In this article I’ll talk about the best size for a featured image in WordPress, based on my personal experience (I’ve used dozens of different WordPress themes and customized multiple websites).
What is a featured image?
Featured images are those images that usually appear on top of your blog posts or pages in WordPress. They can also be displayed on pages like: blog index, category pages, tag pages, product pages, etc.
In most of the cases, featured images are managed by the WordPress theme. It depends on the theme provider if you’ll have them enabled or not. The majority of themes will have the featured image option enabled.
How to set a featured image in WordPress?
Setting a featured image for your post or page in WordPress is pretty simple. Just follow these steps:
- Log in to your WordPress admin
- Click on Posts or Pages, select the post or page you want to edit and click on Edit
- Go to Document area in the right hand panel and scroll down until you reach the Featured image section
- Click on Set featured image and select an image from your Media Library or upload a new one
- Click on Update in the top right corner to save the changes
What is the best featured image size?
According to my own estimations, the best WordPress featured image size is 1,200 x 630 pixels.
Why? Here are a few reasons:
- It will look just fine in most of WordPress themes
- It will look nice when you share your page or post on social media sites
- It won’t take up too much space on your web server
- It will load pretty fast and provide a good user experience
Tips to optimize your featured images
Here are a few handy tips that will help you optimize your featured images:
- Always add an alt tag to your featured image and name your image file accordingly. This is good for your website’s SEO
- Don’t forget to optimize your featured image before uploading it. You can use a service like TinyJPG, which will compress the images for you
- Manage featured images in bulk. If you have multiple posts or pages, you can use the Quick Featured Images plugin to quickly manage your featured images from the posts list page or set up rules for automatic default featured images
How to change your featured image size in WordPress
As I previously mentioned, the featured image size is controlled by the WordPress theme you use.
You can set up a custom image size by adding some custom code to your website. Alternatively, you can use a fully featured page builder like Elementor to create custom layouts and use different image sizes.
Changing the featured image size in functions.php (advanced)
If you have some web development background and are an advanced user of WordPress, you can add some code to your functions.php file.
You can do that via FTP or directly in the WordPress admin in the Appearance > Editor section.
Before you do any changes, please make sure you backup all your data.
To resize the image proportionally use the following code:
set_post_thumbnail_size( 50, 50 ); // 50 pixels wide by 50 pixels tall, resize mode
To resize the image by cropping it use the following code:
set_post_thumbnail_size( 50, 50, true ); // 50 pixels wide by 50 pixels tall, crop mode
Check the full documentation on WordPress.org website.
Changing the featured image size with Elementor (easy)
With Elementor page builder you can customize your site’s design as you wish. Most popular WordPress themes like Astra or OceanWP are compatible with Elementor and allow you to easily adjust the layout of you page.
The free version allows you to create and customize individual pages and set up custom image sizes. You can also adjust your single blog posts, but you won’t be able to change the featured image size for those.
The premium version of Elementor allows you to adjust almost every aspect of your site, including the size of featured images for single blog posts, blog index page or any other archive post.
You can create custom designs for your single blog posts and even have a dedicated “featured image” widget which you can easily drag and drop to your page and adjust the featured image size as you wish.
That’s it guys, follow the tips and tricks listed above and let me know if you have any questions via social media or by email. Enjoy working with your site!