I’d been looking for a way to consolidate various social media streams into a website for use by folks that aren’t on Social Media. Yes believe it or not, there are some folks out there that aren’t on Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+.
Plus, we wanted to keep up with the goings-on in our local area and to reclaim and unclutter our personal social media accounts; I wanted to find a way of consolidating various social media feeds into one stream. There was also the problem that some businesses or venues that we wanted to follow would post only on Twitter, or only on Facebook, and checking lots of different Social Media accounts was becoming time consuming.
So I poked around the internet, found a few solutions but they were either no longer maintained or failed to work as entirely as described.
I handed over my $18, downloaded the plugin, then popped the plugin to a test server to have a play.
Installation & Updates
Initial installation of WordPress Social Stream is via the native ‘Upload’ function in WordPress. Updates for the plugin need to be installed manually, this is no big deal and as we only have it on one site only takes a minute or two. Some plugins on CodeCanyon do, with the registration of a Product Key, allow automated updates, but this is the exception rather than the norm.
I am very please to say that updates by the author are frequent and add new function on a regular basis.
The plugin documentation for WordPress Social Stream is very extensive. Don’t make the mistake of trying to set up the plugin without reading all of the instructions, firstly you’ll probably fail to get the plugin to work and secondly you’ll be missing out on the features offered by this plugin. Brew yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and take 10 minutes to read the documentation and prepare your install before setting up the social streams.
I’m not going to take you through every setting, that is what the documentation is for, but from here is the listing of currently saved Social Streams which can be included via two different types of shortcode. The ‘Feed Shortcode’ is just that, a scrolling panel of updates, and the ‘Wall Shortcode’ provides a tiled collage of updates.
This panel allows you add the various Social Media Streams to the feed, notice the tabs along the top to allow the different streams to be consolidated. The options for each stream and social media type are flexible and are continually being improved by the author.
This setting page is the most important, it holds various API keys as well as defining how the WordPress Social Streams plugin will behave. Several colour schemes are available as well as the facility to add custom CSS.
Plugin in Use
What better way of demoing the plugin than showing it actually in use?
The plugin is ‘mobile’ aware as long as the parent theme is also mobile. We decided that the plugin and function was too good to keep for ourselves and deployed the plugin to one of our WordPress Multisite installs running a customised version of Cyberchimps Responsive Mobile theme.
Here is a mock-up of what the WordPress Social Stream plugin looks like viewed on a tablet, it also works great on my 4″ Smartphone.
Here are a couple of screengrabs from a desktop computer, both combine Twitter and Facebook feeds into a single tiled page.
You can take more in depth look at our live website running the WordPress Social Stream plugin by clicking the image below or visiting http://social.wrbf.uk
If you have any Social Media presence whatsoever, do buy this plugin. The demo above only touches on Twitter & Facebook integration, the plugin works with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, RSS Feed, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Dribbble, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr, last.fm, Deviantart, Tumblr. Phew.
Configuration options are extensive, and the author provides great support with frequent updates.
The plugin is rated at 4.5 stars out of 5 by over 700 ratings from purchasers of the plugin.
As mentioned earlier the WordPress Social Streams plugin is available exclusively via Code Canyon and at the time of writing is a steal at just $18. To purchase your own copy of WordPress Social Streams or to find out more click the link below.
Hope you have enjoyed this review and if you have any questions please post a comment below, thank you!