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» Home »Page: Flickr Thumbnail Photostream Wordpress plugin v1.1


Flickr Thumbnail Photostream WordPress plugin v1.1

2008 at 18:14 by Kelly Dorset

This is released under the GPL v.2.


The Flickr Thumbnail Photostream WordPress plugin makes including and linking to photos on a Flickr account simple and flexible. The links come in the form of thumbnail images that link to their larger, normal formats within the Flickr website. The advantage of this plugin is that it does not use RSS feeds and uses the Flickr API instead.


This plugin requires cURL PHP library to be installed.

The plugin has been tested with WordPress 2.3.3 and 2.5.1


Please download the zip file (171.3 KB) from the WordPress plugin site


Please Note: If you are upgrading from version 1.0 or 1.0.1 to version 1.1 then you will need to deactivate and re-activate the plugin. This is to ensure that some of the new features will be fully initialised.


Admin Control Panel

All the main functions of control such as connecting to a Flickr account and storing information on the photo thumbnails, can be achieved through the “Flickr Control” front-end GUI in the WordPress admin panel. Any changes in current Flickr photo information/status can be immediately updated by clicking on the “Update Photos” button.

Information Cache

Running the relevent Flickr API function calls can sometimes take between 2 & 3 minutes to fully execute. All information is stored in a data cache held locally, so that it minimise the chance of performance loss on web pages. The cached data can store up to 500 images at a time.

Cron Support

If users wish to have regular/automatic updates of their photo information and status, then that is achievable through creating a crontab entry, or similar automation mechanism, to execute the supplied runScript.php file.

Specific styling using CSS

A CSS file is supplied to provide a starting point for displaying the thumbnails, but changes can be made to suit individual preference.

Requested Features
  • Allow results to be tag or set based
  • Ability to override the name of widget with text from the admin panel (or perhaps an img location)
  • Support for group NSID’s
  • Allow users to enter proxy settings if they require it
  • What is my NSID?
    Try putting your “screen name” into this tool: It should return your NSID.

More open source applications


This entry was posted by Kelly Dorset on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 6:14 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

271 comments on "Flickr Thumbnail Photostream WordPress plugin v1.1"


zach said:
April 24th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

where do I create the data cache folder and how do I specify the path.. nothing seems to be working for me.


Kelly Dorset said:
April 24th, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Hi Zach:

You'll need to create a folder somewhere for the cache. The scripts will need to be able to write out the images in that folder. If you create it in the tmp folder in a linux install this may be something like:


or if you are on shared hosting, it could be in your home directory:


Make sure that directory has writable permissions by the webserver.

If you are still having problems, email me at kdorset AT plus DOT net and I'll get James to help!


kris said:
April 25th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I am also having difficulty adding a cache folder. I have created a folder with permissions set at 777. But when adding trying to direct to the folder Flickr Control says it either does not have the permissions or it does not exist.


jtuck said:
April 25th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Hi kris:

Can you please check that you have specified the full path in the "Data Cache Folder Location" text box on the Flickr Control page, and in addition, make sure you don't have a '/' at the end of the path.

Hope this helps, if not, please come back here and give me a shout.


markus said:
April 25th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

i think i have the same problem. i have tried a lot of different folders and every time i got an error report "This folder path does not exist! Your options have not been updated". write permissions are set. it only works with the /tmp folder. but this folder doesn´t exist. an also when the folder exists, i don´t get the flickrdata.json. so updating photos is impossible.
can anyone help me please?


jtuck said:
April 25th, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Hi, to all those with cache folder problems, try for the moment to store the cache file in the plugin folder itself 'flickr-thumbnails-photostream'. That should work as a temporary fix whilst I carry out an investigation.

Sorry to all those who have experienced issues with this.


jtuck said:
April 25th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

If you are running in php safe mode and/or have open_basedir restrictions in place, then you are probably limited as to where you can store the cache file.

I've just tried creating a new folder within the plugins folder, then giving it 777 permissions and it works fine:-

/plugins$ mkdir cache-test

/plugins$ chmod 777 cache-test

So it is probably something to do with your individual php settings, which you may not have permission to change if you are on shared hosting for example.

The solution to this is to store the cache file in the 'flickr-thumbnails-photostream' plugin folder (as mentioned above), with all the other downloaded files.

This should work as the 'flickr-thumbnails-photostream' plugin folder must be accessible for you to have got to the Flickr Control page in the first place.

A possible example of a full path on linux might be:-


I really hope this helps and sorry again for the problems. We will work to put a fix in place and to document this issue in the next release version of the plugin.


kris said:
April 25th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I feel like such a dummy but I simply cannot figure this out! I have wordpress stored on my domain,
and the location I have given in Flickr Control is as you suggested: /flickr-thumbnails-photostream/
or in my case, /www/blog/wp-content/plugins/flickr-thumbnails-photostream/

I had no problem with changing the write permissions but Im not to sure how to see if I am running in php safe mode and/or have open_basedir restrictions in place. Sorry to be a bother, I just don't know what I'm doing wrong? Thanks spacer


jtuck said:
April 26th, 2008 at 12:31 am

Please don't worry about it, this is really important feedback and if there are issues we need to know so we can fix them.

Even if you are running in php safe mode and/or using open_basedir restrictions, you should still be able to use the the Flickr plugin folder to store the cache file.

Try using:-


without the '/' on the end, because the plugin will put that '/' in for you.

Is it still saying you don't have the correct permissions or is it displaying a different error message?


kris said:
April 26th, 2008 at 12:52 am

When I put that for the location and press update options, I get this 'This folder path does not exist! Your options have not been updated.'

If I press update photos it says, 'The folder does not have writable permissions. Please change the folder permissions.'


jtuck said:
April 26th, 2008 at 12:59 am

Ok, can you try just putting a '.' , so thats just a full stop in the folder text box, and double check that you have full write access to all users on on the 'flickr-thumbnails-photostream' folder. Then click the update options button again.


kris said:
April 26th, 2008 at 2:14 am

permissions on the ‘flickr-thumbnails-photostream’ are set at 777, did you mean to put the '.' (period) like this, '/flickr-thumbnails-photostream.' ?

with or with out it i am still getting that the folder path does not exist.

thanks again


Kelly Dorset said:
April 26th, 2008 at 11:12 am

Don't have the / in the front. That means it is looking for it at the root of the filesystem. Just have `.` there.


kris said:
April 28th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I typed in simply a '.' and it finally allowed my options to save, but not to update my photos. I tried out a few more folders and finally '/tmp' worked! Thanks for all your help =)


jtuck said:
April 28th, 2008 at 5:07 pm

You're very welcome, I'm glad to hear it's all up and running now.


James said:
April 29th, 2008 at 4:12 am

Is there a way to adjust the thumbnail quality? They look a bit crappy!


markus said:
April 29th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

hi, my problem is still the same.
i just can save the cache folder when it is called "/tmp". no way with /flickr-thumbnails-photostream works. also not with the "." in front.
but when i save the /tmp folder it doesn´t create the json library.
i have already created a tmp folder (with permissions) in every path but is also doesn´t matter.


jtuck said:
April 29th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Hi markus:

You should just put the FULL STOP '.' in the text box on its own, nothing else is needed. Just putting a FULL STOP in there tells the plugin to store the json file in the same folder as is used by the plugin files.

Am I correct in thinking that using /tmp allows you save your options, but does not create a json file once you have updated your photos?


jtuck said:
April 29th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Hi James:

The plugin currently receives a "square" version of the photos from the Flickr api which is set at 75 pixels x 75 pixels, which we then reduce down to 50 pixels x 50 pixels using a CSS file, for our own needs. Please feel free to edit the CSS file called style.css and change the '.flickrImage img' class to see if you can get better results. The two attributes you'll need to change are 'px;' and 'px;'. Just change the two '50' values to the size you want, ensuring to keep the 'px;' on the end.

If you make any changes to the CSS file, be sure to save it, and then re-activate the plugin.

Hope this helps.


James said:
May 1st, 2008 at 7:14 am

Thanks jtuck!


Olaf said:
May 1st, 2008 at 8:08 am


does the plugin (I haven`t tested it yet) display random images of my flickr account or can I make it doing so?

Moin moin



jtuck said:
May 1st, 2008 at 9:14 am

Hi Olaf:

Yes the plugin does display random thumbnails of images on your Flickr Account. You don't need to do anything else to enable this.


Mindful said:
May 1st, 2008 at 10:05 pm


I have had great success all the way up to this post:

"Am I correct in thinking that using /tmp allows you save your options, but does not create a json file once you have updated your photos?"

This is where my installation gets stuck. Any advice would be appreciated!


Kelly Dorset said:
May 2nd, 2008 at 12:19 am

You need to make sure that the user that your webserver is running as has permissions to create the file in that location. Try instead setting the directory to just . and setting write permissions to the ‘flickr-thumbnails-photostream’ folder so that your webserver user can write in there.


Eric Doerr said:
May 2nd, 2008 at 7:55 am

Does anyone know the piece of code I would put into my sidebar.php if I don't want to use the widget? I don't have widgets enabled on my current theme and would like to use just straight code. Thanks.


jtuck said:
May 2nd, 2008 at 9:53 am

Yeah sure, try this:-


You may have to create some styling in CSS to make it appear just how you would like. If you do this make sure you put the <div> and/or <span> tags inside the if statement's curly brackets. The opening and closing tags should then be placed either side of the 'displayRandomFlickrPhotos();' function call.


Eric Doerr said:
May 2nd, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Alright thanks.

However, I noticed that I couldn't get the .json to create either. I have set 777 permissions to the flickr-thumbnails-photostream folder, tried my fullpath, tried 'tmp' after creating that folder with 777 permissions and still wont create. I can get options to save for all of these, but I can't get the .json to create. I tried just a . , but it gives me the permission error when I click update photos (unlike the rest which say 94

It seems to take a while and then these to messages show up.

Any help of pointers would be greatly appreciated.


Kelly Dorset said:
May 11th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Luis > Make sure you have json support in your version of PHP.

Ivan > Do you have loads of flickr photos? That sounds like something is killing the process while is going off and creating cached thumbnails of your photos. What is the script timeout setting in your PHP install?


Ivan said:
May 11th, 2008 at 8:49 pm

@Kelly: Yes, I have quite a few photos. And I have a hosting provider. Don't really know the time out from the providers intallation of PHP. Do you reckon that's something I should ask them? How about if I want to show only the last 8 or 6 photos I uploaded?... Do I still need to run through my entire collections of pictures?

Thanks for you fast response! spacer


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