Setting Up a Twitter Feed for Your WordPress Site

(I’m starting to set up a revised course web site for a summer sociology class.  As issues come up, I intend to write brief posts, in part as notes to myself.  Perhaps they can be of help to others.  This time, the topic is Twitter.)

Lots of course web sites can benefit from a Twitter feed that displays the stream of Tweets using the course hashtag, or a hashtag that feeds course-related content.  In my case, it will be #vcusocy101 for the VCU Sociology 101 course, and I may use a separate #sociology feed for generic content, too.  Setting up that feed is easy…once you know where to look for the plug-in.  There’s more than one way to do this but the simple method below works well.  (I’m assuming you have a Twitter account already set up.)

  1. From your Dashboard, make sure you have Jetpack activated.
  2. Now activate the “Extra Sidebar Widgets” feature in Jetpack.
  3. Go to Appearance/Widgets and you’ll now see a widget called “Twitter Timeline (Jetpack).”  Drag it to the sidebar where you want it to appear.
  4. While still on the widget page, open the Twitter Timeline widget and you’ll see a link to “create a widget at Twitter.”  Open this in a new tab.
  5. From that Twitter widget site, choose the “search” tab, enter the # you want to feed, click “create a widget” and copy the resulting code.
  6. Paste the code somewhere so you can highlight and copy just the “data widget ID” number, which is about 18-digits long.  (You don’t need the rest of the code.)
  7. Back on the WordPress widget page, paste the ID number into the appropriate box on your Twitter Timeline widget.  You can customize the style here, too.

Save and update and–voila–your feed is live.

Plenty of additional advice and help in the WordPress Codex and support forums.