Tech & Innovation

How Do I Add or Use Featured Image in WordPress?

WordPress Featured Image In-Depth Guide

A WordPress featured image is another name for a post thumbnail. If you have been a long-term WordPress user, you might know the WordPress featured image. It seems to be a small thing but it has a significant impact on users. Your featured image should convey what your post is all about.

Moreover, the design of your WordPress featured image should be appropriate for the topic of your post. A good visual element, when combined with an informative article, can significantly increase the value of your content. Not only that but also, a good featured image can increase the click-through rate of our posts.

Adding a WordPress display featured image is not the end of your work. You should also sprinkle images in your posts as well. Because no one wants to look at a plain interface where all they can see is text.

So include images, gifs, videos, screenshots, and other media in your blog or post so that more people can interact with it. In this WordPress display featured image guide, we’ve covered several important points related to featured image WordPress that you should be aware of. Let’s dig in.

What Is a Featured Image in WordPress?

In simple terms, WordPress featured image is what you can set for your post or page (the main image that everyone can see). From the featured image, one should be able to understand what the page/post is about.

Moreover, featured images will most commonly facilitate your posts when viewed from your website’s archive or homepage. The placement of featured images depends on which theme you use.

wordpress featured image guide
© Post Author

Some themes automatically place the image on the right or left side of the post, while others display it above or below the heading. Besides, a featured image is the first thing readers will see. 

See Also: Subdomain vs Subdirectory: Which is Better for Your WordPress Site SEO?

Featured images can also appear to the individual articles in lists of posts, such as on archive and search pages.

Wordpress posts archive example
© Post Author

Why Is It So Important to Have a Featured Image?

Many people don’t use a featured image and then complain about their site traffic and conversions. Don’t do that.

Featured photos may both improve the aesthetic of your site and provide a visually appealing touch. The benefit of using Images is that they can help readers understand the content by conveying ideas. Adding featured images to your WordPress site can significantly reduce the chances of your site being neglected.

It can help raise your traffic and also bring more views to your post/articles. You will be surprised that featured images can help in SEO.


The featured image will give you the functionality to add keywords in its alt text and caption.

Also Read: Best WordPress Security Plugins

How Can You Add Featured Image to a Post?

Adding a featured image to a WordPress post is a lot easier.

featured image checkbox wordpress
© Post Author

Just follow the steps to enable the featured image option in the classic editor:

  • Go to WordPress dashboard => Posts => Add new
  • Once the text editor is loaded, click on “Screen Options” and ensure the “Featured image” is checked.
  • Another place you can find the “Set featured image” button is at the bottom of the sidebar.
  • Once you find it, click on it.
wordpress featured image guide
© Post Author

You can select an image that fits properly with your post/page. Also, you can use any picture you want but make sure it brings people closer to your posts. Plus, don’t forget to add the image’s alt text and caption (we mentioned its importance in the above points). And then press “Set featured image”.

If you’ve followed the steps, you will have successfully added a WordPress featured image. If you want to remove the image, hit on the Remove featured image button, the image will be removed. As simple as that.

Must Read: How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme – Full Checklist

How to Optimize Your Featured Images in WordPress

Optimizing featured images is necessary because unoptimized images can have a negative impact on your site. They have the capability to degrade the performance of your website. You may face the fact that your site & images take time to load. And when it comes to ranking your site, a BIG NO to slow load times.

High-quality images or images larger than 1 MB can slow down loading times, so make sure the image you upload is under 1 MB and of good quality. Furthermore, you can use some tools to compress images without sacrificing their quality. You can use to compress the image quality of Bedford uploading.

Below are some best image optimization plugins you must consider:

Maintain Consistency in Style

You should select your featured image style based on your entire site, not just your post/page.

While you may simply select the image that appears most suited for each article, a better method is to keep all of your featured images identical. Plus, The image style you prefer should mirror the branding and tone of your site, for example, serious, professional, fun, etc.

What else should you consider while maintaining your featured image style?

If you have a design team, make sure to inform them that the featured image size and design should not be changed.

Also, you can take advantage of having a team.

Like, you can assign work to each member, one member can come up with new post ideas and design the image, while the other works on image size, editing, etc.

This way you can speed up your work while maintaining a consistent image style.

You May Like: What Are SSL Certificates and Why Are They Important?

How to Set Featured Image in WordPress Automatically

Sounds great, isn’t it? It isn’t a big deal to do this. The procedure is quite straightforward. Plus, you would be surprised to hear that this process has nothing to do with your current theme. With this process, you need to learn a little programming so that WordPress can set your featured image automatically as soon as you post anything.

This process will solve your problem of forgetting to set featured images in WordPress. In order to make this thing work you at least have one image in your post, article, or page. As soon as you publish, the function will automatically use the first image in your post as a featured image that you had added into your post/page/article.

NOW it doesn’t matter if you delete that image from the post, it will stay as a featured image as long as your post is active (However, the image can be changed). Keep in mind that this function won’t work if you don’t include a single image in the post/article.

All in all, this is the simplest way you can set a featured image in WordPress if you frequently forget to add a featured image to a WP post. Let’s get to the code that you have to copy and paste into WordPress’ functions.php file:


function autoset_featured() {
global $post;
$already_has_thumb = has_post_thumbnail($post->ID);
if (!$already_has_thumb)  {
$attached_image = get_children("post_parent=$post-
image&numberposts=1" );
if ($attached_image) {
foreach ($attached_image as $attachment_id => 
$attachment) {
set_post_thumbnail($post->ID, $attachment_id);
add_action('the_post', 'autoset_featured');
add_action('save_post', 'autoset_featured');
add_action('draft_to_publish', 'autoset_featured');
add_action('new_to_publish', 'autoset_featured');
add_action('pending_to_publish', 'autoset_featured');
add_action('future_to_publish', 'autoset_featured');

Once you are done with the coding thing, you can then try it out by making a sample post with a single image in it, checking if it is working or not. Do let us know if it worked or not.

Want to know another automatic thing? Continue reading our next point…

How to Link Featured Post Thumbnails to Original Posts Automatically

WordPress themes are no longer what they used to be. Nowadays, you can choose from a plethora of stunning themes created with cutting-edge technology. These themes are not only developed with the latest technology but it comes with some awesome features that are meant to grow your store.

Today’s themes are fully featured, fast, elegant, and highly responsive, you just need an eye to find a perfect theme for your store. WordPress introduced a feature called “featured post thumbnails” a long time ago.

That simple featured image was a game-changer for WordPress, transforming it from a popular blogging platform to a more popular CMS. Every featured thumbnail image must include a link to the original post.

Despite the fact that many developers consider this to be a must-have feature in a theme because many WordPress themes don’t come with this feature. Moreover, many people have issues with non-clickable post thumbnail images.

Must Read: How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider

But we have a solution for that:

Below we’ve included a solution for automatically linking featured photos to the post permalink, allowing everyone who clicks on the image to be forwarded to the original content.

  • Go & Open function.php
  • Copy and paste the following code:

function wcs_auto_link_post_thumbnails( $html, 

$post_id, $post_image_id ) {

$html = ‘<a href=”‘ . get_permalink( $post_id ) . 

‘” title=”‘ . esc_attr( get_the_title( $post_id ) ) . 

‘”>’ . $html . ‘</a>’; return $html;


add_filter( ‘post_thumbnail_html’, 

‘wcs_auto_link_post_thumbnails’, 10, 3 );

  • Save changes


You no longer have to be concerned about featured post thumbnails that do not connect to the original post. Your visitors will now be directed to your post by both the featured thumbnail image and the “Read more” text.

How to Change Featured Image Text in Admin Pages

If you’re playing around with featured images daily then you should also know about changing featured image text in admin pages.

You could just edit the text and use it as a quick notification to inform authors that if they don’t choose one themselves, the featured image will be selected automatically.

However, we have a code that can help change the text that reads “Set featured image” to something else.

  • Simply go again to the functions.php file (from the theme you’re using).
  • Now just copy this below code and paste it into the functions.php file.

function change_featured_image_text( $content ) {

    return $content = str_replace( __( 

‘Set featured image’ ), __( ‘Your custom text goes 

here’ ), $content);


add_filter( ‘admin_post_thumbnail_html’, 

‘change_featured_image_text’ );

  • Change the text that says “Your custom text goes here,” but don’t forget to keep the single quotes, and save it.
  • Check your changes by going to any post.

See Also:


Till here, you might get the point why WordPress featured image is so important.  It has ample advantages such as it helps in SEO, brings more visitors, catches the attention of users, and so on. And WordPress also helps you so that you can get the most out of the featured image.

The codes we showed you in the previous points are not difficult to implement in the PHP file. However, anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a coding genius to do it. So we hope that this guide has helped you clear your understanding of WordPress featured images.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top