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How to Add a Caption to a Photo in WordPress and Why

add caption to photo

Captions of an image can be quite useful when you’re trying to add more content to the post or page in WordPress. Although an image can say a thousand words, the caption can enhance the meaning.

When you add a caption to a photo, you’re providing a small snippet of information that is related to that graphic. It can help eliminate misunderstanding of the photo while accentuating it on the website.

In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to add and edit these captions. It’s a relatively easy process and may make a different in your web design ideas in the future. You can also learn about editing images in WordPress by reading our tutorial on this subject.

Why should you add captions to photos?

Captions can be more than just a title of a photograph. They can be used for many purposes and can offer more content for a visitor to absorb. Here are some realistic ways in which a caption can be quite useful.

Highlighting the Graphic

Many people will use captions to highlight the context surrounding the image. This is often seen in things such as newspapers. It adds more information to the photograph and helps people connect deeper to the visual. It can also be useful when you’re trying to point out a specific person or thing. For example, “John, seen on the left, loves oranges.”

Highlighting the graphic can also entail describing locations. Many travel sites and bloggers will place the location of the image in its caption to show where the photograph was taken. It helps people connect to the area and gives a sense of authority.

Dating the Image

A common practice for many is adding dates when the photographs were taken. Much like you would see in a photo album, the date can be used to show a progression of time. For instance, a weight loss blogger may add the dates of each image so visitors can see a bodily transition over time. In reality, this can work in many different platforms whether you’re recording the passage of time of melting glaciers to showing children growing up.

Attribution of the Photograph

One of the most common practices of using a caption is for attribution licenses. These types of licenses mean that you’re able to use the photograph or image as long as you attribute the original developer. Attribution licenses can save you a great deal of money when compared to buying stock photos and imagery.

Adding a Caption to Your Photos While Creating Content

To add a caption to WordPress images, you only need to open the image itself and enter your text in the “caption” box. It’s a built-in feature of WordPress and easily accessible in a variety of ways.

Adding this snippet of information is one of the easiest edits you can do in WordPress. When you are uploading an image to your post or page:

Step 1: Move the cursor to the position in which you want the photo to be seen.

Step 2: Click the “Add Media” button in your visual text editor.

add media button

Step 3: Choose the “Upload Files” tab and click the “Select Files” button in the center of the screen.

upload flies

Step 4: Select the image you want to add and click the “open” button.

Step 5: Input your text.

After WordPress retrieves the image, you’ll see options along the right. Under the title of the image, you’ll see a text box for “Caption.” Input your text here.

text box for caption

NOTE: If this is an attribution or a credit to someone’s website, make sure you click the drop-down box to the right of “Link to.” Select the custom URL option and input the recipient’s web address.

Step 6: Click the “Insert into post” button.

insert into post

The image will be added to your post with the caption and ready to go for visitors.

To Add Captions to Images Already in WordPress

What if you already have images in WordPress that you want to add captions to? Instead of going into each post or page one-by-one, you can edit the photo directly. To do this:

media link

Step 2: Click the image of which you want to add a caption.

This will bring up the editor screen. On the right-hand side, you’ll see the caption box mentioned in the previous instructions.

caption box

Step 3: Type your text into this box.

WordPress will automatically save any changes you make in this area of the image as soon as you move out of the text box with your cursor.

When you add a caption in this way, every instance of the image will have the same caption tied to it. If you want the photograph to relay a different message every time, you’ll need to alter the image directly in each individual post or page.

For instance: If you used a specific bicycle image 200 times throughout your website and you change the caption of that graphic in the media folder, all 200 instances of that bicycle graphic will now have the above caption.

Changing a Caption from the Post or Page

What if you don’t want all of the same instances of the photograph to have the same caption? Perhaps you just want to change the caption in one of these pictures. That’s actually easy to do in WordPress.

Step 1: Go to the post or page of the photo you want to alter.

Step 2: Find the image in your visual editor and click it.

This will bring up a small editing window above the graphic.

Step 3: Click the icon that looks like a pencil.

pencil icon

Step 4: Enter your text.

This will bring up the image details of the photo. From here, you can change the caption to anything you wish. You can also add a link or change the default size of the graphic.

image details


Step 5: Once you’ve made your changes, click the update button on the bottom right.

NOTE: Changing the photo this way will not alter it for other pages. For instance, changing the caption on one image in a post or page with the above instructions only affects that one instance. If you use the graphic again elsewhere, it will still have the original caption.

You can also edit the caption in the “Text” area of the WordPress editor by locating the image and change the words between the “/>” and “[/caption]“. Once you click the update button on the post or page, the caption will be saved.

If you use, or plan to use, a lot of imagery in your website, you may want to consider this as part of your publishing practices. There are many aspects to publishing a post or page, and this is just one that may be of great use to you in the future.

By default, featured images do not show captions. However, the caption will appear if you use that image anywhere else on the website. You can install plugins such as Featured Image Caption that can give you some control over showing one in this manner.

Can you customize how the caption appears in the photograph?

WordPress doesn’t have a built-in method for customizing the caption area of a photo. Luckily, you can install plugins that can give you a bit of room for adding more to the graphic.

For example, plugins like Image Caption Hover Effects come with a variety of ways to give more life to your graphics. The effects take place when a mouse point hovers over the photo. At which point, the graphic becomes animated with a variety of different effects.

Placing a caption on an image helps create awareness and share information about what is being viewed. Although they are not necessary, it may be of great use depending on the circumstance. Never underestimate what a few words can do to accentuate a graphic of any kind.

What kind of customization do you have for your images? How often do you use a photo and need to assign attribution?

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