30 minutes. It's been 30 damn minutes since you've been looking for a way to integrate Twitter with WordPress.
Which plugin to choose? How to display your news feed? How to publish your articles on the social network symbolized by the little blue bird?
Anyway, you have so many questions. And you're tired of wasting time. Please wait a bit before throwing your screen out the window.
As you can see, linking Twitter and WordPress isn't that rocket science. Sometimes there are small manipulations to be done to make everything functional, but it can be very, very useful.
You know what? I'm going to demonstrate this to you throughout this article. Simple tips, advice and methods will allow you to reproduce all this at home.
Easily. Step by step. Just to warn you: I have planned much more than 140 (or now 280) characters.
But before we start, here's our roadmap. Throughout this article, we will discuss the following points together:
- Why you need to link Twitter and WordPress?
- 11 Twitter Plugins for WordPress: The ultimate test
- THE check to do once your plugin is set up
- How to integrate Twitter to WordPress without any plugin
- 7 complementary tools to manage Twitter with WordPress
- Bonus – 10 Twitter accounts to follow absolutely
- So, are you ready to get to work?
NB: The links you will find in this article are affiliate links. That is to say that WPMarmite will receive a commission if you subscribe to a license through these links. This provides funding for the research and writing work of the editors. However, this does not affect our judgment. If a plugin doesn't seem relevant, we'll let you know without going in for half measures! 😉
Why you need to link Twitter and WordPress?
What's happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.About page of Twitter official website.
Launched in 2006, “Twitter is a microblogging and social networking service”, says Wikipedia. Users can post and interact sharing tweets which are limited to 280 characters.
With 330 million monthly active users – source – Twitter is the 5th most used social network in the world, far behind Facebook (2 billion users) and Instagram (700 million).
Speaking of which, if you use Instagram with your WordPress, have a look at the WPMarmite's complete guide on this topic.
If you have a WordPress website or blog, we bet you want to have maximum visibility to promote your posts, your business, your products, etc.
That's a great idea! Know that Twitter is the right place – among others – to:
- Strengthen your brand image;
- Build your audience loyalty;
- Attract new readers: imagine the impact of a viral tweet on your traffic;
- Make your brand more successful.
Using the microblogging service with WordPress will allow you to automate certain tasks, saving you time and productivity.
There are two main ways to link Twitter and WordPress. Most of the time, you will be able to use a plugin. But you should know that you can also do this by coding.
11 Twitter Plugins for WordPress: The ultimate test
Foreword: the order of appearance has nothing to do with the quality or my preference for a plugin.
FYI, I also chose to mention only Twitter plugins for WordPress that have been updated in the last 12 months.
Then, you will notice that, in general, the plugins dedicated to Twitter allow to perform 4 actions:
- Integrate a twitter feed on your website;
- Display Twitter buttons on your WordPress website;
- Optimize Twitter cards;
- Share entire content or a piece of content.
Most of the ones I'm about to present to you combine several of these characteristics.
The list I'm providing is obviously not exhaustive. There are dozens and dozens of plugins dedicated to Twitter on the official directory.
You got something better? You're using one that I don't mention? Feel free to let me know in the comment section!
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1. The official Twitter plugin
Let's start with the basics: the official Twitter plugin. To tell you the truth, I got scared of it going through the repository. A little anthology of super nice comments it is entitled to: “Not that good”, “Doesn't work“, “Useless, waste of time“…
In the midst of this swarm of unhelpful messages, we found a cool guy who gave it 5 stars (out of 5) and explained that he “liked” it. An exception because this plugin is very poorly rated (2.6/5).
With all this, we weren't expecting the deal of the century. But we wanted to figure it out ourselves. And it works!
Once the plugin is installed, a Twitter icon will appear at the bottom left of your admin bar.
In terms of settings, this remains very minimalist. You will be able to choose:
- the colour of your theme: dark or light. For example, we went with dark;
- the colour of the links;
- to integrate a Twitter button.
Then it all happens at the level of your widgets. The plugin allows you to add, in the areas provided by your theme (sidebar, footer, header, etc.), your tweets feed, a follow button or the latest tweets from a list of several accounts.
Here's what it looks like on the sidebar, with the account of Jack Dorsey (@jack), the founder and CEO of Twitter.
Last info about this plugin: it hasn't been updated in the last 12 months. But, in the end, it's not that bad.
2. Custom Twitter Feeds
Unlike the Twitter plugin presented just above, Custom Twitter Feeds is preceded by a very good reputation.
20,000 active installations, excellent reviews (5 stars), a supposedly fast and efficient customer support: all we wanted was to see this alleged Rolls Royce in action.
First observation: the plugin is very easy to use and has many customization options.
First of all, you will need to get a Token key when connecting to your Twitter account. Two clicks are enough. This allows the plugin to work.
Then, to integrate your Twitter feed into WordPress, all you have to do is customize it by adding your preferences for :
- The number of tweets you want to display;
- The possibility to include your photo, your bio;
- The width and height of the feed;
- The choice of font size for tweets;
- The background colour, etc.
In fact, for a free version, the choices are almost unlimited.
Once your settings are refined, you just have to insert the shortcode
[custom-twitter-feeds] where you want (article, page, sidebar). And where permitted by your theme.
It has been tested inside an article and in the sidebar: test validated.
Icing on the cake, the plugin is perfectly responsive.
Conclusion: I really like it!
PS: for those who want even more, there is a pro version. The cheapest license costs $39 (about €34), usable on one website. It allows, among other things, to display tweets from different users or hashtags, those in which you are mentioned, etc. It can be interesting in some very specific cases.
3. Click To Tweet
“The #1 WordPress plugin for Twitter.” How are your ankles?”. Aren't we a little big-headed here?
The Clicktotweet plugin also promises us, once installed, to benefit from the “simplest tool to promote and advertise our content” on Twitter.
Great, we were dying to get a closer look!
Unlike a classic share button, Clicktotweet allows you to focus on a specific part of the content you want to enhance. For example, if I wrote an article explaining how to create a WordPress website, I would do something like:
“Get the most out of WordPress with WPMarmite!”
Although this plugin has a rather limited audience (2,000 active installations), it is by no means a guarantee of poor quality.
Once you'll have installed it, you'll need to link it to your Twitter account. Two clicks and it's done.
Then go to an article or a page. You will see an icon with the little blue Twitter bird appearing in the toolbar.
Select the text you want to enhance by highlighting it and then click on the blue bird. A pop-up window will automatically open and you will see your message appear. You will then have to choose your theme.
Downside: the very long loading time when inserting a Clicktotweet into an article, for example. Several times, I haven't been able to do it. Do you have the same problem?
Now, if this inconvenience occurs, don't panic! We activate technique number two.
Go to the official Clicktotweet page. Click on Basic Link at the top and then enter the message you want.
Then click on Generate New Link and paste the resulting link wherever you want in your content. There you go, end of the manipulation. Click here to see what it looks like (all you have to do is click on the Tweet button to finish the job).
If you use the website directly, he plugin won't be useful to you, so you might as well uninstall it.
4. WP Tfeed
This rather popular plugin (20,000 active installations) will add a “wordpress twitter feed” to your website/blog i.e. a Twitter news feed.
You will be able to do this in two ways: using shortcodes or via widgets.
Before that, you're going to have to go through a very serious identity check. Not to say deterrent. Don't worry, the police won't show up at your house!
In fact, for the plugin to work, you must first create an application to get several infos such as a Token access key. That in itself is not complicated but it makes the process longer.
Here is the detailed 4-step procedure.
Step 1: Go to the registration page, so to speak.
Step 2: Fill out the form above. You must enter:
- A name: whatever you want without including the word Twitter, e.g., WPMarmite.
- A description: put what you want, because it will not be displayed, e.g., WPMarmite shows beginners how to create and customize WordPress websites step by step.
- The URL of your website, e.g., https://wpmarmite.com/.
Step 3: Retrieve your access keys.
Before doing so, first check that the “Read and write” button in the Permissions tab is checked. Then go to the “Keys and Access Tokens” tab.
Step 4: Enter your access keys on your WordPress administration.
Click Settings to access the settings for your plugin and copy-paste the access keys generated by the Twitter application.
Note: you will probably need to generate a token key via the “Keys and Access Tokens” tab.
Twitter application creation process: completed.
Once you've filled in the required information, you'll find two new widgets under Appearance > Widgets.
The first one, “AccessPress Twitter Feed”, enables you to display your Twitter feed. The second one, “AccessPress Tweet Slider”, enables you to show this feed in a slider.
You can also use shortcodes, if you prefer. Each time, you will have 3 templates to choose from.
In the end, the plugin works, but we were rather discouraged by the number of actions we had to perform before we had to use it. One of its competitors, Custom Twitter Feeds, for example, is much easier to handle.
A pro version exists. It costs $17 (about €15), and the last update was in June 2019.
NB: AccesPress, the developer of this plugin, also offers a plugin to publish on your Twitter profile your articles, pages and custom post types. You can do this as soon as you click on the “Publish” or “Update” button in your WordPress administration.
If you are interested, this plugin is called AutoTweet for WordPress.
5. BestWebSoft‘s Twitter
This is a simple and effective plugin to add up to 4 share buttons to your content:
Among the customization options, you will be able to choose the size of the button (large or small), its position (before and/or after the content), the text to be displayed or the number of subscribers.
Once you have made your settings, go to one of your items, for example. On the toolbar, you will now see the “Add BWS Shortcode” icon.
All you have to do is select the buttons you want to show to your loyal readers and the plugin will add a shortcode to display them. Take a look at the rendering on this test article.
The developer of the plugin, BestWebSoft, also offers a pro version for $20.38 (yes, very precisely), i.e. about €17 for one website.
However, the options are quite limited compared to the free version. With the pro version, you will be able to preview the appearance of your buttons or choose on which types of content to integrate them.
6. WP Twitter Auto Publish
This very practical plugin allows you to automatically publish your articles or pages on Twitter.
But, because there is a but: you're going to have to create what's called a Twitter application to make it work. Yes, that again!
If you haven't already done so, I invite you to check out the detailed explanation in the presentation of the WP Tfeed plugin (#4).
Then it's time to set up your plugin.
This is done in General Settings in the WordPress admin plugin settings. You can even track the status of your auto-posts in the Logs tab.
There you go. That was simple, wasn't it?
To top it off, know that the WP to Twitter plugin does more or less the same thing and also requires you to create a Twitter application.
I hope that it didn't put you off… Don't worry, we can also do without this famous Twitter application to integrate Twitter with WordPress.
Stick around, I'll explain how in part 4.
7. Arrow Custom Feed for Twitter
Adding a Twitter feed anywhere into your website is not that complicated. You'll get another demonstration with the Arrow Custom Feed for Twitter plugin.
Activate it and let's go for the settings! Go to your administration, in the left sidebar. An “Arrow Twitter Feed” icon must have appeared. Click on “Add New” to create your feed.
Give it a name, WPMarmite for example (it's just for you, it won't be displayed on your website) and decide what you want to display, e.g., the total number of tweets, a hashtag, etc.
In the free version, the options will be quite limited:
- You can only choose one template, the default one (out of the 6 available);
- You can only choose two out of three feed styles: vertical and blog.
Concretely: the plugin is very handy to set up. Once your settings are saved, a shortcode is generated. Insert it within an article or a page and that's all there is to it!
However, I noted two constraints:
- I can't add my tweets in a widget. To do this, you have to switch to the paid version. If you are interested, it will cost you $19 (about €16) to use it on a website. But it gives access to all the features blocked in freemium.
- Questionable display of the feed on our WordPress website. The tweets were cut off before the end. We uninstalled and then reinstalled the plugin. That little flaw didn't disappear. Feel free to do the test to see if it is compatible.
8. Recent Tweets Widget
I've been waiting for this plugin. Why? Because it has 100,000 active installations and was mostly developed by Noah Kagan himself (or most likely by his teams, whatever).
Noah Kagan also runs Sumo.com and helps entrepreneurs boost their productivity, in a nutshell.
Noah is the kind of cool guy with piercings in both ears, who does marketing (a former Facebook employee, the 30th one actually) and uses tacos in his bullet lists. True story! By the way, you can check it all out on his website, Okdork.
Ok, let's get back to the point: the famous plugin.
What do we do with it?
In theory, it makes it easier to store tweets in the cache and therefore allows your website not to be rate limited.
Once activated, drag the “Recent Tweets” widget to the desired space, e.g., in your sidebar.
To make it work, you need to get your API and Token keys. You need to follow the same steps as for some of the plugins presented above.
Then fill all this in the widget area. You can specify when tweets will be cached (e.g., every 3 hours) or the amount of tweets to display.
9. Rotating Tweets
Come on, let's have some fun because this plugin is funny! When reading the headline, you can probably expect something that will make your head spin!
The concept: instead of displaying your tweets one by one, Rotating Tweets enables you to expose them to your readers one after the other. In a loop.
Before seeing this plugin in action, you will have to go through the installation step. It's a bit heavy, like some of the others detailed above. But it has to be done, so let's do it!
For this, the plugin gives a very clear roadmap.
So, you follow the link provided to create your Twitter application. You activate it and generate your Token key.
Then, copy and paste into your WordPress admin:
- The user key for the Twitter API;
- The secret user key for the Twitter API;
- The access token for the Twitter API;
- The secret access token for the Twitter API.
Keep going by configuring certain settings as you wish, such as how long it takes the plugin to try to retrieve your latest tweets on Twitter.
Let's get to the most concrete part: the integration of the plugin.
You can add it to your WordPress via a shortcode or directly in the widget area.
For widgets, it's very simple: just put your account name (or someone else's) and customize it as you wish. I took the example of Jack Dorsey (@jack) again to show you (take a look in the sidebar below).
Yet I've been angry with him since he decided to go to 280 characters. But I still like you, @jack!
If you are a big fan of shortcodes, insert it in your last awesome article by pasting this:
For the demo, I used the account of the creator of the app, “mpntod”. You can see the result in the body of the text.
If you want to customize the look of your shortcode to make it more punchy, see the plugin page and this website.
Finally, let's complete this series of tests with two plugins to optimize your Twitter Cards.
A Twitter Card simply allows you to improve a tweet and enrich it. Twitter explains on its official website that this allows you to attach additional content to your initial tweet (photo, video, information about a product or service, etc.) to help you generate more traffic to your website.
This makes you much more visible in the timeline of your subscribers.
Below is an example of a type of Twitter Card called “Summary”:
There are several ways to integrate Twitter Cards into your website:
- Manually. Feel free to consult the official Twitter documentation to get there.
- Using the Yoast SEO plugin. Check out Alex's article on this topic: Yoast SEO, how to configure the best SEO plugin for WordPress. Note: with Yoast, you can only create two types of Twitter Cards (Summary Card and Summary Card with Large Image).
- Using a dedicated plugin. That's what we're going to see with two of them.
With these three methods, you will have to think about validating the cards on your website to make sure that everything works properly.
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10. Twitter Cards Meta – Best Twitter Card Plugin for WordPress
“The best Twitter Cards plugin for WordPress.” This is how the developer presents his application, which lists 5,000 active installations.
As soon as the plugin is activated, go to the settings. Don't forget to fill in your account name and to set a default image: you can get it from your library.
Then click on the blue link on the right “Click here to visit Twitter validation page”. You will get on the page below, to validate your Twitter card. Enter the URL of your article or page, validate and send a request for approval.
At last, all you have to do is wait for a confirmation email from Twitter to be able to publish your Twitter Card!
11. JM Twitter Cards
To activate this plugin, developed by Julien Maury who is very involved in the French WP community, you just have to set your options in the Settings tab.
When editing an article or a page, you'll see a new area called “Twitter Cards” appear after your text editor. Thanks to it, you will be able to preview the display of your Twitter Card on the social network symbolized by the little blue bird.
THE check to do once your plugin is set up
After installing the plugin of your choice, make sure to check the loading time of your pages.
Why? Because sharing-on-social-networks' plugins, sometimes have the unfortunate tendency to slow down your website. And Google doesn't really like that! And your visitors even less…
Don't hesitate to check out GTmetrix. Copy and paste the URL of your choice and let GTmetrix analyze it. Then fix it.
How to integrate Twitter to WordPress without any plugin
Here are three ways to do this:
- Using an embed tweet
- Creating a Twitter news feed
- Adding a Twitter button
You'll find each process detailed below.
1. Using an embedded tweet
This allows you to integrate any tweet into your WordPress content. To do this, simply copy and paste the URL of your preferred tweet and include it in your article.
Take a look below.
What's nice is that you'll be able to interact live with the said tweet (provided you have a Twitter account): you can like it, retweet it and/or comment on it. Not bad, right?
Small downside: with this option, it is only possible to integrate a tweet, not your complete news feed.
You will find the steps to follow on this page.
2. Creating a Twitter news feed
This tip will help you create and integrate your news feed to display your tweets on WordPress without having to create an app (also called embedded timeline).
To do this, please follow the detailed procedure here.
You will be given five choices:
Choose the option that suits you best. Personally, I chose Profile because I wanted to show my feed to my kind readers.
Then enter your Twitter URL in the space provided. You will get a code to copy and paste wherever you want on your site. It looks like this:
Word of advice: paste the code given by Twitter into the Text part (or Code editor) of your WordPress editor (when you write an article or a page).
I repeat: in the Text part (or Code editor).
If you put it all in the Visual editor, you won't see anything…
For the record, the generated HTML code looks like this:
<a class="twitter-timeline" href="https://twitter.com/wordpressdotcom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Tweets by wordpressdotcom</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
To use your feed in a widget, it's very simple. Take an HTML widget (Appearance > Widgets) and drag it where your theme enables it. For example, in the sidebar or in the footer. Remember to paste the code into the Text part.
Here you go, you're a champion!
3. Adding a Twitter button
You probably know this, but Twitter action buttons like “Tweet” or “Follow” can be very useful to develop interactivity with your readers.
They are also very simple to add to WordPress.
Take a look, the procedure is a piece of cake:
Either you follow the same steps as for adding a Twitter Feed widget. You will then come across a page of this style.
Either you follow this link, which will take you to the same place.
Click on Twitter Buttons and choose the one you are interested in. For example, I took the first one: share button.
Copy and paste the code obtained on your site and admire the result! 😉
7 complementary tools to manage Twitter with WordPress
This is not the main purpose of this article, which focuses in particular on plugins specific to Twitter. However, it is possible to integrate Twitter into WordPress using “generalist” plugins, which encompass several social networks at once.
I also wanted to share this with you, to help you as much as possible.
Without going into details, here are a few that will surely give you a helping hand:
- Social locker: A trickster plugin that enables you to block your readers from accessing some bits of your content. They will only be able to read the entire post once they'll have tweeted or liked your article. Do not hesitate to test this plugin, as it can have an interesting impact on your website traffic and interaction on your social networks. As long as you have posts that are worth it. If you publish 300 boring words every three months, it's useless.
- Revive Old Post: Used by WPMarmite, this plugin enables you to promote your old articles on social networks, and thus on Twitter. A very effective technique in content marketing and SEO, especially if you update the initial content.
- Social Warfare: “The WP Rocket of social sharing”.
- Mashshare: An excellent plugin to integrate share buttons into your publications.
- Monarch: A plugin provided by Elegant Themes to display your social network buttons everywhere on your WordPress. The global package costs $89 (about €78) with access to all their themes (including Divi) and plugins.
- Buffer and Hootsuite: Two tools to manage your posts, schedule your tweets – as well as your other posts on social networks – and analyze your performance.
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Bonus – 10 Twitter accounts to follow absolutely
A very personal selection of Twitter accounts related to WordPress. Follow them, if you haven't already! 😉
- @heywpmarmite: also available in French (in case you'd find it useful this way)! 🙂 ;
- @WordPress: the official account of WordPress;
- @AndrewNacin: WP Lead Developer ; he doesn't post much but still an interesting account to follow;
- @WordPressVIP: Provides WordPress solutions for companies;
- @Beaulebens: He used to work on Jetpack and WordPressDotCom and he's now Head of Product Engineering for WooCommerce;
- @SamuelWood: He works on WordPress.org and shares stuff about WP;
- @MattMullenweg: Who is mostly known for being a founding developer of WordPress;
- @MikeLittle: Who is the co-founder of WordPress;
- @LisaSabinWilson: You can't miss out on Lisa as she's the author of ‘WordPress For Dummies';
- @GeekPressEN: Jonathan Buttigieg, co-founder of WP Rocket.
So, are you ready to get to work?
I hope this article has been useful to you!
Before leaving, I encourage you to share your opinions and suggestions with me in the comment section.
Tell me everything: if you used a plugin or if you're more of a developer type. And let me know if you've got better plugins to offer than the ones I suggested in this article.
Readers of WPMarmite will be delighted to know more on that matter, and me too! 😉
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