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Getting the Correct Thumbnail Image in Facebook Post

wrong Facebook imageEver had the wrong thumbnail image or no image appear when you post one of your articles to Facebook? Frustrating, isn’t it? It’s especially bad if you need to automate your publishing. You carefully research and craft a fantastic blog post and start distributing it on social media and other outlets, and then the Facebook image issue happens.  What the heck?

Why Isn’t Facebook Picking up the Correct Image?

Facebook scans the site’s header for Open Graph tags with post image information. The Open Graph code looks like this:

<metaproperty=”og:image’ content=http://abccompany.com/en/wp-content/uploads/yourimage.pgn”/>

One of the reasons may be the thumbnail image size. Facebook itself states this information about the Open Graph:

The URL of an image which is used in stories published about this object. We suggest that you give us an image of at least 600 x 315 pixels. However, bigger is better, so if you have a 1200 x 630 or larger image that you can use, please give it to us. Also, we recommend that you keep images as close to a 1.9:1 aspect ratio as possible to avoid cropping. (Note: image size must be no more than 5MB in size.)

The thumbnail image may not be recognized if it is smaller than the other images you have in the og:image tag.

Size is not the only reason for thumbnail images not being recognized:

  • Several caching plugins do not support use of thumbnails when uploading content to Facebook
  • CDN issues could obstruct correct thumbnail sharing
  • Lack of a meta tag associated with the open graph image

Three Possible Solutions to Incorrect Facebook Thumbnail Images


Manually Upload the Image

You can use the upload image feature to publish the image you want. This example is from a large image. The same feature is available for small images.

manual upload of Facebook post image

With this option you can get the correct image at the optimal size, but there are two tradeoffs. The image shows up in your page’s photo list. Also, when other people share the link the incorrect image may still show up. They would have to manually upload the image, which they will not do.

SEO by Yoast for WordPress Sites 

If you have a WordPress site and use Yoast’s plugin, you can specify the Facebook image. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to the Yoast metabox. Under the Social tab, you can upload a thumbnail image.

Yoast Facebook post image

This solution should solve the problem. If it does not, you will need to clear your Facebook cache.

Facebook Open Graph Object Debugger Tool

Facebook has developed a debugger tool to help with image issues.  Paste the URL of the post in the debugger tool. Click on Debug. Facebook will show you issues it finds. The most common issue will be

common Facebook image warning

You will see a preview of what Facebook has scraped.

debugged Facebook post preview

Then, paste the debugged URL into the Facebook post to get the proper image.

debugged Facebook post image

This method does not work all the time. Sometimes a website has other issues that prevent it.

We hope these solution options help solve your incorrect / no image Facebook thumbnail issue. An image that matches your post will better enhance your Facebook post for viewing and sharing. Happy Facebook posting!

49 Free Photo Resources to Make Your Content Rock

photo resources-photographerPhotos and other visuals speak more than a thousand words these days. Therefore, companies are adding a graphic designer, a stock photo subscription or a photographer to their budgets. However, what if your business does not have the money in the budget but still needs professional looking visuals or simply needs something immediately? What do you do? You turn to the Internet for free photos and tools.

What is Creative Commons?

As you search the Internet for free images, you will notice most of the images are offered via one of six types of Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers licenses to the public for free. Creators can choose which license reflects the rights they wish to retain and waive and then offer their works to the public. No need for individual negotiations! Just carefully check the rights and attribution requirements before using any image.

Free Photo Websites

Now that you understand the CC license, let’s start looking for some great free photos for commercial use. We have gathered a small collection of search engine sites and direct image gallery sites. Don’t be surprised if you lose track of time checking out all the great images; I do every time. Images are high resolution unless otherwise noted. Some sites offer only free images while others offer a mixture of free and paid.

  • bigfoto.com – Bigfoto.com offers a royalty-free photo gallery contributed primarily by amateur photographers and organized by geographic areas. A link to bigfoto.com on your website or a click on the Facebook Like button or Twitter follow button is required.
  • Can We Image – Can We Image allows you to search Wikimedia Commons, and results link directly to the photo’s source.
  • Compfight – Compfight is a Flickr search engine and can be filtered by license needs.
  • Creative Commons Search –  This site offers easy access to image search services offered by other organizations. Users are encouraged to check the licenses on search results.
  • Death to the Stock Photo – Death to the Stock Photo delivers photos in a zip file to you monthly via email.
  • Dreamstime – Dreamstime has a searchable free section for people who create a free account. Dreamstime offers these photos under its own license, not CC.
  • everystockphoto.com – Everystockphoto.com allows you to search for free photos from many sources, and the photos are license-specific. Membership is free.
  • Flickr – Flickr is a humongous repository of photos. Sign in with a Yahoo email account and filter by commercial use. Image resolution and license terms vary.
  • Flickr: The Commons – This site is a subsection of Flickr for public domain photos from libraries and academic institutions. Image resolution varies.
  • Foter – Foter is a search engine that pulls from multiple sources and requires a free account. It has over 190 million images and is also available as a WordPress plugin.
  • FreeDigitalPhotos.net – FreeDigitalPhotos.net has a large collection of free photos and illustrations with the option of purchasing smaller and larger sizes.
  • freeimages – Freeimages has over 400,000 free images to choose from in its gallery.
  • FreeMediaGoo.com – FreeMediaGoo.com offers a limited gallery of free photos, textures and backgrounds.
  • FreePhotosBank – FreePhotosBank is a large gallery of searchable photos and backgrounds. The thumbnail images make viewing photos hard so you have to click on more photos than normal to find the one you want.
  • Freerange Stock – With a free membership, you can download photos and textures directly or edit them in Pixlr prior to download. Photos are created by in-house photographers or contributed by community members.
  • Gratisography – Gratisography does not offer a search option for its photo gallery, but you can sign up to be notified by email when new photos are added.
  • IM Free – IM Free is a curated collection of photos you can search or view by category, and all images are available for commercial use.
  • Image Finder – Image Finder’s gallery is searchable by keywords and findings filtered by commercial use.
  • Little Visuals – Little Visuals primarily offers collections of landscape photos. You can get seven random images emailed to you every seven days.
  • lorempixel – Creating a website or print material and need a placeholder image? Lorempixel lets you choose different sizes, categories, color and black and white with its random generator.
  • morgueFile – morgueFile has a large collection of free images you can search for by keyword and then filter further. 
  • New Old Stock – New Old Stock has a wide variety of vintage photos from public archives. Unfortunately, it’s not searchable. (Image resolution varies.)
  • The Pattern Library – The Pattern Library has a limited number of wacky patterns. The site is not intuitive to use. Move the cursor around the screen and you’ll start to see how it’s set up.
  • Photo Pin – Photo Pin is an image search engine for Flickr. (Image resolution varies.)
  • Photober – Photober offers a limited image gallery you can view by category.
  • picjumbo – Picjumbo has a nice image collection organized by category.
  • Pickup Image – Pickup Image claims to be the “largest collection of free photographs. Freely download high quality premium free stock images,  public domain photos.” The images focus on landscapes and other outdoor scenes.
  • pixabay – Pixabay offers photos free of copyright restrictions under the Creative Commons Deed C0 license and pulls images from multiple sources.
  • The Public Domain Review – The Public Domain Review offers public domain images from the pre-16th century to the 20th century. You can search by time frame, medium or source. (Image resolution varies.)
  • Refe – Refe has a gallery of free mobile photos.
  • RGBStock – Free registration is required to download RGBStock’s large image gallery of photos and graphics.
  • SmartPhotoStock – SmartPhotoStock has a gallery of about 3,600 photos for bloggers – some free, some paid. A link back to the site is required.
  • Superfamous – Superfamous features the photographs of Dutch interactive design Folkert Gorter under the CC Attribution 3.0 license.
  • Unsplash – View the photos already collected, and sign up to receive 10 new photos each week by email.
  • Unprofound.com – Unprofound.com provides free photos sorted by color and a simple search function.
  • Wikimedia Commons – Wikimedia Commons offers over 21,000,000 free images in a highly categorized system. Creators use multiple license types so be sure to check.

Once you have found the photos you want, you may wish to edit them, create a collage or infogram, or otherwise alter them assuming the license permits it. Sometimes you are feeling extra creative and want to create original content.

Image Editing & Creation Tools

  • 0 to 255 – Finding the right color shade can be difficult. This site shows variation of different colors.
  • Canva – Canva is an online photo editor and image design tool with great tutorials on how to get the most out of this tool so you don’t have to be a design pro.
  • GIMP – GIMP is a free program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It is expandable with plugins and extensions to increase the number of tasks it can do.
  • HTML Color Picker – Want to know the color code for a particular color in an image? Upload the image and choose the spot with the color to find the HTML code, HEX value, RGB value and HSV value.
  • Infogram – After a quick registration, you can start creating an infographic, and who doesn’t need an infographic these days?
  • Paint.NET – Paint.NET is a free image and photo editing software for computers that runs Windows. It includes many of the features of PhotoShop and an online community provides support, tutorials and plugins.
  • PicMonkey – PicMonkey runs in your browser so you can edit photos, create collages and designs. It is easy to understand and does not require an account.
  • Pixlr – Pixlr is a photo editor that runs in your browser and offers features similar to PhotoShop.
  • Recite – Recite is an easy tool to turn quotes into great graphics.
  • Skitch – Skitch is an Evernote product that lets you add annotations, shapes and sketches to images.
  • Social Image Resizer Tool – Quickly resize images to the right size for social media with this tool.
  • Web Photo Resizer – Resize your image files for faster loading and do some simple editing.
  • W3Schools – Along with loads of programming information, resources are available to help you find the perfect color.

These lists are far from complete, but I hope they provide you with a solid resource set for finding and creating the images and other images for your communication and marketing needs. I have used these sites for many of my own projects as well as client projects. Although these sites offer the photos for free, please carefully review the licenses to make sure you are complying with usage restrictions and attribution requirements. Enjoy exploring these resources, get creative and make your content rock.