You’ve taken the time to create a great blog post and found just the right image. Now you want to share it on Facebook. Typically, when a post is shared from a WordPress blog, it looks something like this.
But sometimes Facebook doesn’t want to play nice with your blog. You may get the wrong thumbnail image — or none at all.
To get your blog to play with Facebook, we need to know what Facebook wants with your images and what WordPress does when you add an image to your media library.
What WordPress Does With Your Image
By default WordPress creates a range of four image sizes for you to choose from:
- Thumbnail: A small thumbnail-sized version of your image [200×200]. A thumbnail image is usually square, so some cropping of your original image may occur.
- Medium: A medium-sized version of your image [300×300]. This is a good size to use with Left/Right alignments because it leaves some space for readable text on either side.
- Large: A large-sized version of your image [500×500].
- Full Size: The full-sized version of your image as you uploaded it. Note: WordPress will determine the width of the content column of your theme, and display the largest possible image for that space. If your original image is larger than this column width, the full size of the image may not be displayed.
You can control the size of these images in the Settings -> Media page of your WordPress dashboard. When WordPress creates the 3 additional images in your media library, however, they may not exactly match these sizes. If your original image is smaller than one of the options or it is rectangular instead of square, they will be different.
How Facebook Wants Your Image
The Thumbnail size setting determines whether Facebook likes your image or not. When you share a post to Facebook, it looks at your featured image and expects to see at least a 200×200 pixel image. If it is smaller than that, it will most likely reject the image and search elsewhere in the post or on your blog to try to find another suitable image. That’s why you may not get the correct image to select from when you share to Facebook.
Sharing On Facebook
Always set the Featured Image for your post to be the one you want displayed when the post is shared. Make your images the correct size and Facebook will play nice! Of course, you need a good social sharing plugin like the one I use, Shareaholic, that will provide nice sharing buttons and take care of all the tagging Facebook likes. But that is a subject for another time! 🙂
PS – If you have a post with an image you are having problems with, you will need to fix the thumbnail settings, delete the image, re-upload it to your media library and add it to your post again. WordPress creates the images when you upload an image to the library, so they need to be re-done if you change your settings.