Image Filters plugin adds 20+ filters including Vintage, Pastel Pink, etc.


Kevin Batdorf released the Image Filters plugin for WordPress yesterday. This is a block that allows users to choose from a curated list of filters and apply it to their images.

Batdorf is the creator of one of my favorite “fun” plugins for WordPress: Wavy Divider. It allows users to create wavy and irregular dividing sections between blocks. After reviewing it in February, Batdorf said to stay tuned for more fun blocks. It looks like he’s keeping his promise. A week ago, he released Animate In View, a wrapper block that allows nested blocks to slide or blend into view on the page. The Image Filters plugin promises more of the same. However, the latter two can be used for more than fun.

The Image Filters plugin offers a range of handy filters, and they’re applicable to everything from photography portfolios to shopping sites. It’s a tool that end users can do with it whatever they want.

The plugin is simple to use. End users only need to insert the Image Filters block and select an image from the media library. Next, click the “Show Filters” button in the editor toolbar, which will create an overlay with all 22 applied image filters to choose from:

Image filters overlay.

From there, users simply select a filter to insert it into the content canvas.

Unlike other plugins that apply CSS filters to images, the plugin creates the filtered images on the server. It does not overwrite existing media files, so the originals are always available.

WordPress post editor.  In the content canvas, an image of stuffed foxes is displayed with a tint on it.  In the sidebar on the right, the original image is displayed.
Apply a filter to an image.

Batdorf listed several features in the plug-in description that it may explore in future releases. The list included:

  • Watermark
  • Resizing
  • Cropping
  • More filters
  • Image mix

Core WordPress already supports resizing and cropping. I don’t know how these could be extended. However, the image blend looks like something I want to tinker with now.

My only choice with the plugin is that it’s a block on its own. I will not claim to understand the technical constraints of the project since I did not participate in its construction. However, I would have liked to see it as an extension of the main image-related blocks. Currently it’s a wrapper for Image, but from a UX perspective it would have been easier to use without the extra layer.

Technically, it is possible to use it like that. Since the Image Filters block creates images directly on the server, they are also available through the media library. Users can use the plugin block to create a filtered version of an image, remove the block, and use the image elsewhere.

The WordPress block system has opened up a world of possibilities around media. Whether it’s unique gallery templates, built-in duotone filters, or third-party plugins that apply masks over images, there’s a little something for everyone. Many of these things existed for the classic editor, but they were often wrapped in a soup of shortcodes, with no visual preview. Or, they didn’t work well with other plugins because there was no standard API for developers to build from.

Some of the most exciting work developers do is in media. Another example is image filters.

Even with my finicky implementation, I love experimentation. Image Filters pushes the boundaries by exploring new ways of manipulating media from within the Block Editor. The only thing I really want is to see even more from the WordPress developer community.


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