I am a huge fan of simple plugins that add functionality to my website using WordPress. Some are quite simple and as was discussed in the comments on the Admin Links Widget review I did last week, many can be done via hacks within your WordPress theme files.
Now, I have been known to edit my files in the past to get a bit of functionality on my site but I much prefer to use a plugin that does the insert for me and then is easily deactivated if necessary or translates over to other themes without having to edit another group of theme specific files.
That brings me to a follow on discussion I mentioned in my Download Monitor plugin review a few days ago. You need something that will keep visitors coming back to your website. On this website it is the daily theme and plugin update entries that generate great interest to anyone with a WordPress based website.
So another great way to get people connected to your website is to provide a link to your Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. Now most themes now include links to entries and comments RSS feeds and you will also see them identified in any web browser that is aware of RSS feeds on your website. A header entry for RSS feeds looks like this in the HTML of the page:
This will then cause your RSS icon in your web browser to “light up” to indicate a feed is available on the website:
When you click on that RSS icon you get a list of the available feeds on a website:
OK – so this brings me to the plugin I want to introduce you to – the Add Twitter RSS plugin by Paul McCarthy. As many of you will already know Twitter is a hugely popular social media site that connects you to others by sharing 140 character Tweets. Now this post is not about Twitter but about its ability to draw people to your website by providing links to posts on your websites and quick Tweets about your interests – this works especially well if your blog is based on those interests.
By using this plugin you will provide a link to your website visitors that goes to your Twitter RSS feed that they will be able to read in their favorite feed reader and then see all of your 140 character Tweets. Those Tweets will then get them reconnected to your website through the use of links as I mentioned earlier.
So once you have installed and activated the plugin look in the Settings sidebar for the Twitter RSS Options menu item and click on it to open up the plugin settings page.
The Add Twitter RSS settings admin page.
This is the only settings page for the plugin and takes just a few minutes to fill out.
- Insert your Twitter ID and click the Find my Twitter ID. The plugin will track down your Twitter numerical ID which is what this plugin needs to work properly.
- RSS Icon Text – this is how your RSS feed link will look like when a visitor clicks on the highlighted RSS feed icon in their web browser.
- Twitter ID – inserted when you click on Find My Twitter ID in step 1.
- Add a Link to Twitter Feed in Sidebar Meta Widget? This will put a link to your Twitter RSS feed in the meta widget that is available by default in your WordPress installation.
After completing all of these steps click Update Options and the plugin will be customized and working. The end results you will see are like this:
Twitter RSS Feed link in Meta Widget.
The links that are off your highlighted RSS icon in your web browser toolbar when using Add Twitter RSS plugin.
Bottom line about this plugin: Easily inserts the code you need to bring attention to your Twitter RSS feed and help your website visitors keep that connection alive to your website.