I’ve been blogging for a while, and so I always love it when I find a new toy that makes my life so much better! So….without further babbling, I have a new favorite plugin. Now for some of you veterans out there, you might already use this plugin, but it’s rather new to me, so I’ll share! It’s called WP to Twitter Plugin (WordPress to Twitter) written by Joseph Dolson. Essentially what it will do is connect your WordPress blog to Twitter! Now why is that amazingly awesome?! Well instead of auto-tweeting your recipes/posts, or #putting #annoying #hashtags #in #your #titles that completely annoy the non-twitter universe, you can customize a tweet in your post dashboard that will automatically tweet when your post is published! Ummm, life.just.got.easier!
So let me walk you through this and show you how cool this plugin is!!
First head over to you plugins tab on your dashboard and click ‘add new’
Now what you’ll want to do is search for “WP to Twitter”. WP for those like me that are terrible with abbreviations means WordPress.
If you don’t see WP to Twitter as the first option, just make sure that Joseph Dolson is the author of the plugin! Click install on your blog! You’ll need to know your FTP credentials to install this. If you don’t know them, then talk to the person who does!
Now you ARE NOT DONE once this plugin is installed. There are a few more things you must do to get this connected to your Twitter account and it can seem a little complicated. It took me two tries to figure this out, but I did! Once it’s installed on your blog, click ‘Activate’. It will immediately say that you must update your settings, or connect to twitter. Some warning will tell you that something is up. Sooooo, we go to twitter.
First step is to make sure you are logged into your twitter account. Now you are going to create an application. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry, I’ve got pictures and screenshots!! To create a Twitter Application go to the Twitter Developers page. In the upper right hand corner, you’re going to click on ‘My applications’. I know, I know, you don’t have any yet, but that’s okay!
Because you’re going to find this button and create one!
Go ahead and fill out the name, and the description. The url and callback URL should be identical. Agree to the terms. Now you will see a new screen with your application’s name and some crazy information that looks almost like gibberish. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, find the settings tab.
You MUST change the twitter application type to READ AND WRITE. This is critical. If you don’t do this, it won’t work. Click the update settings blue button at the bottom of the page, and then go back to the Details tab.
You’ll now scroll to the bottom of the page and create an access token, by simply clicking on the little blue button that says, “create my access token”
You now have everything you’ll need. In a separate window, open up your blog. Click the Settings Tab and fine WP to Twitter’s setting page.
Copy and paste the different keys into the appropriate areas and then click ‘connect to twitter.’
Now I got two different messages, one said “WP to Twitter is now connected with Twitter.” and the other said “Twitter requires authentication by OAuth. You will need to update your settings to complete installation of WP to Twitter.” I did NOT update anything and the error went away, odd, but so is WordPress sometimes!
Now let’s play with settings!!! I like CUSTOM TWEETS. That means I do NOT want it to auto-tweet for me. Now this plugin can and will auto-tweet if you want it to. But I want to customize each tweet, hashtag each tweet and tag each tweet with a specific user on twitter. So here are my settings:
I only have ONE THING CHECKED. . Now if you wanted it to auto-tweet, just use the short codes to make it do so. For example, you could say: “New Post: #title# #url#” That tweet would look something like this:
New Post: Yummy Crockpot Corn Bread http://bit.ly/k30dk
Now there are options for you to tweet new pages created, when posts are edited, or even when someone comments. But I don’t want to spam my followers on Twitter, so I only allow this to update when a new post is created. The trick to a completely customized tweet, is to leave the field empty. Check the box for ‘‘ but leave the field empty! What will that do? Well when posting a new post, at the bottom, you will see this:
Here is what my most recent tweet looked like:
Here it is written out:
Delicious Chia Pudding Recipe…only two ingredients! Check out @DoleNutrition @DoleFoods for the Chia seeds! #url#
Now I used their #url# to add the URL automatically, but I wanted to customize it a little more than just adding the title. Here is what it looks like on Twitter:
The URL shortner didn’t work for some reason but it will soon! I’ll figure it out. Hope this post helps you, I love the wp to twitter plugin and I think you will too!! Stay tuned for more Blogging Bites!