Setting Featured image on WordPress Posts in BULK

I’m in the middle of changing another site to a new theme. The problem being the front page uses the feature image from each post to build up the display. None of the posts have a feature image set. It uses a facebooktowordpress plugin (heavily customised the original no longer pull the images, and really couldn’t handle pulling what was needed).

With this plugin each post on facebook is posted to the blog, the first image (this need changing to all images) on the post is downloaded to the wordpress server and then the source of the post uses the local image. But at no point did I ever anticipate needing featured images to be set.

So here’s the code I’ve put together to:

  • Pull a list of posts without a thumbnail/featured image set.
  • Pull the contents of each post in the list and look for img src
  • Download the image
  • Add the image to the media library against the current post
  • Pull the ID of the attachment and set it as the featured image

This is meant again to run from the command line NOT as a plugin.

<?php
 $counter=0;
 $limit = 20;
 $updated=0;

 if( php_sapi_name() !== 'cli' ) {
 die("Meant to be run from command line");
 }

 function find_wordpress_base_path() {
 $dir = dirname(__FILE__);
 do {
 //it is possible to check for other files here
 if( file_exists($dir."/wp-config.php") ) {
 return $dir;
 }
 } while( $dir = realpath("$dir/..") );
 return null;
 }

 define( 'BASE_PATH', find_wordpress_base_path()."/" );
 define('WP_USE_THEMES', false);
 global $wp, $wp_query, $wp_the_query, $wp_rewrite, $wp_did_header;
 require(BASE_PATH . 'wp-load.php');
 echo "Site URL: " . get_site_url() . "\n\r";
 echo "Base: " . find_wordpress_base_path()."/\n\r";
 echo "Upload DIR: " . wp_upload_dir()['path'] . "\n\r";
 echo "Posts: " . wp_count_posts()->publish."\n\r";

 $query = array (
 'posts_per_page' => -1,
 'post_type' => 'post',
 'meta_key' => '_thumbnail_id',
 'meta_compare' => 'EXISTS',
 );
 $my_query = new WP_Query($query);
 $posts_with_thumbs = $my_query->post_count;
 echo "Posts with thumbnail_id: " . $posts_with_thumbs . "\n\r";

 $query = array (
 'posts_per_page' => -1,
 'post_type' => 'post',
 'meta_key' => '_thumbnail_id',
 'meta_compare' => 'NOT EXISTS',
 );
 $my_query = new WP_Query($query);
 $posts_without_thumbs = $my_query->post_count;
 echo "Posts without thumbnail_id: " . $posts_without_thumbs . "\n\r";

 $counter = 0;
 while(( $my_query->have_posts() ) and ($counter < $limit)) {
 $my_query->the_post();
 echo "\n\r\n\r";
 echo "Post ID: " . $my_query->post->ID . "\n\r";
 echo "Post Title: " . $my_query->post->post_title . "\n\r";
 $content = $my_query->post->post_content;
 $sub="";
 $video_id="";
 $sub_image=flase;
 $sub_changed=false;
 $sub_youtube=false;

 if ( strpos($content, 'img src') !== false ) {
 $re = "/<img.*?src='([^\"]*)'.*\/>/i";
 preg_match_all($re, $content, $matches);
 $sub = $matches[1][0];
 echo "Image URL: " . $sub . "\n\r";
 $sub_image=true;
 if ( substr( $sub,0,11 ) === "/wp-content" ) {
 $sub = get_site_url() . $sub;
 echo "Real URL: " . $sub . "\n\r";
 $sub_changed=true;
 }
 }

 if ( $sub == "" ) {
 if (strpos($content, 'youtube') !== false) {
 $re = "/\[[{embed\}]]([^\"]*)\[\/embed\]/i";
 preg_match_all($re, $content, $matches);
 $sub = $matches[1][0];
 echo "Youtube Detected. URL: " . $sub . "\n\r";
 $re = "/watch\?v=([^\"]*)\[\/embed\]/i";
 preg_match_all($re, $content, $matches);
 $video_id = $matches[1][0];
 $sub = "http://img.youtube.com/vi/". $video_id . "/hqdefault.jpg";
 echo "Youtube Thumbnail: " . $sub . "\n\r";
 $sub_youtube = true;
 }
 }

 echo "Content: " . $content . "\n\r";

 if ( ($sub_image === true) || ($sub_youtube === true) ) {
echo "Image or Youtube detected!\n\r";
 if ($sub_image === true) {
echo "Image!!\n\r";
 $media = media_sideload_image($sub, $my_query->post->ID, $my_query->post->post_title);
 } elseif ($sub_youtube === true) {
echo "Youtube!!\n\r";
 // Download file to temp location
 $tmp = download_url( $sub );
 // Set variables for storage
 // fix file filename for query strings
 preg_match('/[^\?]+\.(jpg|JPG|jpe|JPE|jpeg|JPEG|gif|GIF|png|PNG)/', $sub, $matches);
// $file_array['name'] = basename($matches[0]);
 $file_array['name'] = $video_id . ".jpg";
 $file_array['tmp_name'] = $tmp;
 // If error storing temporarily, unlink
 if ( is_wp_error( $tmp ) ) {
 @unlink($file_array['tmp_name']);
 $file_array['tmp_name'] = '';
 }
 // do the validation and storage stuff
 $media = media_handle_sideload( $file_array, $my_query->post->ID, "YouTube: " . $my_query->post->post_title );
 // If error storing permanently, unlink
 if ( is_wp_error($media) ) [email protected]($file_array['tmp_name']);}
 }

 if(!empty($media) && !is_wp_error($media)){
 echo "File Downloaded!\n\r";
 $args = array(
 'post_type' => 'attachment',
 'posts_per_page' => 1,
 'post_status' => 'any',
 'post_parent' => $my_query->post->ID,
 );

 $attachments = new WP_Query($args);
 while( $attachments->have_posts() ) {
 echo "Attachment ID: " . $attachments->post->ID . "\n\r";
 set_post_thumbnail($my_query->post->ID, $attachments->post->ID);
 if ($sub_image) {
 $atturl = wp_get_attachment_url($attachments->post->ID);
 $atturl = preg_replace("(^https?:)", "", $atturl );
 echo "Attachment URL: " . $atturl . "\n\r";
 if ($sub_changed) {
 $sub = str_replace(get_site_url(), "", $sub);
 }
 $newcontent = str_replace($sub,$atturl,$content);

 if ($newcontent != $content){
 $update_post = array(
 'ID' => $my_query->post->ID,
 'post_content' => $newcontent,
 );
 wp_update_post($update_post);
 }
 $updated++;
 break;
 }
 }
 echo "\n\r";
 }
 }
 $counter++;
 }
 echo "With Thumbs: " . $posts_with_thumbs . " and " . $posts_without_thumbs . " Without.\n\r";
 echo "Updated: " . $updated . " of " . $counter . "\n\r";
?>

BE WARNED this is designed to make changes to your wordpress posts. The usual about taking backups is a MUST. both of the database and your wordpress www folder.

  • The “Limit” is set low, you’ll need to adjust this as needed.
  • Within the script there is
[[{embed\}]]

You will need to change this to

[ embed\ ]

WITHOUT the spaces, wordpress decided I was trying to embed something so I can’t paste it without a slight change.

  • I’ve tried to keep it as generic as possible, so there shouldn’t be any mention of my site in forced links or searches. When it searches for an image itĀ also looks to see if it’s local to the site using /wp-content instead of a full url, it should get around this problem using get_site_url() but you could force your domain or a different path if needed here.
  • It also looks for any youtube content in the post and tries to pull the relevant image. I just wish it would pull one with a play button on it (I dont want to use CSS to get around this)
  • It handles the youtube download differently (this was made over a few days fixing problems as they come up) but I think it’s needed to give each image a unique filename.
  • You will have to run several times probably increasing the limit each time, on 2nd run it again checks all the previous ones that it couldn’t get an image for, so you should end up with 0 updated of x where x is probably all your posts without an image. I’ll be updating it to use a/(random of a few) imageĀ relevant to the site so everything has a featured image.

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