3 Things You Might Not Know about Featured Images in WordPress


One of our previous blog posts dealt with featured images and why WordPress users should consider employing them. Featured images set the tone of a post or page before readers ever get to the text, thereby giving them a good idea of whether the content will be appealing to them or not.

Featured images are a great tool that every WordPress user who writes regular blog posts should consider using. But there are some things about featured images you may not know. We have listed three of those things below, along with a brief explanation of each one. You can always consult the WordPress documentation for more details about featured images.

1. Featured Images Are Stored in the Media Library

As a content management system, WordPress uses a combination of database files and stylesheets to present information to website visitors. Those featured images you use to enhance your posts are stored in the media library and called up by the database when needed.

Let’s say you insert featured images into your posts through the editor interface. You check the appropriate box, upload your image, and go on your way. That image is actually stored in your media library. Open the media library from your Dashboard and you’ll see what we mean. Every image appearing on your site is in that library.

2. You Should Delete Unused Images

From time to time, you may decide to delete a post with a featured image attached. Assuming the image is not being used by another post, it automatically becomes an orphan image. The next thing to know about featured images is that orphans take up a lot of space. Therefore, it’s a good idea to delete unused images when you are done with them.

You can manually remove featured images you no longer need by way of the media library. There is a way to do it automatically if you’re not afraid to get into coding. It involves using a ‘before_delete_post’ hook and modifying your functions.php file. The WordPress documentation is a good resource for complete instructions.

3. You Must Empty the Trash

In relation to deleting unused featured images, be aware that deleted posts are not automatically removed from your server or database. They are simply put in the trash. If you want to completely get rid of the images and the posts pertaining to them, you need to empty the trash by way of your Dashboard. You can get to it directly through the Dashboard or your list of posts.

Featured images are a great enhancement for WordPress pages and posts. If you use them wisely, they can help a great deal with reader engagement. You can use those same featured images in social media posts for the purposes of directing people to your WordPress site. But remember, unused images take up a lot of space. When you’re done with a featured image, delete it from your media library to make room for something else.

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