WordPress offers the option for themes to display a featured image for posts and pages. According to WordPress: “a featured image represent the contents, mood, or theme of a post or page.” Sometimes a featured image is displayed at the top of a post or page, sometimes as a large block to the left or right – it really depends on the theme.
What happens if you change to a theme that uses featured images, but you haven’t assigned one to your posts or pages? One alternative is to put a scrap of code in your functions file that checks if there is a featured image included, and if not grabs the first image included in your post and uses that as the featured image. While easy, this isn’t a good idea because that image may not be the best representation of your post.
Another alternative to manually open each post and page, assigned the featured image and then update the post/page. If you have more than a handful of posts this is going to be a major headache.
Easy Featured Images is WordPress plugin that lets you assign a featured image right from the page or post listing page. It adds a thumbnail of the existing featured image or, if there isn’t an assigned featured image, gives you a link to click to add one. You can also remove an image.
Clicking on the on the “add image” opens the regular media library/uploader box – you can use an image already in your library or upload a new one.
If you are interested in how WordPress plugins are created, Daniel Pataki, the plugin’s author, has written an in-depth article about how he created this plugin and submitted it for addition to the WordPress plugin library.
I like this plugin a lot; it solves a real need, makes working with WordPress easier and has a very small footprint. If your theme uses featured images this is a plugin you want to install. Uncomfortable installing plugins on your own? Contact me for a quote.