UPDATE – Updating default image upload from ‘Full’ to ‘Raw’. Raw files are significantly smaller size and should make uploads quicker on slower connections and help to reduce upload errors.
** UPDATE – UI/UX tweaks and updates.
** FIX – Updating media_buttons hook. Was causing issues with other plugins.

2.0.1 – January 12, 2017

  • FIX – Update to instant_img_resize_image function to remove unnecessary function arguments. These args were causing issues on some servers.
  • NEW – Refresh Media Library content when uploading images through the Instant Images uploader on edit screen for posts and pages.
  • UI Enhancements


  • Initial Commit
  • Updating plugin from UnsplashWP to Instant Images