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How to Add Featured Images or Post Thumbnails in WordPress



Featured images also known as post thumbnails are a well-known WordPress feature supported by most themes.

They are the primary image for your blog posts, and they often appear next to the heading on your home page and social media. All popular WordPress themes come with built-in support for featured images.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily add featured images or post thumbnails in WordPress.

Beginners Guide to Featured Images in WordPress

Featured images are a WordPress theme feature. Almost all WordPress themes come with built-in support for featured images and display them beautifully across different areas of your WordPress website.

Featured images preview on a typical WordPress blog

As humans, we find visual elements more engaging than plain text. Featured images help you make your blog pages look more appealing.

They also help you build user engagement and increase page views. Search engines and social media websites may also use these images and display them in search results and social media news feed.

Mostly featured images are used for blog posts, but you can also set featured images for pages and custom post types.

Note: Featured images are not the same as cover image. See the difference between cover image vs featured image in WordPress.

That being said, let’s take a look a how to easily add featured images in WordPress.

Adding Post Thumbnail or Featured Image in WordPress

To add a featured image in a WordPress post, simply edit or create a new blog post.

In the content editor, you’ll find the featured image tab in the right column.

Featured image section on post edit screen

You need to click on the ‘Set Featured Image’ area, and this will bring up the WordPress media uploader popup.

From here, you can upload an image from your computer or use an existing image from your media library. Once you select the image, simply click on the Set Featured Image button.

Setting a featured image

WordPress will now show a preview of the featured image in the right column. However, the actual featured image would look different depending on your WordPress theme.

You can now save or publish your post and preview it to see how the featured image will appear on your live website.

Depending on settings defined by your theme developer, your featured image will automatically appear with your posts.

How to Find and Effectively Use Featured Images?

Now, the next big question that most beginners come across is where to find images to use as featured images?

You cannot just use Google image search and use any image from the internet. Those images are protected by copyright laws and using them without proper permission can cause legal trouble.

Luckily, there are several resources available that you can use to find free images for your blog posts.

Our top favorites are:

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