How to Add Thumbnail Images to Your WordPress RSS Feed

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Adding thumbnail images to your WordPress RSS feed can significantly enhance its visual appeal and effectiveness. Thumbnails provide a quick visual context and make your feed more engaging for subscribers. In this post, I’ll guide you through the process of adding thumbnail images to your WordPress RSS feed by inserting a simple code into your theme’s functions.php file.

Why Add Thumbnails to Your RSS Feed?

Before we dive into the how-to, let’s briefly discuss why this is beneficial:

  1. Visual Engagement: Thumbnails catch the eye and can increase click-through rates.
  2. Brand Consistency: They help maintain your brand’s visual identity across platforms.
  3. Content Preview: Thumbnails give readers a sneak peek into the content, enhancing user experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Thumbnail Images


  • Access to your WordPress website’s admin area.
  • Basic understanding of navigating through theme files.

Step 1: Access the Theme Editor

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Go to Appearance > Theme Editor.

Step 2: Modify the functions.php File

  1. In the Theme Editor, locate the functions.php file in your active theme’s folder.
  2. Be cautious while editing this file, as incorrect edits can disrupt your site’s functionality.

Step 3: Insert the Code

  1. Scroll to the end of the functions.php file.
  2. Copy and paste the code below:
  3. This code snippet does two things:
    • It adds a namespace for the media:content element.
    • It includes a function that fetches and embeds the post’s thumbnail image into each RSS feed item.

Step 4: Save Changes

  1. Click the Update File button to save your changes.

Testing Your RSS Feed

After implementing the code, it’s crucial to test your RSS feed:

  1. Access your RSS feed URL, typically
  2. Check to see if the thumbnail images are appearing in your feed.


By following these steps, you’ve successfully added thumbnail images to your WordPress RSS feed, making it more visually appealing and informative. This small change can significantly impact how users interact with your content through RSS readers.

If you encounter any issues or need further customization, consider reaching out to a professional WordPress developer for assistance.

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