How to set featured image to custom post from outside programmatically

I am trying to fetch and insert images outside the wordpress environment to a custom post via PHP.

How to move/upload that image to wordpress upload directory year date folder format just like wordpress do and set that image to featured image against the custom post?

Also to upload image to custom post gallery?

Below is my code

$filename = $image['name'];
$target_path = "../wp-content/uploads/";
$target_path = $target_path . $filename;
$wp_filetype = wp_check_filetype(basename($filename), null );
$wp_upload_dir = wp_upload_dir();
$attachment = array(
    'guid' => $wp_upload_dir['baseurl'] . "" . basename( $filename ),
    'post_mime_type' => $wp_filetype['type'],
    'post_title' => preg_replace('/\.[^.]+$/', '', basename($filename)),
    'post_content' => '',
    'post_status' => 'inherit',
$attach_id = wp_insert_attachment( $attachment, $target_path, $post_id );
$attach_data = wp_generate_attachment_metadata( $attach_id, $filename );
wp_update_attachment_metadata( $attach_id, $attach_data );
set_post_thumbnail( $post_id, $attach_id );

i have managed to upload the image to my uploads directory but cannot unable to create the year and date folder . this there any wp function for it ??


Can’t this simply be done with media_sideload_image() ?

Seems pretty simple. Only catch is if you aren’t on admin area, you must include some libraries from within WordPress includes:

// only need these if performing outside of admin environment
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-admin/includes/media.php');
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-admin/includes/file.php');
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-admin/includes/image.php');

// example image

// magic sideload image returns an HTML image, not an ID
$media = media_sideload_image($image, $post_id);

// therefore we must find it so we can set it as featured ID
if(!empty($media) && !is_wp_error($media)){
    $args = array(
        'post_type' => 'attachment',
        'posts_per_page' => -1,
        'post_status' => 'any',
        'post_parent' => $post_id

    // reference new image to set as featured
    $attachments = get_posts($args);

    if(isset($attachments) && is_array($attachments)){
        foreach($attachments as $attachment){
            // grab source of full size images (so no 300x150 nonsense in path)
            $image = wp_get_attachment_image_src($attachment->ID, 'full');
            // determine if in the $media image we created, the string of the URL exists
            if(strpos($media, $image[0]) !== false){
                // if so, we found our image. set it as thumbnail
                set_post_thumbnail($post_id, $attachment->ID);
                // only want one image

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