Learn How to Manage a WordPress Post Thumbnail with Plugins

Learn How to Manage a WordPress Post Thumbnail with Plugins

Last Updated July 31, 2023

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WordPress post thumbnails, also known as featured images, are images that are assigned to a post or page on a WordPress site. Post thumbnails allow for a visual representation of content, which can be beneficial for readers by giving them a better understanding of what the post is about. Post thumbnails are important because they help to improve the user experience and can be used to promote posts on social media. But dealing with thumbnails can be a pain with the current admin interface. Thankfully, there are WordPress post thumbnail plugins that can help with this issue.


Popular WordPress Post Thumbnail Plugins

Each of the WordPress post thumbnail plugins on this list is available, for free, from WordPress.org. Simply download the plugin file from the site and then upload it to your installation. Or, alternatively, you can install and activate these from the Plugins screen of the WordPress admin.

We have summarized each of the plugin’s features and capabilities as best we can. In addition, some of these plugins offer paid versions as well. We’ve provided a brief rundown of what those pro versions offer over the free plugins to help you make the best decision.

Let’s get started and find the perfect plugin to help you manage post thumbnails on your WordPress sites.

Regenerate Thumbnails

Regenerate Thumbnails

Regenerate Thumbnails is the first WordPress post thumbnail plugin on our list. It is a simple but handy plugin that, as its name says, lets you regenerate all thumbnail sizes for images that are in your Media Library. This is especially useful for times when a new thumbnail size is added but you want older uploads to have the same thumbnail size.

You can use this plugin when you’ve changed the dimensions of a current thumbnail size. If you’ve switched to a new theme and its featured images use a different size, then you may use it for that as well. The plugin also has the capability to do things like to delete any old or unused thumbnails if you need to. This will help you free up any dwindling server space.

Plugin Details

This plugin was initially published by its owner in August of 2008. It is presently on version 3.1.6 and last had a revision on August 14th, 2023. The most recent edition operates on WordPress 6.3.3 and requires at least PHP 5.2.4 to run on your server. This plugin is now functioning on over 1,000,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 21,005,980 downloads. There have been 4 support requests with a 25% response rate. Regenerate Thumbnails has below average support from its developer. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the end-users who left a piece of feedback found Regenerate Thumbnails to be excellent.

Auto Featured Image

Auto Featured Image

Auto Featured Image automatically generates the thumbnail image of your post based on whatever the first image is within the content. It does this only in the case that a featured image is not set already manually. It also can generate a featured image based on your post title, or alternatively, you can search and import pictures from popular stock platforms. If you want featured images removed as well, the plugin handles that. You can generate or remove these pictures using filters based on whatever post type, status, category, or creation date your desired images fall under. 

Plugin Details

This plugin was initially published by its owner in April of 2010. It is currently on version 3.9.18 and last saw an update on March 30th, 2023. The most recent release operates on WordPress 6.2.4 and requires at least PHP 7.0 to work on your server. This plugin is presently operating on over 70,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 1,614,420 downloads. There have not been many help requests from end-users. WordPress users are positive and think highly of this plugin.

Premium Version

Auto Featured Image Pro is the paid and premium version of this WordPress post thumbnail plugin. It offers more features to expand the capabilities that its base plugin provides. Pro comes in two lifetime plans: one for five websites and the other for an unlimited amount.

With Auto Featured Image Pro, you can generate or remove your featured images from a list of posts and pages. You also get the ability to search and upload unlimited images from Google, Unsplash, and Pixabay. To customize further, you can upload your own background images and fonts and control the position of any text. Import all images from your post text to the media library as well.

Featured Image Admin Thumb

Featured Image Admin Thumb

Featured Image Admin Thumb is a WordPress post thumbnail plugin that inserts a “thumb” column into all posts, pages, and all custom post type lists in the admin. This will show the set thumbnail of any piece of content on your site. The plugin makes it so much easier to tell which posts are lacking images. Conveniently, you may edit and add or change your thumbnail image directly from the column. You don’t have to click on each individual post to do so manually.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was initially published by its owner in December of 2013. It is currently on version 1.6 and last saw a change on January 14th, 2024. The newest edition works on WordPress 6.4.3 and requires at least PHP 7.0 to work on your server. This plugin is now running on over 20,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 153,180 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from customers. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left a review found this plugin to be excellent.

Magic Post Thumbnail

Magic Post Thumbnail

Magic Post Thumbnail is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily and quickly generate thumbnails and pictures for your site’s posts, pages, and custom post types. Your images can be retrieved from popular sources like Google Images, DALL-E, Flickr, Creative Commons, and Pixabay. They can be automatically generated based on things like the title of your posts or an analysis of the post’s content. There is also a mass image generation option for posts and taxonomies.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was first published by its developer in May of 2012. It is currently on version 5.1.1 and last saw a revision on February 23rd, 2024. The most recent release works on WordPress 6.4.3 and requires at least PHP 7.3 to operate on your server. This plugin is now operating on over 10,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 319,960 downloads. There have not been many help requests from users. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left a piece of feedback found this plugin to be worthwhile.

Premium Version

Magic Post Thumbnail Pro is the premium version of the plugin with more features to further enhance its existing capabilities. Pro comes in different plans based on the number of websites it’s to be used on. There are also pricing options based on renewing annually or buying a single lifetime purchase. 

Some added features include things like customizable crowns, images generated randomly, and the ability to set up a proxy. More image providers are available so you can source your images from sites like YouTube, Shutterstock, Getty Images, Unsplash, and Pexels. Your image may be generated also based on the tags, categories, and custom fields of your post.

If you would like to slightly edit your image, Magic Post Thumbnail Pro gives you the option to flip it horizontally or crop the image by 10%. The developers provide 24-hour support. Finally, this WordPress post thumbnail plugin is compatible with other plugins like WPeMatico, FeedWordPress, WP All Import, and Featured Image from URL.

ZI Hide Featured Image

ZI Hide Featured Image

ZI Hide Featured Image is the final WordPress post thumbnail solution we’ll be discussing here today. This minimalistic plugin enables you to hide whatever featured image is on a single post or page that you choose. On the “Featured Image” section on edit pages, the plugin automatically adds a checkbox that will remove your image from the post or page if checked. The feature is not just exclusive to posts and pages. It is also found on custom post types and even WooCommerce products.

Plugin Details

This product was first published by its owner in December of 2020. It is actively on version 1.0.0 and last saw a revision on January 4th, 2023. The most recent update functions on WordPress 6.1.5. This plugin is now working on over 1,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 7,180 downloads. There have not been many support requests from customers. Users assess this plugin as average.


Find the Best WordPress Post Thumbnail Plugin

That’s it for our rundown of WordPress post thumbnail plugins. As we mentioned above, a good featured image or post thumbnail is important. It helps readers identify what a piece of content is about quickly and adds interest to any piece of text.

Of course, it’s tough to manage thumbnails without help. The default WordPress admin, in its current form, is clunky at best when dealing with featured images. And for things like custom post type, it might be impossible without help. The WordPress plugin community always steps up to fill in gaps and this situation is no exception.

Try some of these plugins out and you will eventually find the right mix of features, interface, and support to meet your specific needs.


Looking for More Ways to Improve WordPress?

Are you a WordPress developer here to find a post thumbnail solution for a client website or project? Before you go, check out our White Label WordPress plugin.

White Label was developed to help developers like you customize and rebrand the WordPress admin experience for your clients. Build a custom login page, select colors and replace logos to match client branding, edit menus, and much more.

Check out our full feature list to find out all of the ways White Label can help you with client projects. Make WordPress less confusing for users and easier for you to support with our plugin.


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