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How to Add Post Thumbnail to your WordPress RSS Feeds

In our earlier tutorial, we showed you how you can add post thumbnails in WordPress. The sad truth is that even if you enable the post thumbnails, it will not show up in your RSS feeds. But we have a solution for that. In this article, we will show you how you can add post thumbnails to your WordPress RSS feeds with a simple function.

All you have to do is open your theme’s functions.php file and add the following code:

function rss_post_thumbnail($content) {
global $post;
if(has_post_thumbnail($post->ID)) {
$content = '<p>' . get_the_post_thumbnail($post->ID) .
'</p>' . get_the_content();
return $content;
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'rss_post_thumbnail');
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'rss_post_thumbnail');

Feel free to style this however you like. Remember to activate WordPress post thumbnails using our main WordPress post thumbnail tutorial before adding it to your RSS.

Source: Dave Redfern

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Reader Interactions

40 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. This does not work. Unfortunately, when executed it displays the full post content and the full-size featured image instead of the excerpt.

    • From your statement it does work. It adds the post thumbnail which is what this tutorial is about, you would want to change the get_the_content to get_the_excerpt to show the excerpt and not the full content.


  2. So how do you modify the function if you are using an ACF for your main custom thumbnail instead of the wordpress thumbnail?

  3. Sir. I am using the RSS feeds of other websites to pick the news but it doesn’t show the feature images just only show the link. Will this code or plugin work for me?? I tried both but nothing happened. Thanks.
    And please suggest me what should I do

  4. So this just adds the image to the content. Not really desired for my needs. How can I add a new field so that I can use get_thumbnail when using the fetch_feed method in WordPress?

  5. Hello, how can I apply this filter in a custom rss

    I have the following rss created

    add_action(‘init’, ‘customRSS’);
    function customRSS(){
    add_feed(‘feedname’, ‘customRSSFunc’);
    function customRSSFunc(){
    get_template_part(‘rss’, ‘feedname’);

    Great job

  6. I pasted the code in WP functions now, my side is crashed. White screen. Can not log in. HELPPP!!!!

    • You will need to connect to your website using an FTP client. Then locate the functions.php file (you will find it in /wp-content/themes/your-theme-folder/), edit the file using a plain text editor like Notepad. Undo the changes you made earlier. Finally, save the file and upload it back.

      You may also want to see our WordPress troubleshooting guide.


    • RSS feed is an XML file. Usually when you are viewing an XML file in a browser it will only show you the code and will not execute the markup. You need to check your feed into a feed reader like Feedly.


  7. Is it possible to use this function with the WP RSS WIdget? I need to imports POSTs with thumbnails to another site.

  8. It was really a headache to see the RSS-to-email campaigns without no images because the RSS feed did not have the necessary tag to pull images from. Anyway, changed the functions.php file and now MailChimp can pull the required components and now the emails look beautiful.

    However, still the images in RSS feed look really big and wish to resize them to a suitable size. Needs to search more and find a solution for this.

  9. This accomplished getting the thumbnail included in the feed, but created two other problems:

    1) My feed now shows the full content instead of just the summary.

    2) The feed is also capturing my featured image from the content (the full image, not just the thumbnail) and this shortcode:

    [caption id="attachment_24496" align="aligncenter"width="739"]Caption Text[/caption]

    I assume there’s a way to correct both of these problems. Can anyone assist?

  10. I tried to implement this and received “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘<' in /home/content/98/8201898/html/wp-content/themes/twentyfourteen/functions.php on line 526"
    I can't access wp-admin or the rss feed. I've tried making new wp-config.php files and nothing's working. Could someone help?

  11. Hi whoever wrote this post. Thanks at first, but when using this code, my feed displays the image in FULL SIZE, not as a thumbnail. What would you recommend to define a size?

  12. Hi,
    i am new to wordpress. can you suggest me how can i use this one to show rss fedd with thumbs. here is my code:

    get_item_quantity( 10 );

    // Build an array of all the items, starting with element 0 (first element).
    $rss_items = $rss->get_items( 0, $maxitems );


    <a href="get_permalink() ); ?>”
    title=”get_date(‘j F Y | g:i a’) ); ?>”>
    get_title($content,) ); ?>

    get_description() ); ?>

    and add the describe function in function.php of theme. but not working.

    Help me!!!!

  13. Hello,

    Thanks you for sharing this!

    I’d like to know if this is possible (and how) to use this script to display author image in rss feed? Is there a way to do this ?



  14. Why we need check has_post_thumbnail()?

    get_the_post_thumbnail() return empty string if it couldn’t get thumbnail. Also, no need to define global $post. Filters calling from inside the loop.

    And why we call get_the_content(), is it nessesary?

    This code will enaugh:

    function rss_post_thumbnail( $content ){
    $img = get_the_post_thumbnail( null, array(100, 80), array( ‘align’ => ‘left’, ‘style’ => ‘margin-right:15px;’ ) );
    $content = $img . $content;

    return $content;
    add_filter( ‘the_excerpt_rss’, ‘rss_post_thumbnail’ );
    add_filter( ‘the_content_feed’, ‘rss_post_thumbnail’ );

    Sorry for my english. It’s not my native.

  15. Trying this with the genesis magazine theme, no luck. The article is getting a wee bit dated. I was wondering if something might have changed in wordpress since this was originally written, or if maybe I’m just missing something. Been a while since I wondered down the rabbit hole chasing feed code

    /** Add thumbnail to Magazine theme feed*/
    function rss_post_thumbnail($content) {
    global $post;
    if(has_post_thumbnail($post->ID)) {
    $content = ” . ‘ID).'”>’. get_the_post_thumbnail($post->ID).’‘ .
    ” . /* full content option get_the_content() */get_the_excerpt();/*exercpt option */
    return $content;

    add_filter(‘the_excerpt_rss’, ‘rss_post_thumbnail’);
    add_filter(‘the_content_feed’, ‘rss_post_thumbnail’);

    • Just tested the code from the article on a custom genesis child theme. It works fine. It won’t work with the default WordPress feed that firefox shows. But if you go to the atom feed, then it will work. If you are using a feedburner or another app, it should work.


  16. Ok…. wait a minute.

    Looks like this forces my RSS feed to be full content. Is that the case?

    More importantly, it looks like all this does is slap the tumbnail at the beginning of the content in the RSS feed. Am I missing something here?

    • Yes, it does make the feed full content. You can change get_the_content() to get_the_excerpt().

      Yes, the point is to add the featured thumbnail in RSS. In most cases, that is added before the post. You can style the paragraph tag however you like. Add a float:left; or anything that you want.


  17. Hi i tried this but it gives error Fatal error: Call to undefined function add_filter() in wp-includes/functions.php on line 33 . please help me to solve this porblem. thanx in advance.

  18. This works great, except that when there is a thumbnail present, the feed always repeats the post title within the content text (or excerpt text, as I’m using), which looks a little redundant. For posts without a thumbnail, the title is not repeated. Is there any way of removing this extra title text? It has no surrounding tags, so I can’t hide it using CSS.

  19. I think it’s better if you change code:


    to maintain the original content.

  20. How would you make the post thumbnail link from RSS to the post?

    I don’t get along with PHP, any help is appreciated :)

  21. This is really something! I would love to add something like this to Inside the Webb, I’ll have to mess around with some code and see what I can do.

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