I couldn’t have believed if someone had told me that a free WordPress plugin would be so wonderful in resolving a difficult task.

There is real power in a free WordPress plugin which otherwise would have been hell- Click Here to Make a Lazy Tweet

The background story

The issue started when we took up a redesign project from a client (Naijaside). The site majored on entertainment, sales of Nigerian CDs & videos and blog about trendy news centered on celebrities.

We needed to preserve all the content and images on the site even though we were not paid to do that. In view of this, the images would have to be transferred to the new design. That’s not a big deal either. The main challenge came when we discovered that there was no images set as featured images.Naijaside

The images our client uploaded on the site prior to redesign were used within WP post editor and that would not assuage for thumbnail image. This made the new theme look doom and unnecessarily ugly.

We then had to start looking for a code that would transport the images on post to featured image. We took this decision on the ground that there was no way we could think of doing it manually because the site had more than 6,000 images on media gallery that were on published posts.

This research took us to the need to consider the use of plugin to drive the result we wanted.

WordPress plugin search

We stumbled on a plugin called “Quick Featured Images” when we did a search on both Google and WordPress plugin repository on the term: ‘bulk edit featured images’.

This plugin has so many advantages like;
– It can bulk set, replace and remove featured images on posts and pages.
– It can also pre-set featured images automatically on future posts.

However, what we needed was a plugin that could take up the first images on posts and set them as featured images. Quick featured image plugin actually has it on the pro version, but we don’t want to incur any extra cost on the project, hence the search for solution continues.

The saving grace plugin

After another round of little search, we found “Auto Post Thumbnail” which did just what we wanted. It uses the images on posts as featured images, but couldn’t delete it on post after setting it as post thumbnail. This was just still okay for the situation we found ourselves.

This we do because we needed to go extra mile not because we were stocked or compelled to do so, but we wanted to satisfy our client which would invariably showcase our work and also bring in referrals. These then increase our knowledge base in-between.

Something tells me you’d like to know how this plugin works. If so, let me walk you through the process.

How to bulk edit featured images on WordPress blog using Auto Post Thumbnail plugin

The first thing to do is to install and activate “Auto Post Thumbnail” plugin on your site. On your WP admin panel, mouse-over ‘Setting’ and click on ‘Auto Post Thumbnail’. On the new page that emerges, click on ‘Generate Thumbnail’. That’s all you need to do to make it set the first images on your post as thumbnail images.Auto Post Thumbnail settings

There is every tendency that the plugin might stop operation especially when the site has lots of images to process. This happened when we used it on Naijaside website. All you need to do is to reload or refresh the page and it will continue from where it stopped. That is wonderful!

Auto Post Thumbnail

Go back and check your posts and you’ll see the wonders the plugin has done to your posts especially the category and tag sections of your website. The only down side is that it still retains the images within the post which makes it look duplicated on single post page. You may get the pro version of ‘Quick Featured Images’ if you want to get the first images on post deleted.

Conclusion: You can see how Auto Post Thumbnail saved us hours of labour that could have cost us more than $800 dollars. (What will you pay someone to manually set over 6,000 images that were on post to featured images?). Your guess is as good as mine.

There is real power in a free WordPress plugin which otherwise would have been hell. What do you think?

Francis 'Toke
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