8 Best Ways to Fix WordPress Featured Image Not Showing

Your site’s visual aesthetics may take a hit if you can’t fix a WordPress featured image not showing. The troubles of a vanished featured image dim the spotlight on your site’s visual allure.

It’s more than merely a glitch; it’s a visual misstep that robs your content of charm, leaving it somewhat incomplete.

Featured images steal the limelight in post previews, social shares, and archives.

This guide has hands-on WordPress fixes to work with if your featured images are acting up:

Why Fix WordPress Featured Image Not Showing? 

Visitors crave a visually lush experience. When those images play hide and seek, it dampens the vibe, limiting your site’s power to connect and captivate.

Besides improving your domain authority, visuals foster trust and elevate your site’s overall allure.

Our expert guide has savvy tips for unraveling the mystery of WordPress images vanishing on the live site and backend.

Common Causes of WordPress Featured Images Not Showing

Before diving into a fix, let’s decode the issues behind the WordPress-featured image not showing.

These common issues often make your featured image cease to be visible: 

  • Using themes that don’t fully support or display featured images
  • Plugin-theme faceoffs wreaking havoc on image rendering
  • Media library mishaps: think incorrect file types, sizes, or permissions
  • Tweaks needed in featured image settings: dimensions, sizes, or other specifics
  • Slip-ups during image uploads within content creation
  • That pesky HTTP image error popping up during uploads

How To Fix WordPress Featured Image Not Showing

Luckily, you can fix these hiccups with a few hacks. Here’s how to identify what’s acting up and fix those WordPress images not showing.

#1. Resolve any HTTP Errors

If your server’s pulling a memory blank while trying to upload that star-studded featured image, it’s probably running on fumes. Your WordPress featured image not showing could be a result of HTTP errors.

Uploading or dealing with colossal images can be quite the memory muncher.

Your PHP memory limit just hit the ceiling.

Be the memory hero by upping the PHP memory limit. Dive into the wp-config.php file using a File Manager or trusty FTP Client like FileZilla.

Locate the WP_MEMORY_LIMIT code snippet and crank it up to 256MB from the default 32MB.

Or your featured image flexes too hard and has hit the PHP upload size limit.

Blame PHP: it sets upload size limits to keep things from going wild. Your hosting squad sets this limit at the server level.

If your image is too big for PHP, find that configuration (php.ini) file in your hosting account. After locating the file, amp up the values for upload_max_filesize and post_max_size to the max.

#2. Deactivate Lazy Loading

Enter the stealth culprit: ‘lazy loading.’ 

Picture it as the procrastinator in your site’s lineup, delaying the image unveiling until the last second—like a friend dressing up just as the party starts. 

Clever for turbocharging site speed, but not always the VIP for featured images. 

Timing becomes a playful dance; your page anticipates showcasing its visual gem, only to find lazy loading casually lounging in a virtual hammock, indifferent to the urgency. 

Your dazzling image quietly retreats, deferring its grand entrance.

WordPress Featured Image Not Showing Due to Lazy Loading


Ever had to give lazy loading a firm ‘Not today, bro!’? 

Deactivate it, but before you do, sleuth any sneaky WordPress plugins indulging in lazy loading. 

Keep a watchful eye on those straightforward culprits—direct lazy loading, image optimization tools, and website optimization plugins usually carry this feature.

Next, clear the cache and hit refresh. If the issue vanishes, you’ve exposed the miscreant. 

However, you still need to catch up on lazy loading for that swift site speed.

I suggest you reserve it for the stars—disable lazy loading specifically for featured images. 

This way, your page retains its lightning pace, with featured images stealing the limelight while the others leisurely load.

You’ll end up with a swift, mesmerizing load, featured images basking in glory, and visitors showering you with applause—leaving everyone a winner!

Apart from lazy loading, your WordPress featured image not showing could be a result of using a theme that isn’t compatible with the visuals.

#3. Verify Theme Support for Featured Images

Not all WordPress themes are cut from the same cloth. 

Some might skip featuring images. Your theme might lack the code or features to showcase those images properly.

If not fixed, your WordPress featured image not showing will be a constant struggle.

Some themes, especially vintage or less trendy ones, might omit crucial templates or styles for featured images, keeping them hidden.

Others abandon the default featured image setup and go with their specific settings.

Regardless of the cause, explore the theme’s settings and search for this code snippet related to featured images.

Theme Support FUnction

If you can’t find it, manually insert the essential code into the theme’s functions.php file.

Yet, this code only enables your theme to support featured images; displaying them on the front end requires additional code in the template.

Code for Supporting Featured Image

Exercise caution; errors in the code can disrupt your site. We recommend consulting the developer or seeking advice on the community forum.

#4. Upload Featured Images Using the Right Criteria

Not using the right uploading method may be a cause of your WordPress featured image not showing.

Reconsider your strategy if you designate the initial image in your blog post as featured.

Any photo you upload in the posts section is simply media—it doesn’t automatically claim the spotlight as the headline-grabbing featured image, even if it’s positioned at the post’s zenith. 

To make a statement, you need to assign the featured image separately.

For new posts, navigate to “Add New,” or if you want to spruce up your existing pieces, head to “All Posts.”

At the top right, click Settings. Go to the Post tab, slide to the Featured Image section, and hit “Set Featured Image.”

Set Featured Image Button

No option for a Featured Image? 

Your current theme might lack support for the feature, but the fix below should help manage the issue. 

#5. Fix Plugin Conflicts

Plugin clashes occur when multiple plugins refuse to cooperate, like unruly dancers on a chaotic floor.

Imagine a tumultuous dance floor: caching and lazy loading plugins vying for the image spotlight.

Yet, that’s not the sole issue.

An outdated plugin can crash the featured image celebration.

To oust these disruptors, begin by updating all plugins. If issues linger, employ the ultimate shutdown.

Deactivate plugins and revive them individually, checking for problems after each reactivation. Discard or replace faulty plugins for smoother performance.

Watch this video to learn more about fixing plugin conflicts:

#6. Change WordPress User Permissions

WordPress boasts a behind-the-scenes crew known as user roles.

User permissions act as digital bouncers backstage, regulating access, even to dazzling featured images.

They still need to be discovered if a user role lacks viewing privileges for featured images.

But, with persistence, you can coax them into visibility.

Navigate to “Users” on the dashboard and work magic by adjusting permissions. Ensure contributors, authors, and editors have the green light for those stunning visuals.

WordPress User Permissions

And make sure to save the changes.

#7. Optimize Featured Images That Don’t Look Right

Loading unoptimized featured images is like trying to fit a giraffe in a Mini Cooper—your site can’t handle it.

Instead of enhancing your posts, oversized, disorderly images tend to misbehave. They consume server resources, slowing your site and causing featured images to disappear.

So, optimize featured images to look their best.

  • Start by checking the image dimensions. Are they on a wild growth spurt? Resize them to fit your theme without causing a scene.
  • Compress those hefty files. Compressed images are the diet versions: same flavor, fewer calories (or, in this case, bytes). Use compression tools to slim down these images without sacrificing quality.
  • For the love of WordPress, choose the right file format—JPEG, PNG, GIF, or WebP.

#8. Adjust Your WordPress Dashboard Settings

Sometimes, dashboard settings can mess with how featured images appear, unfolding in two acts.

Initially, they might vanish as thumbnails in your posts and page lists.

Don’t let it stifle your creativity.

Navigate to Posts > All Posts, reveling in a glorious list of your articles. Look for the “Featured Image” column after “Date.”

Spotted it?

No? The setting is probably off, and the featured image column is on vacation, sipping coconut water on a WordPress beach.

But the holiday’s done.

Find the Screen Options tab in the dashboard’s upper right corner. Ensure you’re on the Posts or Pages panel, where the Screen Options panel unfolds.

Now tick the Featured Image checkbox. The Featured Image column should appear on your posts or pages list.

Or, the featured image field might play the no-show act.

Just when you’re in the creative zone, ready to drop that killer post or page, the featured image field decides to play hooky. It usually hangs out at the Posts>Post Settings panel on the right side of the page.

Set Featured Image Box

So, if it’s not there, it’s lurking somewhere, trying to abscond duty. Find it and drag it back by the ears if need be.

Look up at the far right corner of the dashboard.

See the triple dot icon (⋮)? Click it, then scroll down the settings until you come by “Preferences“, like this,

Preferences Button WordPress

Click on Preferences, then scroll to “Document Settings,” and click on that too. You should see the sneaky “Featured Image” field here.

Check the box.

Feature Image Checkbox

And voila! The Featured Image option is now back to work in your posts and pages. Refer to hack #1 above and upload your featured image.

WordPress Featured Image Not Showing in Post Editor

If you’re having that “where’s Waldo” moment with WordPress-featured images not showing in the post editor, the main culprits are the abovementioned issues.

They include theme troubles, plugin buzzkills, file format funkiness, or dashboard dilemmas. Sometimes, the post editor itself is the culprit. So, ensure you’re adding featured images correctly.

If everything’s alright on that front, scavenger hunt in the Media Library. Check if you uploaded the image correctly, file sizes and permissions, or corrupted files.

Or, your site could be having a cache tantrum and not catching up with your latest changes. Use a cache-clearing plugin or refresh the site like you’re waking it up from a nap. Images might just decide to join the party.

Final Thoughts on WordPress Featured Image Not Showing

Mastering the hurdle of a missing WordPress-featured image unlocks captivating posts.

Your visitors encounter this image first—it’s your opportunity to impress. But when it vanishes, you lose that edge.

Implement these fixes. Say goodbye to those elusive featured image shadows. Your WordPress featured image not showing isn’t something you’ll struggle with any longer.

Karol Carter
Karol Carter

Karol Carter is an experienced author and expert in various aspects of web development, online business, and digital marketing. Having worked with notable companies such as Automattic, Adobe, Ahrefs, Ecommerce Platforms, WebsiteSetup.org, WPAstra.com, CodeinWP, WinningWP, and Smashing Magazine, Karol has honed a wide range of skills and knowledge in the industry. From monetizing a blog to understanding the basics of SEO, designing websites, creating engaging content, and optimizing online visibility, Karol has covered it all.

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