The importance of featured images in WordPress posts cannot be overstated. Not only do these visual elements enhance the overall aesthetics of your website, but they also play a significant role in SEO. A compelling, relevant featured image can pique the interest of your audience, encourage click-throughs, and ultimately, boost your website’s ranking in search engine results.
However, if your site boasts hundreds, or even thousands, of posts, manually creating and adding custom images and text for each one can quickly become a Herculean task. It’s in scenarios like these where automation can prove to be a game-changer. Thanks to the array of WordPress plugins available today, you can automate the generation of personalized, unique featured images for your posts, elevating the look of your site while saving significant time and effort. Let’s delve into how these plugins can revolutionize your approach to featured images.
What is a Featured Image?
Before we dive in, it’s crucial to understand what a featured image is. Also known as a post thumbnail, a featured image serves as the main article image. It is usually displayed on the website’s homepage and relevant category pages, and typically appears above the post title. When visitors share your posts on social media, the featured image is usually what gets displayed.
Why Use Plugins for Featured Images?
Manual creation and addition of featured images to each blog post can be a daunting task, especially if you regularly publish content. That’s where WordPress plugins come in handy. These tools can automatically generate featured images for your posts, saving you considerable time and effort.
Best WordPress Plugins for Auto-generating Featured Images
1. Auto Featured Image from Title
This is my favorite free plugin for WordPress that can generate featured images instantly, you can specify image width and height, text to write in the generated image, font and background image. It’s super simple.
The PRO version allows you to customize the featured image even more! The PRO version includes many more features and options, including the ability to upload your own fonts and background images, or use a random Flickr photo for your featured image. Check it out!
2. Auto Featured Image (Auto Generated)
This plugin is also pretty great. It makes the featured image by automatically generating one from the post title. It works by overlaying the post title on a background selected from the media library. After the featured image is crafted using the post title, it’s stored in the media library and assigned as the featured image for that specific post. Free version / paid version
3. Auto Featured Image (Auto Post Thumbnail)
This featured image generation plugin offers efficient and automated functionality for managing images in WordPress. The plugin automatically generates a Featured Image from the first image in the post, or any custom post type, provided a Featured Image hasn’t been set manually. It also generates images from post titles and enables image search for Elementor, Gutenberg, and Classic Editor.
The plugin offers a quick, one-click process to generate or remove featured images and allows customization based on post type, status, category, or creation date. Moreover, users can instantly search and upload featured images from popular stock platforms. Overall, it provides a convenient tool for improving the visual appeal and effectiveness of your posts. Free version / Paid version
4. Magic Post Thumbnail
Magic Post Thumbnail is a convenient tool that automatically creates stunning images for your posts. It sources images from Google Images, DALL·E, Pexels, Unsplash or Pixabay, using API based on your post’s title or text analysis. On publishing the post, the plugin assigns the image as the featured thumbnail or incorporates it into the post. The plugin offers various settings for your automatic images, such as image bank, language search, selected post types, image type, free-to-use or not, image size, and more. With Magic Post Thumbnail, the time-consuming task of finding perfect images for your posts is made effortless! Free version / Paid version
5. Featured Image Generator by Wooninjas
I haven’t used it yet, but it’s worth a mention, looks good. Available here.
How to Use WordPress Plugins to Auto-generate Featured Images
While each plugin has its own unique features and interface, the general process for using them to auto-generate featured images is as follows:
- Install and activate the chosen plugin.
- Navigate to the plugin’s settings (usually found on the WordPress dashboard).
- Set your preferences, such as the source of images or default image selection.
- Save your changes. The plugin should now automatically generate featured images based on your settings.