You’ve have thought that it would be very, very simple to post from WordPress to Twitter – but it’s anything but. For some arcane reason, as anyone who has looked into the problem will tell you, even in 2012 there are basically no solutions for autoposting from WP to Twitter. The only one out there is the WordTwit and WordTwit Pro plugin from Brave New Code – so, how do they stand up to testing?
I’ve been using WordTwit Pro for nine months now on the Melting Pot (this site), Tweeting three or more times a day. Before that, I’ve used WordTwit, the free version, on several sites. I’m pretty happy with them as solutions – but they’re not perfect. Read on to find out their pros, cons, and whether they’re useful for your website.
So What Does It Do?
Basic WordTwit does one thing: every time you publish a post on your WordPress blog, it Tweets the title of that post, plus a link, to your chosen Twitter account. If you’ve scheduled a post to publish at some point in the future, it’ll tweet when it’s published.
This turns out to be a remarkable time-saver, particularly if you’re posting more often than a couple of times a week. I used to manually schedule Tweets from the Melting Pot using TweetDeck, but I noticed that what seems to be a pretty small task starts adding up fast. I’d estimate moving to WordTwit has saved me 10-15 minutes a day – which is pretty impressive over a month or so.
WordTwit Pro has more features, with the killer app for most users being its ability to tweet a single post multiple times. It also lets you hand-edit Tweets in the WordPress post dialogue before publishing, which was the reason I upgraded, and can publish to multiple Twitter accounts. It’s $39 for the non-free version – that might seem like quite a bit, but honestly I feel it’s paid off in time savings multiple times over.
Installation and Setup of WordTwit
If there’s one big Achilles heel for the WordTwit plugin, it’s installation, which is complex and can be pretty messy to set up. To be fair, it’s not really the developers’ fault that’s the case.
Because of the slightly strange way Twitter interacts with third-party software, setting up WordTwit involves registering yourself as a software developer – yes, a developer – on the Twitter site. This process is pretty arcane, and the WordTwit documentation doesn’t explain it as well as it could.
You’ll probably have to allocate an hour or so to faffing about back and forward setting up Twitter with WordTwit – and if you’ve got WordTwit Pro, you may be grateful of the support. However, it’s worth noting that the process is a lot less tiresome than the (vew) other Twitter-Wordpress integrated plugins out there, none of which I ever managed to get working at all! WordTwit is the only WP-Twitter plugin I’ve succeeded in running consistently.
There is a silver lining to this cloud – you’ll only have to set up WordTwit once. I’ve been running it for 9 months now and haven’t touched the setup screen for 8.75 of them.
WordTwit In Everyday Use
Once it’s set up, WordTwit isn’t rocket science. Simply write a post as normal, hit publish, and it auto-tweets the post for you.
If you don’t want a post Tweeted, the free version contains a menu item – its only menu item, actually – allowing you to set that post as non-Tweeted. I use this feature when I’m writing a big batch of new posts like our World of Warcraft class guides to avoid spamming my twitter feed!
The Pro version integrates nicely with the Post page in WordPress, and has one more option – you can edit your Tweet. I do that a lot, both to shout out to people I’ve mentioned in the article, to rewrite a bit for the specific Twitter audience, and to add a request for retweets to the end of important posts. If you’re serious about growing your blog, it’s worth reading about how to format a Tweet for maximum clickability and shareability – there’s a lot of info out there.
Should you buy WordTwit Pro?
WordTwit, the free version, is already a lot better than nothing, and for many people will probably be all you need.
For the Melting Pot, I had to upgrade to the Pro version because of the ability to edit Tweets – which is vital for a curation site where we’re featuring other people’s work, and hence I needed to add in “featuring @blah” to each Tweet.
However, in general, if you’re serious about blogging and growing your audience, and you’re actively using Twitter, you’ll probably find that the Pro version is worth the money. The ability to customise Tweets can be really handy for the time when you want to get the word out about a specific information resource post, for corporate bloggers the ability to post to multiple Twitter accounts may well be a no-brainer, and research has shown that Tweeting a post 2-3 times – which the Pro version can do automatically – massively increases the effectiveness of your Tweeting.
Get the free version of WordTwit (bottom right of the page)
This post contains some affiliate links, which were added after the review was completed. We like WordTwit and use it every day, affiliate link or no – if you decide to click through one of the links, thanks very much!