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I wonder if its a good idea to use add_image_size or is it just a convinence feature. I say this as I think add_image_size creates images of various sizes regardless of what the usage if the image maybe

eg. I may want a thumbnail of 500x200 in my portfolio pages only. but WordPress will create images of 500x200 for all images I upload right? If I have a bunch of add_image_size, it will clutter up my uploads with useless images I will never use? Is there a better solution? Resize before upload, maybe alittle troublesome?

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  • Old question, new comment, random thought: would it be possible to block other size creation based in post type? – brasofilo Jun 1 '12 at 23:39
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For image formats that are only used for a small fraction of the images, I suggest using an on-the-fly image resizer. Preferrably one that caches the images so that you only have to resize them once. I use TimThumb for a number of projects, and it's been good enough for me.

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Yes, an alternative will be to use Timthumb, which will resize images on the fly but will require some additional processing power. It does have a cache but with a large site, I believe that it will face its cache limits too.

Personally I would just keep my uploads organized in years/months folder and let it create as many copies as I want. This way, there is no additional load on the server for serving images. Because with Timthumb its not a static element anymore. And uploads are just increasing your uploads size which is really not much of a big deal, now is it?

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    The cache limits is the disk space, and it will use less disk space than if you resized ALL images using add_image_size. So I still think timthumb is a viable option. But I agreee on the processing power, there is a significant overhead for images not in the cache. – windyjonas Apr 18 '11 at 14:27
  • What about the lookup in a directory flooded with insane number of files? Moreover cache usage will also require I/O lookups if the file already exists and all. IMO its still better to organize uploads in months folder and then let WordPress create multiple copies. – Ashish Kumar - Ashfame Apr 18 '11 at 16:28

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