In fact it can’t have any images at all. I’m still not satisfied with how thumbnails are being added to my RSS 2.0 feed, in my opinion it isn’t perfect because SimplePie can’t find them when it looks in enclosure->thumbnails… Apparently my feed is valid now according to the W3C. I finally made enough changes and tried enough plugins and code samples where I got it to work.
The reason this post has no featured image is I’m testing. People who sync everything they blog automatically with Facebook and a half dozen other social networks, what do they do when they are testing? I don’t think people spend enough time actually testing the software they write.
Having no featured image, indeed a blog post with no images at all is perfectly valid. I thought of this when I redid my index.php, I put a placeholder image in place for posts with no featured image. Eventually I will carefully choose the placeholder image based on the blog post’s category, but I haven’t implemented that yet. YARPP can show featured images, that plugin author thought things through, he has a place holder image for the 100’s of posts that don’t have a featured image.
My news aggregator code uses SimplePie and looks for an enclosure and an honest to goodness thumbnail, but failing to find that it looks into the content of the feed and takes the first image, even resizing it if necessary. I think of the news aggregator code as my own now, as I’ve modified it heavily since Ryan Parman last worked on it. He actually does something similar to what I’m building on his homepage… I also think what I built looks a lot like Pinterest, I even switched my blog thumbnails to be 192 pixels which is the width Pinterest uses.
If you want a preview I took a screen shot which I can link to, but not include, remember this is a test post! I’m not sure this new homepage design is search engine optimized, but I’ll add a couple sentences of actual text. I decided to do something more ‘gee whiz’ on my actual homepage as everyone and their dog has a blog or a homepage now, you have to do something unique to standout.
Update: It appears the Yet Another Related Plugin Post has gone invisible tracking pixel crazy as there is one in my RSS feed now. This isn’t desirable, so I’m going to turn that feature off, hopefully that will make my PHP code work how I intended, but I still wish I didn’t have to do so much work just to get thumbnails in RSS feeds working, but clearly this is non-trivial if you actually care about the RSS format, instead of just hacking and throwing whatever, wherever in the your XML.