Automatic Featured Images from Videos


When placing a YouTube or Vimeo video within the first 4000 characters of a post, the thumbnail of that video will automatically be uploaded and set as the featured image for the post as long as the post does not already have a set featured image.

In addition, after setting the video thumbnail as the featured image, an “is_video” post meta field is updated to allow for the use of conditional statements within your loop.

Pluginize was launched in 2016 by WebDevStudios to promote, support, and house all of their WordPress products. Pluginize is not only creating new products for WordPress all the time, but also provides ongoing support and development for WordPress community favorites like CPTUI, CMB2, and more.


From your WordPress dashboard

  1. Visit ‘Plugins > Add New’.
  2. Search for ‘Automatic Featured Images from Videos’.
  3. Activate Automatic Featured Images from Videos from your Plugins page.


  1. Download Automatic Featured Images from Videos.
  2. Upload the ‘Automatic Featured Images from Videos’ directory to your ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory.
  3. Activate Automatic Featured Images from Videos from your Plugins page.


February 25, 2022
An essential part of our Wordpress website. Saved hours of work. Thanks very much.
October 1, 2021
Thank a ton to author. This will save a lot of time to add a featured image. FYI : Im using WordPress 5.8.1 running EnjoyVideo theme.
August 20, 2021
This plugin saved me a ton of coding. And the author responds to support inquiries remarkably quickly. Which is always a huge bonus, and above and beyond what one can reasonably expect from a free plugin. Thanks!
Read all 33 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Automatic Featured Images from Videos” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Confirmed compatibility with WordPress 6.3


  • Added: Support for potentially larger Vimeo images from API response.
  • Fixed: Various PHP notices and errors.
  • Updated: Minimum PHP version.
  • Updated: bumped up default string length to 4000 characters, for URL searching in content.
  • Updated: exclude user profile URLs from Youtube regex.
  • Updated: Switched all endpoints to make sure we’re using HTTPS.
  • Updated: Vimeo endpoint switched to JSON responses.
  • Updated: Plugin description.


  • Fixed: Issues with Youtube HEAD request returning 40x errors.


  • Fixed: Extra forward slash in YouTube URLs that was causing 404 errors when trying to add to media library.


  • Added: Metabox that displays the found video URL and embed URL. Values saved as post meta.
  • Added: Pass post ID for the wds_check_if_content_contains_video filter.
  • Added: Filters that allow customization by developers to alter default values.
  • Added: BETA: Bulk processing of posts for those missing thumbnails from videos. Please report issues found.
  • Added: BETA: WP-CLI support.
  • Fixed: Modified the way the vimeo embed URL is returned.
  • Fixed: Prevent multiple instances of same found image from being uploaded to media library.


  • Added function wds_get_video_url when passed a post_id returns a video URL.
  • Added function wds_get_embed_video_url when passed a post_id returns a video URL that is embeddable.
  • Added function wds_post_has_video to check if a post_id has video.
  • Deprecated wds_set_media_as_featured_image.
  • Refactored the default save_post entry function to handle logic better.


  • Store the full video url in post meta _video_url.
  • Refactored checks for video ID.


  • Switch to using WP HTTP API functions over get_headers(). Hopefully removes potential server config conflicts.
  • Reverse originally incorrect logic in YouTube thumbnail selection based on header results.
  • Return early if saving a revision.


  • Add support for youtube short links, fixes #3


  • Fix bug with special characters in YouTube video titles
  • Fix bug where duplicate images would be uploaded and set as featured image when editing a post


  • Initial release