I am running a theme on my Wordpress install that was built for Wordpress 2.8, prior to the time that Wordpress started using featured images for posts. I am switching to a theme that was built for Wordpress 3.1 and it uses the featured image instead of looking for a custom field. I have a lot of old posts with the custom field for the image. Is there a tool I can use that takes the custom field image URL and turns it into the post's featured image? I Googled this and also searched here on Wordpress Answers to no avail. I did find a custom script on the Wordpress forums, but I didn't try it because some people had responded saying it didn't work correctly.

  • you could always just modify the theme to look for a thumbnail first, then fall back to the custom field if it doesn't exist.
    – Milo
    May 6, 2011 at 15:42
  • True, however there are 19 different sizes of thumbnails used by the new theme, so that would be a lot of places to update and have to use lots of sizes for TimThumb. I'm wondering about a script that can help me to not have to do that. May 6, 2011 at 15:45
  • try using this one wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ajax-thumbnail-rebuild May 7, 2011 at 1:55

2 Answers 2



LIsts a plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/get-the-image

I'm not sure by the article and description if what you are looking for is exactly what it does? It seems to imply that, but I'm not 100%

  • As far as I remember Get The Image is great for fetching images in different ways but it doesn't create featured images. It only can do opposite - save image found in custom field.
    – Rarst
    May 7, 2011 at 10:23

create a function that loops over the posts with the old Custom field and update the post thumbnail using

`update_post_meta( $post->ID, '_thumbnail_id', $attachment_id )`

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