Thumbnail are great for the look of the page, but the problem with them is that they require some extra effort when editing the content, an effort for which you might not have time when you rush to publish something, or you just forget.
This kind of situation could have been handled in 3 different ways before 4,7
- Do nothing and just don’t display a thumbnail. If the thumbnail setting produce a small thumbnail, it might be ok, but when the thumbnail is big and dominant, an item without it will ruin the balance of the design and might be harder to spot.
- Just don’t display posts without a thumbnail. This keeps the visual balance but it means that the post is going to be more hidden than other posts.
- Use a plugin that lets you specify a fallback thumbnail.
In 4.7 we are going to add an additional option, to set a fallback thumbnail for a specific widget. This will let you keep the visual balance without having to install additional plugins, and even have different fallbacks in different widgets.
And something that might have looked like
easily transformed to (notice the first item)
This feature will go into the 4.7 version of both the “free” and “pro” plugins due to be released right after WordPress version 4.7 will have its first RC release which is scheduled right now to november the 15th.
You can try the feature by downloading and installing the beta from https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/releases/tag/4.7.beta1, and report bugs or just get an impression of what is planned from our bug repository at https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/issues