I want to know how to get just the image URL from the_post_thumbnail(). The default output of the_post_thumbnail() is:

<img width="800" height="533" src="http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/book06.jpg" class="attachment-post-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="book06" title="book06" />

Here I want grab the src only. How do I filter the_post_thumbnail() to get only http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/book06.jpg?


6 Answers 6


You might also try:

If you only have one size thumbnail:

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

Or...if you have multiple sizes:

$thumbnail = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ), "size" );

Note that wp_get_attachment_image_src() returns an array: url, width, height, is_intermediate.

So if you just want only the image url:

echo $thumbnail[0];


  • A little hint: if you are using wp_get_attachment_image_src() function with size and want to get exact thumbnail size: use thumbnail name given in definition (function add_image_size()). If you use array with dimensions WP will use first image size that have proper width or height. So you may get wrong image. Example: instead of 156x98 you might have got 120x98 if you have 2 images defined: 156x98 & 120x98 (height is the same). I fell for it once ;) Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 15:15

Since WordPress 4.4, there's an efficient core function that can handle this in a cleaner way than the answers here.

You can use the_post_thumbnail_url( $size ) which will print the URL of the post thumbnail.

Alternatively if you want to return the URL instead of immediately output it, you can use $url = get_the_post_thumbnail_url( $post_id, $size )


This does the trick:

<?php wp_get_attachment_image_src('subgall-thumb'); ?>

Make sure you use the correct name for the thumbnail that you are calling.

  • 1
    I don't know if this has changed since 2012, but in 2017 the first parameter of wp_get_attachment_image_src must be the attachement id number, not the size. Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:07

Ok got it using simplexml_load_string

$dom = simplexml_load_string(get_the_post_thumbnail());
$src = $dom->attributes()->src;
    echo $src;

Another method are welcome.


Please Use the below code

<?php get_the_post_thumbnail_url(); ?>

If It's not enough to achieve your goal then try below code

<?php $postimages = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( get_the_ID() ), 'large' );

// Check for images if ( $postimages ) {

    // Get featured image   $postimage = $postimages[0];

} else {} while (have_posts() && $i < 8) : the_post(); echo esc_url( $postimage ); ?>

For a quick & dirty solution, slap this in the functions.php file of your theme

    $STRING = " ".$STRING;
    IF ($INI == 0) RETURN "";

Used within the loop, this will give you what you're looking for

This will return something like http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/toy-story-two-was-ok.jpg

$THE_FEATURED_IMAGE = GET_STRING_BETWEEN(get_the_post_thumbnail(NULL,'post-large'), 'src="', '" class="');

"Within the loop" means look for something like while ( have_posts() ): the_post();.

You can also sub out post-large with any of these predefined image sizes:

  • post-thumbnail
  • post-medium
  • post-full
  • 2
    that's bad. why do you use all caps for your codes?
    – Raptor
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 2:17

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