Featured image cropping effects quality

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  • #105556 Reply | Resolve

    Christina Noe

    Hi there.

    I am using the Featured section and the “Genesis – Featured Posts” widget on my home page. For some posts I want to control how the featured image is cropped or create a different featured image all together than what is in the post, so I’ve started creating my own 500 x 250 images to upload as the featured image for those posts.

    I have noticed that for some reason the image quality of these ends up looking poor. If you visit my home page you may see what I mean.

    Here is an example. This is one of my current featured images as it appears on my home page:
    Now if I remove the “&crop=1” from that it displays at the higher quality level that the original image was saved as.

    This effect does not seem to occur when I simply select one of the full-size images from my post and let it be cropped automatically.

    Any thoughts on how I could avoid this?

    The blog I need help with is design-vox.com
    #130095 Reply


    Hi there.

    What is happening is that WordPress.com is doing some resizing and file compression for you. When you try to do it yourself before uploading (i.e. the 500 x 250 pixel images), the compression happens twice: you’re doing it once before you upload the image and then WordPress.com is doing it again for you. WordPress.com does try to strike the best balance between image quality and speed (affected by file size and compression), and quality can appear to vary depending on display settings and even the image itself. I couldn’t even see the differences between the two files you mentioned until I zoomed way in on the images, and most people won’t even be able to tell the difference at all. If you don’t like the way the smaller images you’ve resized before uploading look, simply uploading a larger featured image and letting WordPress.com do the cropping for you like you mentioned seems like the best solution to me.

    #130168 Reply

    Christina Noe

    Hi Philip, thank you for explaining it to me.

    It would be very helpful if I knew how WordPress decides to crop these images. Maybe I’m not paying enough attention but it almost seems like sometimes it creates a crop centered on the image while other times it takes the top-most portion. And if an image is wider than 500 pixels does it shrink down the image size or does it crop to 500?

    It would be very very cool if there was some way integrated into the Featured Image set up for the blogger to control the crop. Maybe I’m a control freak, haha, but I don’t like hitting Publish without a clear idea of what the images on my home page are going to look like. Most of the time it works out just fine of course to let WordPress crop it automatically, but I have had a few instances where the crop was awkward or centered on the negative space in a photo rather than the interesting bits.

    Thanks again for your help!

    #130320 Reply


    Hi Christina,

    I agree with you 100% about being able to control where the image crops, and it’s something that’s being worked on in WordPress the software: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/19393. I do not know when this will be patched in WordPress itself, but it’s something that definitely has some eyes on it. Right now, WordPress crops images horizontally and vertically, and doing anything differently isn’t at present possible. Whether or not your featured images are cropped at exactly 500 pixels (hard cropping) or scaled down to 500 pixels (soft cropping) is entirely up to the theme that’s being used. There is no consistent behavior and it’s best to take a look at a theme’s demo site to get an idea about how featured images are being used.

    For your blog, which is running Minimum, these are the sizes of featured thumbnails that are used:

    /** Add new image sizes */

    add_image_size( 'featured', 500, 250, TRUE );

    add_image_size( 'portfolio', 160, 100, TRUE );

    TRUE means hard crop, so your images won’t be scaled down. They’ll be cropped to those exact dimensions.

    Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

    #130341 Reply

    Christina Noe

    That helps a lot, thank you very much. It’s great to hear that control over the image crop is in the works. Thanks again for helping me out! :)

    #130370 Reply


    Anytime, Christina. I’ll close this thread out but please do feel free to open another one if you have any other questions about anything. Cheers.

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