1. What is a featured image in WordPress
Although a featured image is just another media file that you can add to WordPress, it deserves special treatment. This kind of picture can help you grab the attention of your visitors. It is used to entice individuals into reading your stories, boost up the visual quality of your blog, and it even plays a notable role in social media sharing. So, don’t neglect the importance of a featured image.
Featured images are controlled by WordPress themes.
Not that long ago, many WordPress themes haven’t had support for them. Just the most careful developers were kind enough to introduce featured images into their themes, while all the others had to code the feature themselves. Luckily, times have changed, and now most of the themes are entirely ready for featured images.
Where do featured images appear on your site?
Usually, a featured image in WordPress will find its place under the spotlights of your homepage. They are used as thumbnails which represent the entire post. More often than not, the same post thumbnail (which is also another name for a featured image) links directly to that post. By selecting a featured image for a post, you can set the entire tone of your story. While a good photo may tempt a visitor into reading the whole post, a bad one can easily repel an average reader.
Also, the same featured images usually appear on top of the single posts, pages and custom post types in WordPress. Depending on the theme that you’re using, a featured image may appear just above or below the title. It may come up in different dimensions; it all depends on a theme developer who worked on the details.
Again, depending on the theme, featured images may be used elsewhere. For example, if you add a widget to show the most recent posts, post thumbnails may be used to add more style to the widget and to get more attention from your visitors.
Some themes will even show the images in the WordPress admin pages, right next to their assigned posts.
How to add a featured image
When we walked you through adding your first post in WordPress, we also mentioned the featured image tab that’s located on the right-hand side of the screen. Just in case you can’t find the tab, you should check your screen options:
- Add a new post or edit an existing one
- Scroll all the way up
- Click on the “Screen Options” tab in top-right corner
- Make sure that the “Featured Image” box is checked
On a fresh WordPress site, the featured image tab will be located at the very bottom of the sidebar on the right side. Check if you have one, and prepare yourself for adding your first post thumbnail:
- Click on the “Set featured image” link located in the “Featured Image” box
- A new window will open the Media Library
- Select any image that you have or upload a new one from the computer
- Once you choose the image, click the “Set featured image” button
This is it! You can now see the preview of a picture right in the Featured Image box. If you want to see what it looks like in the post, you can quickly scroll up and click on the “Preview” button.