If you run a multi-author blog, it may be a good idea to require a featured image in all WordPress posts. This ensures that you and everyone uploads an image before hitting the “Publish” button, thus giving your posts a more vibrant and professional look.
Additionally, many WordPress themes actually depend on the use of featured images, otherwise they may show the entire article on the homepage as opposed to simply showing an excerpt.
There are many other reasons to require a featured image, of course; that’s why we composed a list of the best WordPress plugins to force a thumbnail image on your website’s posts.
1: Require Featured Image
The first and most popular WordPress plugin is called “Require Featured Image.” It’s self-explanatory, it’s light on your server, and it’s absolutely amazing at what it does.
Simply install and activate the plugin through the main WordPress repository, and you’re practically all set.
The plugin will not let you or other authors publish new articles until they set a featured image. In fact, the “Publish” button will be completely disabled and the plugin displays a big, noticeable message toward the top of the screen.
Click “Set Featured Image” from the right sidebar and insert the photo of choice to make the “issue” go away. Once set, you will subsequently be able to publish your new article. Works like a charm!
You may optionally click “Settings>Req. Featured Image” to set which post types you wish to enable the plugin for. This includes Posts, Pages, Previews, and any other as defined by your WordPress installation.
2: G Obligatory Featured Image
Another simple, yet powerful way to require featured images in WordPress involves the use of G Obligatory Featured Image.
Simply install and activate the plugin like any other, and you’re practically set to go. G Obligatory Featured Image uses two modes to perform its tasks; JS and PHP mode (JS being the default one and the option most people use.)
For the average user, modifying the settings is hardly necessary unless you require a featured image for other post types.
3: Force Featured Image
Another plugin to require featured images is simply known as Force Featured Image.
There isn’t much to say here aside from the basic requirements: Install, activate, and you’re all set. The plugin prevents authors from publishing a post until a featured image has been uploaded.
However, this plugin does extend its basic functionality by letting you specify a required image dimension as well. This is useful to ensure that you and your authors upload only high-quality photos to all articles. Click here for more information about specifying dimensions (basic coding functions required.)
4: Required Post Fields
Required Post Fields is a premium plugin sold over at Code Canyon, but it’s worth every penny for the things it can do.
It supports practically any post type with little to no limits, and developers can easily extend its features with the plugin’s API.
Install/activate the plugin and head over to the “Settings>Writing” page in your main WordPress panel. Toggle the custom fields you wish to require, including the title, excerpt, tags, featured image and more. Yes, it’s that easy.
All in all, there is little to no reason why authors should skip uploading a featured image to their WordPress posts. Quality (and relevant) pictures can make your articles shine a lot more and attract more traffic as a result.