WordPress Image Sizes: Understand Default Image Sizes, How to Change Them + Best Plugins
Handling images in WordPress can be a challenge. If you don’t pay enough to the requirements, you may get a messy website appearance wise or it could even impact the loading time.
Therefore, you need to learn about the default WordPress image sizes and how to change them. Relax, grab your coffee, and let’s get this done!
How Does WordPress Process Images
Once you upload an image to your media library, WordPress will automatically generate additional images with 3 default sizes and store them separately. Therefore, you will see 4 image options when you are uploading an image. These are the thumbnail, medium, large and full-size options. The first three options are called default WordPress images sizes, while the full-size option is the original size that you upload.
WordPress creates these options because using different locations for placing images will require different image resolution. For example, the image resolution in the thumbnail may be different than the image resolution used in the slider. Therefore, you don’t need to edit and resize images manually if you want to use the same images in different places with different resolutions. Only one image is needed and WordPress will do the rest.
What Are WordPress Default Images Sizes
By default, WordPress comes with three pre-packaged image sizes. They are:
- Thumbnail : (150px square)
- Medium size : (maximum 300px width and height);
- Large size : (maximum 1024px width and height);
- Full size : (full/original image size you uploaded).
How to Change Default WordPress Image Sizes
Although WordPress already gives you 3 default sizes if you decide that these choices don’t meet your needs, there are alternatives to get the best size for website images. Maybe, you need smaller thumbnails or wider featured images. Therefore, you need to change the default image size in WordPress. To do so, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to your Admin Dashboard
- Hover your cursor to Setting -> Media
- In the Media Settings window, you can adjust the desirable pixels for each size
- Hit the Save Changes button to save the setting.
How to Add your Custom WordPress Image Size
So, you have the 3 default sizes. Let’s say you have thumbnail size image for your thumbnail, medium size image for your post’s image, and large size image for your featured image. But, you realize that you need more default image sizes for your pop up banner and widgets. Can you add custom WordPress image sizes? Yes, you can.
Step 1. Add Custom WordPress Image Size: Edit the function.php File
Actually, some themes give you additional size options. But, if you can’t find them, let’s add our own custom image sizes.
- Go to your admin dashboard
- Hover your pointer to Appearance -> Editor
- Edit the functions.php file
- Copy the script below and paste it in the file
add_theme_support( 'pop-up-banner' );
- Hit the Update File button.
The script above will activate the add_image_size() function. If this function is already active, you can add new WordPress images such as the following:
add_image_size( 'pop-up banner size', 1000, 590 ); add_image_size( 'widget size', 220, 180 );
In these examples, you’ll to give the additional size name “Pop-up banner size” and “Widget size.” The two numbers following the size name stand for the width and height.
Step 2. Display the Custom Sizes in your Theme
You have successfully added the new custom image sizes. But, it has not been displayed in your WordPress theme. Now, you have to enable the new sizes in your theme.
First, make a backup of your site before you make any changes. Access your theme file inside the post loop and edit it. Then, paste this code;
<?php the_post_thumbnail( 'your-specified-image-size' ); ?>
You should change ‘your-specified-image-size` with the name that you set in the previous step. For example, you can change it into ‘pop-up-banner size’. After following these steps, you can find pop-up-banner size options when you upload images to your media library.
You have set a new custom image size in WordPress. But, this change won’t affect your previous images. So, you need to regenerate your previous custom image sizes.
Luckily, you don’t need to do it one by one manually. There is a plugin named Regenerate Thumbnails that will help you to update your previous image size. Follow the steps below to do this.
- Go to your admin dashboard
- Click Plugins -> Add New
- Type Regenerate Thumbnails in the search bar.
- Install and Activate the plugin
- Now, go to Tools-> Regenerate Thumbnails
- Click the Regenerate Thumbnails For X Attachments Button
- Now, all your earlier uploaded images will be regenerated to new image settings.
WordPress image sizes look like a trivial thing, but in fact, can give you a headache. Sometimes you will find that the image file you upload doesn’t fulfill the desired size that you want.
To solve this, you can try two methods. You can change the default WordPress image sizes or add custom image sizes. Before you set up the new size, remember that uploading big images with a high resolution is not a good idea. Large size images will take up a lot of space and slow down your site’s loading time.
We hope this article helps you to choose the right images, in the right place, with the right sizes. See you!