The code I'm using, is outside of WordPress i.e.

define('WP_USE_THEMES', false);
global $wpdb;

The code that I'm trying to display the post thumbnail (the set featured image) is:

    echo "has a thumb";
    wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ));
} else {
    echo "no thumb";

Now it does does correctly display if there is a thumb or not, but doesn't return the thumb file name or anything at all. I've tried all methods I could find and nothing is returned, nor is there any errors returned.

Suggestions, thoughts?

  • Can I ask why you're using that code outside of WordPress? What exactly IS displayed/returned?
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 16:51
  • I don't want to make use of their template system, as I'm simply using the posts/categories of WP with another system. Nothing is returned/displayed other than "has a thumb" or "no thumb" which is accurate with each post.
    – Braunson
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 16:53
  • 2
    Why not just use WordPress for everything? One can accomplish a vast number of things using WordPress without even touching the 'blogging' part.
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 16:58
  • It's a giant system, custom build and integrating it into WP would be a giant waste of time which is not in abundance right now as per this project.
    – Braunson
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 17:22
  • i would stringly suggest calling wp-load.php instead of wp-blog-header.php. had a few problems lately with code using the latter. also, you have to echo the wp_get_attachment_image_src['0'], as this returns an Array, and does not print out the details.
    – fischi
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 17:24

3 Answers 3


Let's examine the differences between the working and the not-working code:

  • Working: has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID )
  • Not Working: get_the_post_thumbnail();

The only difference I see is that you're passing the $postID explicitly to the working function, and not passing it to the non-working function. So, try this:

get_the_post_thumbnail( $post->ID, 'medium' );

You can var_dump() or echo it to verify whether or not you're getting the correct data returned.

  • Using your new code (with echo), returns nothing. With var_dump() returns this thumbstring(0) "". Odd since there is a set featured image for that post..
    – Braunson
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 17:22

get_the_post_thumbnail, and wp_get_attachment_image_src return their output, they don't echo it out.

In this case to get the url for a given size:

$image = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ),'thumbnail');
$url = $image[0];
$width = $image[1];
$height = $image[2];

it may be noted that the thumbnail size will be used if none is specified but I've added it to be precise

If you're in need of further clarification on exactly what is being returned by those functions, and want something stark and outright blatantly visible, I'd suggest something such as:

$value = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ));

Though I would recommend you use error_log rather than wp_die and look at the error log in a text editor, as wp_die is not something you want in production code

edit: -_- debug all the things!!

post ID : "<?php $post->ID; ?>"<br>
has_post_thumbnail : "<?php if(has_post_thumbnail($post->ID)){ echo 'true'; }else {echo 'false'; } ?>"<br>
thumb ID : "<?php get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ); ?>"<br>
thumb ID null? : "<?php if(get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ) == null) { echo 'yes'; } else { echo 'no'; } ?>"<br>
wp_get_attachment_image_src : "<?php print_r(wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID )),false)?>"
  • The wp_die code above returns nothing at all, error_log returns nothing as well.
    – Braunson
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 17:20
  • show me what the updated code I posted gives you ( using copy paste, not descriptive prose )
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 17:27
  • Returns pastebin.com/mFghnp2n
    – Braunson
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:44
  • can you do it again but this time put global $post; beforehand?
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 19:31
  • Done, exact same thing is returned as my pastebin...
    – Braunson
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 20:21


echo '<img src="'.get_the_post_thumbnail().'" />';

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