As we all know blogging is more about visual content. Of course, you post content on it in text format. But, still, your visitors look forward to visual content in the form of media files, videos, and images. Nothing can beat the experience gained by pictures and videos.
From that perspective, a featured image is one of the most critical aspects of a blog post. Want to know what a featured image is and how to configure it? Read on to know more.
What is a featured image?
Ideally, a featured image is the one that appears at the top of the post. However, that’s not the case all the time. That depends upon how the image has been inserted. For any blog post, three factors matter the most – the title, content and the featured image.
While most bloggers concentrate too much on the title and content of the post but fail to realize the importance of featured image. Each of these aspects needs to be taken care of, and when you overlook any of these, you will end up losing a part of potential traffic if you are not careful.
A featured image is also called as a post thumbnail, a feature of the WordPress theme. The image is used as a representative image for posts, pages or any other post types. It is an image that is inserted at the top of the article through the special menu. Any image added to the top of the post cannot be considered to be the featured image as it can also be inserted by a manual method.
Today, featured image is most important because any post shared on social media or any other platform, uses your featured image as the main image on their site. For example – If you share this link on facebook, you will see a large image representing this post on facebook. That image is the featured image.
The more attractive your featured image, the more eyeballs it will attract and therefore more clicks and shares. That is why many people keep informative or attractive images as the post featured image.
Where do you find the option for inserting the featured image? You will see the option for inserting the featured image on your text editor page. Featured image does not necessarily need to be embedded inside your post, what it does is largely dependent on your theme or plugin.
How Would You Use a Featured Image?
There are several ways you can put the featured image to use. However, the functionality will not be similar across all the themes. The exact way a featured image will be used in your post will be dependent upon which theme you would be opting for. Some of the common areas where a featured image is used are…
- Above Your Post Title – The image will be configured above the post title for individual posts.
- As Post Thumbnail – Some themes use the featured image as the blog thumbnail in your main blog index. The thumbnail would appear just next to your post title. The details also provide a little info on the post content. This is done to make your visitors attracted to your website.
- Below the Post Title –Some of the themes include the featured images below the post title. You can use the image to be featured under the post title.
- A mix n match –Some themes will configure the use of the featured image in multiple ways. The most common way is to use it as a thumbnail next to the post title. This will help your visitors get a feel of what to expect from the post through a short brief and the featured image.
It is essential to understand how your theme uses the featured image in your post in particular and your blog in general. In many cases, not knowing it can create a few formatting issues. Make sure that you have studied the theme effects for your featured images. Previewing the post after configuring the featured image can be a good option in those circumstances.
How to Add a Featured Image to WordPress Post?
WordPress makes it easy to add a post thumbnail or featured image to your blog post. No matter which theme or plugin you are using, the procedure for adding a featured image will remain same across all your themes.
Below are the steps for setting up your featured image. We assume you are already aware of how to create your post before proceeding to insert your featured image.
Once you have finished creating your post, formatting it and adding images – choose the option for the featured image at the right side of your text editor. You will need to scroll down to the bottom to find the option.
- On the next screen, click on Upload Files if it is not already chosen.
- Browse and choose your files from your computer. You can also opt for the drag and drop feature to upload your files.
- Please note that you may also use the images already available inside the media library on your WordPress.
- Enter the details like alt text and other essential elements, and finally choose Set featured Image.
That’s it! Your image has been configured as the featured image on your post.
Why should you use Featured Image?
Well, there are several reasons why you should use a featured image. There are occasions that they would be suitable. You should see if the theme design and layout goes well with the featured image functionality.
Not every theme is compatible with the featured image function. Some of the themes may complicate the appearance of your site. In any case, if you already have chosen a theme that goes well with the featured images, you can indeed put the featured image to the best use ever.
Featured images would aid you in improving the appearance of your posts and blog post index to a considerable extent. Studies have proved that more than 40 percent of the users prefer the content that comes with visual content.
Some themes would directly warrant the need for a featured image. If your theme specifically asks for the inclusion of a featured image, it would be a wiser thought to include one. If you do not, the post or the appearance of your site may look awkward. This would especially crucial if your theme uses the featured image as the thumbnail. Your blog post or the main blog index will appear incomplete if you miss a featured image.
In any case, a featured image is that part of your blog post that first comes to the notice of your visitors. Featured image is the image which is the central image of that blog post. It may appear next to the title of your blog post in the search results and also in your social media shares. There are several locations your visitors would find the links to your blog post and every time your blog post link is shown, your featured image will also be visible alongside.
That should ideally explain why you should go with the best-featured image possible. It is your key to attention, and that should tell why you should never neglect or underestimate it.
So, you can conclude that the featured image is the best part of your website in general and your blog post in particular. Choosing the right type of featured image will ensure that you will focus on working on your graphical content on your blog.
What techniques do you use to add featured images to your posts? What are your experiences concerning adding featured images to your blog posts? Share your inputs, experiences, and opinions about using featured images.