With most themes WordPress makes it really easy to add a featured image to an article / a post or a page. But although the image caption is often added correctly to inline images, it is often missing from featured images. So how can you add a Caption to the Featured Image in WordPress easily? And why do you need a caption after all?
Missing captions don’t have to be a problem for most use cases. But if you are using you WordPress installation as a CMS for some type of a magazine style website, you might want to – or even have to add captions to all images shown on your website – for example to give credit to the source of the image, the agency, the photographer – and to mention the license of the image. Some licenses require that you mention the license and the name of the photographer together with a link to the origin of the image. Then you’ll even have to add a bit of HTML to the caption. And as so often with WordPress the good news is that this is very well achievable with only a few lines of code added to your template files.
How to add a Caption to the Featured Image
First of all, remember to make the following adjustment inside your child theme. If you don’t use a child theme yet, now is the time. If you don’t know how to add a child theme to your WordPress installation you may first want to read this previous article: How to create a Child Theme for WordPress in Minutes.
In your template file (content.php or single.php or content-single.php or page.php etc) you would then need to find the section where the featured image is actually called. The respective code should be look similar to the following code:
<div class="entry-thumbnail"> <?php the_post_thumbnail(''); ?> <!-- the featured image --> </div>
Depending on the theme and/or template you might also find something like this:
<?php if ( ! post_password_required() && ! is_attachment() ) : the_post_thumbnail('large'); endif; ?>
Below the above code you would simply have to add the following:
<?php if ( $caption = get_post( get_post_thumbnail_id() )->post_excerpt ) : ?> <p class="caption"><?php echo $caption; ?></p> <?php endif; ?>
What the above code does is first check if you have a post thumbnail a.k.a. featured image at all – then also check if the image has a caption (“post_excerpt”). If both are TRUE a paragraph with the class “caption” is printed to the layout, echoing the actual caption.
You can then add appropriate styling to the caption to make it fit your theme design.