By Fran Johnson
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WordPress Image Fields: Alt Text, Title, Captions and Description

Whether we’ve just built you a WordPress website, or you are needing a refresher on exactly which words go where – we thought it would be useful to write a blog post about the WordPress image fields. How important are the alt text, title, caption and descriptions – which ones do you need to spend lots of time thinking about, and are there any you can ignore?

A wordpress backend screenshot to demonstrate image fields

What is the benefit of filling out the WordPress image fields?

Spending time filling out the image fields has two main benefits; SEO (ensuring you come higher up in search engine results) and accessibility of the website. We will take a look at each of the fields in turn; alternative text, title, caption and description.

Alt text

Alt Text is short for ‘alternative text’ or ‘alternate text’. Sometimes it’s referred to as ‘alt attributes’ or ‘alt description’. It is crucial to fill these fields in for your users who are blind or use screen readers for any other reason. Sometimes users also choose to turn off image loading to save data or increase the speed they can access sites at. Your alt text will be the text that gets read out or displayed when an image isn’t loaded.

Therefore, one of the most important things to note when writing this text is to be specific. Let’s take the above image as an example. The alt text could be ‘Beth’ – but that wouldn’t provide an awful lot of additional information for a user who can view the image. Instead we have chosen ‘Designer cutting shapes out of paper to create logo for a brand’.

If you have a keyword for the page the image will sit on, it is useful to include this within the alternative text. But, a word of warning. Don’t ‘stuff’ that keyword in multiple times. For example, if ‘logo’ is the keyword:

  • Good: Designer cutting shapes out of paper to create logo for a brand
  • Bad: Logo brand logo cutting logo creation design a logo

Google doesn’t like ‘stuffing’!


The title will automatically be what you’ve labelled the file as. Often people upload the original file to the media section of WordPress, and forget to change the title field. Therefore, the file name might be something like IMG_0588.jpg.

Google search results for Joanne Wdowiak

However, many people search via google images. If your title is something sensible, it will appear in the search. Changing your title from IMG_0588.jpg to joanne-wdowiak-a-dozen-eggs.jpg will ensure your files get found by google.

The other benefit will be being able to find the image quickly in the media section on the backend of the website. When you have thousands of images like we do, it becomes very useful!

Backend of Wordpress website with images of Jo showing


The caption is perhaps the easiest of the four to understand. Often you won’t want a caption on your photographs – the text that sits directly below the image – but if you do, then pop the text in the caption box.

A caption displaying under a photo of Beth, a dozen eggs designer cutting paper
A screenshot of a media and attachment page selecting 'yes' to redirecting attachment URLs


The description field is the field you are least likely to need to fill in. You have the option within WordPress to have a page dedicated to each attachment – it will show the image itself, a title and the description text.

WordPress indicates that these pages could be good for SEO, however plenty of others disagree! Search engines are looking for good quality content, and these pages are both ugly and limited in their information!

But, if you want these pages, then you can add as much text as you wish below the images, which you would do this using the description text field.

An image attachment page for Fran Johnson