Protect Your Photos with These WordPress Image Watermark and Hotlinking Plugins

Protect Your Photos with These WordPress Image Watermark and Hotlinking Plugins

When you upload images to your website you never know where they might end up. However, by watermarking your work you can ensure that even if your photos and other images get used elsewhere, you can still get credit for your work.

While watermarking each individual photo, especially if you have many to publish from your recent travels, can take a lot of time, there is another option. By using one of the following plugins you can tag your images automatically without any extra work on your part.

Although you won’t want or need to watermark every image you add to your website, by using one of these plugins you will have to option of doing so should the need arise.

The Best Photo Watermarking Plugins for WordPress

By installing one of these plugins you can quickly and easily add a watermark to some or all of the images you publish on your website.

To help you make the right choice, some of the features to look out for include the ability to watermark existing images on your site, support for setting the position of the watermark, the ability to prevent hotlinking, and support for removing the watermark when needed.

Image Watermark

Image Watermark

This popular plugin allows you to automatically add a custom watermark to your images as you upload them into the WordPress media gallery, as well as giving you the ability to bulk watermark all existing images.

When it comes to how the watermark will be applied, this plugin allows you to choose the position, upload a custom image to be used, set a watermark offset, set the transparency, and a whole lot more.

This free plugin includes a few other steps to prevent people stealing your images including right-click disablement on images, and protection against drag and drop.

If the features of this plugin sound like they cover all of your needs, then the 4.4 out of 5 star rating makes this a great choice.

Get the Image Watermark plugin

Easy Watermark

Easy Watermark

Easy Watermark is the next most popular plugin of this type with over 57 thousand downloads and another impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating.

With this plugin you get the option of watermarking your images with an image or text, giving you a few choices when it comes to stamping your identity on your work. Again you get the option of bulk watermarking the existing images on your site, so if you’ve been publishing photos for a while you can still easily protect your content.

Through the settings of Easy Watermark you get a lot of control over when and how the watermark is applied. This includes which file types and image sizes to protect, and images from which post types to include.

Furthermore, with the Easy Watermark plugin you protect all images on your site, including thumbnails should you wish to do so.

Get the Easy Watermark plugin

Transparent Image Watermark

Transparent Image Watermark

Transparent Image Watermark is another popular choice with just over 50 thousand downloads, but only a worrying 2.9 out of 5 star rating.

Although the core features you’d expect to find in a plugin of this type are present, a few users have complained of running into problems when it comes to removing the watermarks as no backups are taken. However, this has reportedly been rectified by the developers in the current version.

As this is the lite version of the Transparent Watermark Ultra plugin from the same developers, you can expect to find some features missing which are only available when you upgrade. This includes the ability to watermark existing images, and watermark positioning.

Although the user interface for this plugin looks good, it’s probably best to proceed with caution due to the low rating and other more popular options out there.

Get the Transparent Image Watermark plugin

Watermark WP Image Protect

Watermark WP Image Protect

With 20 thousand downloads and a 3.9 star rating, Watermark WP Image Protect is a respectable choice that aims to separate itself from the competition by allowing you to protect your images without editing the original files. This means you can quickly remove the watermarks if needed, by deactivating the plugin.

Some of the features you might expect to find elsewhere, such as using images as watermarks, or setting the watermark transparency are only available as a premium upgrade, making this a better choice for this with more limited needs or a greater budget.

Get the Watermark WP Image Protect plugin



This is another free option, but it’s one that takes a different approach to applying the watermark to the images on your website. With this plugin, the watermark is applied using the contents of the htaccess file and PHP code that the plugin adds to your site.

This means that your images are not modified during the process. However they are securely watermarked for as long as the plugin is active on your website.

The script can be run on all of the existing images on your site as well as any new ones that are added. The only major downside of this plugin is that it only works with JPG files. However, if you are only seeking to protect photographs, this could be enough functionality for your project.

Get the Watermark plugin

Hotlink Protection

Hotlink Protection

Instead of, or as well as watermarking, you could try adding hotlink protection to your images. This plugin will prevent other sites from being able to insert your images directly into their posts and pages, using your image URL to do so.

This is a simple plugin that will prevent other websites from hotlinking your images, preventing your work from being easily reused elsewhere.

Get the Hotlink Protection plugin

Watermark Hotlinked Images

Watermark Hotlinked Images

This plugin adds a watermark to images only when they are hotlinked, or inserted into other posts and pages, directly from your website.

This is a premium option, but for the relatively low price you do get access to premium support from the developer, should you need any help when using this plugin.

You get full control over how the watermark is displayed and you can add sites to the exception list to avoid watermarking your images on them.

If you want to get credit for your work when your images are used elsewhere, without watermarking the images published on your website, this plugin gives you that option.

Get the Watermark Hotlinked Images plugin


As you can see there are some great options for automatically watermarking the images you publish on your website.

If you want to dissuade others from using your images without permission, or want to ensure you get credit for your work when they do, these free plugins should do the trick.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.