Why is my image cut off?

Themes are built with one of two methods for handling images that are the wrong shape: hard crop or soft crop. Each of them is explained below.

Hard Cropping

Cropping is easiest explained with examples so you can see it in action. Here we start with a landscape photo and we try to put it into 3 different sized featured images. The beige shape is our built-in image size.

The output is what happens when your theme is programmed to hard-crop the images.

Also – by default, hard cropping takes the chunk out of the middle. But this can be changed by your developer.


A hard crop does exactly that – it crops. In a major way. Most photographers strongly oppose this method! 🙂

TIP: If this drives you crazy, remember one simple rule – landscape fits into landscape and portrait fits into portrait.

When is the hard crop for featured images used?

I like all the images in my themes to line up nice and neat. I like the portrait or landscape outline to be full – so I prefer the hard crop. You’ll see the alternative below.

This is where the soft crop comes in. The soft crop allows the entire photo to show.

Soft Crop for WordPress Featured Images


soft crop

There is no cropping here – just shrinking.

The result? Differently sized images but the entire image is shown.

Keep same image sizes AND the full image

There is only one way to have your cake and eat it too.

Upload the correct ratio in a size larger than you need.

To get the perfect image – there are two steps – sizing and ratios. Get that 2-step process here.