How to Show Featured Image in WordPress RSS Feed?

Do you want to enrich your RSS feed by adding a featured image for blog posts? If yes, then this article is for you. Below in this article, I have shared a few different ways to show featured images in the WordPress RSS feed. Follow the below instructions carefully to be done with it.

Having an RSS feed with an attractive featured image will enhance your syndication. Many marketing tools such as MailChimp & Feedly use RSS feed to provide their services, and if you are not showing the featured image in the feed, your blog listing or newsletter will look bland.

If you are the WordPress blog owner, the RSS feed will help you promote your content through different marketing applications. Help you make your content easily discoverable for your readers, and showing the attractive featured image for your blog posts in RSS feed will increase the click on your blog posts.

Below, in this article, I have shared 2 different ways to show featured images in RSS feed, including:

  • Add Featured Image in RSS Feed With Code
  • Add Featured Image in RSS Feed With Free Plugin

Now it is totally on you which way you want to go with. Talking about my recommendation, I suggest you go with the first way of adding code, and if you are not comfortable with the code, you can go with the plugin way.

Ways to Show Featured Image in WordPress RSS Feed

As discussed above, there are two ways to display featured images to the WordPress RSS feed. Below, I have explained both the ways in a very simple manner. But still, the first way of adding code to the theme fuction.php file will be challenging for you if you are a newbie.

In this condition, you should go with the second way of showing featured images in the RSS feed using the plugin. Let’s understand both ways one by one.

How to Add Featured Image in RSS Feed With Code?

If you are comfortable editing core WordPress theme files, you can directly add the below-shared code to your WordPress themes function.php file (Before pasting any code on your website, we always recommend taking a complete backup of your WordPress website).

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Editing Theme’s Function.php File

But I will not recommend you edit the themes function.php file directly because a small mistake can entirely break your website. Rather than directly editing, you can go with the free Code Snippets plugin.

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“Code Snippet” Plugin

Follow the below-shared instructions carefully.

Keynote: I highly recommend you take the backup of your entire website or the file you are editing, which is the themes function.php file, before making any changes to them.

First of all, login to your WordPress admin area, then go to Plugins >> click on Add New >> and search for Code Snippets >> once you find the plugin, click on Install and Activate it.

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Installing “Code Snippets” Plugin from WordPress Repository

Code Snippets is the best plugin when it comes to editing core PHP files. Using this plugin, you don’t need to mess with the different files or touch function.php file also.

Once the plugin is activated, go to the Snippets option just below the plugin >> click on New Snippet. You can name it as you want; I have saved it as “featured-image-rss-code.

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Pasting RSS Feed Code in Code Snippets

Now copy and paste the below code in the new snippet. Here is the code:

Now check on the “Only run on site’s front-end” option and click on the “Save Changes and Activate” button.

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Run Code Snippet’s RSS Snippet on Front-end

Done, now the featured images will be shown in your WordPress website RSS feed.

How to Add Featured Image in RSS Feed With Free Plugin?

Now there are tons of free and paid plugins available that allow you to show featured images in the RSS feed. One of the best plugins I use on many of my websites is Featured Images in RSS for Mailchimp & More plugin.

It’s an entirely free plugin and also offers you tons of customization options. Follow the below instructions carefully.

First of all, login to your WordPress website >> go to Plugins >> click on Add New >> then search for Featured Images in RSS for Mailchimp & More >> once you find the plugin, click on Install and Activate it.

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Installing MailChimp’s Free RSS Feed Plugin

After clicking on the Activate button, you will be redirected to the plugin control panel. As I have already told you, this plugin offers you lots of customization options, allows you to change RSS image size, alignment, text, padding, and make your post featured image clickable.

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Settings of MailChimp’s RSS Feed Plugin

Check all the options. After making the required changes, click on the “Save Changes” button, and you are done.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Above, I have explained everything you need to know about adding featured images to the WordPress RSS feed, but you can read the FAQs shared below if you still have any doubts.

1. Which are the best plugins to add featured images in the RSS feed?

I use Featured Images in RSS for Mailchimp & More on many of my blogs, but this is not the only plugin that allows you to display featured images in RSS. The other few best plugins are Send Images to RSS and Featured Image In RSS Feed.

All the plugins that allow you to show featured images in the RSS feed are free, you can use any of them.

2. Is RSS Dead?

Currently, the RSS feed is not as popular as in the past, but many applications still use it to provide their services, and there are tons of feed readers websites also.

As of now, the RSS feed is not dead; lots of people still love RSS, and there is also a rise in lots of RSS reading services even after the discontinuity of the popular Google RSS reader.

Final Words

Showing featured images in the RSS feed is very important, and this simple change will probably increase the number of visitors visiting your blog from the RSS feed. It will also make your RSS feed look more attractive and impact your email marketing newsletters.

You can go with any of the above-shared ways and plugins. There are tons of plugins that allow you to show featured images in WordPress RSS feed; almost all are free. If you don’t want to go with a plugin like me, you can add code to the theme function file to show a featured image in the RSS feed.

I hope this article about showing the featured image in the RSS feed is helpful to you. Do share in the comment section if you face any problems while following the above steps, I will try to help you.

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Sunny Kumar

Sunny Kumar, Founder of TheWPX

Hola Amigos! I'm Sunny Kumar, Founder of TheWPX. A blog where I share my experience which I have gathered from my last 7 year journey in blogging with all the new bloggers struggling to make their first income.