How to Size Images in WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

wordpress image sizes

When it comes to creating a website or blog on WordPress, one of the essential elements that can make or break your site’s appearance is your images. High-quality images can help you make a great first impression on your readers and attract new visitors. However, if these images are not properly sized, they can negatively impact the look and feel of your site. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of sizing images in WordPress and how to optimize your images for web use.

Understanding Image Sizes in WordPress

In today’s digital age, images are an integral part of any website. They help to break up text, add visual interest, and convey important information. In WordPress, images come in different sizes and formats, and it’s important to understand how they work to ensure that your website looks its best.

The default image sizes in WordPress are based on specific dimensions that are set by your theme. These sizes are used to automatically create different versions of your images to fit various areas of your website where images are displayed, such as featured images, thumbnails, and headers. This means that you don’t need to worry about resizing your images manually, as WordPress will take care of it for you.

Default WordPress Image Sizes

The default image sizes in WordPress are set to small, medium, and large. Small images are usually around 150 pixels in width, while medium images are around 300 pixels in width. Large images are usually around 1024 pixels in width. These sizes are suitable for most websites and will work well in most situations.

However, if you have a website that requires images of a specific size, you may need to create custom image sizes.

Custom Image Sizes in WordPress Themes

Depending on your theme, you may have additional image sizes available besides the default sizes. For example, many themes have custom sizes for featured images, sliders, and page headers. These sizes may vary depending on your theme, so it’s essential to check before you start uploading your images.

Creating custom image sizes in WordPress is relatively simple. You can do it using the add_image_size() function in your theme’s functions.php file. This function allows you to specify the dimensions of your custom image size and give it a name that you can use when uploading your images.

It’s important to note that creating custom image sizes can impact your website’s performance. Larger images take longer to load, which can slow down your website. To ensure that your website loads quickly, it’s essential to optimize your images by compressing them and using the correct file format.

In conclusion, understanding image sizes in WordPress is vital to ensure that your website looks its best. By using the default image sizes and creating custom image sizes when necessary, you can create a visually appealing website that loads quickly and provides a great user experience.

Preparing Images for WordPress

Before you upload images to your WordPress site, it is important to prepare them properly. There are a few key steps you can take to ensure that your images look great on your website and don’t slow down your site’s performance.

First and foremost, you should consider the purpose of the images you are uploading. Are they meant to be decorative, informative, or both? This will help you determine the appropriate size and placement of the images on your site.

Choosing the Right Image Format

One of the first things you need to consider when preparing an image for your site is the format you will use. The most common image formats for web use are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each format has its own unique characteristics and is best suited for different types of images.

For example, JPEG is best for photographs because it can produce small file sizes while retaining image quality. This makes it ideal for large image galleries or for sites that feature a lot of high-resolution images. PNG, on the other hand, is ideal for images with transparent backgrounds, such as logos or icons. And GIFs are great for simple animations, such as loading icons or small, looping videos.

Optimizing Images for Web Use

Once you have chosen the appropriate image format, you need to optimize your images for web use. This means reducing the file size of your images without sacrificing quality. One way to do this is by using an image compression tool, which can help decrease the file size while retaining image quality.

Another way to optimize your images is by resizing them to the appropriate dimensions for your site. This can help reduce the file size of the image without sacrificing quality. You can also use image optimization plugins to automatically compress and resize your images as you upload them to your site.

It is also important to consider the alt text for your images. Alt text is a brief description of the image that appears when the image cannot be displayed. This is important for accessibility purposes and can also help improve your site’s SEO.

By taking the time to properly prepare and optimize your images for your WordPress site, you can ensure that they look great and don’t slow down your site’s performance.

Uploading and Inserting Images in WordPress

Now that you have prepared your images for your website, it’s time to upload them to WordPress and insert them into posts and pages. Images are a crucial element of any website as they help to break up text, make a page more visually appealing, and can even improve your search engine rankings.

Using the Media Library

WordPress comes with a built-in media library that allows you to upload and manage your images in one central location. The media library is a great tool for organizing your images, as you can create folders and categories to keep everything neat and tidy. To upload an image to the library, simply go to the Media section in your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Add New” button. From here, you can upload your image and add metadata such as title, alt text, and description. Adding this metadata is important as it helps to improve the accessibility and SEO of your website.

It’s also worth noting that WordPress supports a variety of image formats, including JPEG, PNG, and GIF. When uploading your images, make sure that they are optimized for the web to ensure that your website loads quickly and efficiently. You can use image optimization tools such as TinyPNG or JPEGmini to reduce the file size of your images without sacrificing quality.

Inserting Images into Posts and Pages

Once you have uploaded your images to the media library, you can insert them into your posts and pages. To do this, simply click on the “Add Media” button when editing a post or page. From here, you can choose the image you want to insert and select the appropriate size for your needs. WordPress also allows you to add captions and links to your images, which can be useful for providing additional context or directing users to other pages on your website.

It’s important to keep in mind that images should be used strategically on your website. While they can enhance the user experience and make your website more engaging, too many images can slow down your website and make it difficult to navigate. Make sure that your images are relevant to your content and are placed strategically throughout your website to ensure the best possible user experience.

Resizing Images in WordPress

Sometimes, you may need to resize an image in WordPress to fit a specific area of your website. This could be because the image is too large and takes up too much space on your website, or because the image is too small and doesn’t fit the design of your website. Whatever the reason, resizing images is an important part of managing your website’s content.

Using the WordPress Image Editor

The WordPress image editor is a simple way to resize your images. When you upload an image to WordPress, you can click on the “Edit Image” button to open the image editor. From here, you can change the image dimensions, crop the image, and scale the image to fit your needs. The image editor is a great tool for making quick and easy adjustments to your images without having to use a separate program.

One thing to keep in mind when using the WordPress image editor is that it is not a substitute for a proper image editing program. If you need to make more complex edits to your images, such as adjusting the color balance or removing objects, you will need to use a separate program like Photoshop or GIMP.

Resizing Images with a Plugin

If you need more advanced image resizing options, you can use a plugin. There are several image resizing plugins available in the WordPress plugin repository that can help you resize your images with ease. Some popular options include:

  • Regenerate Thumbnails: This plugin allows you to regenerate your thumbnails after changing the dimensions of your images. This is useful if you have already uploaded images to your website and need to resize them retroactively.
  • Smush: This plugin automatically compresses and resizes your images to improve your website’s loading speed. It also has a bulk optimization feature that allows you to optimize all of your images at once.
  • Imagify: This plugin is similar to WP Smush, but also includes a feature that allows you to convert your images to the WebP format, which can further improve your website’s loading speed.

When choosing an image resizing plugin, it’s important to consider factors like ease of use, compatibility with your website’s theme and plugins, and the specific features you need. Some plugins may be more suited to certain types of websites or image editing workflows than others.

In conclusion, resizing images in WordPress is a simple process that can help you improve the appearance and functionality of your website. Whether you choose to use the WordPress image editor or a plugin, it’s important to choose a method that works best for your specific needs and goals.

Setting Custom Image Sizes in WordPress

If you want more control over how your images are displayed on your website, you can set custom image sizes in WordPress. There are two ways to do this: by adding custom image sizes to your theme’s functions.php file or by using a plugin.

Adding Custom Image Sizes in functions.php

To add custom image sizes to your theme’s functions.php file, you can use the “add_image_size” function. This function allows you to specify the name of your custom image size, the width and height of the image, and whether or not the image should be cropped.

Using Custom Image Sizes in Your Theme

Once you have created your custom image sizes, you can use them in your theme. To do this, you will need to modify your theme’s template files to call your custom image sizes instead of the default sizes.


Sizing images in WordPress may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation and tools, it can be a straightforward process. By understanding image sizes, preparing your images properly, and optimizing your images for web use, you can ensure that your website looks great and performs well.

If you need to resize your images, there are multiple options available, from the WordPress image editor to plugins. And if you want more control over your image sizes, you can set custom image sizes in WordPress. With these steps in mind, you can size your images in WordPress with confidence and take your website to the next level!

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