The Perfect YouTube Thumbnail Size and Best Practices

There is a popular misconception that all you need to get people to watch your videos on YouTube is to have fantastic content. While having amazing content will help you have some YouTube views, it is not good enough to help you have a fair share of the 1.9 mbillion people that log into YouTube monthly.

There are various ways to increase your YouTube views. One of these ways is by developing attractive YouTube thumbnail.

If you want to create an attractive thumbnail and do a lot better than your competitors on YouTube, you are reading the right article. After going through this article, you will be able to comfortably develop a catchy thumbnail and have a skyrocket in the number of views you get on your YouTube videos.

What Exactly is a YouTube Thumbnail?

It will be impossible for you to create an attractive YouTube thumbnail if you do not know what a YouTube thumbnail is.

A YouTube thumbnail is a preview image that people can see before watching a YouTube video. It plays the role of getting people interested in a particular video. If it is catchy, it will successfully make lots of people click on a video. However, if it is not so appealing, it might not be effective in getting people to watch a video.

To better understand what a YouTube thumbnail is, you should think of YouTube as a book and a YouTube thumbnail as a book cover, which gives a short description of what the book is all about.

What is the Importance of a YouTube Thumbnail?

It is not a break from the norm for the average person to judge a book by its cover. It is pretty much what people do when they come across a YouTube video. Before you get to know the content of a YouTube video, you first see its Thumbnail, and with this, you can decide if the Thumbnail is something you are interested in or something you don’t want to watch.

In simple language, people judge the content of a YouTube video by its Thumbnail. Going by this, you can achieve a reasonable degree of view by just having the right YouTube thumbnail.

You can take advantage of the power of YouTube thumbnails by getting more people to view your video and customizing your YouTube thumbnail.

After putting up a video, YouTube gives you their alternatives to make use of as your Thumbnail. These alternatives are still images gotten from the video you put up.

Although YouTube gives you the privilege of customizing your thumbnails, you do not have to make use of the thumbnails provided by YouTube; you can always create your Thumbnail.

When you create your own YouTube thumbnail, you do not only get to make it look beautiful; you will get ahead of your competition.

Now, you might be thinking you need to put in so much time in creating a personalized thumbnail. Well, if this is what you believe, you are wrong. You can create a personalized YouTube thumbnail in a short time, and you do not have to spend all day. 10-15 minutes will do.

How To Get The Best From a YouTube Thumbnail

Before creating a YouTube thumbnail, there are lots of things you have to know. Some of them are what size your YouTube Thumbnail should be, what format, and how large it should be.

To get the best out of a YouTube thumbnail, you have to make your Thumbnail 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. Furthermore, the minimum width of your image should be 640 pixels. The implication of this is your YouTube Thumbnail has to be prominent for it to get the attention you want.

Your Thumbnail should be large, not just because it will get noticed if it is big, but because it has good quality when displayed in the same size as YouTube videos.

Steps in Uploading Your YouTube Thumbnail

Now that you know that the best specifications for your YouTube thumbnail are, the next thing to do is learn how to upload a YouTube thumbnail.

To upload a YouTube thumbnail, log on to YouTube. Com. Once you are logged in, select the camera-plus icon. Doing this will make it possible for you to put up a new video.

After putting up a YouTube video, the next thing to be done is to add a thumbnail to it. To do this, go to your ideas. After doing this, select on a video and edit settings.

Once at the video’s settings, you will come across thumbnails automatically generated by YouTube. It will be located at the bottom of your screen. Still at the bottom of the screen, to the right, you can select the alternative of making use of a personalized thumbnail.

When you spot the alternative to make use of your personalized Thumbnail, select the box and choose an image.

Types of Thumbnails

There are various types of thumbnails. However, if you must get the best from the use of a thumbnail, you should make use of one of the three types of thumbnails below.

Make a Personalized Thumbnail Image

You do not have to limit yourself to an image from your video when making a thumbnail. You can create a personalized YouTube thumbnail graphic. For a customized YouTube thumbnail graphic to effectively promote a YouTube video, it has to be a good representation of that video. Apart from creating an image to represent your video, your Thumbnail has to have a brief title. This will tell viewers what the YouTube video is all about.

Make Use of an Image from Your YouTube Video

This can be said to be the easiest and most common way people make YouTube thumbnails. When you make use of this method, almost everything falls perfectly into place, and YouTube selects just the best three images from your video. Other times, you might not exactly get the best still images from your video.

If you are not comfortable with the still images YouTube Picked from your video, you could decide on exporting a specific still image. You can get this done by making use of video editing software.

That’s not all. If you are getting the Thumbnail of a video you posted on YouTube in the past updated, and the video is no longer in your archives, you do not have to worry.

All you need to do if you find yourself in this situation is to pause the video when it gets to a point you are comfortable with – ensure the video is in full screen. Once you get the video to full screen, you should have it screenshotted.

After doing this, it is up to you if you want to make use of the image that way or you want to add a title.

A Blend of Graphics and a Video Still

This is the last method you can make use of in getting a catchy YouTube thumbnail. It is a blend of graphics and a video still. When you do this, you can always create a YouTube thumbnail that is very catchy.

This method of creating YouTube thumbnails is beneficial as it combines the strengths of the two methods above.

Tools for Creating a YouTube Thumbnail

If you are looking to create a YouTube thumbnail, there are lots of tools you can rely on to make this a reality. Some of these tools are free, while others require you to make payment.

Now, let’s run through some free amazing tools you can make use of when creating YouTube thumbnails


This tool for creating YouTube thumbnails is an ideal tool for YouTubers that are not interested in having an online account before they can successfully create a thumbnail.

If you are looking for a thumbnail creation tool that comes with lots of templates, this is one extremely dependable tool. In addition to featuring lots of templates, this Thumbnail creating tool also features lots of images, fonts, and clipart that you can depend on to get perfect designs.

Although you do not need to register to make use of Fotojet, if you want to be able to have access to an increased number of features and alternatives, you will have to make use of FotoJet Plus. You can do this by paying an annual fee of $39.99 and a monthly fee of $6.99.


If you are not just a casual YouTuber, this tool for creating thumbnails will be great. By making use of this tool, you can have access to lots of templates without having to pay a fee. In addition to having access to lots of templates, you can also make use of the many available illustrations, icons, stock images, and fonts.

While you do not have to pay a fee to make use of Canva, the amazing thing is you will be able to access 1GB storage space for your assets and photos.

After making use of Canva for a while and are not satisfied with all the features you can access, you do not need to panic. All you need to do is make use of an upgraded version by paying a monthly fee of $12.95.

Adobe Spark Post

Do you make use of other design tools made by Adobe? If yes, then, Adobe Spark Post is a tool you will enjoy using.

This tool was designed with professionals in mind. It implies that you can always depend on it to have unlimited access to all the professional features that you need. While Adobe Spark Post is considered unique because it has lots of professional features, it can be integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud. It further makes it stand out.

It merely means if you fall into the class of people that make use of Premiere Pro CC when editing videos and Photoshop when editing photos, making use of Adobe Spark Post will seem perfect.

Adobe Spark Post is a tool that comes with a free and a paid version. If you make use of the free version of this tool, your designs will always come with a watermark. However, if you make use of the paid version, you will not need to deal with a watermark.

You need to pay a monthly fee of $9.99 and a yearly feature of $99.99 if you want to take advantage of all that this tool has to offer.

Best YouTube Thumbnail Practices

It is good to know how to create a catchy YouTube Thumbnail. That, however, is not all that you need to know as long as YouTube Thumbnails are concerned. There are other things you need to be aware of if you must get the best out of a thumbnail.

Your Thumbnail Should be an Accurate Representation of Your Video

If your Thumbnail does not represent your video correctly, it will be misleading and will not yield so many results. In addition to not producing the right results, doing this will affect the reputation of your YouTube channel.

Some of the best YouTube thumbnail practices

Your Thumbnail should Contain Your YouTube Video in a Shortened Form

It is not out of place for YouTube users to take a look at a video thumbnail before taking a look at the title of a video. Due to this, you must put the title of your video on the Thumbnail.

Your Thumbnail Text Should be Legible

Your thumbnail text will be of no use if YouTube users can’t read it conveniently. Due to this, you should make it legible as this is the only guarantee that people will notice it quickly.

Take Advantage of Colors

Do you want to make your YouTube thumbnails attractive? If yes, then you should make use of contrasting colors.

7 Response to "The Perfect YouTube Thumbnail Size and Best Practices"

  1. Comment From Teddy Wilson

    A good YouTube video has the power to increase your visibility and sales. It’s important that you focus not only on good content but a quality thumbnail to get more eyes glued to what you have to say.

  2. Comment From Owen Banks

    When I started my YouTube channel, it didn’t get very many views in the first few months. Once I started changing my thumbnail into something more dynamic, I noticed the retention rate of my videos started shooting up.

  3. Comment From Bradley Jones

    I began to play with the thumbnail to see what works and what doesn’t. One of the things that helped me was changing the size of my thumbnail image. With a well-proportioned image, it created a good display for my YouTube video.

  4. Comment From Henry Cutler

    By combining graphics and a video still from my YouTube vlog, I was able to capture a great thumbnail image. I took a pivotal moment in the video added my personal touch to make it resonate more with my audience.

  5. Comment From Marilyn Richards

    I wanted to use a program to help me get more creative with my thumbnails. I found FotoJet to be an excellent choice because it was a dependable tool with a lot of great images.

  6. Comment From Cassie Rowland

    Creating a thumbnail is not enough. You should also make sure that the image and the title of the thumbnail fits the general theme of the content in your video.

  7. Comment From Rudy Landon

    When you give a focus to your thumbnail, it helps give a picture summary into all of your content. Your audience will most likely click on it and watch throughout the whole video.

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