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How to Add Captions to Images in WordPress

This guide shows how to add unique Captions to images in WordPress and why they matter. Without headlines, readers draw their own conclusions about a photo or illustration. That’s okay if it’s your intention. Otherwise, add eye-catching captions to tell the story as you see it.

Here are 5 other reasons to include captions to your WordPress images:

  1. Gives vital details about a person, people, place, thing, or event
  2. Photos with captions make more sense
  3. Captions are easy to scan
  4. Connects the written and visual content on a website or blog page
  5. Improves webpage search engine optimisation (SEO)

Top Caption Writing Tip

There is no shortage of tips for caption writing, but simplicity is usually the best approach. When you grab a reader’s attention, they’re more likely to go on and read the description.

Caption writing basics

Writer’s block is usually the result of overthinking. To avoid this trap, never stare at a blank post or page. It doesn’t matter what you write so long as you write something. You can always discard it later, but the point is to make a start. Below are 8 quick caption-writing tips to consider.

  1. Use a formula if you’re new to writing captions (see below)
  2. Make it factual unless you have reasons not to
  3. Avoid weak determiners at the start of a caption, i.e., a, an, and the
  4. Use conversational language; avoid complicated words
  5. Describe something about the image that’s less obvious
  6. Identify the key person/people, place, or thing in the image
  7. Avoid humour when it’s not necessary
  8. Include credits and citations if required

These are not strict rules, but they act as useful guidelines for beginners.

Caption writing formula

You might want to consider a formula to help shape your captions. The most effective approach is to write a few first without worrying too much about rules. You can then check the word order against the formula and fix where necessary.

The caption-writing formula looks like this:

[noun] + [verb] + [direct object] during [proper event name] at [proper noun location] in [town or city] + [day of week] + [month] + [date] + [year].

You can use part or all the above depending on your message. A short example could be:

Soldiers [n] attack [v] militant hideout [direct object] during Ramadan [proper event name] in Ramallah suburb [proper noun location].

Soldiers Attack Militant Hideout During Ramadan in Ramallah Suburb

The image above doesn’t tell the full story, which arouses curiosity in the reader. The caption is short, straight to the point, and factual (this example is not accurate). It also tells the reader something that might not be obvious just by looking at the photo.

Add Images to WordPress Posts

WordPress makes it easy to add captions—and other metadata—with its build-in image features.

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.

Go to Posts => All Posts from the side menu.

Click the Edit link for the post you want to add an image to or create a new one.

Put the cursor in the post edit window where you want to add the image.

  1. Click the Add block (+) icon to open the block options
  2. Click on the Image block

You’re now presented with 3 options to add an image.

  1. Upload from your computer
  2. Insert from the Media Library
  3. Insert image from web URL

For this example, we’ll upload an image from the computer. Note that WordPress stores all uploaded images in its Media Library, so they’re available for future use.

You can drag the sides of the new image if you need to resize it.

Write your image caption in the space provided below the image.

Click the Save Draft, Update, or Publish button as appropriate.

Add a WordPress Gallery

You can upload, store, and arrange multiple images in the WP Media Library. In this section, we’ll add a caption to all the gallery images attached to a WP post.

Put the cursor in the post edit window where you want to add the image gallery.

  1. Click the Add block (+) icon to open the block options
  2. Type gallery into the search box
  3. Click the Gallery block

 You’re now presented with 2 options to add an image.

  1. Upload images from your computer
  2. Insert images from the Media Library

For this example, let’s use images already in the Media Library.

Click the Media Library link (see image above)

If your images are void of details, you can enter them from within the Media Library.

  1. Click an image to select it.
  2. Enter the Attachment Details in the right-side column
  3. Click the next image and repeat step 2 until all your gallery images are done
  4. Click the ‘Create New Gallery’ button to save the changes

The new image collection opens in the Edit Gallery screen where you can:

  • Reorder the images
  • Review the captions and make any changes if necessary
  • Insert the gallery into your post

Click Insert Gallery when you’re done.

You’ve now attached a new image gallery into your post. Clicking a gallery image allows you to delete, replace, or move it to a new position. You can also rewrite or format the captions from within the post edit window.

Adding Image Captions Using the Classic Editor

Adding captions to images using the classic editor is also straightforward.

Go to Posts => All Posts from the side menu.

Click the Edit link for the post you want to add an image to or create a new one.

Click Add Media to open the Add Media Screen.

The Add Media screen lets you upload new images and edit existing ones in the Media Library. You can insert single images into a WP post or select multiple files.

Editing single images is a simple 2-step procedure.

  1. Click an image to select it
  2. Enter the Attachment Details in the right-side column
  3. Repeat step 2 until all your images have a title, caption and other data

To select multiple images using the Classic Editor, you need to:

  • Hold the CTRL key then left-click to select individual images
  • Click the Insert into post button once all images are selected


Point to note: The Add Media screen does not have a drag-and-drop feature. If the image arrangement is important, insert each file one at a time in the order you want them. Alternatively, create a new gallery (see next), which does have the drag-n-drop sort feature.


Clicking an image inside the Classic Editor displays a popup toolbar. It gives you the option to align the image, edit it (opens a new screen), and delete the file. The edit screen has options for ALT text, caption, resizing, hyperlinking, and a few Advanced preferences.

Add an Image Gallery Using the Classic Editor

You can also create an image gallery with captions using the Classic Editor.

Click Add Media above the post edit screen.

You’re now at the Add Media screen.

  1. Click the Create gallery link in the left Colum
  2. Click on the images you want for the gallery
  3. Click the Create a new gallery button

The new image collection opens in the Edit Gallery screen, where you can:

  • Reorder the images using drag-n-drop
  • Review the captions and make changes if necessary
  • Insert the gallery into your post

If you want to add more data, select a single photo to open all its Attachment details fields.

Click the Insert Gallery button when you’re done editing.

This takes you back to the Classic Editor’s Post Edit screen.

From the Publish section (right-side), you can:

  • Preview the post (opens in a new tab)
  • Save Draft or click Update if already published
  • Publish the new post

That’s all there is to it. You now have some tips on how to write eye-catching captions in WordPress using Guttenberg and Classic editors. You also know how to add captions to single images or entire galleries, along with other useful image data.

Want to Learn WordPress?

WordPress is an amazing platform for building any type of website.   It’s used by large corporations and small mom & pop sites.

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