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How to Automatically Link Featured Images to Posts in WordPress

Recently one of our readers asked if it was possible to automatically link featured images to blog posts in WordPress. Most WordPress themes link featured images to posts by default, but some themes may not do that. In this article, we will show you how to automatically link featured images to posts in WordPress.

Automatically link featured images to posts in WordPress

Why Link Featured Images to Posts in WordPress?

Images are more engaging than text. Using featured images can boost user engagement on your site.

Usually, featured images are large and take more space than text. They are more colorful, hence more noticeable. They are also easier to click on smaller devices like mobile phones and tablets.

List25 using featured images to engage users

However, if your post thumbnails aren’t clickable, then it makes it harder for users to view your post.

Most WordPress themes link featured images to the posts by default. Some themes may not use that approach, which makes it difficult for you to properly utilize featured images.

Having said that, let’s see how you can automatically link featured images to posts in WordPress.

Automatically Link Featured Images to Posts in WordPress

This method required you to add code into your WordPress files. See our beginner’s guide on pasting snippets from web into WordPress.

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_autolink_featured_images( $html, $post_id, $post_image_id ) {
$html = '<a href="' . get_permalink( $post_id ) . '" title="' . esc_attr( get_the_title( $post_id ) ) . '">' . $html . '</a>';
return $html;
add_filter( 'post_thumbnail_html', 'wpb_autolink_featured_images', 10, 3 );

This code simply adds a link around the code generated to display featured images or post thumbnails on your website.

This code will also add a link around featured images on single post pages. If you don’t want to link featured images on single post to the same post, then use this code.

function wpb_autolink_featured_images( $html, $post_id, $post_image_id ) {

If (! is_singular()) { 
$html = '<a href="' . get_permalink( $post_id ) . '" title="' . esc_attr( get_the_title( $post_id ) ) . '">' . $html . '</a>';
return $html;

} else { 

return $html;


add_filter( 'post_thumbnail_html', 'wpb_autolink_featured_images', 10, 3 );

We hope this article helped you learn how to automatically link featured images to posts in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 14 best featured image plugins and tutorials for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

25 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. How do I put my featured image such that if the post link on WhatsApp or Facebook is shared it goes with the featured image?

  2. How does wpbeginner design its featured images and YouTube thumbnails?
    What tools / apps / software do you use?

    They look pretty awesome..

    I couldn’t find this on your website blueprint I thought of asking here..

    Waiting for your reply..!

    • Unless I hear otherwise, we use Camtasia for our videos and Photoshop or Affilinty designer for the article thumbnails :)


  3. Hello,

    Im so jealous of all these people that says it works.

    It doesnt work for my site. Can anybody help me about this ?

    Thank you.

    • You may want to reach out to your theme’s support to see if there is a theme specific setting that could be overriding this.


  4. Hi there! Awesome article, I am need to do the opposite; to discover HOW TO avoid any link from image, title or text to any url, how can I do this? I mean, you reah my website, see the blog but you CAN´t click any image, text or title, is this possible? thanks

  5. Hi, Thank you very much.

    I have used it in my website.

    How to add link to some thumbnails in specific size?

  6. How can I use this method to have the featured image link to another url? What am I missing here? Thanks

  7. On my blog the featured images are not it becomes a little difficult for the user to navigate to blogs.

    I think the theme whic i am using that doesn’t support that it.

    But the code you have mentioned above i will try it .
    i will try it , if it worked , that will great.

  8. Thank you so much for this!! I was worried this issue would take a lot of time and energy to figure out. After a quick copy and paste of your code, and it worked perfectly! :)

  9. it worked, i wish to know how to close the php statement ? when i use this at the end } my site gives 500 error

  10. i’m looking for the best way to add links to a featured image. for instance– if you click on the link below, you’ll see the header image and then two links in the content region. i’d rather have those two links appear in the header in a way that doesn’t compromise any responsive design. i have a few ideas, but i’d like to hear from a different perspective…

  11. Hie, i have a different query. I tried displaying specific posts in specific pages using ‘post in page’ plugin. But the featured images that i have set for posts doesn’t show on the page. I mean only the title of the post is showing, but I want the featured images of all the posts to be displayed, too! Can you suggest me any way or plugin that can help me achieve this. I have searched the entire web; no one has the answer. I would be grateful if you could help me.

  12. I am new blogger this article helped me a lot

    I was using links of in the images but the problem was Images are opening but not going to linked article

  13. hey dear ,
    here isn’t concerning solely featured pictures however additionally concerning committal to writing . …
    in some model that’s operating.. most of your data is nice on behalf of me and my members ..
    we follow principally .:)
    in this richest article I actually have found totally different sort of data ..
    Hope you best for your blogging future :)
    ~salman qamar

  14. Hi,

    Thanks very much for this useful code.

    Is this a way (can I trouble you for the function code) to also add an ALT tag to the image link with the title of the post being linked to as the alt text?

    I’m vision impaired and at the moment the link just says the image filename which isn’t useful much of the time.


  15. Thanks for his tutorial. I tried this on my blog but realized that the image being shown in the thumbnail is not my featured image but the first image I am using in the post. Probably because I am using MotoPress page builder plugin. and

    There seems to be a conflict between this code and the Motopress plugin.

  16. Hi,

    That worked fantastically.

    Only one further query – my website is all about disability issues:

    so I want things to be accessible and I’m blind myself so appreciate all sites doing their bit.

    Is there a way to assign ALT text to this image link composed of the title of the page it is linking to? At the moment my screen reader just reads out the picture file name which sometimes isn’t very helpful.

    Your help most appreciated.


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