accessing images in wordpress blogs

When we put an image in HTML, if we don’t expose the link to that image, we expect them not to be accessible. This is a common practice that many follow in blogs. However, one can obtain the full-sized image uploaded to wordpress.com blogs, irrespective of whatever size it is rendered on the blog. Below are two ways to do so:

1. Accessing the images through RSS feed

For a blog as http://<myblog&gt;.wordpress.com, it creates a default feed as http://<myblog&gt;.wordpress.com/feed. This cannot be changed for free, as it requires custom CSS. This default feed cannot be replaced with other feeds like say feedburner. The settings of this feed are such that it links to all media files you have included on your post. Suppose you had uploaded a file named image1.jpg having a resolution of 1920×1080, then inserted on your post a resized version of 1024×576. The actual file is stored @ http://<myblog&gt;.files.wordpress.com/<year>/<month>/<day>/image1.jpg. The resized version links as http://<myblog&gt;.files.wordpress.com/<year>/<month>/<day>/image1.jpg?w=1024. The standard HTML suffix ?w=1024 denotes it has been resized (it calculates the height from image aspect ratio). This suffixed link is included in your RSS feed for that post. If someone wants to open that resized image, they can just click on that link on feed. And to get the actual size, just remove ?w=1024 suffix from the url, and reload. You now have the actual size of the image as it was uploaded!

2. Accessing the full size image by “Right-click > View Image”

This operation opens the image in a separate tab. The url will be http://<myblog&gt;.files.wordpress.com/<year>/<month>/<day>/image1.jpg?w=1024. To get the full size image, again remove the ?w=1024 part and reload.

I found some WordPress blogs where people have uploaded 12 MP images straight out of their cameras. They are not showing bigger than say 800×600, but by this trick, the full 12 MP image can be obtained. And you can’t blame the user actually, as you are providing the link and this is no hack! Blaming is like leaving your purse on a roadside bench, coming back the next day and lamenting that it is not there! The solution may be to modify the default feed as well as assign a unique url to the resized image shown on the blog. But easier is to not upload bigger resolution images if you’re not actually showing in full. Resize the image on your computer first and then upload. Old school, but most efficient.

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