I'm sure you agree with me: find the best Instagram plugin for WordPress can be quite a job. Right?
I heard you all, yelling “Damn right !” I knew it! Well, the good news is it's not that complicated. So take a deep breath, you'll finally find the right solution.
Since we're pretty cool on WPMarmite, we tested the 8 Instagram plugins that we thought were the most popular.
The cream of the crop, in our opinion. That way you can make your choice cushy. To find these plugins, we went shopping on the official WordPress directory.
If you're allergic to plugins, don't panic. Note that it does not matter how many you have, but that you can also add Instagram content manually to your WordPress. We'll tell you how to do so a little further down.
A few Instagram figures
Immediately, for those who have their heads down in the sand or up in the clouds, a quick recap.
Instagram is a mobile app that allows you to share photos and videos (95 million posted per day). Among the many features offered to users is the ability to “customize” their shots with filters.
Launched in October 2010, Instagram is now THE social network that rocks. Here's some data, on the fly:
- More than 1 billion users (source).
- 4th largest social network in the world. It is overcome by Facebook (2 billion users), YouTube and WhatsApp (1.5 billion users – source -).
- In two years, its audience has doubled!
Why link Instagram to WordPress?
You may ask yourself: but why is this guy bothering us with this?
We already have an Instagram account and a WordPress blog/site. Both work very well. No way we're connecting both: it sure is gonna put us in a lot of extra work.
Chop-chop-chop. Let's start from the beggining. Folks, I have the ultimate argument. Think return on investment. Linking WordPress and Instagram could benefit you in a few ways:
- promote your Instagram account and increase its visibility;
- increase your number of followers;
- encourage your visitors/readers to take part in your content and thus increase their loyalty.
Great, right? Cool, let's move on.
Can I use Instagram on WordPress without a plugin?
Yes you can! And it's super easy. Simply copy the URL of the content you are interested in, and paste it into your posts or pages at the desired location.
Note: this method will display your photos at the largest available size (612 pixels). If you don't care about size, all's good here.
If you want to change the size, you will have to put the URL in a shortcode.
For an image, this method works very well. On the other hand, things will get a little more spoiled if you want to post 20 at once, for example:
At this level, the easiest way to integrate Instagram content into WordPress is to use a plugin.
Instagram for WordPress: testing the 8 best plugins
Note: The order in which we present the plugins is neither strategic nor hierarchical. Later in the conclusion, we will advise you which one we consider to be the best Instagram plugin of the moment.
Also note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that WPMarmite will receive a small commission if you buy one of the plugins presented. We make it a point of honor to remain impartial: if a plugin is not worth using, we'll tell you!
1. Instagram Feed
“Excellent”, “Woooh” or “Awesome plugin”. This is the content of the vast majority of the reviews left on this plugin developed by Smash Balloon. With over 700,000 active installations, Instagram Feed is the most popular Instagram plugin for WordPress.
Icing on the cake: it's also the highest rated. With it, you're sure you're betting on a sure thing. Look what that can do to David Milan‘s account:
In any case, it is very simple to set up, responsive (optimal display on all types of devices) and allows you to display on your WordPress site the photos of several Instagram feeds. Moreover, it is easily customizable (width, height, number of photos, number of columns, etc.).
Want an example? Several options that can be integrated in shortcodes allow you to customize your photos by messing around with the background, the color, or the resolution of your shots. You can even add a CSS class to customize the appearance of the feed through the code. So practical.
Then, you just need to paste this shortcode into a post, page or widget. Too bad there is no button on the visual editor that allows you to customize the shortcode: it would be much easier for beginners.
Note that there is a pro version ($39/ year for a site, or about 33.50 euros) which allows even more options.
For instance, the ability to have photos scrolling in Carousel mode, play videos from an Instagram feed directly on your site, or display images with a particular hashtag.
2. Instagram Feed WD
Do you want an SEO-friendly (naturally optimized for SEO), responsive or highly customizable plugin? Instagram Feed WD should meet your expectations.
Thanks to it, you'll be able to present the feeds of one or more Instagram accounts in your articles, pages or sidebars.
Instagram Feed WD allows you to display photos by hashtag, and offers several layouts: thumbnails, image browser (large thumbnails with navigation), blogstyle (large thumbnails), masonry (the last two are only present in the paid version whose starting offer starts at $25, or about 21 euros, for use on a domain name).
Like most of its competitors, this plugin only takes a few minutes to install and requires an Instagram account to log into in order to obtain an API key.
Judging by the quality of the customer reviews left, this plugin has very good press and remains very well rated (5 stars out of 5). To be taken into consideration when making your choice.
3. Instagram Feed Plugin
Although most of its features are available in the Pro version, this plugin remains very efficient and easy to use for free.
Once this beast is installed, go to the “Settings” section of the plugin. Log in to your Instagram account to generate a Token access key.
To add a photo gallery, click All Feeds > Add Feed. Then you can give it a name (e.g. Showcase Instagram) and add your user profile/hashtag or the name of the account you want to display.
To add more than one, simply use multiple usernames and/or hashtags separated by commas. For example, we chose Marniethedog.
Once you have published, go to an article or page and click on the Instagram Feed Lite icon to choose your gallery (Instagram Showcase, in our case).
Finally, you just have to insert the generated shortcode within your post. And here's how it turns out:
Cool, right? Small detail: you can't directly see comments and likes, for example, without clicking on the photo (redirection to the Instagram account).
If you want more options, you'll have to take out your wallet and switch to the Pro version ($29/ year for a use on a site, or about 25 euros). You will be able to, among other things:
- change the layout of your gallery;
- change colors and typography;
- add a lightbox effect;
- post comments;
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4. Custom Instagram Feed
A cool plugin that allows you to “display your Instagram photos on your WordPress site”.
How great: that's exactly what we're looking for. And with Custom Instagram Feed, it's easy to set up. Simply add the shortcode [easyinstagramfeed] to your pages or posts to display one or more Instagram feeds.
The free version includes many options, such as :
- integration of the Instagram “Follow us” button;
- a list of shortcodes;
- possibility to add padding (to create an internal margin) around the photos;
- layout options.
The paid version ($29 for an unlimited number of sites) allows you, among other things, to import photos by hashtag, add a lightbox (an effect that allows you to open a window in the foreground to highlight a photo, for instance) or display likes and comments.
5. Instagram Slider Widget
Sliders fans: this plugin is made for you. Once installed and activated, it allows you to display up to your last twenty Instagram snapshots either as a slider or a grid.
Responsive and easy to use, it does not require an API key. Your Instagram username (or a hashtag) will be sufficient to enjoy the services of this plugin. This is rather sweet, as the previous plugins saved some of these features for the pro versions.
With Instagram Slider widget, images can be archived locally. The loading of your pages and posts is thus faster.
To use it, go to the Appearance > Widgets section of your WordPress website/blog. A “Social Slider” zone was then created. It's a rather unusual place to set up a plugin, but that’s what it is.
Inside, you can insert:
- Your username or your hashtag (we took the account of one of the WP Media co-founders @jb_ma, to show you the example below);
- The number of photos to be displayed (for instance 5);
- The image's format;
- The scrolling speed through the images;
- The type of slider;
- The display order;
- The type of link to be placed on the images;
- And other settings for images and slider.
Once this is done, the application generates a shortcode like this one [jr_instagram id=”2″] that you just have to paste in the post or page of your choice.
For the demonstration, this is where it happens:
Another important point to note is that you can specify the number of hours (for instance, 5 hours) for the plugin to check new photos submitted to Instagram, and posting them on your site. If you choose to use this plugin, you will join more than 100,000 active users.
6. Enjoy Instagram
Enjoy Instagram is a nice and modular plugin that allows you to display your images (up to 20 in free version) as a grid or a carousel.
Two shortcode formats allow you to integrate them either in your articles or in your pages:
However, we regret to inform you that you can't display pictures from another Instagram account.
Next, two types of widgets become available in Appearance > Widgets. These are the so-called “EnjoyInstagram-Grid” and “EnjoyInstagram-Carousel”.
Among other things, they allow you to set the number of columns, rows or images to be displayed.
Again, we would have appreciated being able to define a specific user and hashtag from each widget. Here you are restricted to what has been defined in the settings.
Enjoy Instagram is optimized for navigation on smartphones and tablets, like most of its friends presented in this post.
As a user, you will also be able to show your pictures to your visitors with a lightbox effect, which is very cool.
The premium version (16,99€/year) gives access to some optimizations:
- polaroid view to present your photos as a Polaroid image. This immediately gives an additional “design” and original cachet;
- further customization of the carousel (autoplay, loop, input and output animations) and of the grid (animation speed, margins between photos, etc.);
- lightbox settings;
7. InstaShow Lite
Let's go on with the show! If you like a design that pops, InstaShow Lite should delight you.
This plugin allows you to display your Instagram photos in a gallery (in the form of a grid) in a dazzling way. You will be able to display your pictures and sort them by hashtag, username or URL. The plugin is also of course responsive.
The paid version ($19/ year for a site) brings many more possibilities:
- choice of 10 new color schemes;
- enabling or disabling the number of likes, comments or description when hovering over a photo in the gallery;
- control of gallery sizes (width, height, gutter, number of rows and columns, etc.);
- customization of the user interface (UI) via 14 parameters to optimize your browsing experience.
On top of it all, Elfsight, the plugin's developer, says that Instashow was number 1 in sales of Instagram plugins on the Code Canyon platform (aff) in 2016 (more than 12,000 sales at present).
InstaShow also has a little brother (or a big one for that matter): InstaLink, which has a more classic look but is just as efficient. This is a widget that can be integrated in the sidebar.
Note: If you want to embed the InstaShow Lite shortcode in a text widget, make sure you enable the execution of the shortcodes in the widgets with this snippet. The snippet is in French, but be assured that it works like a charm 😉
8. AccessPress Instagram Feed
Developed by AccessPress, based in Nepal, this responsive plugin has 10,000 active installations.
In the free version, 3 layouts are available:
- Mosaic (with the possibility of integrating a lightbox)
- Grid rotator layout (Grid rotator layout)
You also have the option to turn the “Like” on or off. To display the images, you will still have to copy/paste shortcodes from the options in your pages and posts. As with many of its other competitors, a shortcode generator would have been appreciated.
Two widgets are also available. The first one will display a kind of Instagram badge to motivate visitors to follow you, and the next one will only display your images according to the layout of your choice.
The fee-based version (aff) is available for $25 and contains the following options:
- choice of 15 layouts;
- 4 possibilities to sort your photos;
- 6 different lightboxes.
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First of all, the list of plugins here described is based on objective elements but also includes subjectivity, of course. What we consider effective or design, for example, may be less effective for you. And vice versa.
The WordPress plugin offering is constantly evolving, and you will surely find, as you search, plugins that we have not found. You may even find new challengers to come and shake up our list.
We'd love you to! In this case, please share your opinions and findings in the comments section.
Secondly, as you have seen, the majority of Instagram plugins have many similarities.
However, most of them do not have very intuitive interfaces.
We regret that you often have to copy/paste shortcodes, when a small button or a drop-down list from the visual editor would make things much easier.
If we were to recommend one, it would be Instagram Feed (in 1st position).
As far as you are concerned, always keep the following in mind when making your choice:
- Where do you want to place your Instagram photo feed? (content, sidebar, elsewhere on your site)
- Can you display images from any account or hashtag?
- What layout do you want to offer your visitors?
- Are the images saved on your site?
- Do you absolutely need the features of the paid version? (A compulsive purchase is rarely productive.)
So, which plugin did you choose to integrate Instagram on your WordPress website? Explain to us why in the comments 🙂
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