If you have a Wordpess website and you are using any of the Jetpack pack image functions, then Vodafone is blocking your images
Jetpack has a free content delivery network (CDN) aka / formerly known as: Photon. This is a system whereby Jetpack / WordPress hosts your images on their own servers to provide a quicker delivery to your visitors and ease the load on your own website host. Essentially, an image you upload to your own host server is duped by Jetpack on to the WordPress servers and it is sourced from there for your page displays, not from your own host server. This means the URL to the image is external to your domain. And herein lies the problem. Vodafone does not trust this and blocks the URLs.
I discovered this problem on my Samsung Galaxy tablet while on a friend’s WiFi. A quick check revealed the same problem on my Android phone and in all browsers on my MacBook. I raised a support ticket on Jetpack and their ‘Happiness Engineers’ revealed to my ‘I Don’t Need This Sh*t’ department that Vodafone is blocking the images on their servers.
What does this mean?
If you are using the Jetpack Photon CDN function and / or Jetpack’s Tiled Gallery function, then anyone viewing your site on Vodafone will not be seeing your images. Vodafone is a global player in the ISP market so potentially, that is a very large number of visitors for whom your website looks broken.
Just turn off the Photon CDN option then, right? No. Even with this turned off, if you are using the Tiled Gallery option, Jetpack still loads your images from the WordPress servers. Even if you use a different plugin for tiled galleries, Jetpack intercedes and loads the images from the WordPress servers. At time of posting, and with acknowledgement from Jetpack support, the only way this can be fixed is by disabling Jetpack completely.
But my site looks fine
It will, if you are not online via Vodafone ISP, but take a look at the URLs for your images. If you can see iO.wp.com or i2.wp.com (or something similar) in front of yourdomain.com, then Vodafone will be blocking those images. At the time of posting, Jetpack / WordPress has no solution for this. Jetpack tell me Vodafone has stopped talking to them about this and the only solution Jetpack / WordPress offer me is that I complain to Vodafone. Jetpack has no intention of making it possible to turn off the Photon CDN image hosting within its plugin.
Delete Jetpack and find alternatives
Removing Jetpack is the only solution. WordPress has known about this problem since at least April 2018 and seems resolved to ignore it. I am now working through finding replacement plugins for the Jetpack functions I’ve had to lose. For the tiled gallery effect, the plugin Tiled Galleries Carousel Without Jetpack is a straight swap. However, if you liked the Jetpack lazy load function you’ll need to watch out, a lot of the lazy load plugins conflict with the Tiled Galleries Carousel Without Jetpack plugin. The Speed-Up Lazy Load; however, does not.
- Jetpack Known Issues – Vodafone conflict listed but no solution offered
- Vodafone coverage facts and figures – this many visitors can’t see your images
- My WordPress Forum post: Vodafone vs Jetpack conflict – lets see if WordPress is going to do anything about this
- WordPress ‘resolved’ (not) post – WordPress has done nothing about this since at least April 2018