I’ve never been a fan of doing this, but to make things much easier for you, I’ve added a feature that lets you automatically create your featured images for your blog post summaries. When a theme offers this kind of function, what happens is that every time you upload a photo, it creates thumbnails of varying sizes. You will get sized that are set from the Media settings in your WordPress dashboard, but if a theme also has it’s own, you will also get those thumbnails created as well.
Each of your blog styles that come with this theme will have it’s own thumbnail size. This is done to make things easier for you, but it also helps create a consistent look and style where every post summary has an identical thumbnail size applied to each one. Why this is a problem for me is that the system will create thumbnails for “every” photo you upload, whether you need it or not — providing that you have this feature enabled. Eventually over time, your host server will get filled up with 100’s if not 1000’s of thumbnails that takes up space, but also makes backing up your website take longer and makes larger backup files.
What I Like to Do
I like making my own thumbnails as I need them. This gives me total control over size, file size, composition, and any other image adjustments I want to perform, including optimization. When I make a thumbnail image, such as I do for the screenshots in these tutorials or the blog posts, I only make the ones I need at the time and upload them.
However, I can understand that for some people, the idea of letting the system make the images for you is very enticing, so this tutorial will show you how you can turn this feature on.
Enable Thumbnail Creation
By default, all the image thumbnail options are disabled, but you can choose what size you want to use and is based on whatever Blog Style and Layout you choose.
- Go to Appearance >> Customize >> Basic Settings
- Make your choice from the listings of thumbnail options (see the above screenshot)
- Click “Save & Publish“
After you save your selection, any image you upload will now get a thumbnail made for that option and will be used in the corresponding blog style you also choose. For example, if you decide to use the “Masonry Without Sidebars” blog style, then you would check the box next to the “Enable Blog Style 5 Thumbnail Creation” while leaving the others unchecked.
If you plan on using the custom front page template with the blog section enabled (see the Front Page Template tutorial for more info), I would recommend checking the box next to the “Enable Front Page Blog Thumbnail Creation” setting as well.