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How to Add Captions to Featured Images in WordPress

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Do you need to add captions to your featured images in WordPress?

Captions are a great way to add context and background information, but many WordPress themes don’t display them properly. This can leave your images looking bare and your visitors missing out on valuable information.

In this article, we will show you how to easily display captions for your featured images in WordPress, enhancing your site’s visual appeal and user experience.


Why Add Captions to Featured Images in WordPress?

Do you ever feel like your featured images are missing something? Without captions, they can look bare and fail to convey the full story or context behind them.

Many WordPress themes don’t support captions for featured images, leaving your audience without the valuable background information that captions provide. This can be frustrating, especially when you have a powerful message or important details to share.

Adding captions to your featured image is a powerful way to provide context as to what the photo on your WordPress blog is about. There are a few reasons why you might consider adding captions:

  • Describing the featured image: Sometimes, it’s unclear what the featured image is about. For example, if you have a travel website that archives your outdoor adventures, you might want to add a caption of where your featured image was taken.
  • Enhanced accessibility: Adding captions can improve the user experience for those who may have visual impairments.
  • Dating the graphic: Sometimes, it’s a good idea to date the image. If your featured image shows a before and after photo, then you might want to include a date so readers know when it was taken.
  • Giving credit: If you’re taking someone else’s photo, especially a professional photographer, then it’s a good idea to provide a link to their website. These types of captions are often used in newspapers, publications, magazines, and popular blogs.

When you upload a featured image, you have the option to add a caption, along with other information, such as the image alt text.

Generally, almost all WordPress themes have built-in support for featured images and show them across many different areas of your WordPress website.

Adding captions to a featured image in WordPress

However, your theme may not show this caption to visitors.

That said, let’s see how you can add captions to featured images in WordPress using a plugin.

Adding Captions to Featured Images in WordPress

The best way to show featured image captions is by using the Featured Image Caption plugin.

Featured Image Caption

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

All you have to do is head over to the blog post where you want to add a caption to your featured image. Go to Posts » All Posts and then find the blog post you want to make changes to.

Hover over the blog name, and then a few buttons will appear under the title. Click on ‘Edit.’

WordPress all posts

Once you land on the blog article, head over to the right panel. To make the panel appear, click on the panel button up top next to ‘Update’ or ‘Publish.’

Then scroll down to Featured Image and select ‘Set featured image.’

Set featured image

Then, a new window will appear, showing your existing media library.

Go ahead and select the photo you’d like to use for your featured image.

select featured image

Next, scroll to the bottom of the screen. Click the ‘Set featured image’ button to make the photo appear as the main photo in your post.

For a more in-depth guide, check out our article on how to add featured images or post thumbnails in WordPress.

Set featured image button

Since you’ve downloaded the plugin, you should see a Featured Image Caption panel appear on the right, just below the photo you’ve uploaded.

Simply give your featured image the appropriate caption under ‘Caption Text.’

Feel free to add the source attribution for the featured image to give credit to the owner of the picture.

featured image caption

Once your caption is set, all that is left to do is hit the ‘Update’ or ‘Publish’ button.

This ensures you won’t lose your changes.

update blog post

If you visit your blog post, you can see the caption in action. Notice how it appears right under the featured image.

There you have it! Now you can easily add captions to all of your featured images so that readers can better understand what the photo is about before they continue reading your blog.

featured image caption preview

Bonus: Adding Caption to Images in WordPress

Now that you know how to add captions to your featured images, you probably want also to add them to all images.

It’s a good way to add context, especially if you want to describe various images used throughout your blog post. You could explain screenshots, infographics, or even stock photos. It provides users with a better experience.

All you have to do is upload your image to the media library. You’ll see Alt Text, Title, Caption, and Description in the right-hand panel.

Under ‘Caption,’ type in the sentence or phrase to give readers additional context about the image. Then click ‘Select’ to insert the image.

caption in images

That said, if you want a more in-depth guide, you can check out our full beginner’s tutorial on how to add caption to images in WordPress.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to add captions to your featured images in WordPress. You may also want to learn about the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites or check out our expert picks for the best drag and drop WordPress page builders.

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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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33 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Dennis Muthomi says

    Great tips on adding captions to featured images!
    one question though:- while captions provide helpful context, I’ve noticed my site getting flagged by Google PageSpeed Insights for missing alt text on images.

    from an accessibility standpoint, would you recommend prioritizing adding alt text descriptions over captions??

    • WPBeginner Comments says

      You will want to use at least the alt text.

      Think of the alt text as a description for the image itself. The caption helps add context to that description.

    • Jiří Vaněk says

      Alternative text is important not only for SEO. By using ALT, you are telling search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) and also visually impaired users, for whom this tag is primarily intended, what is depicted in the photo or image. Google, by itself, cannot recognize what is in the image, but with the help of alt text, you can explain it to them, and they will then index the image better for the given keywords. If you do not use alt texts, you will significantly affect your image SEO. Do not underestimate this :).

    • Mrteesurez says

      It is highly recommended to be using Alt text for all images, Unless there is a text on the image, Google can’t identify what is happening in the image or picture.
      Also, Alt texts are showed to users with poor Network or when the image failed to load, this text will make them understand the type of images that supposed to showed there.

  3. Moyen says

    I tried to get the featured image by calling the specific post ID and get_post function but everything is okay except featured image. It does not show featured image.

    is there problem to call by post ID and get_post(); ?

    my code?

    // custome template (community)

    post_title; ?>

    post_content; ?>

    Please any idea?

  4. Trisha says

    Thank you for explaining this! I just needed to add the image captions and spent a lot of time searching for a solution…..I found a lot of other answers on the WP support forum, but none of them explained how featured images are stored……such a simple thing now that I understand.

  5. Vali_REK says

    Hello, great post.
    Please explain if I can do that in other website.
    I d like to show article or category from wordpress blog on opencart website.
    Thank you

  6. Yannick says

    Sry, I don´t rly get it…
    In which loop exactly do i have to paste the code?

    Maybe it´s just me being brain-afk, sry for that.

  7. Jhon Edison Bueno Martinez says

    Thanks a lot, I have been looking for this and this is the best and simple explanation of how to add the image caption for featured images.


  8. tonilehtimaki87 says

    Short neat and to the point. Only critic goes for not providing example output for the short article. For other readers: Remember to read the related posts!

  9. Gary says

    How can I style the caption?
    It is rendering the caption line outside of the DIV class in the source code? What am I doing wrong.

    Thanks in advance,

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