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How to Display Instagram Photos in WordPress Sidebar Widget

Do you want to display your Instagram photos in your sidebar?

Instagram is a popular social media platform, and it’s a great way to connect with your audience. When you display your Instagram photos on your site, your audience gets a chance to click over to your profile and follow you.

In this article, we’ll show you how to display Instagram photos in the WordPress sidebar widget.

How to display Instagram photos in WordPress sidebar widget

Why Add an Instagram Feed to Your WordPress Site

Instagram has a massive user base of more than a billion monthly active users. If you are starting a website, then Instagram could be a great source of traffic and new visitors.

Depending on your industry, Instagram may become an important part of your social media strategy. It is immensely popular among top fashion blogs, cooking, lifestyle, and photography websites.

This is why we regularly share updates on our Instagram account. Make sure to follow @wpbeginner to get our exclusive stories and updates.

Displaying your Instagram feed on your website helps you gain more Instagram followers. At the same time, it also helps you drive traffic to your site and boost conversions.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily display Instagram photos in WordPress sidebar widget, posts, and pages.

First, we’ll show you how to display individual Instagram images in WordPress. After that, we will show you how to automatically display your recent Instagram photos anywhere on your website.

Let’s start with individual Instagram posts.

Display an Instagram Photo in WordPress Sidebar Widget

Note: In October 2020, Facebook made breaking changes to their API which broke the default embed blocks in WordPress. To use the default oEmbed, you’ll need Smash Balloon’s free Instagram photo feed plugin.

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you’ll need to setup the oEmbeds by following the instructions here.

After that, you can easily embed Instagram photos in sidebar. Simply go to the Appearance » Widgets page and add the ‘Text’ widget to your sidebar.

Emed an Instagram photo in WordPress sidebar widget

Now copy and paste the URL of the Instagram photo you want to embed in the widget settings. Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your widget settings.

You can now visit your website to see the Instagram photo displayed in your sidebar.

Instagram photo embed in WordPress sidebar

How to Display Instagram Photos in WordPress Posts and Pages

Similar to the last step, you’ll need to use Smash Balloon’s free Instagram photo feed plugin and configure the oEmbeds first.

After that adding your individual Instagram photos is easy. You can add them on any post, page or sidebar widget.

Simply edit a post or page or create a new one. On the post edit screen, click on the ‘+’ icon and search for the ‘Instagram’ embed block.

Block editor Instagram

Click to Insert the Instagram block in your content area. After that, you can simply paste your Instagram photo URL in the block settings.

Embed Instagram imag

WordPress will automatically fetch the Instagram post and display the photo and caption inside the content editor.

Instagram image in post editor

You can now save or publish your post and visit your website to see it in action.

Instagram image on site

The problem with the default WordPress methods is that you have to manually embed a photo each time you want to share something.

If you would like to automatically display your recent Instagram posts, then this next method is for you.

Adding an Instagram Feed in WordPress

Adding an Instagram feed allows you to automatically display your recent Instagram posts on your WordPress site.

We’ll be using the Smash Balloon Instagram Feed, which is the best Instagram plugin for WordPress. It allows you to beautifully display your Instagram photos in WordPress.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Smash Balloon Instagram Feed plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to the Instagram Feed » Settings page and switch to the ‘License’ tab. You need to enter your plugin license key here. You can find this information under your account on the plugin website.

Activate license

After activating your license key, switch to the ‘Configure’ tab, and click on the ‘Connect an Instagram Account’ button.

Connect your Instagram account

This will bring up a popup where you’ll be asked to choose a business or personal account. If you have not set up a business profile in Instagram, then select Personal and click on the ‘Connect’ button.

Personal account prompt

The plugin will now redirect you to the Instagram website. After login, you’ll be asked to give Smash Balloon permission to access your Instagram account.

Authorize Instagram account

Simply click on the ‘Authorize’ button to continue.

You will now be redirected back to your website on the plugin’s settings page. It will now show your username in a popup and you need to click on the ‘Connect This Account’ button to finish the setup.

Connect your instagram account

Now that you’re connected, you’ll see your account in the ‘Configure’ tab.

Instagram Account connected

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

Displaying Your Recent Instagram Photos in WordPress

Smash Balloon Instagram Feed makes it very easy to display your recent Instagram photos anywhere on your WordPress site.

Simply edit the post and page where you want to display the Instagram feed and click on the (+) icon to add a block. Look for the ‘Instagram Feed’ block and click to add it in the content area.

Instagram feed block

The plugin will now fetch and display a preview of your recent Instagram photos in the content editor.

Instagram feed in WordPress editor

You can now save your post and page and visit it to see your Instagram feed in action.

Another quick way to display your Instagram photos is by using the shortcode. Simply add the shortcode block and then add [instagram-feed] shortcode inside it.

Instagram feed shortcode

Show Recent Instagram Photos in WordPress Sidebar

If you want to display your recent Instagram posts in your WordPress blog’s sidebar, then Smash Balloon Instagram Feed makes that super easy.

Simply go to the Appearance » Widgets page and add the ‘Instagram Feed’ widget to your sidebar.

Drag Instagram into sidebar

It is a plain text widget where you can provide a widget title. It already includes your Instagram feed shortcode in the settings.

Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your widget settings. You can now visit your website to see your feed in action.

Instagram feed in sidebar

To customize the feed for your sidebar, you can expand on the shortcode by visiting Instagram Feed » Settings and then clicking on the ‘Display Your Feed’ tab.

Display your feed tab

From there, you’ll have many different options for displaying how your feed looks in the sidebar. For this example, we’re using the following shortcode: [instagram-feed num=4 cols=2].

The num=4 tells your feed to display 4 photos and the cols=2 tells your feed to display 2 columns.

If you want to add custom feeds to any page, post, or sidebar, you can always refer to the ‘Display Your Feed’ tab and use the table to create any feed you want.

Feed options

Customize Your Instagram Feed Layout

Smash Balloon Instagram Feed comes with beautiful layouts to display your Instagram photos. Simply go to Instagram Feed » Settings page and switch to the ‘Customize’ tab.

Instagram customize tab

You can choose from Grid, Carousel, Masonry, and Highlight layouts. Clicking on a layout will show you further customization options for each layout.

Carousel layout options

Optionally, you can also show or hide the header, load more, and follow buttons.

More layout options

Don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

You can now visit your Instagram Feed to view it in your customized layout.

Carousel feed in post

We hope this article helped you learn how to display Instagram photos in WordPress sidebar Widget. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a custom Facebook feed in WordPress, and our comparison of the best online course platforms to grow your revenue.

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Reader Interactions

4 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. i have tried .
    installed and activated bt when tried to authorise by loggin in it showed
    {“code”: 403, “error_type”: “OAuthForbiddenException”, “error_message”: “You are not a sandbox user of this client”}

    what do i do?

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