WordPress Plugin: Upload Media By URL – my pick of the week

media-upload-by-url-post image

Today I ran into the problem again with a WordPress project where I had to incorporate images into an article that are visible on another website. In this case it was photos that can be found on Wikipedia.

TL;DR? Click here for the plugin “Upload Media By URL".

With the plugin, images and graphics can be loaded into the media library via URL (graphics: Dalle).
With the plugin, images and graphics can be loaded into the media library via URL (graphics: Dalle).

Download and upload to media library

In this case, I usually have to go to the other website, then right-click on the image and save the image on my Mac. Then I go to WordPress and upload it to the media library.

Since I've had to do this process several times now, I thought I'd look for ways to shorten this work.

WordPress plugin for media upload via URL

And there is actually a WordPress plugin that does exactly what I want. “Upload Media By URL“ is the extension of the choice. The extension can be found via the official WordPress plugin repository and can also be installed at the push of a button.

If “Upload Media By URL” is active, there are two ways to achieve this function in WordPress:

1. Upload in the post or page editor

In the post editor, go to “File Upload” as usual and then there is the option “Insert from URL” in the bar on the left.

upload by url button

Since a new WordPress version is just around the corner, in which the media library will probably also get a major overhaul, it may be that the function will soon be elsewhere.


In any case, you click on “Insert from URL”, then enter the complete address including https:// etc. that leads to the image. When the plugin recognizes the URL and finds the image, the image will appear as a preview under the URL field and additional text fields and options will appear to set the alignment, ALT tag, and caption.

Once all of this is done, click the “Insert into post” button at the bottom right and the image will be loaded into the media library and inserted into the post.

2. Upload via the media library

If you are not working in a post but want to upload an image directly to the media library via URL, you will find the “Upload by URL” button at the top next to the “Media Library” heading.

library upload

If you click on this button, a text field opens in which you can directly enter several URLs (one per line).

batch upload

Then you click the “Send data” button and all images will be loaded into the media library. However, no ALT tags or anything similar are assigned. You then have to do this yourself via the media library.

Images not optimized

It is important to remember that the files will be copied 1:1 from the other server. That is, they are optimized as well or poorly as they are.

I would therefore recommend that Shortpixel plugin to install and scale down the images again. You can use the plugin to edit several images per month for free and for me the plugin always gets a lot out of it when it comes to file size.

Known issues of Upload Media By URL

There may also be problems with the plugin when uploading files via URL to the WordPress library. For example, if the URL of the image requires an extra security check or the file extension is missing at the end - a typical scenario for images from private CDNs. Unfortunately, in such cases, WordPress often goes on strike and cannot import the files.

Also pay attention to possible incompatibilities with other plugins, such as FileBird or the WooCommerce subpage for new products, the latter of which has now been fixed.

Do you know any other practical WordPress plugins?

Everyone knows the big plugins like WP-Rocket, Yoast SEO and the like, but if you have a few insider tips that not everyone has on their radar, but that serve a helpful function, then feel free to leave a comment.

I always find tips like this exciting and you often need to remember them at some point in the future when you unexpectedly need them.

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