WordPress Plugin: Feed Thumbnails

Latest version: 1.2– Released 04/07/2010
  • Bugfix for the Get The Image plugin integration.


This plugin simply adds your post thumbnails to your feed as RSS enclosures. Nothing else to it. If you don’t use thumbnails or you don’t know what enclosures are or why you might want them, then this probably isn’t for you.

The plugin supports the Post Thumbnail feature built into WordPress and the Get The Image plugin by Justin Tadlock.


  1. Unzip the ZIP file and drop the folder straight into your wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. View your feed (you might need to do a hard refresh – ctrl+reload) and any posts that have a thumbnail defined will have an enclosure containing a link to the thumbnail.


This plugin requires WordPress version 2.9 or later.

Version 1.2 ZIP file from downloads.wordpress.org

Any comments, questions, queries, suggestions, complaints, etc, please leave a comment!

42 replies on “WordPress Plugin: Feed Thumbnails”

  1. Would you go ahead and tell me what an enclosure is and why I might want this plugin?

  2. An enclosure is a way of including media such as photos, videos and audio in entries in an RSS feed. It simply references the URL of the associated media item.

    RSS enclosures may be displayed by RSS readers and any other clients that consume your feed. The main reason I created this plugin was to allow a feed of a blog to be fetched and displayed on an external site and to include the specified post thumbnail along with it.

  3. Hi John, your plugin was exactly what I was looking for… But have a Q: Is it possible to, instead using a pic of the post that has been assigned as thumbnail, to modify your code or have the option to use as thumbnails in RSS Feed the FIRST image of every post? This because I have more than 400 posts that show thumbs in my theme with “Get The Image” plugin collecting the first image founded… So, naturally your plugin doesn’t work in my case… It’s also hard to edit all of them assigning an image as thumb… Thanks!

  4. Hi Max, I had planned on supporting the Get The Image plugin as I use it myself on some sites, but I haven’t got around to it. Check back next week and I may have it done.

  5. Thanks John! Will be a keypoint for me… I also think that in this way your plugin will maybe be the only one to do this! I’ll stay tuned…

  6. THX JOHN! And so fast to find the sol! I have also informed the theme’s developer! Ciao!

  7. John,

    Is there a way to make the image viewable without clicking on the link?

    Sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but I’m rather new at this.


  8. Thanks for the quick reply! Sorry if this is a dumb question, but where to I put this code?

  9. Hey John,

    Finally got a chance to do this, thanks for the info. However, when I put the file in the plugins directory it did not show up to activate. I put the code into a folder called feed images and saved the php file the same.

    Thanks again for your help.


  10. Hey John, thanks for the plugins. I was hoping for the functionality of the Feed Images plugin you mentioned in the comments, although it seems to break feedburner.

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/ipadapps/public_html/wp-content/plugins/feed-images/feed-images.php:46) in /home/ipadapps/public_html/wp-content/plugins/feedburner_feedsmith_plugin_2.3/FeedBurner_FeedSmith_Plugin.php on line 113

    I know it’s unreleased, thought I would let you know anyway though. thanks again.

  11. Hi Brad, it sounds like your problem is that you have either a blank line or a space after the closing “?>” tag at the end of the feed-images.php file. Have a look, and if so remove it and it’ll stop that error showing up. John.

  12. Silly question…So is this using the “thumbnail” custom field? I thought it was but upon installing and activating I am not seeing any thumbnails :-/
    Must be doing something wrong.

  13. Talina: If you have the Get The Image plugin installed, it uses the thumbnail chosen by that plugin – and I believe this does include the ‘thumbnail’ custom field – and if not it uses the thumbnail you chose with the built-in Post Thumbnail functionality in WordPress (if your theme supports it).

  14. This plugin seems to crash Internet Explorer 8 on my side. Tried on three different terminals. When attempting to refresh feed to see thumbails, IE crashes. Works fine in other browers with RSS support.

    Any idea how to correct this?

  15. John,

    Sure thing. Take a look @ http://nufantech.com/feed/

    Your plugin is installed. Try a forced refresh and watch IE crash :(

    No problem in Firefox, except it doesn’t display the image just provides a link for it. I believe this is inherit to Firefox though.

  16. Story of my life. I’ll take your word for it. Maybe I have something installed that’s screwing it up. Thanks for your help.

  17. John,

    When you test are you actually seeing the thumbnail, or just the filename and a link? I’ve got it working in IE, but like Firefox, it just displays the filename and a link.

    I could modify the plugin to create a new but I’m fairly sure this will cause some compatibility issues with the feed.

    Your thoughts?

  18. John,
    I have created a custom rss feed for a third party website to display our blog content. They requested for an image to be attached to each post within an enclosure, so your plugin was perfect for including the post thumbnail in each post.

    However, when I checked the code in Firefox, it is not including the file type in the enclosure, eg. type=”image/jpg” at the end of the enclosure tag.

    Is it your plugin that is failing to add the file type, or the ‘rss_enclosure’ function in WordPress? And can you suggest how to add this?
    My custom feed is here: http://scubapix.com/blog/?feed=banzai

    Thanks, H

  19. Howard:

    Yeah my plugin doesn’t add the file type attribute to the enclosure.

    The plugin doesn’t use WordPress’ rss_enclosure function as my plugin was built to work with two separate thumbnail plugins in addition to the built-in thumbnail system in WordPress meaning that the file type of the thumbnail isn’t always available.

    I’m busy at the moment but if I find the time in the next week or so I’ll look at adding in the file type (and file size as the ‘length’ attribute) to the enclosure tag.

  20. Ah – Thanks John. I’ll look forward to you adding the file type and length attributes in the near future. This will also help the validation errors, which are mentioned in a previous comment.

    Is there a quick workaround in the meantime? ie how can I just hard-code the file type as exactly, type=”image/jpg” for now, as I am only using jpgs at the moment?

    I ask as I need to fix this up before tomorrow. The site our feed is providing content for is launching tomorrow and the file type attribute is something they are insistent on. Without it, our content will not be included, and my boss will not be happy…

    I have had a go, but my knowledge of php is not sufficient. I would really appreciate a workaround… Thanks.

  21. Howard: Take a look in the plugin. Near the bottom you’ll see where the enclosure tag is echoed out. Just add the type attribute before the url attribute and you’ll be sorted.

  22. Thanks John – work around all sorted. It’s easy when you know how…!

  23. I made some cool changes, but these comments blow and won’t let me post them, sigh.

  24. Precondition Failed

    The precondition on the request for the URL /wordpress-plugin-feed-thumbnails/ evaluated to false.

    I get that even if I html encode the code. Email me.

  25. Hello John,
    because of the changes in new digg i need a way to add images thumbnails in my rss for auto submissions.

    this is exactly what i need but unfortunately it didn’t worked for me :( . i mean if we see the code in rss feeds it does tshi : img src=”moz-icon://.txt?size=16″ class=”type-icon”/>

    plz take a look and help me out :) http://designzzz.com/feed/

  26. Ayaz: The ‘moz-icon://…’ image is just the image that Firefox uses when showing you a feed. View the source of your feed (ctrl+U) and you’ll see the thumbnail images in enclosures.

  27. Hi John,

    I am using a special theme which dosn’t support post thumbnail fonction of WP, but i am using custom fields for thumbnails. Is there a way to use your plugin with a specific custom field?

  28. Caramel: If your theme stores the thumbnail URL in a custom field then you can make a change to the plugin to support this. Change the following line:

    $thumb = false;

    to this:

    $thumb = array( get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'CUSTOM_FIELD_NAME', true ) );

    Change CUSTOM_FIELD_NAME to the name of the custom field used in your theme. If your plugin stores something else in the custom field (eg. the ID of the thumbnail rather than the URL) then you’ll need to contact the theme author for help.


  29. Hey John, thanks for the plugins. I have installed your plugin but it doesn’t work. I suspect the problem is due my excerpt setting for the homepage, i use summary excerpt and not the full post. If that is the problem, is there any chance to solve it? I saw many forums with people with the same problem, they need to use excerpt and don’t see their thumbnails in the feed. If you make your plugin working for that you’ll see many of those users to install it.

  30. ok john, honestly i have to tell you that the media enclosure was already shown by a feedburner configuration. I tought your plugin would show a visible thumbnail and not just an attached enclosure. By the way i appreciate your reply. thank you

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