How to Fix – Images not Showing up or Broken, Missing when Using Timthumb

You may face this issue frequently with web hosts that apply restrictions on remote file access.

Typical scenario is – you have uploaded all image files to server and can access and display them using direct image links. But when you use timthumb.php to access, resize and display images, the images goes missing.

A few things to keep in mind when you are using timthumb are:

  1. Php GD library must be installed and active for timthumb to work.
  2. The cache folder for timthumb application must be writeable -preferrably with 777 read write permission.
  3. In case of image files hosted on external domains the domain IP must be whitelisted by your webhost.

For images on same domain, point 3 is not applicable. And if both 1 and 2 are verified to be set up and working properly, then here is a method you can use to fix this problem.

In a typical format the image link using timthumb would look like

http://yourdomain.com/somefolder/timthumb.php?src=http://yourdomain.com/yourimagefolder/some-image.jpg&w=300&h=200&zc=1

What you need to do is – replace absolute image path with relative path for the ‘src’ paramter in the above link. That is the modified link would look like

http://yourdomain.com/somefolder/timthumb.php?src=/yourimagefolder/some-image.jpg&w=300&h=200&zc=1

Notice that the image now have a relative path to document root. Doing this will overcome any remote file access issues applied by your web host and the images will display correctly.

Let me know your feedback in the commments below.

 Update: Looks like i missed this wonderful troubleshooting guide from the guys who developed timthumb. Check it out if my solutions does not work.

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