How to add a default external featured image to WordPress posts

Learn how to add a default external featured image to WordPress posts.

2020-12-10

1. Get an image URL

The first thing we will do is to get an image from the Internet, or more specifically, its address. In my case, I created the following image on Vampixel, which stored the image and returned its address. I will copy the URL because I will use this image as my default featured image.


2. Create a new post

Now that we have the image address, let's create a new post on WordPress. To do this, access the "Posts" option on the left side menu. All of your posts will be listed and the "Add New" button will be displayed. Click on "Add New" to access the post editor.


3. Type the title and publish

We will now create a new post. I added the title "1st post without featured image" and, as the title itself informs, at first this post will not have a featured image. Later, however, we will define a default featured image that will be applied to all posts without a featured image.


4. Create a second post and publish

We will also create a second post without a featured image just to show that as soon as a default featured image is defined, all posts without a featured image will have exactly the same default image. Then I defined the title of the second post as "2nd post without featured image" and clicked on the "Publish" button. Our second post is published.


5. Check your posts

We then accessed our list of posts. We can see in the column "FIFU", added by Featured Image from URL (FIFU) plugin, that we have some posts with featured image, but that our last two posts do not have a featured image. So now click on "Featured Image from URL" in the side menu. We will set a default featured image and then come back here to see if something has changed.


6. Add a default featured image

Access the "Featured Image from URL" plugin settings now. Go to the "Featured image" tab and "Default Featured Image" feature. Enable the toggle and submit your image URL. And that's it! If everything went well, all posts that do not have a featured image will now display the default image as featured image.


7. Check your posts (again)

We have already defined our default featured image. Then we go back to the list of posts and we can see in the column "FIFU" that our last two posts, which did not have a featured image, now display our default image as featured image.


8. Still checking...

We now access one of our posts, just to make sure that the functionality really worked. Default featured image successfully displayed! We achieved our goal. But we will see below how this image can be disabled or changed.


A. Disable default featured image

You may one day decide that a default featured image is no longer needed on your website. No problems. Just go back to the FIFU settings and disable the toggle that we had previously enabled.


A.1. No featured images again

As we can see, all posts that were displaying the default featured image stopped displaying it when we disabled the plugin functionality. Next we'll activate the feature again and change the image URL to see what happens.


B. Change the default featured image

If you decide to change the default featured image, at any time you can return to the FIFU settings and change the image URL, as I am doing here. Again, all posts that do not have a defined featured image should display the new default image that is being submitted now.


B.1. Featured image updated

Finally, we return to our list of posts where we can see that the posts that did not have a featured image were updated with the new default featured image. The image I chose doesn't make a lot of sense here, but it's just to exemplify the change. On a real website I would probably place the website logo as my default featured image.