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How to Create Additional Image Sizes in WordPress

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Do you want to create additional image sizes in WordPress?

Every time you upload an image, WordPress automatically creates several copies of that image at different sizes. Some WordPress themes and plugins also create their own copies at various sizes.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily create additional image sizes in WordPress and use them on your website.

Creating additional image sizes in WordPress

Why Create Additional Image Sizes in WordPress?

Typically, popular WordPress themes and plugins create additional image sizes automatically. For example, your theme may create different sizes to use as thumbnails on your archive pages or custom home page.

However, sometimes these images may not perfectly meet your requirements. For example, you may want to use different image sizes in a child theme or grid layout.

To do this, you’ll need to create additional image sizes in WordPress and then call the right image when you need it.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to create additional image sizes in WordPress.

Registering Additional Image Sizes for your Theme

Most WordPress themes support featured images, also known as post thumbnails.

However, if you’re creating a custom WordPress theme then you’ll need to add support for featured images by adding the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );

Once you’ve added support for post thumbnails, you can register additional image sizes using the add_image_size() function.

You’ll use the add_image_size function in the following format:

add_image_size( 'name-of-size', width, height, crop mode );

Here’s a few examples of how the full function might look:

add_image_size( 'sidebar-thumb', 120, 120, true ); // Hard Crop Mode
add_image_size( 'homepage-thumb', 220, 180 ); // Soft Crop Mode
add_image_size( 'singlepost-thumb', 590, 9999 ); // Unlimited Height Mode

Here, we’ve specified three different image sizes. Each has different modes such as hard crop, soft crop, and unlimited height.

Let’s look at how you might use each mode on your own WordPress blog or website.

1. Hard Crop Mode

In the above example, we used a ‘true’ value after the height. This tells WordPress to crop the image to the exact size we defined, which is 120px by 120px in this case.

This function will automatically crop the image either from the sides or from the top and bottom depending on the size. In this way, you can make sure all your images are in proportion and look good on your WordPress website.

Hard crop images example

2. Soft Crop Mode

As you can see in our soft cropping example, we haven’t added a ‘true’ value after the height:

add_image_size( 'homepage-thumb', 220, 180 ); 

This is because soft cropping mode is turned on by default.

Soft cropping resizes the image proportionally without distorting it, so you may not get the exact dimensions you want. Usually, soft crop matches the width dimensions, but the height dimensions may be different based on each image’s proportion.

Here’s an example of how this might look:

Soft crop example

3. Unlimited Height Mode

Sometimes you may have long images that you want to use on your website, while limiting their width. For example, you may have created an infographic for your business website. Infographics tend to be very long and usually wider than the content width.

Unlimited height mode allows you to specify a width that won’t break your layout, without limiting the height.

Unlimited height mode

Displaying additional image sizes in your WordPress theme

Once you’ve added more image sizes to your website, it’s time to display them in your WordPress theme.

Simply open the theme file where you want to use a different image size and then add the following code inside the post loop:

	<?php the_post_thumbnail( 'your-specified-image-size' ); ?>

You may want to add some styling so the image perfectly fits with the rest of your site. However, this is all you need to display additional image sizes in your theme.

Regenerating Additional Image Sizes

The add_image_size() function only creates additional sizes when you upload a new image. This means any images you uploaded before creating the add_image_size() function won’t have the new sizes.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to regenerate your WordPress website’s thumbnails using Perfect Images. This plugin will regenerate your featured images, retina images, and update your media metadata.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Media » Perfect Images. Perfect Images will now scan your WordPress media library so you may need to wait a few moments for it to finish.

How to regenerate the WordPress thumbnails

Once it’s finished, open the dropdown menu that shows ‘Bulk Actions’ by default, and then select ‘Regenerate All Entries.’

Perfect Images will now regenerate all your thumbnails.

Regenerating the featured images in WordPress

For more on this topic, please see our article on how to easily regenerate new image sizes.

Enabling Additional Image Sizes for Your Post Content

Even though you’ve added some new image sizes, currently you can only use them in the WordPress theme, and not in the post content.

To make these new sizes available in the WordPress content editor, you need to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function wpb_custom_image_sizes( $size_names ) {
    $new_sizes = array(
        'homepage-thumb' => 'Homepage Thumbmail',
        'singlepost-thumb' => 'Infographic Single Post'
    return array_merge( $size_names, $new_sizes );
add_filter( 'image_size_names_choose', 'wpb_custom_image_sizes' );

Don’t forget to save your changes after adding the code.

Now, when you upload an image to WordPress you’ll see all the custom sizes under ‘Image size.’ You can now change the image size when working on any page or post.

Choose your custom image size inside post editor

We hope this article helped you learn how to create additional image sizes in WordPress. You may also want to see our expert pick of the best Instagram WordPress plugins and our guide on how to choose the best web design software.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

44 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    Thanks for the tutorial, I’m trying to do the same thing using another tutorial but it didn’t work. This works perfectly.

  3. axel says

    That was easy, thanx.

    Something harder:
    How do i get rid of old, unused thumbnail sizes? ;-)
    (best without a plugin)

    Kind regards

  4. Thiago says


    Great article! However, I still do not understand the usefulness of hard crop tool; I uploaded an image with 306×165, and after that I created two custom sizes: 256×148 (Soft Crop) and 256×148 (Hard Crop), however, as you can see in this print taken from the post: [] both Options remain the same. I created a file in Photoshop containing 256×148 and I dragged the original image without resizing anything, and the result you can see in example 4 of the image above. So, my question is this: should image 2 not look like the image generated by Photoshop?

    Follows below the code used on functions.php:

    //Soft Crop used in example 2
    if ( function_exists( ‘add_image_size’ ) ) {
    add_image_size( ‘new-size8’, 256, 148 );
    add_filter(‘image_size_names_choose’, ‘my_image_sizes8’);
    function my_image_sizes8($sizes) {
    $addsizes = array(
    “new-size8” => __( “New Size8”)
    $newsizes = array_merge($sizes, $addsizes);
    return $newsizes;

    ////Hard Crop used in example 3
    if ( function_exists( ‘add_image_size’ ) ) {
    add_image_size( ‘new-size9’, 256, 148, true, array( ‘center’, ‘center’ ) ); //(cropped)
    add_filter(‘image_size_names_choose’, ‘my_image_sizes9’);
    function my_image_sizes9($sizes) {
    $addsizes = array(
    “new-size9” => __( “New Size9”)
    $newsizes = array_merge($sizes, $addsizes);
    return $newsizes;

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Kevin says

    This works great, but on thing that always bothers me is that if someone uploads an image that is smaller than one of your cropped sized then that image will not be created, which ruins the layout if you wanted equal height images

    • Matt Rock says

      Struggling with the same issue, Kevin (uploading smaller image does not create cropped size). I understand why this might make sense (system will not produce unnecessary images), but a low/poor resolution would look better than an ill-cropped one…

  6. Sakshi says

    I write this code can.
    Actually i want to set the post thumbnail size for the banner image.Which i was uploading through featured image in the background please suggest me.

  7. Aakash says

    I m new in wordpress,and accept i have many problems,and the first is,i created lot of post in wordpress,suppose A B C D,and when i update this in my website they look like first is D and then c and then b and then a means when i upload first they are show in last.if any solution that first they look in series not DCBA like ABCD…plz help

  8. Lavinia Manzanarez says

    Excellent! I read the use of this function on the Codex of WordPress but sometimes I need a step by step thing, thank you!

    • Farmer John says

      I too want to do the same as Ali Rohan wants to do. can you kindly elaborate pleas.. ‘coz i tried to implement the method explained by you but could not succeed. I can’t understand where I am doing wrong. How do I link the text of resolution to image file?

  9. Ali Rohan says

    Thanks for nice article.
    I wanna start a wallpapers website in wordpress so is it possible that when i upload one big wallpaper then it auto resized to many resolutions for users. For example when i upload 1920×1280 wallpaper then it must be resized to 1024×768, 800×600 etc resolution … so users can easily view and download desired size wallpaper ?

  10. Aayush says

    Hi Dear. i need your urgent help. i have a problem with the images size. actually i am using a plugin WP Gallery Custom Links. i have uploaded lot of images in a post but every images has a different height and width so they are appearing with different different sizes. i want to set them with the same size which i want to set. please tell me any idea to solve this problem.

  11. Andrew says

    I’ve set this up and it’s working splendidly minus the suggestion MIKE LITTLE made above – the thumbnail is changed and it shows up that way in the backend in the media gallery – but on the frontend where my loop is – the image thumb is still what WP defaults to – i’ve even run REGEN THUMBS and it still doesn’t fix the issue – anyone else having this problem or know the fix???

  12. Danny says

    Thank you for this very clear and helpful tutorial. It saved me a lot of time since the WP documentation is very cryptic.

  13. lydia karanja says

    I have a wordpress account but I did not know how to manage it but now I know all thanks to this tutorial, thank you very much for helping people understand more on how to create and manage their websites.

  14. mikelittle says

    You say: “The downside of hard cropping is that you cannot control which part of the image is displayed.” Not true.

    When you have uploaded an image and before you insert into post, you can click on ‘edit image’ and from there change the thumbnail or the whole image, scale, rotate, or flip the image , and for the thumbnail select the exact portion of the image you want.

      • clelandillustration says

        I can’s seem to get the custom crop to work for new image sizes. The custom crop will work for the default “thumbnail” size version, but that crop won’t apply to new image sizes. It seems the crop is still uncontrollable for custom image sizes.

  15. TdGon says

    Good article ..and photos to go along with it too…nice. I saw in a few places how to do this but they did not explain it as well as you do here. I am off to try it out.

    Thanks a lot ! (0.o)

  16. mssbee says

    Great tutorial! Thanks for explaining the different crop options. It really helped me to understand how they work.

  17. defries says

    Nice round up of what can be done with just the default featured image feature. One extra tip: you can also set the width of your content area as a featured image and define that same width in Settings > Media. This way you can select a featured image to use in your theme and it will be automatically the maximum size of the content area.

    Also great having those values in there for <a href=””>oEmbed</a>.

  18. Ordinary Randomness says

    Thanks for this tutorial, I was wondering why sometimes I had images that were not cropping to the size I had coded.

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