Featured images: too much of a good thing

I like featured images. In moderation. But nothing about WordPress irritates me more than when themes display them … everywhere.

On the homepage is fine ā€” in fact, it’s the only place I prefer to see them, in some kind of design element whether it be a slideshow or a grid of images that serve a functional purpose to show the readers the most important content.

But I don’t like clicking these links and then seeing the featured image again, above the headline of the post. That seems to be a popular place to put it, for most of the recent default themes. While creating my own custom child themes, it’s always one of the first things I change.

And I don’t like seeing it above posts that aren’t currently “featured” on the homepage or on other archive pages (categories, tags, month, etc).

Most of the recent WordPress default themes (twentyfourteen, twentyeleven, etc) display featured images in this way on default, with few if any controls built in allowing theme users to customize it.

As I’m developing my twentyfourteen child theme, I thought I’d share with you how I removed featured images from the eight content- templates.

The nine files you will want to re-create by duplicating them from the parent them into your child theme are:


These files are the content templates, they control the structure of how posts are displayed, depending on their post format.

In the TwentyFourteen theme, each and every one of these post formats include the featured image before the headline of the post. I liked this behavior in the default theme TwentyTen, but that was back when the technique was new to me and it was at the very top of the page.

To prevent the featured image from displaying on these post formats, remove the following code from the second line of code of each of the files, right after the opening article tag.

<?php twentyfourteen_post_thumbnail(); ?>

That’s it! So simple, it makes you wonder why the default themes don’t come with a checkbox allowing one to quickly disable featured images from appearing above headlines in the single post page and archive pages.

How much do you hate featured image overuse? Tell me in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *