Finally decided to abandon FeedBurner completely and use the WordPress RSS system instead. To replace Feedburner, it needs two services to get replaced – (1) RSS Feed Syndication and (2) Subscribe to Email service.
WordPress has its own RSS system, thus, there’s no problem for the first. And for the second, I found the better return in using ‘RSS-to-Email' as oppose to the Feedburner’s ‘Subscribe to Email'. Any of MailChimp or GetResponse could be used to automate sending the email to your subscribers whenever you publish a brand new post in your blog.
The first problem in using WordPress built-in RSS system emerged only after I setup RSS-to-Email service in GetResponse. The e-mail template was nice and post listing too was fine. However, it did not show the featured image alongside post title.
I tried setting up RSS-to-Email in MailChimp too, but the result was same. Featured images were lost from my feed!Then I sat for finding out the cause and solution. I simply needed to show the featured image along with the posts when RSS-to-Email sends notification post on blog update.
Then I sat for diagnosing the cause and find a solution. I simply needed to display the featured image along with the posts when RSS-to-Email sends notification post on blog update.
What is RSS Feed?
RSS feed may not appear as popular as in the past, and with the discontinuity of Google RSS Reader, many believed if RSS deceased. But you shouldn’t forget, there are people who still love RSS and the popularity of several other RSS reading services such as Feedly, Flipboard emphasizes its importance. Feedly saw 900% growth from 2013-2105.
Buffer – the social media application offers to integrate RSS feed to import posts that can be then published on social media channels.
And there are many other online services to harvest RSS and make life happier!
Why should you display Images in feeds?
- In my case, it was RSS-to-Email delivery. I wished the featured images to be displayed along with the list of posts I’ve published recently.
- The RSS-driven campaign in MailChimp, AutoResponse etc. require image tags in the feed. See how to automate sending emails to your subscribers when you publish a new post.
- Feed readers such as Feedly, Flipboard that uses the feed to pull in images for the post.
- Feed reading desktop apps such as RSS Owl, FeedReader etc.
- To Display images alongside news/blog if your website or blog appears in Google News.
How to Display Featured Image in WordPress RSS Feed?
There can be two methods to enable featured images in your RSS feed.
- Manual – add code to your theme file
- Plugins – install and configure plugin
I preferred the first method as it keeps my plugin list clean and supports the website loading speed. However if you are not comfortable with codes, I’ve listed some good plugins to automate the process. Please read on.
Manual – Adding Code to display featured image
For those who are comfortable in editing theme files and know some coding, this must be the better way to do the task.
I found following code in GitHub and inserted in functions.php file of the child theme. It worked like a charm!
Note: Remember to create a backup copy of your theme files before you make any changes on them.
- Navigate to Appearance >> Editor
- Select and open functions.php file of your child WordPress theme
- Copy the code below and paste it in the file.
That’s great! You should see the images displayed in your WordPress feed.
Plugins to display featured images in WordPress feed
If you’re not comfortable with coding and wish to displays images in WordPress feeds, we’ve some awesome plugins to ease you.
Simply install any of the following plugins and activate them to make the task done. You can check the settings page of the plugin to customize.
#1. Featured Images in RSS by Rob Marlbrough
Nice free WordPress plugin with additional simple size and positioning options for your featured images. You can define whether you want the images in the feed to the left, right or center.
2. Send Images to RSS by Robin Cornett & Gary Jones
A recent plugin with lots of features. Helps to optimize images and makes feed images email friendly adding markup which email clients can handle. If it does not find featured image specified, then the first image in the post will be used.
#3. Featured Image in RSSS Feed by Dinesh Karki
#4. Display Featured Image for Genesis by Robin Cornett
#5. Featured Images in RSS w/ Size and Position by Rob Marlbrough
How to check if featured images are displaying in RSS?
Whether you added code in functions.php file or installed and configured a plugin, you’d like to confirm if the feeds now include images.
Mozilla browser can display the feeds visually, so simply navigate your feed to see the changes.
However, the browsers such as Chrome don’t display feeds visually, it might be difficult to verify if the images are working correctly in Feeds.
Those who are using Chrome can install ‘RSS Subscription Extension (by Google)‘ and click on it to preview the feed content.
Well, that's all. Are you showing images in RSS feed? Are you using code or a plugin to display featured images in the RSS feed?