Disappointed with the reaction you’re getting to your blog? You know your audience. You’re writing solid content.

So what’s the problem?

It might be your header image.

You can have the most amazing content, but without a great image to bring readers in, you might be losing readers before they even set eyes on your content.

Keep reading to learn more about what header images are, why they’re important, and how to customize them on your WordPress site.

Contents:


Why is a Header Image So Important?

The header image for each blog post is one of the first things people see when they click on your site, so it’s crucial to get it right.

Like it or not, visitors will judge your entire site within the first couple seconds. So if someone doesn’t like a header image, they might hit that back button before even scrolling.

Treat your header as you would a storefront for a brick and mortar business. With a quick glance, visitors should know exactly what your page is all about.

Take the time to find the perfect image or customize your own. The more interesting and eye-catching your header is, the more it will draw people in.

When choosing your header image, keep in mind the images you use on your other websites or social media pages. You want readers to be able to recognize your online presence, so keep your style consistent across all platforms.


What is a Header Image on a WordPress Site?

Now that you know why a header image is so important, let’s get into exactly what it is and what the specifications are.

On a WordPress site, the header image is the one displayed at the top of every page and post you make. It is most often teamed with a website title and a range of menu options listed beneath it. Companies often use a version of their logo for the header image, but many blogs choose photographs instead.

On most themes, the header image is the same on every page, including your homepage, so it’s important that you choose an image that works with the style mood of every page on your site. And if you want your headers to vary from page to page, certain themes will allow you to do that.

If you’ve played around with various themes, you’ll know that many of the themes include a default header image. You are always better off using your own image. If you use the default image, your site will look like a dozen other websites out there.

With a custom header image that captures the essence of your site, your readers will get a clear and quick understanding of who you are and what you’re all about.

When it comes to the dimensions of the image, it will vary depending on your theme. But don’t be too worried about this, once you upload your image WordPress makes it easy to crop the image to the recommended dimensions.

And if you don’t get it right the first try, it’s not the end of the world. Feel free to experiment and try out different images cropped in different ways.

Keep in mind, the specific settings available to you will change depending on the theme you plan to use. If you want your header to be a video, there are certain themes that let you do that with ease.

Make sure the WordPress theme you choose offers the capabilities you’re looking for. Take some time to do your research before you select a theme. There’s no point in designing your site around a theme only to realize that it’s not capable of providing you with the specifics you want.


Where Can I Find Great Header Images?

The best images are the ones you create yourself. But if you’re not skilled with a camera or can’t afford to hire a photographer, don’t worry.

There are lots of websites you can visit to find copyright free images (meaning that you can use them at you wish for free). Whether you’re hosting a fashion blog, a travel blog, a food blog, or a fitness blog, you’re bound to find some great header images from these sites:

Burst by Shopify

On Burst, You’ll find thousands of royalty-free images that are perfect for use on a variety of different sites and blogs. It’s a great resource for bloggers looking for images in the categories of fashion, food, and travel.

Pixabay

Pixabay is home to over 1.5 million images. You can spend hours scrolling through incredible visuals in a variety of categories. In addition to still photos, you’ll also find some amazing videos and illustrations.

FreeForCommercialUse.Net

FreeForCommercialUse.Net is smaller than the other two listed above. But you can rest assured that every single image on the site is public domain and 100% free to use.

Foodiesfeed

If you’re starting a food blog, foodiesfeed is one you don’t want to miss. You’ll find stunning images of food, plating, food prep, and cooking techniques.

Styled Stock

Geared to women, on Styled Stock you’ll find beautiful images in a variety of categories such as fashion, food, beauty, and florals. The images are clean and modern, and they all have a distinctly feminine feel.

Negative Space

With Negative Space, incredible images of landscapes, architecture, and nature are a click away. Whether you have a travel, lifestyle, or technology blog, you’re sure to be able to find an image that captures the spirit of your site.

The Stocks

Want to simplify your image search? The Stocks curates free images from approximately 20 other free image sites and puts them all in one easy-to-find location.

Before you use any image from any website, make sure the image falls under the Creative Commons license and is not copyrighted. These images are free, even for commercial purposes, and do not need any credit or attribution.


How Do I Change the Header?

Now for a step by step breakdown of how to change the header image on your WordPress site. In five easy steps, you can completely change the appearance of the header on your WordPress site.

We’re also listing the differences of what you have to do whether you plan to add a custom image or select one from the media library.

Step 1: Log into your WordPress administrator dashboard
Step 2: Navigate your way to Appearance > Header

Screenshot of where you can edit the header in wordpress
Step 3: Click “Choose File” or “Choose Image”
Step 4: Select “Choose File” if you want to upload a new image file from your computer. WordPress will give you the option to crop it before saving your settings or Select “Choose Image” if you want to add an image from your media library. Then you’ll need to select the file and click on “Set as Header.”
Step 5: Click “Save Changes”. Once you’ve saved your changes your settings will take effect immediately and your new selected image will appear as your header.

Most WordPress themes also allow you to show or hide the header text. With most themes, you can also change its color.

Take the time to get your header image perfect. Make sure it’s sized or cropped properly, colored exactly how you like, and ready to present to the world.


The header image on your blog is one of the most important elements on your site. Great content alone will not attract or keep readers. You’ve got to have memorable images as well.

Make sure your header image reflects your style, captures the feeling and vibe of your blog, and is consistent with your messaging. A good header will give your site a personalized look that people will remember and recognize.

Without a great header, you can turn readers off or confuse readers altogether. Take the time to make your blog look professional by ensuring that you’ve got the perfect header image on your site.

To make your blog unique and stand out from the rest, it’s always best to use your own images. But if you don’t have any great images or don’t have the time to take them, there are a variety of free resources that you can use.

Once you’ve got a great image, make sure it works with the optimal dimensions of your chosen WordPress theme. WordPress will give you to option to crop images, but keep in mind that not every image (or video) can work with every WordPress theme.

When you’re ready to upload your new header image, follow the quick and easy steps outlined above.

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