If you’re a graphic designer, Web designer, photographer or just like to take and use your own photos on your blog, you know how valuable these images are. There’s nothing like having your image stolen and used on another website or blog without your permission. Even worse, some may even take the credit for your hard work.
Some designers use an image editing program to add watermarks (which serve as a copyright) to their photos and graphics, but if you’re a WordPress user, there are additional options for you. The five WordPress plugins listed below can make watermarking easy and just as stylish as your image editor.
This simple plugin will add a text watermark to your images in 1 of 9 different locations, and allow you to change the font type. Although Watermark Reloaded is very basic, it gets the job done if you’re not looking for anything too fancy.
If you’re in need of more options, you can upgrade to Watermark Reloaded Pro. The pro version adds options for opacity, image watermarks, background colors, text outlines and more.
Watermark My Image
This plugin doesn’t add a watermark to your actual image, instead it places the watermark underneath your image. It only supports text watermarks, but you can change the color and the size of the text, change the font type and even add a background color.
A nice addition is the ability to change the JPEG quality for image optimization, in order to decrease page load time. Choosing the location of your watermark is a little tricky because you have to enter a numerical value for offset x and offset y; this could take a bit of trial and error.
If you want to apply watermarks to images already on your blog (before you installed the plugin), you can do that as well. This is an extremely handy feature because if you have a lot of images, it could take days to watermark them manually.
Signature Watermark does what the name implies: adds a transparent image watermark as well as a text signature. This plugin does watermarking the smart way, because it adds the image watermark to the center of your image. This way, others can’t just crop your watermark out and use the rest of the image. With the watermark integrated into the center of your image, it’s practically impossible to remove.
You’ll need to create the image and then choose the image width percentage. The same goes for the text watermark, which you can customize by choosing the color, transparency level and font type. The final result is a subtle center watermark along with a very noticeable text watermark.
The makers of Signature Watermark have another plugin called Bulk Watermark, which allows you to add image and/or text watermarks to all of your previously uploaded images (before installing the Signature Watermark plugin).
Although it would be more convenient to have this included in the Signature Watermark plugin, it’s still extremely useful.
Scissors and Watermark
This plugin enhances and adds functionality to WordPress’ native image uploading area. Not only does it add watermarking capabilities, but it also adds cropping, resizing and rotating features.
As far as watermarking, it supports image watermarks only and you can specify the percentage of the image area for it to use. You can align your watermarks horizontally to the left, center or right; likewise, you can align them vertically to the top, middle or bottom.
The Scissors and Watermark plugin is simple, yet it’s nice for those looking for additional features such as cropping and better control over your default image sizes.
If you’re familiar with the DMCA, you know that it protects your blog’s content and images from plagiarism. With their WordPress plugin, you can enable watermarking for a specific folder on your blog (i.e. the images folder). This will add a DMCA Protection Badge to your site – in a location which you get to specify in your blog’s dashboard settings.
The DMCA website claims the badge “guarantees that online criminals and content thieves hesitate before copying your original material.” This will certainly be true for those that are familiar with the DMCA; however, it may not deter those who have never heard of them.
DMCA is extremely useful if you choose to go Pro because you get an unlimited number of takedowns (much like a cease and desist), as opposed to just 1/year with the free account. If you’re finding that many of your images are being stolen then 1 takedown a year just won’t be enough.
WP Photo Album Plus and Image Store are both photo gallery plugins that also include a watermarking feature. So if you’re looking to add stylish photo galleries to your blog and want to protect your images, these are for you. They’re both pretty advanced with tons of impressive features.
How do you protect the images on your blog? Do you use a watermarking plugin, or do you use another method?
Creative Commons image courtesy of Fey Ilyas
I would like to add watermarks (“sold out”) to individual images and be able to remove them when required. Which plugin would you suggest?
I had a site which needed some more fine-graned control on watermarks (disabling it on some images, the ability to remove it, and not using PHP on every image call).
I wrote a new plugin to cover this and be as flexible as possible. It adds watermarks using htaccess and allows you to disable watermarking in the media library.
What do you think of it?
Nice information, you could mention the best one out of the mentioned plugins.
Great collection! I have just found another great free plugin for easy image watermarking called Easy Watermark. Here are details – https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-watermark/
Newcomer WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/credit-tracker/
Thanks for showing how to create a Photo gallery for wordpress. This is a nice tutorial.
I often upload images that are not my own–I always cite the source, usually a retailer or another blog, but I need the option to watermark my own images as I upload them while leaving these borrowed images as is. I’m having a hard time finding a plugin with this capability. Any suggestions?
As a professional photographer, I’d like to point out that just because you cite the source doesn’t mean you have either the legal or moral right to use a photo from another website on your blog. Not picking on you here, just wanted to point out it’s always best to ask permission from the creator before attempting to use any image you didn’t create yourself. Fair use is a complicated matter full of gray areas, so it’s always better safe than sorry even if your intended use of an image seems like it should fall under the fair use provision of United States copyright law.
Having said that, the author of this post is confusing matters somewhat by saying “Some designers use an image editing program to add watermarks (which serve as a copyright) to their photos and graphics.” A watermark can serve as a copyright notice, but there’s no such thing as “serving as a copyright.” Conversely, unless a watermark expressly identifies or implies ownership (like saying “© Jane Doe” or “Photo by John Q. Public” or something), it’s really nothing more than a branding element identifying the source of the image.
The way I handle photos on my own website is by using two different watermarks: one with a copyright notice plus my logo and URL for my own work, and one with just my logo and URL for photos that don’t belong to me. If somebody contacts me to request use of an image that isn’t mine, I can tell them who to contact. The way I look at it is it’s rare another site will publish a photo with your watermark on it, but if you don’t watermark everything then there’s no telling where stuff could end up.
I watermark everything manually in an image-editing program, which isn’t ideal but works for me. Hopefully one of these days somebody will make a WordPress watermarking plugin that allows you to set up multiple watermarks for use on the same site, but so far I haven’t found one. In your case, though, take a look at Watermark Reloaded Pro (one of its listed features is “upload time option to turn off the watermarking”). It’s not free, but at $14.49 it’s quite affordable. http://eappz.eu/en/products/watermark-reloaded-pro/
Hi, please add http://wordpress.org/support/view/plugin-reviews/image-watermark to the list also. The best one I could find… with Scissors and Watermark you can not change opacity.
Just what I was looking for. A great round up.
Great articles! You have summarized out the great Watermark plugin which ease someone like me who looking for new to Watermark plugin.
Salute to you, author 🙂