How to Add Post Featured Image in WordPress [Ultimate Guide]

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Adding nice featured images to all your blog posts makes your WordPress site to look very fantastic and interactive. More especially when your image describes the main view of your post.

Featured image is the image that displays when your blog post has not been opened.

It is also called image thumbnail in the sense that featured image shows whenever the link to your blog post is shared or posted.

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When you share your blog posts to social media like Facebook, twitter etc. Featured image will be the image that will be displayed in the preview of your blog post.

This image motivate users to visit your website because nice featured images compels users to know more details about what you are showing them. For developers, read WordPress support for thumbnail images

Example of posts with and without image thumbnail

When your post could not find any featured image as a loss incurred by not setting a specific image as your post thumbnail, by default the post will inherit your themes no post thumbnail image.

Or it will be blank depending on how your theme developer set it. This is a sample of post that its featured image is not set. See screenshot below

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wordpress featured image - Sample post

If you add post thumbnail or Featured Image in WordPress , it will beautify your blogs layout and makes your blog unique.

This is how your post will look like in your blog homepage when featured image is added to your blog post. See screenshot below

wordpress featured image - post with image thumbnail

How to add featured image or thumbnail image in WordPress post

  1. Step 1: Edit your blog post and click on “Settings icon”
  2. Click on “Set Featured Image”
  3. Select appropriate image from your media library or you can upload one
  4. Click on “Set Featured Image” to save changes.

Below write up and images explained more on how to go about setting featured image for your blog post.

Step 1-2: Edit blog posts and set featured image

You can add featured image to your blog posts manually by editing the your blog post and selecting a particular image that should be used as a thumbnail in that specific post.

To add featured image manually, open the post that you wanted to add a featured image to – at the right side bar, scroll down and click on “featured image”. See screenshot below

set featured image

When you click on it, WordPress upload library will pop up and you will either select from your upload library or you will need to upload a new image if it’s not in your media upload library.

Step 3: Choose your desired featured image

Now select the image you want to display as featured image and give it a “Title and Alt text” if you wish. Then click on “Set featured image”. See screenshot below.

select image

Step 4: Set featured image

When you’re done setting the featured image, this is how it’s going to display in your dashboard. See screenshot below.

post thumbnail preview

Featured posts normally appear below post title in your blog posts depending on where your theme developer allocated the PHP code that determines where featured images should be displayed.

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How to Automatically add featured image to your blog posts

Post thumbnail or featured image in WordPress can be displayed automatically by using plugin.

If you’re someone that doesn’t like stress or maybe you are running a news website where you have to upload many posts in a day, using auto generated post thumbnail will be an advantage in your time management.

Go to Plugins > Add New > click on the search field and type “auto featured image”. Then you have to install and activate it. Screenshot below.

auto post thumbnail plugin

When the plugin has been successfully activated, you can move ahead to plugin settings to set other things that you need concerning how you want your featured image to be displayed.

Now try to upload a new post but make sure that you add at least one image to that post because “auto featured image” plugin normally sets the first image in your blog post as a featured Image.

Note: you should use only one of the above mentioned steps to avoid seeing multiple featured images in your blog posts.

What does featured image do in WordPress?

Featured image helps visitors to know what they should expect in your blog posts.

Most WordPress themes uses the featured image to tell visitors what exactly the blog post contains. In JonakyBlog, we use well designed featured image to show our users what is in our blog post.

How do I add a featured image in WordPress?

To add a featured image to your WordPress site, follow the steps that I listed above. The screenshots above will guide you to properly set featured image in your site, no matter the theme you’re using.

Where is the featured image in WordPress?

Since featured image is post thumbnail image, featured image is usually located inside your blog post setup environment.

Upon the WordPress version you’re using, featured image can be found at the “Setting icon” close to “Publish” button.

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See screenshots above for visual explanation.

Is featured image necessary?

Yes! Featured image is very important for every blog post because it will your content very attractive.

when your posts is being shares to social media platforms, your featured image will be displayed to people and it will compel them to know more about your content.

Featured image also beautify your blog homepage.

How do I get featured images?

Featured images can gotten from free image download websites such as Shutterstock, UnSplash, Pixabay etc.

You can create your own custom featured image by using photo editing software’s to design it.

How do I fix featured image in WordPress?

To fix featured image not displaying issues, follow the steps and screenshots that I listed above to have the issue solved.

The explanation above focused to assist beginners to setup their post featured images.

How do I display featured image in WordPress?

Displaying featured image is the same as setting up featured image for your blog posts.

Once you properly set featured image for your posts, featured image will display in your posts homepage and on social media handles.

Do featured images help SEO?

Yes! Featured image helps to catch the attention of users when they come across your posts on search engine.

We recommend using a featured image for all your blog posts.


If you add post thumbnail in WordPress, it will make your WordPress website to look amazing in your blog homepage and also to have a nice layout when your post link is shared on social media and other platforms.

If you find this article helpful, do well to share it to your friends.

Here are other posts you should read: 

  1. Learn how to create WordPress contact form without plugin (ultimate guide) 
  2. How to Add Share Buttons to WordPress without Plugin 
  3. How to View the Source Code of Any Website [ultimate guide]


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