Tips to Create a Custom Instagram Photo Feed in WordPress

Having an Instagram photo feed is a great way to make your online presence more streamlined, and your website more connected with social media platforms. But, unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of useful Instagram photo feeds are. And, if they are aware, they are unsure of how to create a decent one. So, to help out, we are going to cover the must-know tips on how and why to create a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress.

Why having an Instagram photo feed is a good idea

It is fair to note that not all websites can benefit from having an Instagram photo feed. If your website is more oriented towards written content, you’d be smarter to integrate it with Facebook or Twitter. But, if photos are your go-to content, creating a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress is the way to go. By doing so you will reduce the amount of work necessary to keep your website and your Instagram account updated. Furthermore, if you are skillful at Instagram marketing, you will easily transport those marketing efforts to your website. So, all in all, if you plan on posting photos, create a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress.

A person showcasing an Instagram profile, showing you one of the benefits you will experience once you create a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress.
You need to create a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress if you plan on managing your photos efficiently.

How to create a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress

Before we explain what creating a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress is all about, we would advise you to make a backup of your website. A simple oversight can cause a lot of issues, which is why making a backup is always a good idea. Even though you can disable a plugin without access to the admin area, we still suggest that you don’t risk your whole website shutting down. So, once you have that settled, here is what you need to do.

Step 1

The first thing to do is to install the Smash Balloon Instagram Feed plugin. While you can add a custom Instagram photo feed with other plugins, we feel that this one is best optimized. After all, it is among the most popular ones, with over 1 million websites using it. So, you can hardly go wrong by installing it.

Step 2

Once you’ve installed it head on to the Instagram feed -> Settings. There you will Licence tab where you will have to enter your license key. The license key is located in your Smash Ballon account info. Once you’ve entered the key, hit Save Changes to activate.

Step 3

After activating your license key head on to the Configure tab. There you will click on the “Connect and Instagram Account” button. The following popup will ask you whether you are using a personal or a business Instagram profile. If you only want to display photos, we suggest that you opt for a personal account. But, if you also want to post hashtags, then you’ll need a business profile. Creating a business profile on Instagram is free, and you can always switch to a personal one. Once you select the account type, press the “Connect” button in the WP dashboard. This will have your account listed next to “Instagram Accounts”.

A girl working on a computer.
Try to figure out how you will use your Instagram profile before you choose between business and personal.

Adding new photos

In order to add new photos from Instagram, you first need to head on to the Instagram Feed Pro page. There, in the Configure panel, you will find the “Add to Primary Feed” button. Once you do that, you will be able to open the specific webpage where you will add your feed. You can even choose to do so in a sidebar widget.

The next thing to do is to click on the (+) symbol in the block editor and simply choose the Instagram feed option. This will automatically add your Instagram feed to your page, along with a Follow button.

On the other hand, if you are using the classical editor, you will need to take a different route. Here you need to add the [instagram-feed] shortcode where you want your feed to be. You can also use a shortcode to add an Instagram feed widget.

Customizing your feed

The default layout for your Instagram feed will be a four-column grid. The viewers will be able to see the newest 20 photos on your Instagram. For more, they will have click on “Load More”. While this is a decent enough layout, know that the Instagram Feed plugin gives you a top of options to customize. In order to actually customize you need to head to Instagram Feed -> Settings -> Customize. There you will be able to alter:

  • Height.
  • Widht.
  • Number of collumns.
  • Number of photos.
  • Layout settings.

Once you customize your feed, make sure to click on “Save Changes” to implement your new layout.

Showing hashtags

Adding hashtags to your Instagram feed is fairly straightforward. You first need to go to the Instagram Feed -> Configure. Then, under Feed Type, you can pick between tagged feed or hashtag feed. You can also choose to have a mixed feed, where you will publish both tags and hashtags. But, keep in mind that posting both can be a bit overwhelming, Which is why we advise you to consider carefully before you make your choice.

You can hardly deal with Instagram marketing without proper hashtag use.

Creating multiple Instagram feeds

With a couple of configurations, you’ll be able to not only create a custom Instagram photo feed in WordPress but create multiple. Just make sure that the images are properly optimized for WordPress before you add them. The first thing to do is to head to Instagram Feed -> Settings. Withing the [instagram-feed] shortcode there will be numerous options that you can use. If you already have multiple accounts connected, you can simply use the [instagram-feed type=”user” username=”wpbeginner”]. Doing so will specify the account where you can later change the “wpbeginner” into any username you like. In a similar fashion, you can also create hashtag based feeds. To do so you’ll need to utilize [instagram-feed type=”hashtag” hashtag=”#wpbeginner”]. Here, the #wpbeginner will be the desired hashtag.


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