Set images for categories and tags, especially for fallback post thumbnails or featured images.

Category Featured Images – Extended

Category Featured Images Extended (CFIX) can ensure that posts, category archive pages, widgets and other elements of your site will always display a thumbnail or featured image1 when called upon to do so by themes, templates, and plugins. If a featured image has been individually set for a post, it will be used. If it’s missing, CFIX will supply a category or tag “fallback” image in its place.

If a featured/thumbnail image has not been set for a post, CFIX will first try to supply an image from one of the post’s categories or tags. If none is found, the plugin will look for a parent category with an image. Finally, if no linked or related post, category, tag, or parent category image is found, a particular fallback tag or category image can be used if set as “global fallback.”

This plugin was originally based on “Category Featured Images” (CFI) by Mattia Roccoberton. If you already have been using CFI, when you install this extended version your already saved category image settings will be preserved and copied.

  • If a post does not have its own featured image, a category featured image will be used if available.
  • If a post has more than one category with a featured image, the first available category image will be used.
  • If none of the post’s categories has a featured image, a parent category’s featured image will be used if available.
  • (New since 1.2) You can also set tag images.
  • You can designate categories or tags whose images will be avoided: This feature may be helpful when numerous posts use the same general category, and you wish to force the use of a more specific image.
  • You can also designate a category or tag whose image will be used as a last fallback when no regular featured image, category image, or parent category image is available. This feature may be helpful especially if your installation features many top-level categories, and you either do not wish to find images for each and every one, or you just haven’t done so yet. (One way to combine this feature and the previous one would be to designate the same category for *both* avoidance and last resort: The plug-in would always look for a more specific, not-to-be-avoided category, but fall back to the more general category otherwise.)
  • When a post has multiple category or tag images available, the most recently added category or tag will be used (this behavior is modifiable via hook or filter).
  • Finally, CFIX is also translation-ready.

One way to combine exclusion and global fallback would be to designate the same category for *both* avoidance and last resort: The plug-in will always look for a more specific category, but will fall back to the more general category otherwise.

Also new in 1.3:

  • Streamlined code for better performance: The plugin “swings into action” (querying for options and deriving variables) only when necessary.
  • Better avoidance of “thumbnail false positives” (a problem for some imported/restored post archives).



  1. The terms “thumbnail” and “featured” are used somewhat interchangeably in WordPress, even though many featured/thumbnail images will be displayed at much larger than thumbnail size []