A sidebar on your blog or website is a great place to put widgets and you can use it to show your recent Twitter tweets. It is great for your site’s visitors and they can see and interact with great content.
If you are not using Twitter, you should seriously think about it because the service has hundreds of millions of users. It can’t match the 2 billion that Facebook has, but it is still a very important social network.
If you can build up a followers of your account, you can then promote your blog and its latest posts to them by tweeting links. When these are clicked they send people back to your site and so your traffic grows.
A Twitter widget in the sidebar enables you to show off your latest tweets and this encourages people to follow you. If you tweet about posts on your site, the sidebar widget then becomes another way of keeping people on your site with interesting links.
Some plugins enable Twitter feeds to be inserted into your blog/website and they are easy to use, but they are not essential because you can create a Twitter widget at the Twitter website. Here is a guide to creating and showing a Twitter feed in the sidebar of your WordPress website.
1 Go to Twitter widgets
There is a special section in Twitter for creating widgets for websites. Assuming you are signed into Twitter, go to https://twitter.com/settings/widgets. You can also get there by going to Twitter, clicking your profile photo and selecting Settings and privacy. Select Widgets on the left.
Click the Create new button in the top right corner.
2 Choose the content
A menu is displayed showing the different types of widget that can be created. If you want to show a feed of your tweets, select Profile. Likes shows other people’s tweets you have liked, List shows a Twitter list you have built and so on.
3 Twitter content and style
It asks what you want to embed and there are several options below. You could enter your (or anyone’s) Twitter URL, but it is simpler to just enter the username, such as @rwaddilove.
What you enter affects the type and number of widget styles that can be used. Entering a Twitter username leaves just two widget styles. Click the one on the left, Embedded Timeline.
4 Copy the code
The code you need is displayed at the top. You could click the Copy Code button, but at the top is a link that takes you to a new page to customise the options. Click it.
5 Customise the look
There are a few basic customisation options such as setting the size and width of the widget. Set the width so that it just fits inside the sidebar. (If you need to know your sidebar’s width, take a screenshot, load it into a photo editor, crop it and see the width.)
Click the Update button to apply the customisation options.
6 Copy the code
That takes you back to the previous step, but with updated code. Click Copy Code.
7 Add an HTML widget
In WordPress, go to Appearance > Widgets and you will see a collection of widgets that can be added to the sidebar. Drag the Custom HTML widget to the Sidebar and drop it. Enter a title for the widget, such as Follow me on Twitter, and paste the code into the Content box. Save it.
8 View your Twitter widget
Now go to your site, click any post and look at the sidebar. (Sidebars don’t always appear on the home page, so view a post.) Here is what my Twitter feed looks like.
That is a great widget and it is one more thing to capture your visitor’s interest.