Ever since Twitter changed their API a few years ago, I think third-party developers have been hesitant to develop apps and plugins that integrate with Twitter. When you factor in a questionable future and more recent changes (removing Twitter counts), it's easy to see why the number of Twitter apps and plugins are sparse.
But Twitter is still very active, and there are still a few developers willing to develop solutions that integrate as well as possible. Even the removal of Twitter counts wasn't enough to stop creative developers from finding workarounds.
Tweetlab - Twitter slider & Usercard for WordPress is a beautifully designed WordPress Twitter widget.
You'll find just the right amount of features and a subtle design that will fit with just about any theme.
You can set up your Twitter slider by user, search, or hashtag.
Some of the features included are:
It's also compatible with Visual Composer and WPML, making Tweetlab - Twitter slider & Usercard for WordPress one of the best premium WordPress Twitter widget plugins you'll find.
Make it easy for web users to communicate with you directly via Twitter.
Twitter Messages for WordPress adds a “Send me a message” button that makes it super easy to connect with Twitter users with its AJAX-powered modal window.
So many WordPress Twitter widget plugins focus on timelines and Twitter cards. It's nice to see something this useful.
Twitter Messages for WordPress is a unique and effective use of Twitter for websites.
Sure. You can use a free WordPress Twitter widget plugin and it'll display your feed.
But would you want to do that when AccessPress Twitter Feed Pro does it so much better!
It includes the ability to:
But that isn't really where it shines. It's the 12 design templates you can choose from.
AccessPress Twitter Feed Pro is easy to set up, packed with plenty of options, and is one of the best looking Twitter timeline focused widgets you can find.
Twitter Feed - Social plugin for WordPress is another nice option for displaying your Twitter timeline.
It's well designed and includes all the right features, and it also includes an easy-to-read Usage Tracker.
Some of the other features include:
Twitter Feed - Social plugin for WordPress is everything you'd expect (and a little more) from a premium WordPress Twitter widget.
When it comes to simple Twitter feed widget solutions, look no further than Twitter Feed – Optimized for Search Engines.
It's SEO friendly—search engines can read the tweets in the code—but I think its simplicity is what I like the most about it.
Twitter Feed – Optimized for Search Engines is simple, but packs a lot of punch.
Here's another approach to displaying Twitter feeds.
The slider effect, one of the five predefined templates included with Jet Tweet - Twitter Feed For WordPress, is one of my favorite looking WordPress Twitter widget effects.
Jet Tweet - Twitter Feed For WordPress is easy to customize and an easy way to dig into the Twitter API.
The Twitter Ultimate-Wordpress Plugin focuses on Twitter feed customization.
One unique feature that this WordPress Twitter widget offers is multiple queries. You can display tweets from multiple usernames or queries.
Twitter Ultimate-Wordpress Plugin is simple, easy to customize, and offers some unique options not available in other Twitter widgets.
While it's technically not a widget, I wanted to include Tweet to Unlock for WordPress.
Adding Twitter widgets is all about bridging engagement between your website and Twitter users—and that's what this does.
Tweet to Unlock for WordPress does exactly what its name describes. You can place content (blog posts, download links, videos, etc.) behind a paywall of sorts. Users are required to share the link via Twitter to unlock it.
If you're not interested in any of the extra flavor provided by premium WordPress Twitter plugins, you can always use the built-in Twitter widget included with Jetpack by WordPress.com—or the official Twitter widget.
If you're already using Jetpack by WordPress.com and all you need is a bare-bones basic timeline, you might give it a try. Keep in mind that design modifications are very limited and you miss out on caching as well as other features included with premium options.
For those not using Jetpack, you can try the less bloated Twitter widget offered by Twitter.com. Again, this is a basic offering, but an option nonetheless.
For those a little more daring, you might want to try creating your own Twitter widget using the Twitter Kit for Websites.
“Twitter Kit for Websites is a suite of widgets bringing Twitter content into your webpage content and buttons to encourage your Twitter audience to share your content and subscribe to your Twitter account updates.”
Instructions include how to embed:
Within these options, you can explore the different timeline templates and types, as well as how to display Twitter collections and more.
All in all, there are many different ways to customize and create a widget using Twitter Kit for Websites.
Having surveyed the different options of WordPress Twitter widgets, I can say there is plenty of room for more plugins.
So why not build your own WordPress Twitter widget?
It may be the best solution for your own website—or maybe even selling and supporting it to other WordPress users. Twitter offers extensive resources for developers, providing plenty of documentation to get started.
There are also many WordPress How-To Tutorials, including:
There are some clear limitations within the Twitter API compared to what was available a few years ago, but there's still plenty of room to construct some really great looking Twitter widgets that shine much brighter than the generic widgets offered by Twitter.
If you didn't find the right WordPress Twitter widget in this roundup, there are many other WordPress Twitter plugins in the Envato Market.
I think the Twitter API change a few years ago really hurt the market for third-party apps—ranging from desktop apps to WordPress plugins—and we can still feel the impact today.
That being said, I think the current API is enough for developers to build and support great WordPress Twitter widget plugins.
What's your favorite Twitter widget?
Is there something unique you're looking for that you haven't found?