Featured image from external URL

Hi Aigars, thank you very much for your great theme!
Could you please help me with a problem which is I believe of interest to many webmasters?

I need to set a featured image from external URL. Not to retrieve the image and upload it to the Media Library but rather to hot link to external URL. The only solution to the problem I’ve managed to find on the Net is a paid plugin: https://epicplugins.com/external-url-link-to-featured-images/. But it only works if the theme uses the get_the_post_thumbnail(); function in its coding. There are also some negative comments there. So I doubt to buy it.

So I’d like to hear your opinion. Will this solution work with your theme? Maybe some tweaks are necessary? Or maybe you know of some other solution?
Thank you in advance!

It is not even possible theoretically because featured images are cropped/resized to make them look consistent for all blog posts. And of course resized images are stored on your server. For this theme there is one original image which gets resized to two more images. As result you get 3 images with one upload and this is how WordPress works in general.

It would be easy to replace the_post_thumbnail with get_the_post_thumbnail but I don’t think that it will be enough.

Thank you very much, Aigars, for your prompt response.

I have very limited expertise in wp programming, so you opinion is very important to me.

As for the possibility to use an image from an external source as a featured image one can find examples on the Net. Just take a look at fashiongrow.com. The site uses iPin theme and has external URLs as featured images. Yes, the pictures on the front page look somewhat distorted, but I think it can be corrected… So the question is how to get this result? My research shows that many webmasters are interested in this. CDNs (like Amazon S3) are getting more and more popular…

I’ll be happy to achieve this with your theme which I like very much…

Thank you once again.

Ok, now I see!

CDNs are entirely different from regular external resources such as Imgur, Dropbox or other file/image sharing websites.

You can use definitely use Pinbin theme with Amazon S3 or MaxCDN or any other. You can use plugin such as W3 Total Cache for this which works well with MaxCDN (haven’t tested with Amazon but it should work as well). In CDN case is that images are still uploaded to your WordPress dashboard and stored there as well as on other CDN servers for faster delivery. File resizing/cropping is done by WordPress itself and then Amazon or MaxCDN takes those images and stores on their servers.

Adding images as featured images from non-CDN unauthorized resources like Imgur not going to work but CDN will use API to communicate with your website and this is where you will get the most performance gain.

Using W3 Total Cache it is very easy to setup this as well and no coding knowledge is required.