Openverse Joins the WordPress Project

Openverse Joins the WordPress Project

WordPress recently announced the Openverse project and as we get closer to the release of version 5.8, this is a show of how a significant open-source project can extend its benefits in new directions.

Following Matt Mullenweg’s statement CC Search, now called Openverse, will be hosted by WordPress. The non-profit Creative Commons Search engine will be a community-run team and an official announcement is expected soon.


What Does This Mean for WordPress?

Theme authors often go through problematic licence and terms changes for their favoured image services. As a result, Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay, and others added imitations on how their images can be used.

These limitations reduced the pool of open-source images for theme creators because images from these services were not allowed in WordPress themes. The issue extended further than theme creators with content creators also unable to find and use decorative and featured images.

With Openverse, CC Search users will still be able to use openly licensed images from the net. WordPress also plans to expand search capabilities and features as well as index additional media such as audio and video.

WordPress hopes to allow search and embeds of openly licensed media and pay it forward by licensing and sharing user media back.


Openverse- A Potentially Revolutionary Gamechanger

There’s no doubt that it is important to support creatives. However, the internet should have an open-source licence alternative. In March, Getty acquired Unsplash and there was some anxiety about licensing. The site is still generous with licensing, but it is not an open-source license.

It will also be interesting to see how Openverse affects Pexels which has restrictive licensing whose access was added to WordPress in 2018.

Openverse will be directly integrated into the WordPress media library and will provide an avenue for everyone to contribute to open content on the web.

WordPress built-in media library is easy to use if you have images on hand. However, most users often need to visit a stock photo site and choose an image which takes them out of WordPress and interferes with the content-creation flow.

Openverse is set to change this by integrating the search feature directly into the media library. This will give creators access to millions of media files without having to leave WordPress boosting the content-creation flow and making work easier.

Automattic’s Jetpac already offers access to Stock photos on Pexels, so it will also be interesting to see how Openverse affects this.


You Can Also Contribute

As WordPress welcomes CC search onboard, in addition to contributing photos once the project is underway, you can also contribute by checking out the Slack channel, #openverse. Follow The Commons of Images, the most recent WordPress Briefing episode to find out more about the future of CC Search.

If you are interested in finding out more about how Openverse will affect your clients’ websites, get in touch with us on 01257 758 078 or email us at to speak to us.