Featured Images

I need to publish.  Period.  I write and then don’t publish because I am too hung up on being perfect.  So, one of the first steps I am taking is to reverse something I started just a few months ago.  I am no longer going to require a featured image for my posts.  In fact, I will deliberately shy away from them as I don’t ever want it to stop me publishing.  Now, prior to a few months ago the lack of a featured image was not stopping me from hitting that publish button, but it irked me that I didn’t have these awesome images at the top of each post.

A little searching and I found articles in support of, and some more on the fence about, the importance of using featured images.  Tom McFarlin, discusses his thoughts from the perspective of the bloggers writing and publishing experience in terms of usability and how it is somewhat disjointed from the rest of the publishing process.

Bob Dunn expands further on what Tom discusses in hist post by actually showing us that how you go about using Feature Images can be totally dependent on your theme.  It also apparent from Bob’s post that having a featured image can really be a nice boon to the aesthetics and appeal to your site.

And if we dig into the database of record for all things WordPress, the WordPress Codex, we see that the Featured Images (previously called Post Thumbnails) functionality has been around since version 2.9.  Not a spring chicken, but also, not the exactly the oldest of functions either.  The documentation also discusses the importance of using the featured image functionality only when it makes sense for the design of your chosen theme.

Obviously, I did some research before coming to this decision, but not too much as is part of my new strategy of being better, by being worse in that it requires a bit of forced ignorance (If that even is such a thing).  Maybe using Featured Images would drive more traffic to my site, or increase the number of social shares it receives, but I just don’t care at this point.  I can’t care, I have to be a publisher before I can care how things look when they are published.

I know, I can’t believe I just wrote that either, but think of it this way.  If I want to go for a run along some amazing tropical beach, but my fancy shoes that on any other surface would make me go faster, are slowing me down in the sand; then I am going to take off those fancy running shoes and run barefoot.

Join me in forgetting about the prim, proper, and perfect and just start running.

 

Crafted with love using:Made with love, using Desk!

 

Crafted with love using:Crafted with love, using Desk!

8 Replies to “Featured Images”

  1. This is something that I have found to be a real challenge in my publishing efforts. My preference was that I would use images that I created myself, but that is not real feasible. Then where do you go, how many images can you use that are share alike? I was never really sure, I’m not sure what I could use or could not use unless it explicitly was licensed that way. This is something that slowed me down and even halted my publishing efforts as well.

    Good post and good idea.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I am seeing that a lot of the stumbling blocks I have had, others have as well. I won’t argue that often times blogs that use featured images have a great aesthetic to them, but like I said, I don’t think my lack of images should keep me from publishing.

      And I went through the exact same process as you. I wanted to use my own, but right now I don’t have the bandwidth for it. And there are many, many resources that offer free use with attribution, but they are hard to sift through and I found I would spend 10, 20, or even 30 minutes trying to find an image that fit my post, sometimes to no avail.

      I know others may say, jeez, just visit site xyz.com and it is easy, but it was stumbling block for me. So, until I have time to figure it out and make it a process that I can do in a minute or two, I am just dropping it.

      I remember you pointing out some blogs to me a while back where the publisher had high traffic and a horrid looking site. More proof that it is all about content, and the rest is just icing on the cake.

    1. Wow, that is great, thanks! I will certainly review them and probably use them in the future. And I wouldn’t say I will never use them, just never want to let it keep me from publishing. This is why community is so wonderful. I will add these to my arsenal.

      I think part of my problem is that I am a shutterbug myself and I get real picky with images…

      Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah, I was showing my wife the twentyfifteen theme and showing her the little hacking I did to add a profile image to my blog (It was a hack, prob should do it properly) and compared it to yours so she could see the theme without it. I noticed you are using featured images and they do look great.

      It probably isn’t that big of a deal for most people, but it was a hangup for me that I am now free of.

  2. Not sure why I didn’t respond here, you have comments on. Sunday afternoon brain spaz . . .

    I noted this at Desk . . .

    *I write and then don’t publish because I am too hung up on being perfect.*

    Boy, howdy. That is me. When I was a journalist and investigative writer, deadlines often took care of perfectionism. You had to research, interview et al, get thoughts out of your head and onto “paper” as quickly as possible, write, and “send.” Try dictating an 18 inch story (inches in those days more so than words) off the top of your head on the phone and have it sound intelligent. No time for perfection.

    In the digital format — and even when I had editors on a professional blog — there’s too much time to think about it and tinker and get distracted by so many things like, as you say, a featured image. Part of the reason I dropped my old blog format and went back to TwentySomething (TwentyFifteen now) was simplifying images — finding the right ones, editing in Photoshop or Pixelmator, prepping the image, uploading, sizing and all that. Now I find one image, upload, and don’t worry about it.

    I feel free.

    1. Firstly, kudos on using the term, “boy, howdy.” I have been using it for a long time and haven’t heard many others use it. Love it.

      “… deadlines often took care of perfectionism”

      Wow, did you read my post scheduled for Tuesday? Because I very much talk about something along these lines. Great to know that even in the professional world of writing, deadlines and perfectionism are at odds as well.

      I just love the fact that I set boundaries (again, my post on Tuesday) and those boundaries, like deadlines, force me publish.

      Thanks for the comment, really great insights.

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