Efficiently Load Production Images in WordPress Dev for Enhanced Development Workflow

As a WordPress developer, you may encounter scenarios where you need to load production images in your development environment. This could be useful when you’re working on a WordPress project that relies heavily on specific images that are only available in the production environment.

In this blog post, we will explore how to achieve this by leveraging the power of the .htaccess file. We’ll cover the necessary code examples and provide you with the full code at the end.

Understanding .htaccess

The .htaccess file is a configuration file used by Apache web servers to modify server behavior. It allows you to override default settings and define custom rules. By utilizing the .htaccess file, we can intercept image requests in our development environment and redirect them to load the production images instead.

Step 1: Create or Modify .htaccess

In your WordPress development environment, navigate to the root directory where your .htaccess file is located. If you don’t have one, create a new file and name it “.htaccess”. If you already have an existing .htaccess file, open it for editing.

Step 2: Redirect Image Requests

To redirect image requests, add the following code snippet to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %%{HTTP_HOST} ^your-development-domain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^wp-content/uploads/(.*)$ http://your-production-domain.com/wp-content/uploads/$1 [L,R=301]


  • RewriteEngine On enables the rewrite engine.
  • RewriteCond checks the HTTP_HOST value to ensure that the request is coming from your development domain.
  • ^your-development-domain\.com$ should be replaced with the actual domain of your development environment.
  • RewriteRule redirects requests to the production domain’s uploads folder.

Make sure to replace the placeholders in the code snippet with your specific domain names.

Step 3: Save and Test

Save the .htaccess file and upload it to the root directory of your WordPress development environment. Now, access your development website and try to load an image from the wp-content/uploads directory. The image should be redirected to load from the production environment.

Full .htaccess Code

Here is the complete .htaccess code for loading production images in WordPress development:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %%{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %%{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
# END WordPress

# Production image redirect
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %%{HTTP_HOST} ^your-development-domain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^wp-content/uploads/(.*)$ http://your-production-domain.com/wp-content/uploads/$1 [L,R=301]


By modifying your .htaccess file, you can seamlessly load production images in your WordPress development environment. This technique can be especially useful when working on projects that rely heavily on specific images only available in the production environment. Remember to exercise caution when editing your .htaccess file and ensure you have a backup in case of any issues. Happy coding!

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny is a highly skilled Lead Senior Developer at GALTON Brands, specializing in WordPress development, PHP, and databases. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creating exceptional online experiences, Jan consistently delivers top-notch solutions that drive results. His extensive expertise in WordPress, coupled with his deep understanding of PHP and database management, enables him to design and develop robust, scalable, and user-friendly websites.