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How to Fix Common Image Issues in WordPress

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How to Fix Common Image Issues in WordPress

WordPress comes bundled with lots of goodies to handle images. However, for beginners some of these features are not as obvious as they should be. In this article, we will discuss some common image issues in WordPress and how to fix them.

How to Upload images in WordPress?

Image uploads in WordPress are handled by the Media uploader. You can insert an image in your article directly from the post or page edit screen by clicking on the Add Media button.

Uploading images in WordPress while editing a post or page

Alternately, you can directly upload images to Media and use them later in a post or a page. Click on Media » Add New to upload your image(s).

Upload images to media library for later use

You can see all images you have uploaded to your site in the Media » Library.

See your uploaded photos in WordPress Media Library

When uploading multiple images to a post or page, you can also create a gallery and add a beautiful gallery carousel in WordPress which will allow users to browse gallery without reloading the page.

How to Align Image to the Left or Right in WordPress?

When viewing articles on the web, you have probably seen websites that wraps text around smaller images. This is done by using the align feature. You can choose image alignment when uploading an image right before inserting it into your post.

Choose image alignment after uploading image

Once you do that, you will notice that your image is aligned to the left or right. If you have text after the image, then instead of appearing next to the image, it will appear below it. But we want to wrap the text around this image, so you need to edit the alignment option. Click on the image in the post editor, and then click on the edit button.

Editing image alignment in WordPress post editor

This button will bring up advanced image editor box. You can choose the alignment here and see the text wrap around the image in the preview.

Align an image to left or right with text wrapped around

Alternately, you can also use the align buttons on the post editor. Click on the image to select it and click on the align button to adjust the alignment. You will see that the text below the image will come up nicely next to the image.

Align images in WordPress post editor

How to Add Caption below Images?

WordPress has a caption feature that allows you to add caption for each photo and image that you upload. After you upload an image, WordPress media uploader allows you to provide image title, description, and caption.

Adding captions to photos when uploading in WordPress

You can also add captions to exiting images by editing the image.

How to Display Photos in Columns and Rows?

Often users ask us how to neatly display photos in columns and rows. WordPress comes with a built-in Gallery feature. When uploading multiple images to a post or page, you can also create a gallery that allows you to neatly display images in organized columns and rows.

To create a gallery, click on Add Media button. On the media uploader screen, you will need to click on ‘Create Gallery’ tab and then upload your images. Once your images are uploaded, you can enter their titles and captions by clicking on each image one by one. Once done, make sure your images are selected and click on Create a new gallery button.

Upload images to create a gallery in WordPress

On the next Edit Gallery screen, you can add captions to your images, change gallery settings, and rearrange the order of images. When you are done with editing the gallery, click on the Insert Gallery button.

Add captions to photos in gallery

Post editor will indicate the gallery code in your post by showing a placeholder. Preview the post to see how your gallery looks like.

You can also add a beautiful gallery carousel in WordPress which will allow users to browse gallery without reloading the page.

How to Fix Missing Post Thumbnails?

Many WordPress themes come with post thumbnails prominently displayed on the front and archive pages. Here is how to set a post thumbnail or featured image in WordPress to avoid missing thumbnails.

When editing an existing post, scroll down to Featured image meta box.

Setting featured image or Post Thumbnail in WordPress

If you do not see a featured image meta box in your Post Edit area, then click on Screen Options button on the top right corner of the screen and check the featured image check box.

Add Featured Image Meta Box on Post Edit Screen in WordPress

Now click on Set Featured Image link to upload your post thumbnail. After uploading the image, you need to click on the Set Featured Image button.

You will be able to see your post thumbnail in the featured image meta box like this:

Post thumbnail appearing in featured image meta box

How to Fix Double Post Thumbnails Issue?

One common mistake that beginners often make is inserting an image inside the post and then choosing it as featured image. In some themes this results into the same image appearing twice in two different sizes. Like this:

Featured image appearing twice in WordPress Theme

The reason for this is that most WordPress themes automatically detect and display post thumbnail when a featured image is set. So you do not need to insert an image into your post if you are going to use it as post thumbnail.

Image too Big – How to Crop Images in WordPress?

When you are uploading images from your smartphones or cameras they are usually too big. WordPress automatically creates small, medium, and large image sizes for your original upload. But sometimes you may need to crop the image in a different size. WordPress is no Photoshop, but it comes packed with some very useful features to do basic image editing like scale, crop, flip and rotate images.

Go to Media » Add New and upload your image. After uploading the image, you will see an Edit link next to the uploaded image. Clicking on it will open Edit Media screen where you will see an Edit Image button right below the image. This will open the WordPress image editor.

Basic image editing in WordPress

On the image editor screen, you will see buttons to perform some basic image editing tasks such as cropping, rotating, resizing, etc.

Scale or Crop an Image with in WordPress

How to Add a Header Image in WordPress?

A header image in WordPress is a theme feature. Many WordPress themes comes with support for header image. For example, the default Twenty Thirteen theme comes with header image support and a few header images to choose from.

Custom header in the default Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme

As a site administrator, you can upload your own custom header image from the Appearance » Header. WordPress will let you know the size requirements for the header image. If you upload an image of the exact size, then it will be used as is. However, if you upload an image of a larger or different size, then you will be prompted to crop the image to fit the header image size.

You can upload as many header images as you want and choose to display them randomly through out your websites. You can also click on the Choose Image button to only show a single header image.

Custom header screen in WordPress

How to Add a Background Image in WordPress?

Just like the custom header image, custom background image is also a WordPress theme feature and many WordPress themes come with support for custom background images. To check if your theme has custom background support, simply take your mouse over to the Appearance menu in WordPress admin sidebar. If you can see the Background link under the Appearance menu, then your theme supports custom background.

Adding a custom background image in WordPress

Simply upload an image from your computer or choose one from the media library. Once you have choosen the image you will be able to see the preview and other background image options. You can tile the image, make it a fixed background, or allow it to be scrolled. Save your changes and preview your website.

How to Find Free Images for Your WordPress Blog Posts?

Images can make your posts and articles look more powerful. However, not every one has images for all the posts they write. This is why we are often asked by our readers about how to find best royalty free images to use in their posts? When adding an image to your website, you must respect copyrights of other people and try to find images that you are legally allowed to use. There are many websites where you can find free images to use. However, you will soon notice that images on those sites look overused and generic. Check out our guide on finding royalty free images to learn where and how to find the perfect images.

Wikimedia Commons, a great place to find free images

How to Tag Images in WordPress?

If you are creating a website where images and other media makes the most content, like a photography blog, then you would soon realize that there is very limited functionality in WordPress to sort your images. Wouldn’t it be great if you could tag your photos and your users were able to browse these tags?

To do that, all you need to do is install and activate Media Tagger plugin. It takes advantage of the existing WordPress tags for posts and allows you to use them for your images as well. In case you don’t have any tags for your posts then you need to add the tags you want to use for photographs under Posts » Tags. Media Tagger plugin also comes with a search widget that you can add to your sidebar or any widget ready area, and your site’s visitors can then browse your images by tags.

Sorting images by tagging them in WordPress

How to Import External Images in WordPress?

This issue usually occurs when you are migrating your site to WordPress. Some images on your website may still be pointing to older location. Specially users importing their blogs from Blogger, Joomla, Tumblr, or may face this problem. The images on your site may appear correctly but they are still loading from external source. To solve this issue, all you need to do is install and activate Import External Images plugin. It will look your posts for external images and show all the external images it finds. You can then simply import all those images with the click of a button.

Import external images in WordPress

How to Require Featured Image for Posts in WordPress?

When running a multi-author site in WordPress. Some of your users may not be familiar with the featured image functionality and you may be using a theme that prominently displays post thumbnails for featured image. In this case you may want to remind yourself or your users to upload a featured image whenever they are submitting a post in WordPress.

To do that all you need to do is install and activate Require Featured Image plugin. There are no settings for the plugin, it just works out of the box. Once activated, It will display a notification box in the post edit area, informing that this post requires a featured image. You and your users will be able to save posts as drafts but you can not publish the post until you add a featured image.

Required featured image notification

How to Set a Default Featured Image in WordPress?

Finding the perfect featured image for every post or article is tough task. Sometimes you may not want to add a featured image to a post but your theme may look awkward without a featured image. In these conditions you may need to set a default post thumbnail or featured image to use when there is no featured image set for a post. You can set a default fallback image for post thumbnails by manually adding code in your theme’s functions.php file or you can set default featured image plugin. Either way, you will have a branded fall back image, that does not look bad and fits nicely on your site.

Adding a default featured image in WordPress using a plugin

How to Remove the Default Image Link in WordPress?

As you know that when you upload an image to WordPress media library, it creates multiple copies of the image in different image sizes. By default it adds a link to the image file. You can set this default link to none to remove the link, but doing it manually each time you upload an image is a little annoying. It is also annoying for users to click on an image and find the same image on the media page as well. Add this code in your theme’s functions.php file to remove default image link functionality, :

function wpb_imagelink_setup() {
	$image_set = get_option( 'image_default_link_type' );
	if ($image_set !== 'none') {
		update_option('image_default_link_type', 'none');
add_action('admin_init', 'wpb_imagelink_setup', 10);

We hope that this answered some of the most common WordPress image related questions that you have. Let us know if you have any other issue that you would like for us to add in this article. Please leave a comment below for feedback and comments.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Columbus says:

    Hi I am have problem of with my site how can I stop to see my post image and my features image appearing in home page and also how to stop situation I upload a video on my site and upload features image appearing my phone. What is the solution to these problem of video and features imgaes appearing in features image please help taken and cause

  2. Todd McCann says:

    Thanks for a great article. My featured images have captions, but they don’t show up in the post. I don’t care that much, but I thought we were supposed to give credit to the photographer and link to the creative commons license to be legal?

  3. Suman Gayen says:


    The images in my blog are showing little cropped up. But in internet explorer it is showing correct. What should i do? Please suggest.

  4. Pelwal says:

    Hello can you help me check up on my website, Both featured image and images inside post are not showing.

  5. Anca says:

    I started my blog recently and this was very helpful.Thank you so much! :)

  6. Rasaq says:

    Please, images are showing up on my blog posts. I use same theme and settings on another blog and they are working fine. Help me.

  7. Annette Osterlund says:

    I am creating images for someone else who is placing them in wp. They have pictures and text. I use InDesign to arrange things and have saved the image as a jpeg. The type appears all blurry and bitmapped no matter how large I make the document. (4200 x 4800 pixels). What is the best way to create/save images?

  8. Imaneula Bright says:

    In the last 2 weeks, all the image in the media library stopped showing. i suspect something changed the file format. pls what can i do?

  9. Sam Meaghan says:


    This article is actually really handy. Just I need to know how to set a default featured image for my homepage on I have a feature set as the front page, and have tried to change the featured image to the logo. Rather oddly, as it is a feature that changes weekly, it only ever comes up with the week before’s content.

    Could you help me? I’m going crazy over here

  10. Miz Akwele says:

    this post is pretty resourceful for beginners, BUT my problem is with uploading media on the backend. For several hours I’ve been frustrated with this issue – it’s just not working.

    Initially, I thought it was the size of the images, but miraculously, 2 bigger sizes as compared to the others I’ve been trying to upload, have been successful. Then I figured it could be the resolution, but that’s also not the issue.

    I keep receiving the HTTP ERROR notification after a slow process.

    What am I not doing right? What do I do about this? I need help urgently. Thanks a million.

  11. Larry Cross says:

    Featured images in posts are not visible on cell phones and tablets. They look fine on desktops. Problem started after updating WP and Enfold theme.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Please contact your theme developer for support, they will be able to help you better.

    • Courtney jones says:

      I am not able to see my features images or header images on my mobile device anymore. Nor is the contact form showing up these things are very important as to most of my viewers will be on cell phone or iPad. What could be the issue?

  12. Rose says:

    Hi there,

    Great post but I still can’t find my issue and have looked and looked. I have a website and have only just noticed that when i go to my posts if i click on the image is shows a very large photo. usually on its own and i have to click back to remove seeing it. Can you help me undersand what setting i need to do so that the photo becomes sticky I guess and not an active large photo.

    I have wp smushit to reduce image size and have check page load and it appears it is the images as the main culprit.

    Many thanks Help !!

  13. MIREL says:

    Don’t know how to get my wp content and its giving me a lot of difficulty to rectify my “featured image writing fail to write file to hard disk”.

  14. Christine says:

    We created a Photo Gallery using WordPress. When I first go to the Photo Gallery page, a blue box pops up for a second and then disappears. It has blue lines, and each line has a number before it, 1, 2, 3, etc. Perhaps the number of images? Not sure. The developer who created our web site says he can’t figure out why its doing this. It happens on all the PCs in our office, and mobile devices. Anyone ever see this or have any answers on how to fix this annoying problem? It causes a delay in downloading our photo gallery. Thank you.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      This issue can be caused by conflicting or broken CSS. Go to your plugin’s page and deactivate all your plugins. Visit your website after deactivating each plugin until you find the culprit. If you don’t find any plugin causing the issue, then you can safely activate the plugins you deactivated earlier. Try temporarily switching to a default WordPress theme, like Twenty Sixteen to find out if the issue is caused by your WordPress theme.

  15. Susan Rawlings says:


    All of the images in my posts are showing as thumbnails. I think somehow the Gallery was activated, but the blog owner does not want the images to show in the black pop up box that currently appears when you click on an image in a post. When I am in a published post now, for example, I click on a thumbnail. The thumbnail pops open a black box, inside of which you can scroll through and see all of the images inside of the post by clicking arrows back and forth. How do I return the posts to showing images without being inside the gallery? The images themselves need to open in a new tab or window, one that is linked through Google Drive. I cannot figure this out. Help!

    Thanks in advance…..

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      When adding an image to a post, after uploading the image you can see some options in the right hand column. One of the option is to select the image size to add and how you want image to be linked. If this does not help, then deactivate all your plugins. See if this resolves the issue. If it does, then reactivate plugins one by one. After activating each plugin visit your site to see if the problem came back. Do that until you find the plugin that is causing the issue.

  16. Jabr says:

    Hello wpbeginner,
    First of all, allow me to thank you very much for your great efforts. I have a them which has a featured image to add. I was uploading the images to external website and then copy the image url and paste it in the featured image and it worked perfect. Now I want to change the theme, the images which are uploaded on the website are shown perfectly but the images which were uploaded on external website are not shown. So what to do in order to fix this? I don’t want to go again for the 1000 posts I have and add the images manually so that appear in the new theme. Is there an automatic way to do this?

  17. STA says:

    I have created a popup with this plug in, but it does not automatically pop up every hour like it is supposed to, and it doesn’t respect any formatting changes I make to the popup itself. Can anyone help me?

  18. Roxana Dell'Osso says:

    I need your help so badly. To start I am not a tech person, but I do have my website and blog with wordpress.
    I have written several articles for my blog and never had this issue with the images that I am including as part of the blog.
    I uploaded all the images very nicely no issues there. The problem starts when I preview the post prior to approving. The images (pictures) look cut, but in the back the post and images look perfect. I don’t know what to do – I have read most of the articles but it is hard to figure out what to do when you actually don’t know what to look for. Could you please help me…..

  19. Rebecca says:

    I am trying to upload images to the media library and continue to get this error
    “Cycle YP single page.jpg” has failed to upload due to an error
    Missing a temporary folder.
    Any idea what temporary file?
    i am VERY new to this, we had this set up for us and I have no idea how to fix this issue – any advice will be gratefully received

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Please contact your web host. It seems that the temporary folder used by PHP to store uploads is not accessible by the server.

  20. Steve Kohn says:

    I found this page looking for guidance on rotating header images, but learned so much more. Many thanks. I’ll be coming back here often.

  21. Crystal Merrill says:

    My wp has suddenly stopped rotating images. Photos look fine in the draft section and in the media library – rotated correctly but in the “view post” or on my website on pc or mobile, photos are rotated incorrectly. Please help!

  22. Margie says:

    Can anyone explain why , when posted, my photos have a huge space under them before the next row of text? I do not want the text wrapped around my photo. I insert image, make it the size I want and then continue with text, but when posted they show with a huge empty space. Thanks

  23. Karen Molenaar Terrell says:

    I’m trying to put a new image in my header. I’ve never had problems with this before, but this time every image I upload comes up as a teensy tiny little box in the upper left hand corner. I finally pushed “crop and publish” thinking maybe the image would magically appear once I’d done that, but nope. Now I have no image at all. Then I thought maybe it was my computer, so I used my husband’s computer and had the same problem-o. Help?

  24. Tawny says:

    I am managing a website for a business and we have an employee page. All but one of the employee pages are perfect. We have it so the image is left aligned and there is text wrapped around it, however for this trouble page the text is butt up to the image and it looks sloppy but when I try to add indents it doesn’t work. How do I solve this?

  25. Shell says:

    How can you remove the link to all past uploaded images so al images link to “none”?

  26. Chrisray says:

    Bravo!!! This post has really helped today! Thank you very much.

  27. Camilla says:

    How do I ensure that images in my blog posts that other people see in their reader come up as their original size that they appear on my website, and aren’t simply reduced down to a degrading thumbnail? Thanks a lot

    • John says:

      Did you ever get an answer to your question, or figure it out? I am new to WP and I am having the same issue you described. I see my image fine on one of my computers, but it appears as a thumbnail on my other computer.Do you know how to fix this? Thanks a lot.

  28. opine says:

    I moved wp to a new folder. now my images dont show up in posts… how do I fix this? images are in the library but not showing. :(

  29. Hans G N Andersen says:

    Hi, what about this issue: howo to make text wrap around images also in the RSS feed? in feed readers, the text comes below the image – how to fix that? cheers

  30. Badani says:

    Hi, very helpful article.

    However, I am trying to see if there is a way to fix the alt text from getting cut off when the image is clicked on and pops up. The text below the image in the lightbox pop-up is the alt text, but if it is too long, it will not text wrap. It is in the Customizr theme.

    Is there anything I can do about this? Thanks!

  31. Amoy Nicholson says:

    I keep getting an error that my images cannot resized when using the cropping option. How do I fix that?

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