How to hide external featured images in WordPress

Learn how to hide the external featured images on individual WordPress posts.


1. Get an image URL

Before creating our post, let's get an image address from the Internet. In this example, I created my featured image using Vampixel and requested the link generation. So Vampixel stored the image on a cloud service and returned this URL, which we will use to add the image to the WordPress post.

2. Create a new post

Access your WordPress site and you will find the "Posts" option in the side menu. Click on "Posts" and WordPress will display all your posts but also the "Add New" button. Click on "Add New" to start creating your new post.

3. Type the title

Once in the WordPress post editor, I set the post's title to "How to hide external featured images in WordPress". Notice that we have two "Featured image" boxes, but we will only use the second one, because we will be working with external images. If the second box is not available in your editor, you must install the Featured Image from URL (FIFU) plugin.

4. Set the featured image

Paste the image address in the "Image URL or Keywords" field and click on "Preview" button. The image will appear. Thanks to FIFU, our featured image is being loaded directly from an external server, without the need to save the image in our media library.

5. Publish

Our post has a title and a featured image. This is sufficient for what we are trying to show here. Then click on the "Publish" button (twice, if WordPress requests a confirmation) and then on the "View Post" link.

6. Check your post

As can be seen, the post was published. The title and the featured image are being displayed. This is the default WordPress behavior. However, some users prefer to hide the featured image of the post, leaving it visible only on the homepage. We'll see how to do that below.

7. Check your homepage

Before changing the plugin settings to hide the featured image of the posts (when accessed individually), let's take a look at our homepage, where we have several posts and their respective images. We do not want these images to disappear from our homepage. So we will change the FIFU settings now and come back here later to see if our homepage has not been unduly affected.

8. Hide featured media

In the WordPress side menu you will find the FIFU settings. Click on "Featured Image from URL" and go to the "Featured image" tab. Then go to the "Hide Featured Media" feature. There will be three toggles there, one for pages, one for posts and one for custom post types. I will enable the functionality only for posts. If all goes well, the featured images will not be displayed when we access the posts, but will continue to be displayed when we access the homepage.

9. Check your post (again)

Success. We accessed the post again and this time the featured image is not being displayed. Did you like the result? I particularly like to see the featured image in the post, even though I've seen it on the homepage before, but some users consider it redundant.

10. Check your homepage

Finally, we access the homepage again and see that the featured images are still there, as we wanted from the beginning. So FIFU's "Hide Featured Media" functionality worked as it should, acting on individual posts but not on the homepage.