There are great themes being released all the time, which do some pretty wonderful things, especially with images. We can show galleries or super large images, do sliders, lightbox effects, etc. There’s also a Featured Image option in WordPress which can be fun, although how it’s implemented varies quite a lot from theme to theme.
The Genesis Framework (affiliate link) supports Featured Images out of the box, and makes it super easy to display them in widgets and blog or category archive pages. Initially, most themes just opted to use the wee tiny thumbnail generated by WordPress. Some themes started adding specific image sizes, primarily for use in specific widget areas, and now you can even use themes which encourage you to use large images.
However, my experience is that sometimes you want a nice big image, and sometimes you don’t, even if you still want to hold on to the ability to use a featured image. So, what’s a girl to do in this situation?
My answer is: write a plugin. Call it “Display Featured Image for Genesis” (because that’s my framework. And I’m super creative with names.).
This plugin takes a different approach to how we use and display featured images for posts and pages. Instead of simply reusing an image which already exists in the post/page content, the plugin anticipates that you will want to use lovely large images for your featured images, but to do so intelligently. Depending on what you upload, the plugin will:
- display the image as a backstretch (screen width) image if the image is wider than your site’s Large Media Setting.
- display the image above your post/page content, centered and up to the width of the content, if your image is larger than your Medium Media Setting (300px by default), and less than or equal to your Large Media Setting (1024px by default).
- display nothing if your featured image width is less than or equal to your Medium Media Setting, because it’s small, and either already in your content or extraneous to it, at least to my mind.
- display nothing if your featured image is already displayed in your content (the original image, not a resized version), because that would just be redundant. That’s what’s happening on this post, as a matter of fact.
The plugin has very little styling of its own, just a wee bit for the backstretch image, so it could theoretically be dropped into any Genesis Framework theme, although I’d definitely experiment first. I did have to make an adjustment to the background of my header area at mobile widths, as it was tucking itself behind the image, but it was a super quick fix. I’ve experimented with it on sites without a header/menu that’s locked to the top of the screen and it’s worked well there, too, although I’ve wanted the backstretch image to be shorter to compensate. The plugin author, I mean, I, wrote in a small setting to accomplish just that, so if your working area is taken up a bit by a header and/or navigation, you can set the backstretch to accommodate that as well.
You can download Display Featured Image for Genesis from the WordPress plugin repository, and I hope you will. And if you do, please please please share a link so I can see what you do with it!