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How to Add Taxonomy Images in WordPress

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How to Add Taxonomy Images in WordPress

Taxonomies are ways to group your content in WordPress. Most people never hear or use this term unless they are well-versed in WordPress, but we all use taxonomies on a daily basis. Some taxonomies that you probably know of are: Categories and Tags. But taxonomies are not limited to just category and tags. Anyone can simply register additional custom taxonomies depending on their needs. In this article, we will show you how to add taxonomy images in WordPress. In other words, cool way to add image icons to your WordPress categories or tags.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin called Taxonomy Images.

Once you have activated the plugin, a new menu option will appear under Settings » Taxonomy Images. The screen will look something like this:

Taxonomy Images Plugin Settings

Note: We don’t have any custom taxonomies listed, so the only ones that are showing are the default ones. Check the one you want to add images to. Then you need to visit that taxonomy page. For example: Posts » Categories

You will see new icon added next to each category.

Taxonomy Images for Categories

All you have to do is simply click on the icon, and it will open the media uploader. Select the image from your computer, and you are good to go.

Michael Fields, the plugin author has a lot of ways you can display the images on the plugins page. So we recommend that you visit that page for code snippets.

Usually taxonomy images are used on a very custom project, so they are different for everyone.

We recently had to build out a portfolio site for a client where we utilized custom post types to showcase the work, and custom taxonomy to group the work by each client. So we had a custom post type called “Work” and a Taxonomy called “Client”. This was the best and easiest way to showcase the work this company did for their clients. Because it is a content producing agency, they had multiple items associated with each client. So using clients as a taxonomy was the best idea because it allowed us to tag multiple work-items to each client. The problem occurred when they asked us to showcase their client logos on the homepage in a jQuery slider. We looked around and found this plugin which worked perfectly.

In the image below, you can see the preview of this plugin. Each of those logos are the clients of this company. The images are being pulled from taxonomy images.

Taxonomy Images Demo

Download Taxonomy Images

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

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  1. Jess says:

    How do I display the images used in the front end? I have a listing page and want to display the taxonomy image when ever that page has that taxonomy outputted on the page. I can’t find anything that actually shows me how to display the image on the front end. All I see is the Taxonomy label outputted by not the image.

    Thanks for your help,


  2. Harsha says:

    The reason I ended in this post is I googled – featured content in wordpress

    I am actually looking at way, i can improve the related content in the wordpress.

    Because of selecting multiple categories and mutiple tags to posts, I see WordPress gets confused and does not show related content as I presume.

    So, Is taxonomies a way to improve how we show related posts, to the readers.

    And this plugin Taxonomy Images is not updated for 2 years

  3. JW says:

    Great tutorial! Thank!

    Unfortunately it looks like this plugin isn’t supported anymore, do you know if there is an alternative?

    Or is the code still valid?

  4. Dan Horvat says:

    The most important part is missing – how to actually display those images in the front end.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Please see the plugin page for detailed instructions.

    • patrick raobelina says:

      To display the image:
      $url = apply_filters( ‘taxonomy-images-queried-term-image-url’, ” );
      if ( ! empty( $url ) ) {
      echo ”;


  5. Shinkov says:

    i was searching for an article that shows how to code this instead using a plugin

  6. Gonzalo says:

    How to display pictures of taxonomies in the theme?

    I used the code but does not work
    print apply_filters( ‘taxonomy-images-queried-term-image’, ” );

    Please Help?

  7. Nicholas Worth says:

    Would make more sense if title was, “Best Plugin for Adding Images to Taxonomy in WordPress”, cause this isn’t really a tutorial about how to add images to taxonomy. Don’t mean to be a downer but I hate coming to articles that claim information but in reality they are saying this other guy knows you were hoping to here.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      We are sorry, you felt that way. Please let us know what you mean by how to add images to taxonomy? May be we can help you find the right answer.

      • Jacob Perl says:

        I’m guessing what Nicholas thought was the same thing I thought when I found this article: that it would be a tutorial on how to add a custom image field to taxonomies manually via coding rather than with a plugin. Still the plugin looks cool…I might check it out.

        • Luís Felipe says:

          The same thing i thought, i was searching for an article that shows how to code this instead using a plugin
          But this is a good article anyway.

  8. lemonthirst says:

    I am delighted that i have found this great plugin, it works like a charm, i ran across some minor issues on my custom posts/taxonmy but all is well now.
    Thank you guys!

  9. Mattia says:

    Hi, have a related question about custom taxonomies: how do you create a custom taxonomy that exists only inside a particular custom post type (like your “work” custom post type), without a plugin?
    My problem is that when I create a custom taxonomy, it appears to be also under the normal articles or the other custom post types…

    • Editorial Staff says:

      You would have to use register_taxonomy like so:

      register_taxonomy( 'genre', array( 'book' ), $args );

      Genre is the taxonomy and book will be the post type.

  10. Banna says:

    We are using this,
    But we cant get it work with cate ID.
    We have a Cat id we want display its thumbnail please help me to do this.

    how get thumbnail image using tax id

    Please let me know.

    Thank You
    Banna Daxxip

  11. Ruben Boehler says:

    Sorry but i can get this plugin to work…no output. Maybe i do somehing wrong?!

    i use the plugin + this code and hooked it in:

    print apply_filters( ‘taxonomy-images-list-the-terms’, ”, array( ‘image_size’ => ‘detail’, ‘taxonomy’ => ‘company’, ‘after’ => ”, ‘after_image’ => ”, ‘before’ => ”, ‘before_image’ => ”, ) );

    iam getting absolutly no output … could you help me to figure it out?

  12. _mfields says:

    @devinsays Awesome! Thanks for the tip!

  13. DanielPeiser says:

    Sounds interesting! What if I have a few blog posts that don’t have a thumbnail image (or image in post), and there is always the same default image loaded as thumbnail in archive pages: Would the plugin load one associated to the category/tag?

    • wpbeginner says:

      @DanielPeiser You can certainly set it so it does that. Basically the steps would be like: First check if post thumbnail exist… If it doesn’t exist, then check for taxonomy image… if that doesn’t exist either, then return default thumbnail.

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