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How to Add Images to Your RSS Feeds

Updated: May 5, 2015

If you’re a blogger, you know how important images are to your blog. Now you absolutely can write blog posts without them, but it’s been proven that people like to have something to look at. High quality and relevant images will draw readers attention and give your readers eyes a break in between text blocks.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably have used your fair share of RSS feed generators. The most popular, I believe, was Feedburner. Well, Feedburner is a thing of the past… it was useful and worked for a long time but with the bombardment of images through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media outlets, the short little summary Feedburner provided doesn’t cut it anymore.

Now we have beautiful feed readers like Bloglovin and Feedly. And if you’re building a list, then Mailchimp (or your rss email provider) as well.

How to Add Images to Your RSS Feeds

How to Add Images to Your RSS Feeds

Now, while the content of your RSS feed may include images, the first image or featured image doesn’t usually make it through to the feed readers. This leaves your feed without your beautiful images and just plain, boring text. Even on Bloglovin and in your summary content Mailchimp Emails.


Images are the thing that make me click to see more about the post. I usually just skim the title and image and if they both look appealing, then I’ll click through to read the rest of the post. Very rarely do I click through a post that doesn’t have an image.

So, how do we fix this?

Well, luckily this is a super easy fix and can be done in 2 separate ways.

Use an Images to RSS Plugin

There are a few plugins that accomplish this very easily and the two that I would recommend are:

Either plugin works fine and all you have to do is head to your Plugin Install dashboard and install and activate! Easy Peasy.

But, what if you don’t want to add yet another plugin to your website. No problem!

Add some code to your functions.php file

Currently, this is the way I do things. all you have to do it change where it says IMAGESIZE to the size of the image you want to use, i.e., medium, full, large, thumbnail.

// display featured post thumbnails in WordPress feeds
add_filter( 'the_excerpt_rss', 'rgc_add_featured_image_to_feed', 1000, 1 );
function rgc_add_featured_image_to_feed( $content ) {
global $post;
if ( has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID ) ) {
$content = '' . get_the_post_thumbnail( $post->ID, 'IMAGESIZE', array( 'align' => 'left', 'style' => 'margin-right:20px;' ) ) . '' . $content;
return $content;

Now, remember that any code added into the wrong place or missing in your plugins functions.php file can break your site. So be careful when adding this.

I would highly recommend creating a site specific plugin for all of the code you want to place in your functions.php file. It will act exactly the same and if there is anything wrong when adding and updating code, the “plugin” will be disabled instead of breaking your entire site.

That’s it. Super simple and now you’ll have beautiful images show up in all RSS feeds no matter what feed reader the end user is using.

I hope this post helped you with adding images to your RSS feeds. If it did, please share using any of the share buttons below and be sure to check out my other tips and tricks in the box below or by clicking the resources tab at the top of the page!

This post is part of a Blogging Tools & How-To series. Check out all the series posts below!
  • 1Must Have WordPress Plugins -
  • 2Must Have Blog Tools |
  • 3Must Have (Free) Blog Tools |
  • 4How to Add Images to Your RSS Feeds |
  • 5How to Add a Hidden Pinnable Image for Pinterest -
  • 6Quick Way to Set Up Rich Pins on Pinterest -
  • 7How to Replace Media Files in WordPress -
  • 8Rename Media Files In WordPress --

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

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