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How to Add Post Attachment as Featured Image in WordPress

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How to Add Post Attachment as Featured Image in WordPress

Some WordPress themes work better with featured images or post thumbnails. Previously, we showed you how to set a default featured image in WordPress and how to set a fallback featured image based on post category. However, default fallback images can be too generic. Wouldn’t it be better if you could just use an image from a post itself as the featured image? In this article, we will show you how to use post attachments as featured image in WordPress.

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Easy Add Thumbnail plugin. The plugin works out of the box and there are no settings for you to configure.

Automatically setting up the first image as the featured image in WordPress

Easy add thumbnails sets featured image in two ways. First, when you publish a post it checks for a featured image. If it does not find one, then it looks for the first image attached to the post and sets it as featured image. Secondly, for your older posts it sets featured image when a post is viewed for the first time. At that time, the plugin looks for images attached to a post and uses the first image as the featured image.


Please note that the plugin will only use images uploaded and inserted to a particular post. For example if you insert an image from your media library, then the plugin will not be able to show it as featured image.

It will also not show any external images as featured images. This means you may want to import external images to your site.

In case you feel your featured images or post thumbnails are in wrong size, look too stretched or skewed, then you probably need to regenerate thumbnails to make sure that older images are available in image sizes used by your WordPress theme.

We hope this article helps you use post attachments as featured images in WordPress. In all honesty, it takes few extra seconds to manually set the featured image. If you can, then do that because it will save you the hassle of using yet another plugin.

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

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  1. Wally says:

    Fantastic. I’m working with a new Genesis framework child theme, and although I’m a pretty good coder, I had no clue where to go in the framework to accomplish this. Great plugin. Thanks!

  2. Beth says:

    I have used a Slider at the top of my core site pages. I do not have (or want) images on the page other than the slider at the top. How do I set this slider image to be the image that shows up on social media without it showing up on the page. I know how to do this on standard pages, but I have never tried it outside of that. It’s probably a template issue that will require scripting, but I wanted to double check before I got too far. I can’t find anything that seems to address this issue.

  3. Keith says:

    I have been working on learning WP for the past few weeks, but there are so many issues that arise. I hv looked at video after video, even You Tube videos, some are helpful but are time consuming. I would like to be able to build websites and was wondering If there Is a course in my city or a mentor that could provide direction.


    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Keith, we’d recommend you to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. We have some videos tailor made for beginners, and we will be adding more videos regularly. Let us know what you would like to see and we will try to cover it up.

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