How to Add Featured Images or Post Thumbnails in WordPress Post

To make your blog posts more attractive you can add featured images or post thumbnails into your WordPress site. These featured images are also known as post thumbnails. And this is really one of the standard feature in WordPress template. If you visit the WordPress Themes Directory and look at their features, you will find that most of the WordPress restaurant themes, church themes, photography themes and other most popular themes have built-in feature and support for post thumbnails.

Featured images, which are also known as post thumbnails in WordPress, play an important role in making your content beautiful and attractive for your readers. Today in this blog post you will learn how to add featured images or post thumbnails in WordPress. If you look at the wording of this post you will find that we are using featured image and post thumbnail interchangeably. This is because when this feature was first time introduced in WordPress 2.9, it was called post thumbnails. But later on in the next version, it was changed and renamed to featured images.

Beginners Guide for Featured images in WordPress

As we have mentioned above that featured images or Post Thumbnails is a built-in-feature in most WordPress themes. Thus it shows that it is theme feature and most WordPress themes offer this feature in free of cost. In the same way, themes like Genesis and others support featured images by default.

One of the easiest and simple way to find out whether your theme supports featured images or not is by simply going to the post editor. Now simply click on create a new post and scroll down a little to see if there is a Meta box known as featured images. Remember that this Meta box will be present on the right hand side of your WordPress theme’s screen.

Now it is the Time to Add Featured Images or Post Thumbnail in WordPress

Once you find that featured image option is provided in your WordPress theme, now you can add a featured image in a WordPress post. Just simply click on “Set Featured Image” link that is present inside the featured image Meta box. Once you click on this link, it will open the WordPress Media Uploader. By using this feature, you can upload an image from your computer. You can also use an existing image from your Media Library.

Add Featured Image or post thumbnail in WordPress

After selecting your desired image, you need to just click on the Set Featured Image button provided there. This will make your image as featured image in your desired content/post.

After that your selected image will appear in the Featured Image Meta box, like given in the screen shot below,

Remember that when you move your common images to featured images then it may appear a slightly different in your template. However, it all mostly depends on how your WordPress theme handles featured images.

Probably you may have seen some News and Magazine themes that are using smaller thumbnails alongside post summaries on the main page, and larger images on the single post views. Your featured images will automatically appear with your blog posts, but it all mostly depends on how your theme developers has made and defined setting of your theme.

The above mentioned method is the most easiest and simple one. But we still emphasis that it all depends on how your theme developers has defined setting for featured images. In the below paragraphs, you will learn more about changing the way your theme handles featured images and post thumbnails. Just keep reading continues.

Before we move forward it is to be remembered that the below method need more coding skill and knowledge.

Unique Guide for Theme Developers on How to Add Featured Image & Post Thumbnails in WordPress

After reading this section of blog post you will be able to learn how to add featured image and post thumbnails in WordPress. As you know that currently most of the WordPress themes consist of featured image option/feature. However, it is still possible that you might be using a WordPress theme that does not support post thumbnails or featured images.

If you are using any kind of WordPress theme that is providing support for featured images or post thumbnails, so don’t worry about that. Now you can add featured image support to your desired theme by adding just a few lines of codes. If you are comfortable editing theme files and also know how your way around a little bit CSS, then you can do it on yourself.

In that case, you can add featured image support to your theme. If you are comfortable editing theme files and know your way around a little CSS, then you can do it yourself.

In order to add support for featured images in a WordPress template, you will be required to add this line of code in your theme’s functions.php file,

add_theme_support( ‘post-thumbnails’ );

Once you enter this short codes into your desired WordPress theme, it will enable featured image support for posts and pages. Now what you need to do is just to go to posts or pages, and there you will see featured image option will be provided and also be enabled. Remember that the above short code will just add this feature into WordPress theme.

Also notice that, after adding the above code, when you set a featured image it will not automatically display in your WordPress template. To show up featured images in your WordPress theme, you need to further edit your WordPress theme and add this another short code of line, where you want to display the featured image.

<?php the_post_thumbnail(); ?>

Now the files to which you add the above code in, will vary based on your WordPress theme. You can also add this code inside of your post loop.

How to Set Image Size for Featured Images you Upload

You can also set image size for featured images that you upload to your WordPress site. Remember that the above given code is really the very basic function that you need to add featured image support and show up featured images in your WordPress theme. If you are interested in setting image size for featured images you upload, you will be required to add the following line of short code to your funtions.php file.

set_post_thumbnail_size( 50, 50);

You can also know about the parameters for set_post_thumbnail_size are provided in in this order: width, height.

You can further customize the setting for featured images size. In order to further customize the featured image sizes, you can also set additional image sized to use with the_post_thumbnail() function.

For instance,

  1. // Image size for single posts
  2. add_image_size( ‘single-post-thumbnail’, 590, 180 );

Clearly look at the above given example in which we have added a new image size called single-post-thumbnail with 590px with and 180px height. If you want to use this kind of image size in your WordPress theme, you will still need to add in in the appropriate theme file.

In case you have uploaded featured images previously, but they are still appearing in some other size, so you’ll be needed to regenerate thumbnails and image sizes for your older blog posts. In the below example, we have defined a featured image function, with specific image size.

<?php the_post_thumbnail( ‘single-post-thumbnail’ ); ?>

You can further extend the functionality of featured images. For instance, you can set to show featured images with caption, add multiple post thumbnails or featured images and also you can set a default fallback image for post thumbnails. All of these need just adding a few line of codes into your WordPress theme.

We are fully confident that after reading this article, you will be able to learn how to add featured images or post thumbnails in WordPress. You can also check out our another article about What are thumbnails? And why to use them?

For more information about WordPress featured images and post thumbnails, you can refer to WordPress official blog post here.

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