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Generate Featured Images For Your Posts Automatically With Auto Featured Image

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Today I’d like to share with you Auto Featured Image – a simple yet useful WordPress plugin that I have recently used on a few of my websites.

I installed a script on a site of mine to search YouTube and publish keyword-specific videos to my website automatically. This worked well however the plugin didn’t generate thumbnails correctly. Auto Featured Image was able to resolve this issue. If you have a YouTube, Vimeo or DailyMotion video in a post with no featured image attached, the plugin will go to the video page and create a screenshot for your post. The plugin has very little bells and whistles but once you have installed it, the plugin will do what it needs to do.

The plugin doesn’t just create featured images for posts with videos, it will work for any post. When WP Mods was launched in early 2010 I attached images to the top right hand side of every post. These images were inserted into posts manually though so when the featured image option was added to WordPress I had to go through all of my older posts, remove the thumbnail post from the post and set it as a featured image.

I hadn’t did this with all posts though. Using Auto Featured Image I was able to quickly set a featured posts for the 51 articles that didn’t have a featured image attached to them.

Auto Featured Image

All you have to do is click the ‘Generate Thumbnails’ button and the plugin will do the rest.

Auto Featured Image

The plugin will advise you of how many posts it has added a featured image to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you which posts have been changed. This is the plugin’s biggest flaw.

If all of your posts do not have featured images assigned to them, Auto Featured Image is the quickest and easiest way to add featured images to all of your posts.

It’s not a perfect solution if you have manually inserted images to the top right or top left of your posts (this was what most bloggers did before the featured image was added). When I run the plugin on WP Mods it advised that it had processed 51 posts. As it did not tell me which posts had been modified, I didn’t know which posts I had to remove the images that were previously inserted manually into the posts (i.e. so that there were not too featured images displayed).

Another problem is the inability to choose which image is featured. This isn’t a problem if a post only has one image attached to it. By default it assigns the first image uploaded to a post as the featured image but if the post has several images it might not choose the one you want. This is a minor criticism though as the plugin was created to generate featured images for posts quickly and easily and it does it rather well.

Pros

  • Automatically assigns the first image you upload to every post as the featured image.
  • Is able to create featured images from video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion.
  • Can go through all of your previous posts and generate featured images for them.

Cons

  • Sometimes the first image uploaded isn’t the one you want assigned as the featured image.
  • The plugin doesn’t tell which of your older posts have been modified.

All in all I think it’s a useful plugin. It could be greatly improved if it showed you a list of the posts that have been modified so that checking the images that have been added is easier. I’m sure many of you will still find this plugin useful, particularly if you haven’t set any featured images for your posts yet.

Good luck,
Kevin

Link: Auto Featured Image

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Comments (9)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Yes it can, though you still need to make sure your theme is configured to display featured images.

Comment by winning_mark says:

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Comment by winning_mark says:

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Comment by winning_mark says:

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Comment by winning_mark says:

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Comment by winning_mark says:

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Comment by winning_mark says:

This plugin was very useful for us when we went to WP Touch Pro for a great mobile version of our site at http://www.dappledgrey.com.  WP Touch Pro lets you indicate what image you want to use for the thumbs of posts i in the mobile view.  We chose featured, and then used auto featured image to generate featured images for all past posts as well as generating for us automatically on all posts going forward.  Worked like a charm.  As soon as we ran the “update thumbnails” command the thumbs began showing up in the mobile view.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

It’s the theme that dictates whether featured images are shown or not. For example, the wpmods has code in the theme templates which shows thumbnails in certain areas of the site. If that code was removed, no thumbnails would be displayed.

Therefore, you can create as many thumbnails as you want but if your theme isn’t designed to show thumbnails, nothing will be displayed.

Comment by Việt Designer says:

I would like to ask you 1 thing: Can this plugin generate featured image to be compatible with any theme?

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