10 Picture Perfect WordPress Thumbnail Plugins
Thumbnails tend to be a huge part of most WordPress themes these days. Even very simple themes make use of them in different places.
Also, of course, your thumbnails are what tend to attract visitors’ attention when they’re scanning around, looking for somewhere else to go.
And so given the importance of thumbnails, we thought we would go over 10 thumbnail plugins that might help you get even more out of this powerful and attention-grabbing feature.
The Video Thumbnails plugin automatically creates thumbnails for the first embedded video in your post. You can also set the created thumbnail to automatically be set to your featured image.
These thumbnails can be saved to your server, and they will show up in your media library just like any other image.
The plugin will grab the thumbnail from the video source. It supports videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Vine, and a number of other popular sources. This plugin will not generate thumbnails for self-hosted videos.
You can generate thumbnails for Posts, Pages, or custom post types.
The Post Thumbnail Editor lets you easily edit thumbnails in order to get the exact look you want in your theme.
If you’re having problems with your theme cutting off your thumbnails in odd ways, this plugin may be the answer for you.
The Multiple Post Thumbnails plugin lets you assign two featured images to a post.
After installing the plugin, you will need to put some code into your functions file, and then you will need to place code in your theme’s template files where you want the second featured image to appear.
The Auto Post Thumbnail automatically generates a featured image from the first image in a post. If you already have a featured image, it will do nothing.
There is also an option to not generate a featured image for individual posts.
In addition to creating featured images for new posts, you can also generate featured images for posts published before the plugin was installed. I tested this feature, and it seemed to work perfectly.
The AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild plugin will let you recreate your thumbnails if needed – for example, if you’ve changed the size of your thumbnails in order to present a different look (or perhaps to conform to a different theme), then this plugin will get you the new thumbnails you need.
One of the nicer features of this plugin is that it rebuilds your thumbnails one at a time, thereby avoiding script timeout errors, which frequently happen with tasks like rebuilding numerous thumbnails.
The plugin also lets you choose which thumbnails you’d like to rebuild (e.g. rebuilding only the featured image thumbnail but not other sized thumbnails).
The WordPress Responsive Thumbnail Slider lets you create sliders of thumbnail images. You can insert these sliders into posts or pages with a shortcode, or you can insert them into your theme files with the code provided in the settings area.
As the name implies, this creates responsive sliders.
There are a number of controls in the settings area that let you choose things such as whether the slider auto scrolls, the speed of the scroll, the background color, height and width of the thumbnails, and more.
The one drawback to this plugin is that you can’t easily choose images from your Media Library. You are given an image uploader, but it doesn’t directly access your Media Library.
The Featured Image Thumbnail Grid plugin lets you insert shortcodes that will grab the featured image of posts and display them in grid fashion. Those thumbnails will then link to the post.
You have a number of controls within the shortcodes, such as setting the thumbnail sizes, limiting the thumbnails to one category, controlling the number of thumbnails that will show, controlling the order of the thumbnails, and more.
The Thumbnails for Backend plugin gives you a new column in your admin area for posts (Posts > All Posts). Instead of just showing the Title, Author, Category, and Tag links, it also gives you a thumbnail of the featured image for each post.
The Nelio External Featured Image gives you the option of calling in a featured image from an external URL.
While you probably wouldn’t want to hotlink your featured images from someone else’s site, this can be especially useful if you house your own images in another location.
The Drag & Drop Featured Image plugin lets your easily drag an image into your featured image area of your post editor instead of forcing you to enter your Media Library as you would normally need to do. While not technically a “thumbnail plugin,” of course most featured images are displayed as thumbnails around your theme.
Photo credit: Sanna R