Most social and SEO plugins can use a post’s featured image, or offer a way to select a custom social image, but do little else to make sure an image is suitable for social sharing – they assume the article author / editor is aware of each social site’s image requirements (minimum and maximum image resolution, aspect ratio, and maximum image file size) and has selected an appropriate image. For example, Facebook requires that all images be larger than 200x200px, preferably 600x315px, or (even better) 1200x630px for high-resolution displays like retina laptops and phones, have an aspect ratio no wider / taller than 3:1, and less than 8 MB in size. Twitter and Google also have their own requirements, which are different than Facebook’s.
Using a social or SEO plugin that creates resized images from the originals you upload, and checks those resized images to make sure they conform to the requirements of each social site, is only part of a complete Quality Assurance solution. All too often, themes also include a few basic social meta tags in their templates (they shouldn’t, but they often do), that prevent social crawlers from reading your webpage meta tags correctly – some meta tags should never be duplicated (Facebook, for example, can reject all meta tags because of a single duplicate), or the theme may include the full size featured image before all other meta tags, so the wrong image will be used for social shares (this is fairly common). If your social or SEO plugin does not check for duplicate meta tags, you may never realize that you have a problem.
Which plugins offer Quality Assurance features?
WPSSO Core is the only plugin I currently know of that creates different resized images (for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google), checks for minimum / maximum image dimensions and aspect ratios, shows notices for missing and required images, verifies webpages for duplicate meta tags, validates theme header templates for correct HTML markup, warns of any missing PHP modules, and checks 3rd party plugin settings for possible conflicts.
Optionally fix fuzzy / un-sharp WordPress thumbnails:
WordPress does not sharpen images when resizing, so thumbnails, featured images, and other resized images created by WordPress will not appear as sharp as they could be (and should be). See my earlier post titled WordPress Creates Fuzzy Thumbnails [Solution] for more information on this issue – and an easy fix for WPSSO Core users. ;-)
Optionally fix duplicate meta tags and incorrect theme microdata:
If your theme does not offer an option to disable it’s social and SEO meta tags, or remove incorrect / bad Schema microdata markup (a common problem), you can also use the WPSSO Strip Schema Microdata add-on for WPSSO Core to quickly and easily fix these kinds of issues.