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For almost all niches, incorporating Instagram on one’s website is a must-have. Most brands look at Instagram followers to assess one’s reach, especially for fashion and food bloggers. You could have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, but minimal pageviews and still receive excellent sponsored opportunities.
Unfortunately, not all Instagram widgets are built equally, and several have become outdated. Previously, I used Alpine PhotoTile for Instagram, then LightWidget. Lately, I have been using Instagram Feed by Smashballon with beautiful and consistent results. I would highly recommend it, especially if you have had issues with your other plugins.
When using an Instagram widget, it is critical that the widget links back to the individual image. Some widgets do not, and I don’t even consider those.
What You Need:
- Self-Hosted WordPress
- Login to Your Instagram
- Instagram Profile must be public
- Install Instagram Feed Plugin
Install the Instagram Feed plugin and activate it.
After you have activated the plugin, go to INSTAGRAM FEED in your dashboard.
You will need to connect your Instagram account to this plugin. There’s a big blue button that says “Log In and Get Access Token and User ID.” Once those populate, you will enter them into the fields below the button. Press SAVE CHANGES.
Go to the CUSTOMIZE tab. Here’s where you will customize the layout of your plugin. Personally, I like to deactivate a few features – I prefer minimalist widgets.
- CUSTOMIZE: I leave the width 100% and height blank to be responsive
- PHOTOS: Here is where I set the number of images, rows, and padding. Here’s where you will make the most customizations to the look of your widget.
- HEADER: I deactivate this feature, so that my widget only shows images. Otherwise, you will see your profile picture and bio. I don’t like to include this feature in the widget.
- LOAD MORE BUTTON: I also deactivate this feature. I only want to show a selective number of images, and I don’t want someone to load more.
- FOLLOW BUTTON: I deactivate this as well, but if you activate it, readers can follow you from your site.
- MISC: You can add customize CSS and JS to the widget in this section.
Go to APPEARANCES < WIDGET. Add [instagram-feed] to an empty text widget. You can place this widget in whatever area you want. Press SAVE to save the changes.
As I mentioned, I prefer Instagram widgets to be simple and straightforward. They are a great way to showcase new dynamic, visual content. Including a widget on your site helps build your followers.
For custom design sites, I prefer to use custom code rather than a plugin to integrate Instagram. It allows me to do more with the layout like I did with heartbeetkitchen.com or thefashionistasdiary.com. I do this on a case-by-case basis depending on the design!
Remember, it’s best to deactivate and delete any unused plugins. You can always keep a backup of previously used plugins on your computer.