March 07, 2013, 8:00 AM —
You were warned that it was coming and it has come. Blackouts of the Twitter API v1 have begun and sites are starting to be affected. This transition is comparable to airport security pre and post 9/11. Welcome to the new normal.
A common issue circulating amongst the Wordpress community is the recent update of the popular Twitter Widget Pro plugin to the new Twitter API v1.1. What used to be a one-click install followed by entering your twitter handle is now a more complicated process involving steps usually reserved for developers.
With over 650,000 users, Twitter Widget Pro is one of the first large-scale integrations to make the leap into the new oAuth requirements. They’ve handled it about as well as I could expect, but it is still daunting to the non-techie. We’re already receiving panic calls from clients who have updated their plugin and have lost their twitter feeds.
The following is a step by step photo guide showing how you can go about configuring Twitter Widget Pro under the new Twitter API requirements. While this is specific to one particular use case, the steps involved will be nearly the same for any Twitter integration going forward.
After you’ve installed the plugin you’ll be greeted with a couple of error messages letting you know you’ve still got work to do.
Start by clicking the link to “set up your Twitter app keys”
You’ll now be taken to the plugin settings screen where you need to fill in your consumer key and consumer secret. This is where the non-technical will start to panic.
You’re given some directions here, and step one is to click the link to Add a new Twitter application.
You’re now taken to Twitter’s developer site where you need to sign in using the Twitter account that you want to connect your plugin to.
This can be a problem if you’re required to do this for a client as you’ll need to obtain their Twitter credentials to continue.
Once you’ve logged into Twitter, you need to create a new Twitter API application. Make sure you don’t leave any fields blank and that you use a Name that is pretty unique. It appears that Twitter requires the name of this application to be unique among all the other applications being created in the world. Eventually this will become a huge pain.
If you don’t know what to put into the Callback URL field, just repeat your website URL.
If you were successful in creating your Twitter application, you’ll be taken to your application’s settings and authorization screen. Here you’ll find what you’re looking for, the Consumer key and the Consumer secret. These codes are unique to your Twitter account and application. It’s important that they are not lost or exposed as they could be used to gain control of your twitter account.
Open a new browser tab and go back to the Twitter Widget Pro settings screen where you need to enter these values. Copy and paste the from the twitter site to your Wordpress site.
With the Consumer key and secret entered into the Twitter Widget Pro fields, click the Update Options button at the bottom of the window to save the data.
We’re not done yet but almost there. One error message remains letting you know that you need to authorize your twitter accounts.
Click the “Authorize New Account” button to be taken to the Twitter App Authorization page.
Click the “Authorize app” button to allow your website to be connected to your Twitter account and Twitter application.
If everything went well your Twitter Widget Pro plugin will now be configured. You’ll now see some technical information about how much of your API rate limit has been used.
The last thing to do is select your Twitter username from the drop down list under Default Settings and click the Update Options button to save.
Welcome to the new normal when integrating with Twitter.