1.1 About Plugin

Q What changes do you see on your WordPress site once you install it?

Just installing (including enabling and configuring) it on your WordPress doesn’t particularly change the way it appears on your website.

The Crop Hints plugin analyzes images uploaded to your media library by the Google Cloud Vision AI and stores image crop hints as metadata.

The key is how to use the metadata of each image for design and implementation, so it can be said that this plugin is for developers who have been developing WordPress templates on a regular basis.

Q Which versions of the plugin have you tested PHP and WordPress on?

I tested it on the latest version of WordPress 5.4.2 and PHP 7.3.14.

Other legacy environments are expected to work, but PHP requires at least version 5.6.20 or later is required.

1.2 Using Google Cloud Platform

Q Why do I need an API key?

The Crop Hints plugin uses the power of Google Cloud Vision AI to analyze images uploaded to your media library.

This is because to use Cloud Vision AI, you need access to a dedicated API provided by Google, which requires an API key.

Q I don't know how to create a billing account.

We’ve prepared a tutorial for your reference. See “2.1 How to create a billing account”.

Q I don't know how to issue an API key.

We’ve prepared a tutorial for your reference. See “2.2 How to get a Cloud Vision API key”.

1.3 Cloud Vision API Fee

Q Can I use it free of charge?


All use of the Google Cloud Vision API is billed and therefore requires you to register a billing account with Google.

However, since the Cloud Vision API has a free usage limit of 1,000 units per month, if the number of units used by the Crop Hints plugin each month is less than that, you can use it virtually for free.

  • The Cloud Vision API usage fee is a separate fee from the subscription required to use the Pro edition.
  • Please check the Pricing page as well as Google’s official documentation for pricing.

Q What is a unit?

This is the unit of payment for the use of the Cloud Vision API, and the Crop Hints plugin consumes “one unit” for each “one point image” analysis request.

Q When will the unit be consumed?

1. When you upload a new image to your media library.

  • You can choose whether you want the Crop Hint to be automatically extracted on upload on the settings page.

2. When you edit or restore an image in the WordPress image editor

  • This is because editing or restoring an image changes the image file and its contents and requires re-analysis of the image.
  • You can select whether crop hints are automatically re-extracted when editing or restoring an image in the settings page.

Q I'm worried about unintended overuse of the API.


You can Capping API Usage on the Google Cloud Console.

You can also set up Set budgets and budget alerts to notify you by email when you exceed a certain amount of usage.

1.4 Pro Edition

Q What are the differences in features between the regular and Pro Editions?

Please check the list on the Pricing page.

Q Can I cancel my subscription at will?


Subscriptions can be managed on your account page in Gumroad . You can cancel at any time, but please note that if you cancel in the middle of the month, you will not be refunded the balance of the daily fee.

Q I want to change the payment method I'm using for my subscription.

Please go to your account page on Gumroad . It is possible to change only the payment method without terminating the subscription.

1.5 Crop Hints

Q Do you access the API every time you load crop hint data in a template?


The data analyzed using the Cloud Vision API is saved in the WordPress database as an autocrop hint.

When loading autocrop hints that have already been analyzed and extracted, they are loaded from within the database, so no access to the API is required and they can be loaded quickly.

1.6 Smart Cropped Images

Q Do you use the API when generating Smart Cropped Images?


The generation of Smart Cropped Images only uses crop hint data stored in the WordPress database.

2 Google Cloud Platform

To use the Crop Hints plugin, you must set up a Google Cloud Platform “billing account” and issue an “API key” for the Cloud Vision API.

Because API keys are not restricted by default, we strongly recommend that you set usage restrictions as soon as the key is issued to prevent unauthorized use.

  • There is a monthly free usage allowance for Cloud Vision API, but you must set up a billing account such as a credit card even if you use the API within the monthly free usage allowance.
  • This plugin and its creators cannot be held responsible for any damage such as actual use of the Cloud Platform due to unauthorized use of the Cloud Vision API key by a third party, and please handle the API key with great care.

2.1 How to create a billing account

  • The following tutorial is an example if you have not created a billing account.
  • The screen display may vary depending on the service usage of each Google Account you are signed in to.
  • Please refer to the Google‘s official help documentation for more information on how to create a billing account.
  1. 2.1.1 Accessing the Google Cloud Platform console

    Accessing the Google Cloud Platform Console to set up a billing account.

  2. 2.1.2 Access to Payment

    Select from the menu to set up a billing account.

  3. 2.1.3 Start creating a billing account

    Click to begin creating an account.

  4. 2.1.4 Decide on a name for your account

    Enter Name of your choice and click button.

  5. 2.1.5 Enter your payment profile.

    Please fill in Account TypeName and addressPayment method fields on the form. Make sure your entries are correct and click on button to create a profile.

  6. 2.1.6 Complete the creation of a billing account

    A valid billing account has been created. Now you’re ready to get started with Google Cloud Platform. Continue on to the “2.2 How to get a Cloud Vision API key” section.

2.2 How to get a Cloud Vision API key

  • The screen display in the tutorials below may vary depending on the service usage of each Google account you are logged in to.
  • Please refer to the Google’s official help documentation for details on how to issue API keys.
  1. 2.2.1 Accessing the Google Cloud Platform console

    Go to the Google Cloud Platform console to create and configure the Cloud Vision API key. Click on button at the top of the page.

  2. 2.2.2 Start creating a project.

    Click on the button in the modal window that appears.

  3. 2.2.3 Set the project name and billing account.

    Enter Project name and specify the account you created in “2.1 How to create a billing account” for Billing account. When you’ve finished typing, click on button.

  4. 2.2.4 Go to the project page

    When the project is created, you will be notified. Clicking button will take you to the home of the project.

  5. 2.2.5 Go to the API library

    Navigate to the API library by clicking on from the navigation menu.

  6. 2.2.6 Searching for Cloud Vision APIs

    Look for the Cloud Vision API in the search window or list and select it.

  7. 2.2.7 Enabling the Cloud Vision API

    Click button to enable the Cloud Vision API.

  8. 2.2.8 Go to credentials.

    Access your from the Cloud Vision API’s settings menu.

  9. 2.2.9 Create an API key

    Please select the from drop-down menu.

  10. 2.2.10 Checking the API key

    The API key is created immediately. The random string that appears in Your API key is your API key. Please save this value by writing it down, for example.

    API keys are unrestricted immediately after they are created. In order to avoid the risk of being used by others in the event of a leak, please click button to move to the Limit Setting screen.

  11. 2.2.11 Restrict the API key

    • From the API key restriction setting screen, select the HTTP referrers (web sites) option in Application restrictions.
    • Then, in Website restrictions section, enter the host name of your WordPress site. You can also specify multiple hostnames and use wildcards. This allows the use of the API key to be allowed only on certain websites.
    • If necessary, you can set stronger usage restrictions by limiting the API used in API restrictions section to only Cloud Vision API.
  12. 2.2.12 Finish setting the API key.

    Click button to display a list of the created API keys. Please be sure to check that you have set usage restrictions.