Thumbnail tips and tricks for posts with embedded video (Video)

I was writing a post about the importance of including images in posts with embedded video’s recently and discovered a great little “hack” to hide said images so that only the thumbnail would show up when shared. This post is the result of that discovery, it solved a long standing issue that I had with video only posts. If you also had come across this issue the video tutorial in particular will be very valuable. There is actually a hidden image immediately after this paragraph, view the page source if you want to see it or watch the video to see how it was done.Correct Thumbnail Rendering "Hidden" Image

The problem with embedded video posts

Posts with only embedded video and no pictures do not display as nicely when shared on Facebook, Linked In and other similar sites.  For example, when I share a post without an actual image included, these are my thumbnail choices:

Image Choices

None of these are appropriate in most cases as they do not represent what I am posting about. The thumbnail should represent what the post is about, here is a good example:

Shonali Burke 2 Yr Anniversary of Waxing UnlyricalIn the example above the image represents the 2 Year Anniversary of Waxing Unlyrical (Shonali – that’s 3 days in a row, inside joke sorry readers). With the two candles you really get the gist of what the post is about before reading it, the image ties in perfectly with the title and what the post is about. The example above is clean and professional.

The solution is simple – an appropriate but hidden image, this video will show you how you do it:


The problem you address is real, but this hack is really not nice. Resizing the image is a waste of CPU time.
I think a better solution is to add style="display:none" to the thumbnail image. Or even better, to place create a CSS class for that.


Hey Joe, this is a neat trick. Because of the magazine theme I use, I never do a post without an image on my main blog, so I haven't run into this scenario yet, but I will certainly share it. Thank you.


Three days in a row? That must be some kind of record, Joe. :p Thanks!

Great tip. Of course, I don't use video nearly as much as you do, but I will try this the next time I do. You've probably noticed that I use at least one image with every post; part of it is to do with the way my blog theme is structured - the font, etc., is relatively small, and I like using an image at least at the start of the post to try to illustrate what the post is about. When I post them to Facebook, I too have to use the "link" option, and then FB will give me an option of images to use as the thumbnail. Then I just click through to the one that is related to the post.