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WordPress Featured Image Not Showing: How to Fix

wordpress featured image not showing

Featured images are essential in WordPress, enhancing your website’s visual appeal and user interaction. But sometimes, these images might not display as expected, affecting both the user experience and your site’s functionality.

This guide explores common problems like server constraints, theme and plugin conflicts, and incorrect settings and offers a comprehensive troubleshooting strategy.

In this article:

It’s important to ensure that the featured image is set up correctly in the first place. In WordPress, you can set a featured image for a post or page directly from the editor. On the right-hand side of the editor, locate the ‘Featured Image’ section, which is usually found in the sidebar.

wordpress featured image not showing

wordpress featured image not showing

Click on ‘Set featured image’, then choose an image from the media library or upload a new one. Once selected, click ‘Set featured image’ to attach it to your post.

Another simple issue could be that the featured image functionality is disabled in your WordPress dashboard. To check this, go to the Post Edit screen and ensure the “Featured Image” checkbox is selected under “Screen Options.”

wordpress featured image not showing

HTTP Errors Due to WordPress Memory Limits

It’s common to encounter HTTP errors during image uploads in WordPress, especially with larger featured images. This is often due to the default PHP memory limit set by WordPress being too low. Increasing the PHP memory limit involves adding a simple line of code to the wp-config.php file, which can prevent these errors and improve your site’s overall media handling capacity.

wordpress featured image not showing

You may need to look for a file manager inside of CPanel.

wordpress featured image not showing

Then, find wp-config.php.

An example of how to do this would be to open the wp-config.php file and search for this text string: define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '32M');

Then, modify it according to what you need. For example: read define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M').

If you can’t find it, add

define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M' );

Any hosting provider usually has the process set up, so just look for “How to increase WordPress memory limit” if you find any issues.

Theme and Plugin Conflicts in WordPress

Conflicts between WordPress themes and plugins can also cause featured images to not display correctly. These conflicts arise because themes and plugins may have conflicting scripts and styles. To resolve these, you can deactivate plugins one at a time to pinpoint the issue or switch to a standard theme like Twenty Twenty-One to see if the problem is theme-related. Once identified, you might need to update, replace, or contact the conflicting theme or plugin developer for a resolution.

Remember to make a backup before deactivating plugins. This is always a best practice!

Lazy Loading Plugins

Lazy loading plugins improve page load times by loading images as needed. However, they can sometimes prevent featured images from loading correctly, especially if you set them up to lazy load everything on the page. Adjusting the lazy loading plugin settings to exclude featured images or switching to a different plugin can resolve this issue.

Remember: excluding lazy loading on the first image can help you decrease performance metrics. Otherwise, users will wait to see all images, and the actual user experience, which is measured with Core Web Vitals, will suffer. Your web might be perceived as slow and untrustworthy.

wordpress featured image not showing

Ensuring Your Theme Supports Featured Images

Sometimes, the problem lies with the theme itself, which may not support featured images by design. If this is the case, you can either add support by inserting add_theme_support('post-thumbnails'); in your theme’s functions.php file or switch to a theme that includes this feature by default.

Nowadays, this is a very uncommon case, but it may still happen, especially if you have just added a new theme and seen that issue.

Permission Issues with Featured Images in WordPress

Incorrect file permissions on the server can prevent featured images from displaying. To fix this, check and adjust the permissions of your image directory—typically, directories should be set to 755 and files to 644.

If you’re unsure how to change these settings, your hosting provider can help.

Incorrect Placement of Featured Images in Page Templates

If your featured images are not appearing, it could be due to their absence in your page templates. You can edit your theme’s template files to include the the_post_thumbnail(); function in the appropriate place. If you’re not comfortable making these edits, consider consulting with a developer.

How Cloudinary Helps

Integrating the Cloudinary WordPress Plugin can transform the way your site handles images. This handy tool automatically converts images to next-generation formats like WebP, making them lighter and faster to load without compromising quality.

What does this mean for you?

Quicker page load times and a better user experience are great for visitors and SEO rankings. Cloudinary works smoothly with WordPress, handling your images in the cloud, which takes the pressure off your server. With this plugin, your featured images will display beautifully and load efficiently, ensuring your site looks good and runs smoothly.

Wrapping Up

Fixing issues with WordPress featured images not displaying involves a mix of server, theme, and settings adjustments. Each step is crucial, from enhancing server capabilities and tweaking themes to adjusting lazy loading configurations and ensuring proper settings in the dashboard. Addressing these issues effectively can greatly enhance your site’s visual impact and user experience while optimizing image management through tools like the Cloudinary WordPress plugin.

Last updated: May 3, 2024