Your Instagram profile can serve as an extremely effective tool for cultivating and maintaining your audience. It is natural to link your website to your Instagram feed, as you can get increased exposure, visitor interaction, and potential conversions by embedding your Instagram content on your blog.
Social media and blogs go hand in hand. Both channels let you share part of your life with your audience. With a personal website, you can write about anything you like, while platforms such as Instagram give your followers a more immediate glimpse into your day-to-day activities.
Finding ways to integrate your blog and social media channels can help you get more visitors, and especially new followers. The easiest way to do this is to add your Instagram feed to WordPress. That way, readers can check out your latest photos, visit your profile, and follow you directly from your site.
Adding your feed to WordPress is easy if you have the right tools. The Social Images Widget plugin, for example, lets you connect your account in only a few minutes. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the plugin and how it works. Let’s get right to it!
An Introduction to Social Images Widget
Social Images Widget is a straightforward plugin to understand. It adds a new widget to your collection that displays the latest pictures from your Instagram feed:
If you’re using a theme from LyraThemes, depending on where you place the widget, it can behave in different ways. For example, if you embed your feed within a sidebar, it will scroll through your latest images, instead of showing them side by side as in the above image:
You have plenty of options for where to place it. You can also choose between multiple image sizes, depending on how much attention you want to put on your images. View a sample demo here.
The plugin itself is completely free, and during our tests it worked perfectly with multiple themes. That means your theme choice won’t be restricted – this plugin uses sensible and simple markup, and provides no styles or CSS – so it is completely up to you how you want to style the widget to match your theme and taste. Even better, if you’re a LyraThemes user, you’ll notice that most themes within the collection include unique styles for your Instagram widget.
Regardless of what theme you use, however, the setup and activation process works pretty much the same. In the next section, we’ll show you how to get started.
How the Social Images Widget Plugin Works
Since Social Images Widget is free, you can go ahead and download it from WordPress.org, or install it right within your dashboard:
Once the plugin is active, you’ll find a new Instagram option under Appearance > Widgets. If you click on it, you can select a location for your Instagram feed:
Place the widget wherever you want your feed to appear, and expand it. You’ll see an option that says Authorize Instagram – go ahead and click on that:
On the next page, the plugin will explain why it needs to authorize your account. In a nutshell, the plugin only works for accounts you have access to, since it needs authorization in order to display their content. That means you can’t use it to embed third-party feeds:
When you’re ready, click on Connect Your Instagram account, and WordPress will redirect you to Instagram. If you’re already logged in, you’ll see an authorization window right away.
After you hit “Authorize”, you’ll then be returned to your WordPress admin area, where you can confirm if you want to save and finalize the connection for the Instagram account you chose:
You will see a screen like this one after you click “Save Instagram User”.
Now go back to Appearance > Widgets, and open up the Instagram widget once more. Instead of the authorization button, you’ll now see several configuration options.
Your Instagram username will show up at the top of the widget options. You can set a title that will be displayed on the front end, choose how many pictures will show up in your feed, and set their size:
There’s also an option here that lets you configure what happens when visitors click on your pictures. We recommend setting them to open in a new window, so users don’t leave your website (and risk not returning).
If you’re not interested in doing a lot of tweaking, the default widget settings work pretty well. For our example, we selected thumbnail-sized images and set the widget to display only seven of them:
Keep in mind that the way your feed looks can vary a lot depending on what theme you’re using. Likewise, if you choose to include many images, they might display in multiple rows.
Overall, Social Images Widget is remarkably simple to use. Tweaking your widget should only take a few minutes, while you find the perfect settings and location for the feed. Once you’re happy with the results, you can forget about it and move on to other things, as the plugin will update your images automatically.
Although Instagram enables you to embed posts on any website, by default it’s a time-consuming process. If you want to show off your latest pictures on your blog, your best option is to embed your Instagram feed into WordPress.
The Social Images Widget plugin lets you do that in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is authorize the plugin to connect to your Instagram account, choose where to place the widget, and tweak a few settings if you like. Your latest Instagram posts will always appear on your blog, and you won’t have to embed them manually.
Do you have any questions about how to use the Social Images Widget plugin? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!