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Specify images for web pages

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This is a general technique for specifying an official image for your site, without actually displaying it on the front-end. Useful for catch-all social-media purposes.

Thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter, it is possible to fill the <head> section of your web pages with endless meta tags, link tags, and so forth. Each social-media service has their own protocols, formats, and syntax, so you can spend a LOT of time trying to configure them all properly.

An easier way

Instead of spending your precious time working for the man, consider just using an all-purpose fallback image that most social-media services are smart enough to understand:

<link rel="image_src" href="http://example.com/path/to/image.jpg">

The key here is using image_src as the rel attribute for a <link> tag. Then for the href attribute, you can specify the path to whatever image you want to use across all compliant social-media services.

Notes

Here are some points to consider:

  • The image should be formatted as GIF, JPG, or PNG
  • Support for the image_src attribute is hit or miss, don’t use for mission-critical sites, but rather as an all-purpose fallback image
  • Most social-media services prefer large images, so make sure that your linked image is of sufficient size (I like to go at least 1500px or so)
  • It’s fine to add multiple image_src links to give users a choice (e.g., “choose an image” via whatever social-media site they are using)

You can see this technique used here at WP-Mix.com. Check out the source code to see the image_src <link> in action :)


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