Instead of simply including a picture in a post, you can designate it as a featured
image. A featured image represents a post, but it doesn’t actually show up as part
of the post content. Instead, its role varies depending on the theme you use.
Some themes ignore featured images altogether. But many others place featured
images at the top of the corresponding post, near the title area. Examples include
Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, and Twenty Fourteen.
Some themes exploit featured images in clever ways. For example, the Twenty Eleven
theme temporarily swaps in the picture for the name of your site when you view a
post with a featured image.
NOTE Twenty Eleven’s header-replacement trick works only if the featured image is at least as big as the
header image. If your featured image isn’t as wide, WordPress won’t display it at all on the single-post page,
nor will it explain the image’s perplexing absence.
More ambitious themes use featured images to promote posts—for example, to
highlight them in some sort of scrolling banner or gallery. Depending on the theme,
this detail might be a built-in part of the home page, or it might rely on a themespecific
Each post can have just one featured image. To assign a featured image, you need
to be in the Add New Post or Edit Post page
NOTE Featured posts are interesting because they rely on the interplay between WordPress features and
theme features. WordPress defines the concept of the feature (in this case, featured images), and the theme
decides how to exploit that concept, opening a wide, uncharted territory of possibilities. The same idea underpins
many other WordPress features. For example, later in this chapter you’ll see how WordPress defines the concepts
of post excerpts (page 202) and post formats (page 198), but allows themes to use them in a variety of clever