Featured images are at the heart of a WordPress custom blog design. But they can be confusing, so I will attempt to help you sort out what a Featured Image is, and how to use it. A Featured Image is simply the image that is representative of that page or blog post. There are several different ways to use the Featured Image in WordPress, but I will first demonstrate how to add the Featured Image. Remember, you can click each image to enlarge it.
In your post editor, scroll down to the Featured Image area. Click on the Set Featured Image link. Please note that I have taken these screenshots from my personal blog so I may have plugins installed that you do not. Simply click on the Set Featured Image link.
Either upload a new image or select an existing image from the Media Library.
Then just scroll down and click the Set Featured Image button.
You can remove and replace the image here at any time.
Then just publish or update your post or page.
Now, where does the Featured Image appear? If Little Blue Deer is your blog designer, we will have most likely set up a Recent Posts widget on your blog sidebar:
Also, if you have post excerpts set up (where your blog homepage shows the Featured Image and text excerpt, along with a Read More link:
If your blog design template contains a posts slider or any other recent or related posts widget, the Featured Image will be the image that appears in the slider or widget. You can think of the Featured Image as simply an image that is representative of your page or post. Easy peasy!
Now, there might be times, if you have a slider in particular, that you want to crop your Featured Image so it shows the part of the photo you want to display. If you want to do this, just install a plugin called Crop Thumbnails. Once the plugin is installed and activated, after you have uploaded your Featured Image, you will now see a button beneath the Featured Image that says Crop Featured Image. Click that button.
First, select the Featured Image size you want to crop from the list on the left.
Then click and drag the highlighted box over the area of the image you want to show up in the thumbnail. You cannot resize the box, it is set to the exact dimensions of the thumbnail size you selected. So you can pick the area of the photo you want to show up
The screen will refresh, and to exit just click on the X in the upper right corner to close the window, and publish your post. Note – the Crop Thumbnails plugin works best on your initial post. If you upload multiple featured images and try to crop, you may need to clear your site cache or regenerate your thumbnails. This still may not force the thumbnails to crop, so think about what Featured Image you want to use before cropping.
As you can see, there’s more to setting up a WordPress blog than just installing your theme! Part of the work that a blog designer does is offer services like setting up recent post sliders, adding thumbnail sizes and adding related widgets as well as styling them so that they fit into and match your blog design template. So if you are considering a custom blog design or custom website design, make sure your blog designs look their best by hiring a custom blog designer! In the meantime, please enjoy these tutorials, we will continue to add more.