How you deploy this plug-in should depend on your site, but one typical way, for a site that has undergone a policy change regarding use of “non-rights-cleared” images, will be to identify a date before which, for the moment, all images will be removed-and-replaced (for visitors viewing the “Front End”). Administrators and Editors might then identify particular Posts, Pages, Authors, Categories, or image types that do not produce any “exposure”), and exclude them from removal and replacement. As additional posts or types of posts were “cleared,” they could be excluded.
In situations where only a particular set of Posts, Pages, Authors, Categories, or image types are considered problematic, an Admin can work in the opposite direction instead. Alternatively, an Admin can set all images on a site not to display until and unless cleared individually.
Thumbnails and Featured Images will produce different levels of potential exposure depending on how they are used: A specific exception for Fair Use of “thumbnail” images has been recognized in some litigation, but the “thumbnail” designation may be misleading, since it will sometimes be applied to large-sized images.
Though the plug-in adds a “cache-busting” query to image replacements, it may not work in all systems: Be sure to check results, and, if matched images are still showing, try clearing (or “deleting,” “flushing,” “purging”) site, browser, and Content Delivery Network caches. If your cache or CDN does not allow you to clear it,you may need to find a different cache or CDN, or disable the one you’re using until your site is fully cleared of problematic images.
For getting unique replacement images, the developer recommends ImageInject, a plugin by Thomas Hoefter and WPscoop. There are many other sources for free images – like Wikimedia Commons. Find more suggestions at WP-RUBI FAQ
Curing Your Site – Case Study
Working on my own blog, which by now has around 1,400 published posts, I found myself proceeding as follows:
PHASE I – Initial implementation: Prior To Date
- Set current date as “Prior To Date.”
- Clear “front page” posts of questionable/dangerous images – move “Prior To Date” back.
At that point, I felt I had a safe and initially presentable site.
PHASE II – Priority Categories
- Identify, exclude, and view high priority category.
- Open all posts in tabs, page by page: In most cases I could tell by featured image whether they next had to be opened for editing.
- Clear priority category – post by post.
- Exclude category from image removal and replacement.
- View effects on later pages: If appropriate, move “Prior To Date” back again.
- Move to new priority category and repeat.
PHASE III – All Posts
After clearing priority categories, I switched to “All Posts/Published” and set Screen Options to show 100 posts per page. When in doubt, I opened posts individually in the Editor, though in many cases I could assess them at a glance. In most cases, I found that the archived posts were arguably better without images chosen once upon a time to make them more attractive initially. In many other cases, I found that the images I had used were fine, either because I had created them myself or because they clearly fell into “Fair Use” categories. There were, however, some exceptions that I preferred simply to delete rather than to replace, since “showpiece” posts were mostly already handled during Phase II.
Within a few sessions, I had cured this site back to 2012. If I had an archive of 10s of 1000s of posts, however, I might prefer to work by author or category for a more extended period. Even then, however, a WordPresser can filter for Author or Category fairly easily via All Posts, so in many instances working through All Posts on the Back End, rather than category by category from the Front End, might still end up being the most efficient way to proceed.