On-Page SEO

Featured Image

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Apr 18, 2023

Featured Image

What is the Featured Image?

A featured image is an image that is chosen to represent a particular piece of content, such as a blog post or article, on a website or social media platform.

It is usually displayed prominently at the top of the content or on the thumbnail that represents the content in a list view.

Featured image example

The featured image is typically chosen to be visually appealing and relevant to the content, as it can help attract the attention of readers and entice them to click through and read the full piece.

In some cases, the featured image may also be used to convey additional information about the content, such as its topic or tone.

Importance of Featured Images

Featured images are important for several reasons:

  • Visual Appeal: Featured images make content visually appealing and attractive, which can increase the likelihood of users clicking through and engaging with the content.

  • Representation: Featured images serve as a representation of the content and can provide users with a visual understanding of what the content is about.

  • Social Media Sharing: When content is shared on social media platforms, the featured image is often displayed along with the title and description of the content. A visually appealing featured image can help the content stand out and entice users to click through and engage with the content.

  • Branding: Consistently using high-quality, visually appealing featured images can help establish a brand's visual identity and make its content easily recognizable to users.

The Difference Between Featured Image & Thumbnail

The featured image and thumbnail are two different types of images used on websites, and they serve different purposes.

A featured image is an image that is chosen to represent a particular piece of content, such as a blog post or article, and is usually displayed prominently at the top of the content or on the thumbnail.

On the other hand, a thumbnail is a smaller version of an image that is used to represent the larger image in various contexts, such as in a grid of images or as a preview image for a video.

Thumbnails are typically smaller in size and resolution than the original image and are designed to load quickly and efficiently.

The purpose of a thumbnail is to give users a preview of the larger image or video and to help them decide whether they want to view the full-size version.

The Difference Between Featured Image and Cover Image

There is also a difference between the featured image and the cover image.

A featured image is usually displayed at the top of the post or page while, on the other hand, a cover image is used to represent a larger entity, such as a book, album, or movie.

It is usually displayed on the front cover of the item, and it is meant to give the potential audience an idea of what the item is about and to entice them to learn more.

The cover image can also be used to make the item more visually appealing and to attract the attention of potential buyers or viewers.

How to Add a Featured Image to a Post?

Here are the general steps to add a featured image to a post:

  1. Log in to your website's content management system (CMS) and navigate to the post editor.

  2. Look for the "Featured Image" or "Post Thumbnail" option, which may be located in the sidebar or at the bottom of the editor.

  3. Click on the "Set Featured Image" button, which will allow you to upload a new image or select one from your media library.

  4. Once you have chosen the image, click on the "Set Featured Image" button again to add it as the featured image for the post.

  5. Save or publish the post to ensure that the featured image is visible on the front end of the website.

The exact steps may vary depending on the CMS you are using, but most platforms have a similar process for adding a featured image.

It's also important to note that the recommended size and dimensions of the featured image may vary depending on the website's design and theme, so it's a good idea to check any guidelines or recommendations provided by the website or theme developer.

To add a featured image to a WordPress post or page, follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the post or page you want to add a featured image.

  2. Click on the "Set featured image" button, located in the Featured Image section on the right side of the screen.

  3. You can either upload a new image by clicking the "Upload Files" tab or choose an image from your media library by clicking the "Media Library" tab.

  4. Select the image you want to use as the featured image by clicking on it. If you need to upload a new image, you can drag and drop the image file into the uploader or click the "Select Files" button to choose an image from your computer.

  5. Once you have selected the image, click the "Set featured image" button to set the image as the featured image for your post or page.

  6. You can preview your post or page to ensure that the featured image is displayed correctly.

How To Effectively Use Featured Images?

Here are some tips for effectively using featured images on a website:

Choose a relevant image

When selecting a featured image, consider what your blog post or article is about and choose an image that relates to the topic.

This will help readers to understand what the post is about before they even start reading. Avoid using images that are too abstract or unrelated to the content.

Use high-quality images

Using high-quality images is crucial in making your featured image visually appealing and engaging. Images that are low-quality, pixelated, or blurry can turn off readers and make your content seem unprofessional.

You can find free high-quality images on websites like Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay.

Optimize your image for SEO

To optimize your image for SEO, you can add descriptive keywords in the filename, alt text, and caption.

This will help search engines understand what your image is about and improve your search engine rankings.

For example, if you are using an image of a “Bot” for a post about “Types of bots”, you could name the image "bot-types.jpg" and add alt text like "types of bots".

Consider the size and format

The size and format of your featured image can impact the overall look and feel of your website.

Generally, it's best to choose an image that is wide enough to cover the width of your blog post or article.

You can also consider using different formats, such as WebP, JPEG, or PNG, depending on your website's design and the image's purpose.

Don't forget about mobile

More and more people are accessing content on their mobile devices, so it's important to ensure that your featured image looks good on both desktop and mobile screens.

Make sure that your image is responsive, meaning it adjusts to the size of the screen it is being viewed on.

Use it to promote your content

When sharing your content on social media, make sure to include your featured image.

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram often use images to accompany posts, so having a visually appealing featured image can help to increase engagement and encourage more clicks.

You can also consider creating different versions of your featured image for different social media platforms to ensure that they look their best.

Where to Get Suitable Images

When it comes to finding featured images for your website, it's important to be cautious and make sure you are using them legally.

Simply taking images from anywhere on the internet, such as through a Google image search, can lead to copyright infringement and legal issues.

However, there are resources available where you can find free images for your blog posts without violating copyright laws.

Some of the common platforms are:

Shutterstock: They offer a few free images, but their paid plans provide the best value. This is a popular option used by many websites, including WPBeginner.

Unsplash: This is a popular online resource that publishes high-resolution images that can be used on websites and other projects for free.

New Old Stock: This is a collection of vintage photographs from public archives that can be used on your website without violating copyright laws.


The featured image is a visually appealing and relevant image used to represent content on a website or social media platform.

It can attract users to click through and engage with the content, provide a visual understanding of the content, and help establish a brand's visual identity. 

To effectively use a featured image, you should choose a relevant and high-quality image, optimize it for SEO, consider the size and format, ensure it looks good on mobile, and use it to promote your content on social media.

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