Many publishers are using images from external sources, like Wikimedia, picture stock archives, or individual authors, to make their content more appealing.

Part of the agreement with these image libraries often is to give attribution back to them.

One way to do that is by publishing a full image index on the website that lists all used pictures and photos and their sources.

The Image Source Control plugin is dedicated to managing image author information and displays them as captions on images, as lists below the post content, or on a dedicated image index pages.

We are using the plugin also here on

Below, you will learn how to create such an image index page for your WordPress site.

Why creating an image index?

An image index comes with benefits for publishers and creators, while not disturbing the appearance of a website at the same time, since it gathers all the information in one place.

For Publishers

Creating a public image index has a plethora of advantages for publishers. The foremost advantage is the reduction of legal risks. Violating copyright laws can result in hefty fines and bad publicity. By maintaining a comprehensive image index, publishers can keep track of the images they use and their respective licenses, thereby reducing the risk of inadvertent copyright infringement.

Compliance with various usage licenses is another critical aspect. Many platforms, such as Wikimedia or picture stock archives, allow the usage of their images under specific licenses. These licenses often require attribution to the original author or source. See also How to credit images from Wikimedia Commons. An image index serves as a centralized place to manage these attributions effectively, ensuring that you respect the terms of use for each platform.

Beyond the legal and ethical imperatives, giving back to creators is a goodwill gesture. An image index allows publishers to recognize the creative efforts of individual authors, photographers, and illustrators by giving them due credit for their work.

Moreover, regulations around copyright infringement vary by jurisdiction. Europe, for example, has stricter copyright laws, and enforcing these laws is more common than in other regions. In countries like Germany, specialized law firms actively seek out copyright infringements as a business model. Hence, having an organized image index with author attributions is not just a best practice but sometimes a necessity to avoid financial and legal repercussions.

For Creators

If you’re an artist or a photographer, an image index can serve as a mini-portfolio. It’s an avenue where people can view your work. By seeing your name credited consistently, potential clients or collaborators can understand how to attribute your images correctly. This not only prevents improper usage but also can lead to more visibility and job opportunities.

Finally, a well-maintained image index can act as a model for proper attribution. As a creator, you can link to this index to show how you prefer your work to be credited, setting a standard that others can easily follow.

How to create an image index page

You can use Image Source Control to display image attributions in various places, including below or over the image itself, or as a list below the post content.

Image Source Control can also display author attributions as an overlay.

In the following tutorial, we are covering how to create a dedicated image index page with all images and their attributions listed.

Step #1: Install Image Source Control

Get your copy of Image Source Control from their website.

Upload the ZIP file from your account or purchase confirmation and activate the plugin.

Step #2: Insert image attributions

Go to Media > Library and choose the image you want to add an attribution to. You can also choose the list view to bulk edit image sources.

You can bulk edit image attribution information in the media library.

With Image Source Control installed, you will see the attribution fields also when uploading a new image.

Step #3: Adjust the Global List preferences

Go to Settings > Image Sources to find the general plugin settings. Here you can choose which images to include in the list, how many to display per page, or which information to include in the image index.

Global image index settings

Step #4: Create a dedicated image index page

The final step is to include the image index on an existing or a new, dedicated page. I personally prefer the latter.

First, go to Pages > New Page and create a new “Image Index” page.

Optionally, you can add some verbal information about the images listed, e.g., how visitors could use them on their own site, if you are the creator. You could also inform image authors how to reach out if they dispute using their work.

Finally, add the shortcode


 to the position on which Image Source Control should add the global image index.

Your Image Index page should now look like on my initial screenshot.

You can add a link to this new page in your footer, or a dedicated legal page for people to find it. I personally also block this page from search results, since it has no value there.


Many publishers shy away from using external image and photos, because they are unsure were to show author attributions. Image Source Control makes sure that these are not forgotten and managed and displayed at a central place.

Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not legal advice. If you are unsure how to attribute images properly in your jurisdiction then please reach out to a legal professional in that field.

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