Instagram is one of the most popular social networks that allow users to share their images and videos. Importing from Instagram to WordPress is a great way to grow your business by improving on social networking efforts.
With over 1 billion active users, Instagram is one of the most widely used social media networks. It enables users to share their Instagram photos with followers on other social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.
In this article, I’ll show you how you can start importing from Instagram to WordPress with the Spotlight plugin to share your photos and videos with your site’s viewership.
Let’s put everything into context before we get started.
Disclaimer: This post originally featured WP RSS Aggregator and some of the older comments still reference that post. Although the plugin was able to retrieve Instagram posts and display them on WordPress websites, it was never the best solution. We have since been working on creating a much better plugin for the job. Spotlight (launched in 2020) was our answer to this much needed task.
Why Import From Instagram to WordPress?
Granted Instagram and WordPress do not have much in common – Instagram is a social media network and WordPress is a content management system. Why would you want to import from Instagram to WordPress in the first place?
Let’s consider some of the different personas who would benefit from the Instagram-WordPress integration.
- Photographers. Photographers with WordPress-based online businesses can share all of their Instagram photos and albums on their WordPress site to gain recognition and, hopefully, get a few more clients on board. Assuming you have a pretty good follower base, importing from Instagram to WordPress will have a positive and lasting effect on your portfolio.
- Personal bloggers. If you’re running a personal blog then sharing images of your daily routine and activities forms an integral part of your site’s content. Being able to directly import images from your Instagram to your WordPress site will save you a ton of time.
- Travel bloggers. Those of you who are travel enthusiasts and are always on the go can share adventurous stories on their travel blog with a captivating image to go with it. What better way to share that image then importing it straight from your Instagram?
- e-Commerce websites. Instagram is becoming one of the most popular marketing platforms out there. With almost 90% of all Instagram accounts following at least one online business, it’s a great opportunity for brand awareness and social proof. Instagram in turn has also made it easier for Businesses to control their marketing strategy with the onset of Business accounts.
Whether you want to grow your online business, increase incoming traffic, or give snippets of your day to day life, you’ll need a powerful plugin to get the job done.
An Overview of Spotlight
Spotlight is an Instagram feeds plugin designed to be used by virtually anyone – irregardless of your WordPress knowledge. The process of connecting to your account, designing your feed and displaying it on your website only takes a couple of minutes from start to finish.
This lightweight plugin is rich with design options and features and allows you to connect to multiple accounts and create countless feeds to be displayed anywhere on your website with the use of shortcodes or the WordPress widget.
Spotlight uses the same technologies as Netflix and Instagram and thanks to dynamic loading, it ensures that your site’s page-loading times are not affected by the plugin. The plugin also has an integrated caching system, meaning that your feed will also be available even if Instagram goes down.
Import From Instagram to WordPress With Spotlight
Spotlight comes in 3 price points:
- Free – available on the WordPress plugin repository
- PRO (single site license) – $59/year
- PRO Lifetime (single site license) – $199
For multiple site licenses, you may contact the team on their Support page.
To get started, you can either download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository or search for Spotlight Social Photo Feeds from your site’s backend by navigating to Plugins > Add New.
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you’ll notice that a new menu item, Instagram Feeds, has been added to your WordPress menu sidebar.
Connect Your Instagram account
Spotlight lets you connect multiple Personal or Business Instagram accounts. At the startup page, select the button relative to your type of account.
In this example, we’ll be using a Personal Account. Upgrading to a Business account is free and will unlock even more design options in Spotlight. Learn more.
Spotlight requires access to your profile info (username and account type), as well as your media (caption, media count, etc.).
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t allow user bios and profile pictures to be imported for Personal accounts. To remedy this, Spotlight lets you upload your own custom image and bio in the next step of the onboarding process.
If you prefer to skip this step, you can always go back and set up your profile under Settings in the WordPress menu sidebar.
Design Your Instagram Feed
You are now fully set up and ready to design the look of your feed. You will be automatically taken to the Spotlight editor, complete with a live interactive preview of your feed.
If you’ve upgraded to the PRO version of the plugin, you will be able to choose whether to display posts where your account has been tagged, as well as posts with specific hashtags (both available only when a Business account is connected).
Continue by naming your feed and then proceed to the Design tab.
Here the free version comes with a Grid layout and gives you plenty of options.
- Set the number of posts and columns
- Choose to display your images by date or popularity, or at random
- Display your posts in a popup box or in a new or existing tab
- Set the feed width and height, outside and image padding
- Change text size and background color
- Show or hide the likes & comments icons (available only to Business accounts) and Instagram icon on hover
- Customize your header
- Add a Follow button and customize it to your liking
- Add a Load more button
Other design elements such as the fonts used in the feed are set to automatically use your theme’s settings, ensuring that the feeds look consistent and fit right into your site.
The PRO version unlocks further design options such as:
- Highlight and Masonry layouts (with more coming soon)
- The ability to display Instagram likes and comments
- The option to show post captions beneath posts or in the popup
- The ability to show Instagram stories directly on your site
- Media and follower count
As is expected, Spotlight is fully responsive. In fact, a neat feature is that you can design a single feed to be displayed differently across devices. You can tailor your feed and set specific settings for desktop, mobile and tablet by clicking on the icons in the Design tab.
Moderating Your Feed
One of the perks of upgrading to a PRO license is the ability to have full control over the posts you are displaying on your website. You can do this in 2 ways:
Under the Filtering tab, Spotlight lets you filter by caption or hashtag. You can specify to only show or hide posts with particular words or phrases in their captions. Alternatively, you can also do the same process with hashtags.
Moderation works in a slightly different way. Here you can manually choose which posts to show or hide, making it easy to control what you want to show your website visitors.
Display Your Feed
You’re all set! All you need to do now is to embed your feed using the custom shortcode which you can access under the Embed tab. You can use this shortcode on any page, post or widget.
Alternatively, you can also use Spotlight’s dedicated WordPress widget under Appearance > Widgets.
And there you have it. Your Instagram feed will be displayed on your desired page or post according to the design options set out.
For an overview of your feeds and where they are displayed, head over to Feeds in your WordPress menu sidebar. Here you can access shortcodes to all your feeds, as well as delete ones which you are no longer using.
Under Settings in the sidebar, Spotlight gives you an overview of your connected accounts and lets you customize how often the plugin checks for new posts from Instagram. You can also clear your cache, if required.
Wrapping It Up
Instagram is an amazing social networking platform that can be used with your WordPress site to grow your business. Spotlight makes the Instagram-WordPress integration easy to implement for all kinds of users.
We looked at some of the ways you can use Instagram with your WordPress site by analyzing user personas and walked you through an in-depth tutorial to help you get started with importing from Instagram to WordPress using an incredibly powerful plugin – Spotlight. We covered the basics of importing from Instagram to WordPress and hopefully you’re in a good position to take things to the next level.
How are you using your Instagram account? How have you used it to improve your WordPress site? We’d love to hear all about your experience so get in touch by commenting below!