Thanks so much for the feedback @torstensson! Both points were indeed bugs and should now be fixed:
Please let me know if you continue to have any issues.
To everyone using this component:
If you are not currently including a featured image at the top of all blog posts, this is for you!
This component was created with the intention of having an image display above every blog post topic. With that said, it was possible to create a blog post without displaying a featured image by simply not including an image on the first line of the post. This behavior has changed.
The newer implementation greatly improves performance, but it uses a predefined value rather than looking at the post contents itself. The predefined value is generated from the first image found in the post. Unlike before, it is not necessarily limited to an image appearing as the first line of the post. This means if you create a post without an image on the first line, but you include a single image at the bottom of the post, that image at the bottom will now also be displayed above the topic.
I have included an all-or-nothing setting that can toggle on/off the “featured image,” allowing you to have all of the styling except for the featured image if that is your preference.
I am going to update the OP with all of the new considerations and recommendations, but the short of it is to make sure to include an image on the first line of the post (this positioning is still used to make sure the image is not repeated). You may find it is helpful to use a placeholder image in the category’s topic template that can be used as a default if no image is provided.