How to add the Featured Image to WordPress RSS Feed

Problem:

By default, WordPress does not include the featured image in the RSS feed of your posts.

Solution:

Add this snippet of code to your functions.php or a mu-plugin. The below code uses the ‘large’ format image of the file saved as the featured image for the post.

function featuredIMGtoRSS($content) {
global $post;
if ( has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID ) ){
$content = '<div>' . get_the_post_thumbnail( $post->ID, 'large', array( 'style' => 'margin-bottom: 15px;' ) ) . '</div>' . $content;
}
return $content;
}
 
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'featuredIMGtoRSS');
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'featuredIMGtoRSS');

twitterfeed.com vs. dlvr.it

I am currently in the process of evaluating two services that utilize an RSS feed to auto post my blog entries to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I am evaluating 3rd party services because I wasn’t looking for a WordPress plugin. Having too many plugins just increase the overhead in your WordPress site and can lead to sluggish performance.

twitterfeedMy search first took me towards twitterfeed.com. Twitterfeed is a great tool to use and works very well.  It incorporates some a solid feature set:

  • RSS check frequency
  • bit.ly integration
  • tracking
  • dashboard
  • include prefix and suffix text with post

For the past few weeks I have used Twitterfeed publish to Twitter and Facebook, but not LinkedIn. Since I am active on all 3 social media sites, the lack of LinkedIn was a shortcoming in this service.

dlvr.itThe next step in my journey led me to dlvr.it. Dlvr.it, currently in Beta, is a service very similar to Twitterfeed. It’s feature set includes:

  • ability to configure “Routes”
  • scheduling
  • RSS check frequency
  • bit.ly integration
  • tracking
  • dashboard
  • include prefix and suffix text with post
  • hashtag support
  • diverse set of social networks to publish on

The big advantage to me is posting to LinkedIn. I am active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Relying on the WordPress widget on LinkedIn just isn’t reliable to distribute content. Many people utilize apps and feeds to monitor social media sites and that WordPress widget only showed on my profile page.

I will be kicking the tires on dlvr.it over the coming weeks and will follow up with a blog post on which service I prefer and why.

How Do You Stay Current With News?

I was recently asked the question, “How do you stay informed of the latest trends and techniques in the industry?” While the answer could be different for everyone, I have found myself using non-traditional media outlets.

My personal Internet usage and tools has directed me towards two primary, reliable sources on data.

Twitter

Twitter has a bad wrap for having too much noise. I am not here to say that there isn’t noise on Twitter, but isn’t the noise to filter every mass communication medium. I have found that connecting with the right people and resources on Twitter brings me the kind of information I want/need in a real-time environment. To me Twitter has even overtaken traditional news outlets (sorry newspapers and TV stations).

But I don’t use Twitter straight up, I rely on 3rd party Apps to help me traverse and share information. For my needs the best Apps out there are TweetDeck, Seesmic, and Hootsuite (in that order). I fancy the TweetDeck family of apps because of the interface and how I have created and make use of sorted columns based upon topic. TweetDeck enables me to browse the Twittersphere for the information I am looking for when I want to look. Not to mention TweetDeck has an iPhone App, desktop App, and a Chrome App.

RSS

Really Simple Syndication. The growth of Blogs has nurtured the adoption and acceptance of RSS. I use RSS to subscribe to content of leading industry blogs. And when they post new articles to their blog, I receive it in my RSS reader. I don’t have to periodically check their sites for new content. I would never be able access those sites and get any work done.

Like twitter RSS feeds can be daunting to monitor. Enter the Apps. I subscribe to RSS feeds with Google Reader and then have two 3rd party tools to view the feeds. While in a web browser I use the feedly extension. Available in both Firefox and Chrome, feedly is a great tool to read review the RSS feeds. feedly uses and syncs with your Google Reader account. When I am ‘mobile’ I use an iPhone App called MobileRSS. IMO the best RSS reader for the iOS. Like feedly, MobileRSS uses and syncs with your Google Reader account. Because the tools sync with Google Reader I stay connected with my blog reading and don’t have to worry about what I have and haven’t read. With over 100 subscriptions, double reading entries will any model of efficiency.

Being a web developer may tilt my view of the Internet up, but I have successfully relocated my source of information. This relocation has me operating more efficiently.