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What is a Featured Image? Learn the Type and How to Use It

Last updated: Mar 20, 2023

What is a Featured Image?

A featured image is an image that represents content on an article page on the website. This image can convey the mood or theme of the post.

Usually, this feature image is the main visualization of a WordPress page.  It is located next to the post heading on the main page and social media.

How necessary is the role of this image in a post? This image can increase user engagement and increase the number of page views.

A study states that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.

Therefore, it can be concluded that the presence of an image in a post can attract the attention of web users faster than a summary of the text or the content as a whole.

Differences Between Featured Images and Thumbnails

Images that feature on a WordPress page represent the content and message the author wants to convey.

Most of the time, these featured images are called thumbnails. But in fact, thumbnails refer to other types of images that are on a WordPress blog or site.

Thumbnails are previews of images on the website's main page. In short, the thumbnail is a small version of the featured image.

The size of the thumbnail itself is adjusted to the dimensions that allow it to fit in the preview window.

Types of Featured Images

Generally, there are several types of featured images that you can use on a WordPress page, including:

Stock Image

The use of photos on the internet as featured images is often seen as negative. However, this is not true.

The use of stock photography does not affect the position of the WordPress page on the SERP. This type of image can also be optimized with the right image SEO strategy to support the performance of a page.

There are two types of stock photos that can be used: free and paid. Usually, each photo has a different license.

Therefore, pay attention to the permissions for use so that your website is not affected by copyright issues. 

Personal Photo

Using personal photos or your own shots can make your website look more unique and give it more character.

Photos from the camera itself will indeed make your website look different compared to those using stock photos.

However, the photos you use must match the content of the page. Make sure that the message or theme of the page is conveyed by the photo you use.

Illustration

If you want to be more creative with featured images on a website post page, you can use illustrations.

For complex and abstract topics, the use of illustrations is indeed more recommended because the design can be uniquely adapted to the wishes of the content writer.

As with photos taken from personal cameras, these illustrations have their own value, which can enhance the character of the website and differentiate it from the others.

Personalized Stock Image

To save money on making illustrations, you can edit downloaded stock photos with new ideas.

Personalized stock photos can be a novelty that isn't generic. That way, the content on your page will look different even if it uses the same stock photos as another site.

How to Use Featured Images in WordPress

So, how do you display featured images on WordPress pages? Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Enter Dashboard.
  2. Click Pages or Posts from the page in the left-side column.
  3. Select the page title you want to edit.
  4. In the settings on the right, find the Featured Image section.
  5. Choose the type of photo from several sources: Media Library, Google Photos, Pexels, Free Photos, Openverse.
  6. After selecting an image, click the Set Featured Image button at the bottom right.
  7. Complete the process by clicking Update on the page to save the changes.
  8. The image is live.
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