Featured Image from URL (FIFU)


WordPress plugin for external featured images, videos, audios and more

FIFU plugin has helped thousands of websites worldwide save money on storage, processing, and copyright since 2015.

If you are tired of wasting time and resources with thumbnail regeneration, image optimization, and never-ending imports, this plugin is for you.

Featured image

Use an external image as featured image of your post, page or custom post type.

  • External featured image
  • Image search (Unsplash)
  • Default featured image
  • Hide featured media
  • Featured image in content
  • Auto set image title
  • Column for featured image
  • [PRO] Image search (search engine)
  • [PRO] Disable right-click
  • [PRO] Save in the media library
  • [PRO] Replace not found image
  • [PRO] Custom popup
  • [PRO] Page redirection
  • [PRO] Cloak links
  • [PRO] Taxonomy image
  • [PRO] Same height

Automatic featured media

  • Auto set featured media from post content
  • [PRO] Auto set featured image using post title and a search engine
  • [PRO] Auto set featured media using web page address
  • [PRO] Auto set featured image from custom field
  • [PRO] Auto set featured image using ISBN
  • [PRO] Auto set screenshot as featured image
  • [PRO] Auto set featured image from Unsplash using tags


  • CDN + optimized thumbnails
  • Lazy load


  • Meta tags
  • [PRO] Media RSS tags
  • [PRO] BuddyBoss Platform and bbPress


  • WP-CLI integration
  • [PRO] Add-on for WP All Import
  • [PRO] WooCommerce import
  • [PRO] WooCommerce REST API
  • [PRO] Schedule metadata generation


  • External product image
  • Lightbox and zoom
  • [PRO] Gallery for external images
  • [PRO] Gallery for external videos
  • [PRO] Category images auto set
  • [PRO] Variable product
  • [PRO] Variation image
  • [PRO] Gallery for variation image
  • [PRO] Save in the media library
  • [PRO] FIFU product gallery
  • [PRO] Quick Buy
  • [PRO] Add image to order email

Featured video

Supports URLs from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, 9GAG, Cloudinary, Tumblr, Publitio, JW Player, VideoPress, Sprout, Odysee, Rumble, Dailymotion, Cloudflare Stream, Bunny Stream, Amazon, BitChute, Brighteon, Google Drive, Spotify and SoundCloud. External and local video files are supported as well.

  • [PRO] Featured video
  • [PRO] Watch later
  • [PRO] Video thumbnail
  • [PRO] Play button
  • [PRO] Minimum width
  • [PRO] Video controls
  • [PRO] Autoplay on mouseover
  • [PRO] Autoplay
  • [PRO] Playback loop
  • [PRO] Mute
  • [PRO] Privacy enhanced mode
  • [PRO] Background video

Widgets for Elementor

  • Featured image
  • [PRO] Featured video

Widgets for WordPress

  • [PRO] Featured media
  • [PRO] Featured grid
  • [PRO] Product gallery

Fields for Gravity-Forms

  • Featured image
  • [PRO] Featured video
  • [PRO] Featured slider

Fields for Dokan

  • Featured image
  • [PRO] Product gallery


  • [PRO] Quick edit
  • [PRO] Featured audio
  • [PRO] Featured slider
  • [PRO] Shortcode

Functions for developers

  • fifu_dev_set_image($post_id, $image_url)
  • [PRO] fifu_dev_set_video($post_id, $video_url)
  • [PRO] fifu_dev_set_slider($post_id, $url_list, $alt_list)
  • [PRO] fifu_dev_set_image_list($post_id, $image_url_list)
  • [PRO] fifu_dev_set_video_list($post_id, $video_url_list)
  • [PRO] fifu_dev_set_category_image($term_id, $image_url)
  • [PRO] fifu_dev_set_category_video($term_id, $video_url)

FIFU Cloud

  • Cloud storage (never lose an image again)
  • Global CDN (images loaded much faster)
  • Optimized thumbnails (processed in the cloud)
  • Usage-based billing (per stored image)
  • Smart cropping (detects people and objects before cropping)
  • Hotlink protection (sites can’t embed your images)



  • Featured image

  • Image search

  • Featured video

  • Image gallery for WooCommerce products

  • Image gallery for WooCommerce product variations

  • Quick edit

  • Widgets for Elementor

  • Settings Featured image

  • Settings Featured video

  • Settings Featured slider

  • Settings Featured audio

  • Settings Shortcode

  • Settings Automatic

  • Settings Social

  • Settings Performance

  • Settings WooCommerce

  • Settings WP All Import

  • Settings REST API

  • Settings Admin

  • Settings Metadata

  • Developers

  • FIFU Cloud


Install FIFU from within WordPress

  1. Visit the plugins page within your dashboard and select ‘Add New’;
  2. Search for ‘FIFU’;
  3. Activate FIFU from your Plugins page;

Install FIFU manually

  1. Upload the ‘featured-image-from-url’ folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory;
  2. Activate the FIFU plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress;


Why isn’t preview button working?

  • Your image URL is invalid. Take a look at Settings Getting started.

Does FIFU save the images in the media library?

  • No. Only the PRO version is capable of doing this, but it is optional. The plugin was designed to work with external images.

Why the featured image is being displayed twice?

  • You enabled “Featured Image in Content” option unnecessarily.

Why the featured image is not being displayed?

  • Please check if “Hide Featured Media” option is unduly enabled.

Why are there no changes after updating the settings?

  • Try to clear your cache.

Is any action necessary before removing FIFU?

  • Access settings and clear the metadata.

What’s the metadata created by FIFU?

  • Database registers that help WordPress components to work with external images. This plugin can generate the metadata of ~50,000 image URLs per minute.

What are the disadvantages of external images?

  • No image optimization or thumbnails by default. You can fix that with CDN + Optimized Thumbnails feature (performance settings).

What are the advantages of external images?

  • You save money on storage, processing and copyright. And you can have extremely fast import processes.

Is it legal to embed images without permission?

  • Yes, it is. Click here to know more.

Do external images affect SEO?

  • No, external images don’t affect SEO. Click here to know more.

Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error

  • During activation, the plugin tries to change a column in the database to support URLs longer than 256 characters. If the plugin cannot be activated, it’s possible that your site doesn’t have enough memory to support the column resizing operation, especially if your database is too large. In this case, try to increase the memory of your site.


Hezîran 12, 2024
I switched to the premium version of this plugin for the YouTube functionality, and it does exactly what I need it to. The company has also had amazing support with almost immediate response times when I have a need. Highly recommend.
Gulan 24, 2024
I had a small issue that turned out to be a problem with another plugin. Marcel provided outstanding support and pointed me in the right direction.
Gulan 11, 2024
Using the Premium version. No problem with getting it to work, easy to use. A minor issue with the FIFU alt tags not working correctly, but the response from Marcel was first rate and the issue was quickly resolved.
Sibat 27, 2024
Using the premium version on my book logging/review site to grab book cover images from amazon page URLs I was already inputting to create an affiliate purchase link. It was a bit bumpy at first, but the plugin author was extremely attentive and helped me over the course of several days to get things working exactly as I’d hoped! highly recommend if you need an easy and quick way to grab an image from an external URL.
Sibat 2, 2024
I recently had the pleasure of configuring the FIFU Plug-in for my website, and I am beyond impressed with both the product and the support provided by the FIFU team. In my extensive experience of building over 2,500 websites, I can confidently say that the commitment and professionalism demonstrated by the FIFU team are unparalleled. During a challenging debugging period, their support went above and beyond, providing solutions when no one else could. This level of dedication truly sets them apart in the industry. One standout feature is the timely and efficient response to support tickets. Unlike many other plugins, the FIFU team addresses concerns promptly, showcasing their commitment to customer satisfaction. This responsiveness is a breath of fresh air in an industry where delayed or non-existent responses are unfortunately common. The FIFU Plug-in’s lightweight design ensures a fast-loading website, exceeding expectations even under stress tests with 500 products. As I scale up to over 12,000 products, I’m confident in its ability to consistently deliver outstanding results. FIFU’s efficiency has significantly contributed to the success of my website. The FIFU team has set a new standard in a field where support is often lacking. They are a reliable, customer-centric, and highly skilled development team. My experience with their plugin has been smooth and enjoyable. Excited to use it with my new API to load over 200,000 product variable images and anticipate great success.I highly recommend Featured Image From URL Plugin! Sincerely, Jimmy – White Code Agency
Çile 16, 2024
We’ve been using FIFU on several sites for a few years to save on space. It has worked flawless and updated quick when the external link rules are changed. The support alone is worth it’s weight in gold.
Read all 232 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Featured Image from URL (FIFU)” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Featured Image from URL (FIFU)” has been translated into 9 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Fix: Auto set featured media from post content (URL validation missing); fix: CDN + Optimized Thumbnails (conflict with images from Discord).


  • Fix: incompatibility with WooCommerce HPOS; fix: CDN + Optimized Thumbnails (not serving images from CloudFront); deprecated: integration with WordPress Importer plugin.


  • Fix: Clear Metadata (Apache/Nginx timeout, fatal error due to excessive memory usage, counter not working, slow queries).