Displaying Images in RSS Feed

We relaunched Traveling Bytes about six months ago. It runs on WordPress platform and behaves reasonably well. There were couple glitches, but, hey, it’s sort of unavoidable with any software, so I am not complaining.

Except one annoyance: no images in the RSS feed. Obviously, I would prefer them to be there, so I put it on my to-do list to investigate. Certainly, it was not a matter of life and death, and there was always some other project with higher priority. Lo and behold, Bloglovin came along. I noticed that some entries there, including ours, did not include images.

Bloglovin feed with no images

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This adage prompted further action. According to Bloglovin, the reason for missing images in their feed is due to lack of them in blog’s RSS feed. Ok, it made sense: I already knew that there were no images in our RSS feed.

Here comes the funny part. Honestly, I thought that it would be much more difficult to solve this problem, but it was a snap.

By default, WordPress generates barebones RSS feed. Naturally, it does not include images. Unfortunately, for some reason good folks from WP did not provide the ability to add images. I would love to have this useful functionality via the WP Admin UI: just a check box for me; a magic on the backend, and voilà – images are there! Sadly, it hasn’t happened yet. However, there are a number of WP plugins that can do it. In fact, keyword “add image to rss feed” returns multiple choices to choose from.

I ended up installing RSS Image Feed by Waldemar Stoffel. It adds the first image of a post to the blog’s RSS feed. It works even in Firefox and even if you display only the excerpt. It does not create a feed of images but attaches the first image of the post to the feed.

Problem solved!

Bloglovin feed with images

More plugins that add an image(s) to an RSS feed:

  • Add featured image to RSS feed by Corey Salzano – adds featured image attached to your posts to the RSS feed. That is all. No extra crap. It specifies the large image size.
  • Featured Image In RSS Feed by Dinesh Karki – adds featured image to your rss feed. You can change image size from the setting page of the plugin. By default, the plugin uses thumbnail size.
  • Send Images to RSS By Robin Cornett – makes your RSS emails look more like your website by converting large images/galleries to an email friendly format. Works with any RSS email service.
  • SB RSS feed plus By Ladislav Soukup – adds post thumbnail to RSS feed items. Also: can add a server signature to the end of feed content in form “Source: XYZ” or simple ads (i.e. an image with a link) after a paragraph of each post.
  • Featured Images in RSS w/ Size and Position By Rob Marlbrough – adds featured images from posts to your site’s RSS feed output, with image size and CSS positioning options.

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