Thumbnail Repository and Thumbnails Best Practices


I'm curious what thumbnails best practices people have come up with. For me, with timthumb and other solutions, thumbnails have been a pretty big annoyance and waste of time. What I'd like to do is create one thumbnail repository.

I'd also like to be able to tell clients: when you find a decent image for a thumbnail or for a post, upload it HERE. It doesn't matter if its on S3 or my server or whatever, just so that I can have them upload images, so I can browse them, so the client can select them easily for posts, and so that they are displayed quickly, easily and well in themes.

Regarding size, well, 150x150 isn't big enough for certain themes. Then what about sliders?

Is there a way to just upload the photo, and have a cropping tool that either allows you to reduce the size of the photo or allows you to cut a section of it out for display as a thumbnail?

Anyway, I am looking to create thumbnail best practices, so let me know how ya'll are handling things.


  • Mason

    Hiya Dainis,

    Are you meaning something specific to WordPress or in general?

    The Media Library allows you to quickly and easily see images that have been uploaded and you can crop them in this area by default.

    Additionally, thumbnail sizes can be dictated via the theme's function.php file to whatever you like.

    Links for reference:


  • dainis

    Thanks, I'm getting closer. Basically, the media library uploads into subdirectories according to date. That makes things tough to find for me. I'd rather just upload the images into one directory.

    Next, does the scholar theme already support Wordpress Thumbnails? If you visit you'll see that some posts have thumbnails. I actually don't know why they have thumbnails, and don't yet know what the best procedure is to set thumbnails for posts in this theme (and thereby likely all WPMU Dev themes).

    If I check the posts that are presented with thumbnails, I see that they have two custom fields: image_tag and image_url. I don't want to set those manually each time just to have a thumbnail appear on a post.

    I've also used themes that just use the thumbnail graphic for
    1) thumbnail (small version)
    2) slider (larger version, but more "landscape" so with the top and bottom cropped out)
    3) custom size within post
    4) click to see full size image

    In Scholar, the slider images are selected in the backend of the theme options. It would be a feature request of mine to see those slider images work the way they do in themes such as PureType by elegantthemes, however, that's not exactly where I'm going with this...

    Where I'm going is:

    5) How do I add thumbnails to posts in Scholar?
    6) How do I make that process easy and streamlined?
    7) Can I create a directory on my server or elsewhere as an image repository for thumbnails and graphics for use in client sites...and then can I browse and select them easily?

  • Mason


    I believe Scholar just grabs first photo from post as it was released before the thumbnail functionality was introduced.

    Best thing to do is just drop an image into your post and Scholar should handle the rest for ya.

    I don't know that a directory for thumbnails would work well with WordPress. It's not really setup to to do that kinda thing. You're wanting your users to select from previously uploaded images and attach them to posts?

    I'd just upload all the images through the media library, set them to the size you want and then let your users choose from the library when they go to create a new post. If there isn't one they like they can always upload a new one.

    Someone else may no a better way, but that's how I'd handle it.


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