Once in a while, while sharing a WordPress post to Facebook, a problem with an incorrect thumbnail arises. This needs to be resolved quickly since we know how important the right thumbnail is to attract readers’ attention. Well, we have good news. There are plenty of things you can try, and we’ll list them below. That way, you can resolve the issue whether the image itself is the culprit, or your CDN (Content Delivery Network), a missing tag, or something else entirely. We’ll also mention Facebook’s way of dealing with it. Without delay, here’s how to fix Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress.
Why did Facebook pick up the wrong thumbnail?
First of all, you should know that Facebook uses OG (Open Graph) tags to determine which picture will accompany the post when shared. The tag is usually automatically applied, whether by default or by a plugin you installed on WordPress. The problem arises when either the og:image tag isn’t applied or multiple images get tagged. Furthermore, if the desired thumbnail is smaller than others that were also tagged, it won’t be preferred. With that said, here are 5 methods to fix the incorrect Facebook thumbnail issue:
1. Reupload the image
Fixing the incorrect Facebook thumbnail problem in WordPress might be as easy as uploading the image again under a different name. If you’re facing trouble, here’s how to fix the image upload issue in WordPress. Besides resizing and compressing, you can also try using a different image format.
2. Quick Solution. Change the thumbnail image on Facebook directly
If uploading an image to WordPress didn’t work, you can upload it to the Facebook post you shared. Simply mouseover and click the X icon in the top right corner, then the + button to upload a different thumbnail. However, this carries problems such as:
- Facebook might not update the change or might take a while to do so.
- Facebook might show the change only to some people.
- The new image won’t be shown to anyone that has seen a shared post (by someone else) of your original post.
This isn’t the best or permanent solution, but you can use it as a quick fix while you complete the methods below.
3. Use Facebook Debug Tool
Before you do this, make sure to clear the cache in WordPress. With that done, here’s Facebook’s way to resolve the incorrect Facebook thumbnail issue in WordPress:
- Visit Facebook for Developers Debug page.
- Login with your Facebook account if you aren’t already.
- Click on Sharing Debugger in the top left corner if isn’t already selected.
- Paste your WordPress post link into the text field and click Debug.
- You’ll get information about missing properties at the top.
- Based on Facebook’s recommendations, resize or alter the image in some other way or add/remove the functions or tags.
- Every time you update a change to the thumbnail, click on Scrape Again.
- Tip. You can check the current thumbnail under Link Preview instead of sharing it on Facebook directly.
4. Use Yoast SEO to configure a Facebook thumbnail
An easy solution for an incorrect Facebook thumbnail problem in WordPress can be a WordPress plugin for SEO. It will apply the og:image tag automatically and make your chosen image the priority if other images are also tagged. Here’s how to override the default thumbnail image setting using Yoast SEO:
- Install and activate Yoast SEO if you don’t have it already.
- Open the problematic WordPress post.
- Find the Yoast SEO meta box and click on the Social tab (next to SEO and Readability).
- Find the Facebook Image section.
- You can see the current image link, and choose another one from the Media gallery by clicking on it.
- Alternatively, click on Clear Image, then Upload Image.
- Click the Update button to apply changes to the post.
- If what you did isn’t visible, clear the WordPress cache again or use the Scrape Again button in method 3.
5. Use All in One SEO to change Facebook thumbnail settings
This is an alternative way to solve Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress. Use it if you are using this plugin already, or when Yoast SEO didn’t produce the desired results. Here’s how to select a Facebook thumbnail using the All in One SEO plugin for WordPress:
- Install and enable All in One SEO.
- Expand the main WordPress menu on the left.
- Click on All in One SEO, then Feature Manager.
- Click on the Activate button in the Social Meta box.
- Go to the WordPress post you want to pick a thumbnail for.
- Fin the meta box for the plugin, then select the Social Settings tab.
- Pick one of the images offered or click Upload Image under Custom Image.
- Update the WordPress post.
- If necessary, clear the WordPress cache and use the Facebook Debug Tool again.