I’m in charge of creating and maintaining the website for a new family business. It’s a vintage furniture and bookshop in Als, Denmark, called Als Genbrug & Antikvariat. I’m not the best at either web design or social media, but one thing I know for sure is that the more interesting content you can come up with, the more it drives traffic. Once you have traffic, you can drive it straight to your shop.
To that end, I wanted to use Instagram to show people the interesting stuff we have in the shop, not to mention the harrowing story of how we built the place from the ground up in an old warehouse in about a month.
I love Instagram for the ability to throw up good content quickly and easily, connect with people who care about what you care about, and the focus on pictures over text. However, I don’t love it for the walled-garden aesthetic and the Facebook overlords.
A good compromise, I thought, would be to display Insta posts on a WordPress site. I tried a couple of plugins that I found by searching for “Instagram Feed” in the plugins menu – Instagram Feed by Smash Balloon, and AccessPress Instagram Feed by Access Press Themes.
Both were very easy to set up and get a feed into a post or page using shortcodes, but neither did exactly what I wanted.
Searching for “Instagram Importer” gave much more promising results. This plugin by Automattic’s own Beau Lebens does the trick perfectly. Keyring Social Importers can connect to several web services and use their public APIs to download the content, save it to your database, and display each item as a post. You also need the Keyring app by the same author.
This does exactly what I want, and now I’m able to control all my content by hosting it on my own server, with identical content to what I posted on Instagram without having to make the same post twice.
The site isn’t done yet (9 July 2017), but check out our Insta feed in the meantime, or go try out Beau’s plugin yourself.