Title and featured images are, without any doubt, two of the most important components to a successful WordPress post. When you share an article to Facebook or Twitter, a provoking featured image with a good title under it is the key to capturing readers’ attention and attracting them to your website. In the following article, I’d answer one of the most common questions for WordPress users: “What size of featured image is best for displaying on Facebook and Twitter?” along with the method to set separate featured images for different social media.
What is a Post’s Featured Image and Why Should You Optimize It for Displaying on Facebook and Twitter?
Featured image, or post thumbnail, is the visual representation of a post in the form of an image. Usually, the featured image is shown alongside the post’s title on the homepage of your WordPress website, or social media like Facebook or Twitter.
Before a reader reaches your WordPress article, he would have to look at its featured image and title first. In order for him to click on it and go to your article, he would have to feel somewhat interested. Images are much more stimulating to the eyes of readers than a line of text, especially in the Newsfeed section of social media like Facebook and Twitter. It is therefore crucial for a featured image to be able to capture readers’ attention and also give them a quick general idea of the post.
Therefore it goes without saying that you should design your featured images carefully and in the correct size for displaying on social media.
What is the Ideal Size of Post’s Featured Image to Display on Facebook and Twitter?
Many of you share your WordPress posts to Facebook and Twitter to attract readers to your website. Sometimes your readers may like what you wrote so much that they want to share the posts to their timeline themselves. In both cases, you should make sure the featured image of the post looks good and does not get cropped because of inappropriate sizing. An example of an incorrectly sized featured image is below:
As you can see, featured images that are not properly sized for social media sharing can lead to cropped texts and pictures, making it look unprofessional. Featured images with text like the one above can even cause confusion or misunderstanding when they are cropped. To avoid this, you should take note of these proven best featured image sizes for displaying on social media (these apply to both PC and Mobile versions):
- Facebook: 1200 x 630 pixels
- Twitter: 1024 x 512 pixels
As you may have already noticed, optimal featured image sizes are different for these social media. Yet when you share your post to Facebook or Twitter, WordPress only allows you to set one featured image for each of your posts. So what could be the solution to this situation?
Solution 1: Use a Cropable Featured Image that Fits With Both Facebook And Twitter
The first solution is very simple: Use a featured image that will look good when cropped. In order to do this, use a frame with an aspect ratio of 2:1 as a reference to see which part of the featured image may be cropped. Then you can choose pictures with most of the important details within the frame. Take this one as an example, you will see the marked frame is the perfect area that fits with both Facebook and Twitter.
When you use this featured image for your post and share your post to Facebook, the final result would look like this:
As you can see from the reference frame, this featured image works well because no important elements are near the borders. Everything that needs to be focused on is in the framed area and will stay visible even when cropped. If you decide to have text on your image, your text should also fit within this frame.
This method has a glaring flaw – parts of the image will still be omitted. Therefore for a perfect featured image for displaying in social media like Facebook and Twitter, you may try the next solution.
Solution 2: Set Different Featured Images for Sharing on Facebook and Twitter with Yoast Seo Plugin
As stated above, Facebook and Twitter use different sizes for featured images. In order to optimize the featured image for these social media, you would need to set up different featured images for different social media using the ultra-popular Yoast SEO plugin. Many other SEO-assisting plugins can also help you with this – Yoast SEO just happens to be the most widely used and feature-rich option out there. The steps are as follow:
1. Install and Activate Yoast Seo WordPress Plugin
Go to Plugins – Add New and type “Yoast SEO” in the search box. After installing the plugin, Activate it.
2. Add Separate Featured Images for Facebook and Twitter for the Post
Open the Edit Post screen of the WordPress post you want to add the featured images to. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and locate the Yoast SEO window. Click on the tab “Social”. In this tab, you have two expandable sections: one for Facebook and one for Twitter. Click on either of them and write the title, description, and upload featured image for your article to display on that social media using the provided boxes.
The title, description, and featured images you just set are separate from the title, description, and featured image of the post on WordPress. The native WordPress featured image can be set using the window on the sidebar:
Featured images are like book covers for your posts, so give them the necessary attention. Spend some time working on different sizes of the image and use the method described above to make sure your posts display well on both Facebook and Twitter. This would surely make those social media shared posts look more attractive and ultimately bring in more traffic for your WordPress website.