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Searching for a way to add an Instagram feed to your WordPress site?
WordPress Instagram plugins make it easy to display a real-time feed of your latest posts on WordPress. Or, depending on the plugin, you might even be able to display a feed of posts that use a certain hashtag or posts that have tagged your account (though you’ll need an Instagram Business account to access these features because of a change that Instagram made to its API).
To help you find the best options for your needs, I’ve collected the five best Instagram plugins for WordPress users, all of which have a free version.
In general, you’ll be fine with the free version if you just want to create a feed for your own personal account, but you’ll need to pay for a premium version if you want to create a custom feed from a hashtag or tagged posts using your Instagram Business account.
Five Best WordPress Instagram Plugins in 2021
Here are the five plugins that I’ll look at:
- Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed
- 10Web Social Photo Feed
Formerly known as “Instagram Feed” before a trademark claim made them switch the name, Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed is the most popular free Instagram plugin at WordPress.org, where it’s active on over one million sites with a near-perfect 4.9-star rating on over 3,300 reviews.
With the free version, you can display an Instagram feed from your own Instagram account, while the Pro version adds the ability to create feeds from hashtags or posts that have tagged your account.
Here’s an example of a user account feed – you can check out all of the demos here:
Note – due to a change to the Instagram API, you cannot show a feed from a user account that you don’t control.
You can choose from multiple different layout options. You get a basic grid for free, while the premium version adds:
You’ll also get other customization options to display additional content such as:
- Load more button
- Follow button
- Likes and comments (pro)
- Captions (pro)
- Lightbox comments (pro)
Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed is available for free at WordPress.org, but the free version only lets you create feeds from Instagram user accounts. To create feeds from hashtags and tagged posts, access more layouts, filter your feeds, and more, you’ll need to go Pro.
The Pro version costs $49 for use on a single site.
Spotlight is a newer Instagram plugin that’s quickly growing in popularity thanks to its solid feature list and user-friendly interface with live preview. While its active install count isn’t quite as high as some competitors, it comes from an established WordPress developer and the same team behind the popular WP RSS Aggregator plugin. It also has a perfect 5-star rating on over 60 reviews.
In addition to having lots of features, Spotlight has the most user-friendly interface of any plugin on this list. When you’re setting up your feed, you’ll get a real-time preview of your actual feed that will change as you adjust the many settings:
With the free version, Spotlight lets you create a feed from any Personal or Business account that you have access to (again, you can’t create feeds from other people’s accounts because of an Instagram API change).
If you upgrade to the premium version, you can also create accounts from hashtags or posts that have tagged your account.
The premium version also adds more layout options including masonry, highlight, and slider, as well as more content options including captions, likes and comments, and a popup box.
Beyond that, the premium version adds filter and moderation options so that you can filter out specific posts (by hashtag or caption) and also manually approve posts before they show up in your feed (useful for hashtag feeds where you don’t have full control over the content).
The premium version also has a very unique feature that lets you link Instagram posts directly to blog posts, WooCommerce products, or any other post type. Or, you can also just add a CTA for those posts/products in the popup box that appears when a user clicks on an image in your feed.
Spotlight has a free version at WordPress.org. The free version lets you create unlimited feeds from user accounts, but you’ll need the Pro version to create hashtag or tagged post feeds, as well as to access the filtering/moderation features, promotion features, and more layouts.
Spotlight Pro starts at $49 for use on a single site.
10Web Social Photo Feed is another popular freemium Instagram plugin that’s available both at WordPress.org as well as in a premium version with more features.
You can create a feed from a user account (free) or hashtag (pro) and choose from four different display layouts:
- Thumbnail grid
- Masonry grid
- Blog style (list)
Here’s an example of a simple feed with the thumbnail grid layout:
With the premium version, you can also add conditional filters to get more control over which content appears in your feed. For example, you can require that a post has two hashtags at the same time to be included.
10Web Social Photo Feed has a free version at WordPress.org that lets you create a feed from a personal Instagram account. The Pro version unlocks the additional sources and display options for just $25.
Overall, the price of the premium version is this plugin’s most differentiating factor, as it’s about half of Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed or Spotlight. In terms of features, there’s nothing that would really make you choose it over Smash Balloon or Spotlight.
Flow-Flow is a popular premium WordPress Instagram plugin for sale at Envato’s CodeCanyon marketplace, where it’s been purchased over 19,100 times with an excellent 4.7-star rating on over 540 reviews.
One of the most unique things about Flow-Flow is that it’s not just for Instagram – it supports over 14 different sources in one plugin. You can create different feeds for different services. Or, you can combine multiple feeds into one stream. For example, you could create one feed that includes both Instagram posts and Twitter tweets from your account.
You can check out an example of this type of mixed-content feed in the screenshot below – you can see how there are filters at the top to let users filter out specific networks and each feed item has a tag that indicates its source:
In total, Flow-Flow supports:
- Instagram – import by user account, hashtags, or location.
- Any RSS feed
You can display your feeds in different layouts including masonry, justified, and unified height grids. You’ll also get useful options such as a “Show More” button to load more content in the stream.
To make sure your feed stays clean, you can also manually approve all posts before they show up in your feed.
Being able to combine different feed sources like this is pretty unique. However, if you know that you only want Instagram feeds, you should probably go with a dedicated Instagram plugin as a dedicated option will be more lightweight since it’s 100% focused on Instagram.
Flow-Flow has a limited free version at WordPress.org. The premium version costs $39, which gets you lifetime updates on a single site.
Finally, there’s Intagrate, which has a unique approach to importing Instagram images to WordPress that may or may not work for your needs. All of the other plugins help you create a feed of your images that you can add in your sidebar, footer, or in the body of a post/page.
Integrate, on the other hand, lets you import Instagram posts as actual blog posts on WordPress. Each time it imports a new Instagram post, it will create a separate blog post for that Instagram post and set the image to be the blog post’s featured image.
Or, if you upgrade to the Pro version, you can import Instagram posts as any custom post type on your site. The Pro version also gives you video support and hashtag filtering.
Honestly, most people probably don’t want the approach that Intagrate uses. But if you do want to import Instagram posts as actual WordPress blog posts, this is definitely your best option. For example, if you post primarily on Instagram but want a solution to cross-post your Instagram content to WordPress, then this is a good choice.
The free version of Intagrate is available at WordPress.org. The Pro version starts at $55.
Which Is the Best WordPress Instagram Plugin?
Overall, the best Instagram plugin depends on your needs and budgets.
The two best options for most people are Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed or Spotlight. Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed is the more established and popular option, while Spotlight is a newer option that has a more user-friendly interface.
In terms of features, they both have a lot of similarities, each letting you create feeds from a personal or business account for free, or hashtags and tagged posts with the premium version. You also get virtually identical layout options, including the same free vs premium divide. However, Spotlight has the unique promotion feature that lets you link feed items to blog posts or products, which might be useful for you.
You won’t go wrong with either, though, and both are great options.
10Web Social Photo Feed is a slightly more affordable option at just $25, but it doesn’t do anything else to stand out from those two plugins beyond its slightly lower price.
On the other hand, if you want to include a feed of more than just Instagram content, Flow-Flow is an interesting option that lets you combine multiple social sources into a single feed.
Or, Integrate is another unique option that lets you import Instagram posts as actual WordPress posts, which might fit your needs in certain situations.
Do you still have any questions about choosing a WordPress Instagram plugin? Leave a comment!
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