External Identities

Everyone has an online identity. If you use Flickr, Yahoo, AOL, AIM, WordPress.com, LiveJournal or even Microsoft Cardspace (not to mention many other providers), you have an identity that can be used to log into other sites (assuming that those sites accept the credentials). I have begun creating WordPress plugins that will allow users to sign into your blog with these credentials so that they don’t have to maintain a password at your site. Being the most familiar with Flickr’s authentication scheme, I started there so that I could figure out what I had to do within WordPress. Please give it a try, let me know what you think. The Flickr plugin should be pretty ideal for Flickr groups looking to build a community site ontop of WordPress.

Check out the demo site.

Download External Identities

All Editions (includes the latest versions of each plugin)

Flickr edition, version 0.1
OpenID edition, version 0.3
Yahoo BBAuth edition – coming soon


  • Steve M says:

    Nice idea, too many passwords hurts my head.
    Is your plan to have a pile of individual plug-ins that could co habit on a site, or to have a single plugin with a set of options as to which auth to accept?
    I’m off to test this on a friends blog (never test on your own right!), I’ll drop the link here when it’s in place in case anyone is interested.

  • Dan says:


    For now, I plan to have separate plugins. I’ll distribute them together (and separate). I may put them all together if people want, but I think that most people will want to go for one style of authentication, instead of all three.

  • emre says:

    It would be great if you could present the user with a choice to log in with ANY of them.

  • Chris says:

    When I tried the demo for Flickr it said that it would grant the demo:
    “Access to your photos (including private photos)”

    Is this necessary? I thought I saw some other site using Flickr authentication that poped up a warning to accept, but didn’t mention granting access to private photos…

  • Dan says:


    As far as I know, currently that’s the lowest level of permissions that you can request from Flickr. If you know where you saw this, send me a link and I’ll try to figure out what they did.

  • Bill Adams says:

    Great work! I’ll add the plugin to my blog later today…

  • Jordan says:

    This is from Wikipedia:

    “Two major identity providers online, AOL and Yahoo!, can currently be used with OpenID. AOL’s system, using openid.aol.com/username, is currently in beta. Yahoo has unofficial, third-party OpenID support at idproxy.net.”

    Also, Flickr’s login is now merged with Yahoo’s, isn’t it? As such, it would seem to me that using one method or another, an OpenID can function for Yahoo/Flickr or AOL/AIM, killing two birds with one stone, as they say.

  • Andrew says:

    I attempted to use your plugin on my test site today, and when I attempted to login with one of my OpenID logins, I proceeded to the verification page, and then when I confirmed the login and being redirected back to my site, I received a large number of errors regarding the header being sent already.

    If you would be able to provide some information regarding this problem please let me know, should you be able to help me, I will provide a well written review of your plugin and as such hopefully encourage more people to use your plugin.

  • Bob McWhirter says:

    Hi there–

    Tried the plugin in WP 2.3, with myopenid.com identity. A the dance with the provider worked fine, the user is created within WP, but then I’m left at


    containing only the text of


    I do not appear to be logged in. This happens both the first and subsequent login attempts.

    Any idea?

  • Works a treat.

    Bear in mind that you must have CURL enabled on your web server. I had to reinstall the CURL library and recompile PHP using –with-curl to get this to work.

  • hi there- just discovering wordpress and want to sell my music online directly to listeners. looking for wordpress theme that matches my album cover: http://www.catherinesmusic.com/images/wwg_cover.jpg

    i could take the time to learn all of this, or i could just focus on having a life and hire someone to do it.

    would love to get a quote from you on something really basic. you can check out what i’ve done so far at http://www.catherinesmusic.com/wp.

  • It would be nice to have also google account works.

7 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] External Identities – Flickr turns WordPress into a Flickr Identity consumer so that users can sign up and sign in without a password. […]

  2. […] dan coulter.com » External Identities (tags: flickr wordpress plugin) […]

  3. […] External Identities – Flickr convierte a WordPress en un consumidor de Identidad Flickr de manera tal que los usuarios puedan entrar y salir de Flickr sin necesidad de clave. […]

  4. […] External Identities – Flickr turns WordPress into a Flickr Identity consumer so that users can sign up and sign in without a password. […]

  5. […] dan coulter.com » External Identities […]

  6. […] have come across and OpenID plugin that works on Dan Coulter’s website, yet when I tried it on WP Thoughts – Beta, i received […]

  7. […] problema. Dahil sa  External Identities plugin ni Dan Coulter na ini-install ko, puwede mo nang gamitin ang OpenID at Flickr account mo para […]

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