How to Set Featured Images in WordPress?
In today’s world, text needs to be accompanied by expressive images or self-speaking videos. It’s crucial to embellish plain text with visuals, so you capture users’ attention and make them stay on page.
Setting featured images is especially important in case of blog posts. That’s where the rule of adding visuals to text needs to be applied in almost 99% of cases.
What’s the use of featured images?
First, an image is worth a thousand words. It speaks volumes, before readers even plunge into browsing the text in your post content. Given that a featured image is the first element that users see in a post, it might serve to get them hooked. So, choose the image carefully, it’s the best reading recommendation you can give your users.
Second, in terms of SEO: an image can be optimized for showing up in vertical search (Google Images). Set a relevant title and an accompanying alternate text. Consider even creating a sitemap for your featured images and submit it to Google.
Third, the featured image can be set to appear in Facebook posts, Twitter posts and posts on other social networks. Carefully choosing the post featured image, you can reuse it for social media, which saves time.
How to add featured images to a blog post?
Connect to your WordPress admin dashboard, by using the login and password you’ve chosen for your website.
Go to the Posts category in the left-hand menu, and open the table of published and draft posts.
Go to the post you want to attach a featured image to. Click “Edit”.
On the right-hand side of the article editor, you’ll find some sets of options for your post. Scroll down that list and find the section for Featured Image. Then click on Set Featured Image.
Then, open the list of images from media library, where you can choose one of the existing images, or upload a file from your computer.
If you choose the image of your liking and upload it in the media library, it will be set as featured image for your post: that is, the image will be representative of the article, in the most suggestive way. The image will be displayed as a thumbnail associated to your post. It will accompany your topic as a representative image, it will draw readers’ attention to the content of your article, and it will contribute to maximizing engagement.
Also, to set featured images, you can resort to downloading and installing a plugin that enhances users’ experience from the very featured image of your article.
Here’s a list:
- Featured image generator – the plugin searches for free license useful, lovely images to set as featured images. It’s particularly useful in case the blog post author lacks inspiration, and it saves time they’ll otherwise pass searching for images for themselves.
- Short Pixel Image Optimizer – this plugin is useful for SEO and optimization purposes. It compresses images used as featured, to reduce resources to minimal and not impede post loading speed.
- Add featured image column – this plugin lets you quickly visualize if a post has a featured image and the precise featured image that has been set for an article. It adds a column in WordPress admin dashboard, where you can quickly check posts where the featured image is missing.
- Require featured image – this plugin won’t allow an author to post an article without setting a featured image. Thus, all posts that are published will have a featured image, and will be more attractive for readers who visit your blog.
- Quick featured image – you can set a default image as featured image; you can bulk edit featured images for the entire blog; thus, you can replace, remove, or add featured images to your liking.
- Videography – it’s a WordPress featured video plugin. It imports content from YouTube and embeds the videos automatically.
- YITH WooCommerce Featured Video – it displays featured videos (YouTube or Vimeo) instead of featured images; useful for ecommerce websites that want to go the extra mile and present users a more comprehensive description of the products.
- Multiple post thumbnails – this plugin adds multiple images you can set as featured images for a post.
- Default featured image – it lets you set a default featured image, in the absence of a specific featured image for a post. In the case you omit adding a specific featured image for a post, this plugins allows for adding a default image as featured image for that post.
- Featured image caption – it allows to show a caption together with the featured image of a blog post; thus a brief description of the image will accompany that image in the post.
- WP Image Zoom – it’s especially useful for ecommerce; it creates a magnifying glass on images set as featured (product pages), and users will see the details of the image.
- WPGlobus featured images – it allows setting featured images separately for each linguistic version of the website. Thus, each website version will have its unique featured images, depending on the cultural context.
- Featured image from URL – it allows you to use an external image as featured image for a post; it replaces broken URLs by a default one. It’s easy to use and comes in handy when you need to quickly add numerous featured images for a variety of posts.
- Video thumbnails – this plugin adds video thumbnails as featured images for posts (it’s useful especially for vlogs).
- Easy add thumbnail – it’s a WordPress plugin that automatically adds the first image in a post as featured image, in the absence of a specific featured image or post.
- Regenerate thumbnails – the plugin resizes images set as featured, to fit the new theme. In this case, you don’t run the risk of losing your post featured images, as you’ll recover them with the help of Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.
- Featured image custom link – it adds a link on a featured image in blog posts/site pages.
- Category Featured Image – it’s a WordPress video plugin; it imports content from YouTube and embeds the video automatically.
- Featured Image Zoom – once the zoom shortcode is added to a page, when hovering over the featured image with the mouse, the image will be magnified.
- Featured Video Plus – it allows you to set featured videos instead of featured images, if you run a vlog or a site where main content is in video format.
- Featured Audio – it allows for setting featured audios, instead of featured images. It’s especially useful in case of websites where main content is audio, like podcast WordPress websites.
- Featured image admin thumb – it displays a thumbnail of the featured image or post thumbnail in the admin area of the blog/site
- Post thumbnail editor – this plugin lets you crop the image as you want, edit it differently from the automatic editing in WordPress themes and save it as featured image for your post.
However attractive, we recommend you shouldn’t use plugins for featured images unless it’s a must. Otherwise, stick to the original WordPress feature.