How-to: Add Twitter to Your WordPress Site

Twitter timeline widget
Somehow they did it: the folks at Twitter made micro-blogging ubiquitous. The Twitter logo is everywhere. You can't be respectable in business or on the web without a Twitter feed, pushing traffic to your site and inviting engagement.

Which, for those multitudes using Wordpress for their website or macro-blog (funny how that term never caught on) means you need to integrate Twitter with your WordPress site.

So how do you integrate Twitter with your WordPress site?

Embedded Tweets
An embedded tweet is a single tweet neatly wrappered with Twitter functions for retweet, reply and favorite buttons and placed into any page or post. The Automattic company has rolled this into the base functions of WordPress, so all you have to do is paste the recognisable Twitter URL of a tweet within the body of any page or post, and WordPress will call up the relevant functions.
Twitter Follow Button
The quickest way to cross-pollinate, or, put another way, align your website followers with your Twitter followers. Placing a Twitter Follow button onto your site - in a consistent, visible place such as header, footer or sidebar - provides a one-click facility for site visitors to follow your Twitter account.

In this case, Twitter has a tool to generate the embed code for the Twitter follow button, with options for button size and display text. Even if you can't edit your WordPress header.php or footer.php file, the sidebar text widgets in most themes allow you to embed the code there. Failing that there are several plugins which allow you to embed a Twitter follow button without touching any code.

Tweet Button
Blindingly obvious this; a tweet button which allows visitors to instantly tweet the subject and link to any of your pages, posts or articles in situ. It's a quick and easy way to effectively spread your content.
Again,  Twitter has a tool to generate the embed code for a tweet button, which you can then place on your pages. In WordPress, the best place to add the code is to the bottom of your theme's single.php file. There are several WordPress plugins which can add a tweet button.
Twitter Timeline Widget
You can get several 'recent posts' type widgets for WordPress which will show your most recent tweets; this is good sidebar or footer fodder which, again, cross-pollinates your Twitter and Wordpress audiences.
You can generate the embed code using the official Twitter timeline widget.Sign  into Twitter and go to Settings, Widgets, to create the widget you can see in the screenshot, above.

You can place this inside WrdPress sidebar or footer widgets, or edit it directly into sidebar.php or footer.php in your theme. You can also use third party WordPress plugins to add a Twitter timeline widget.
If I get time over the next few days, I'll continue this thread with some automated posting tools which will allow you to schedule and cross-post to Twitter from Wordpress. RC