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What is a WordPress Featured Image – And What Does It Do? (Video Tutorial)

If you’re new to WordPress, you’ll soon notice something called a “Featured Image” – most likely referenced in the sidebar of a post you’re writing with the text “Set Featured Image”. But what is a WordPress featured image? What does it do? Where will it appear? Why upload one, and how big should it be?

Let’s take a look…

Direct link to watch the video over on YouTube.

– (note: video credits to Topher DeRosia – creator of HeroPress)

Video Transcript:

Hi! This is Topher with WinningWP. In this video, we’re going to answer the question, “What is a WordPress Featured Image and What Does It Do?” Well, it’s easiest just to show you so let’s dive right in. Right here I have a blog post with no featured image so I’m going to edit it. And in the bottom right of the column here there’s “Set Featured Image”. When I click this it lets me browse my media library and choose an image and set featured image. So now this post has a featured image and what that means is that this image is merely associated with this post. Now click update and you’ll note that my featured image is not in my content anywhere. It’s actually just a setting similar to a tag or category or format but now that it is set my theme knows that it’s there and it can do any number of things with it. Let me show you. This is the theme and it takes my featured image and put’s it right below the title and right above the content and I can click it and when I go to the single post page it makes it very very large at the top above all of the content. But as I mentioned, the theme can do anything it wants with it so I’m going to give you a quick showcase here. I’m not going to make you watch me switch themes every time. I’m going to use the magic of editing to hide that but I’ll tell you which theme I’m using for each one. We’ll go back to the homepage and now I’m going to switch themes so now I’ve switched to the theme and it makes it much larger and above even the metadata but still below the title and when I click it, it looks exactly the same on the single page. Let’s try a different theme. This theme is called Hestia Pro. And on the homepage it makes a little archive and it puts the featured image to the left of the post information but when I click it, it makes it part of the header and the content is all down here. The title lays over top of the featured image. So let’s review real quick. A featured image is an image that is associated with a post. And what’s important to remember is that the theme chooses how the featured image is shown. Very rarely do you get to choose how the featured image is shown. If you’d like to learn more about WordPress, check out

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By WinningWP Editorial

Run by Brin Wilson, WinningWP is an award-winning resource for people who use – you guessed it – WordPress. Follow along on Twitter and/or Facebook.
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