WordPress Twitter Archive

So…I read a cool article last week about creating a Twitter archive using WordPress at wpmu.org and thought that it sounded like a great idea as I would like to “own” all of my tweets and have them in MY database….just because I can I suppose.

So, first I’ll say that this is a great article, but the services listed (backupmytweets.com and tweetbackup.com) are not the greatest. They do in fact work, but neither gave me the exported file type that I wanted and for the life of me, I could not get them to import into WordPress as posts. So I went searching with my best friend. Google. What actually happened was that WordPress itself helped me out and solved my issue. If you go to “Tools–>Import” in the WordPress Dashboard it will show you the importers available, but what I rarely pay attention to (as I don’t import hardly at all) is that below the importers there is a really cool link that says:

“If the importer you need is not listed, search the plugins directory to see if an importer is available.”

So I click that it shows a search result for “importers” in the WordPress Plugin Repository….nice. Guess what was there? A Twitter Importer! And yes, it works great.

So, here is what I did to get my Twitter Archive up and running on WordPress:

1. Made a new subdomain on my site and set up WordPress like I normally would.

2. I downloaded and installed the Twitter theme that was mentioned in the article above.

3. I mention this high in the list because if you wait to do this later, your time/date on your old tweets will be wrong. Go to “Settings–>General” in the WordPress Dashboard and make sure your time settings are correct for wherever you live.

4. Install Twitter Tools plugin and configure it to create a blog post for every tweet you make. (there are some settings in here that require you to get API info from Twitter, etc, but it’s super simple…just follow the instructions from the Twitter Tools setup page.

5. Download and install the Twitter Importer. Once you do that, it will show up on the “Tools–>Import” page in the WordPress Dashboard.

6. Run the Twitter Importer. It will ask for your Twitter handle, what user to associate them with and what category you want to dump them into. If you want them to go to a particular category, you will need to create that first (go to “Posts–>Categories” in WordPress Dashboard to create new category). So now all your tweets should be imported as Posts, (NOTE: If you don’t see all of your tweets show up, run the importer again as sometimes it can take 2-3 tries to get ALL of your tweets imported) but you’ll notice all of the links are just text.

7. Download and install the Autolink URI plugin and activate it. This will take all of the text links in your tweets and convert them to functional URLs.

8. Next you’ll notice that all Twitter handles are not links either. The way I made this work was to use TwitterEverywhere. There is a really good how-to on the WPBeginner site. I used the “Auto Link all Twitter Usernames with Hovercard” and the “Smart Follow Button (in the header of my Twitter Archive site). The API stuff – you can just use the same one you created from step 4 above. That links all twitter names and adds a cool “hovercard” with info on the twitter username that you hover your mouse over. (This code is included in my theme if you decide to use it, just change out your Twitter handle and the API with the dummy content I have in there)

So, that’s what I did…and it works great. I also edited the theme somewhat for my liking, and I’m going to let you have that if you want as well (with a PSD to edit the header graphic). The theme is very simple and nice and optimized to be used for this purpose. It “did” contain ONLY CSS, but I added a background image and header image to it, but besides that, it’s all CSS.

The only thing that I notice is that hashtags are not links on imported tweets…I’m still researching that one, but if you know (or find) a way to do this, please feel free to comment and let me know!

Good luck – and here is my edited theme if you want to use it.

Oh, and the URL to my Twitter Archive site – http://shaynesanderson.com/tweet

11 thoughts on “WordPress Twitter Archive

  1. Awesome, Shayne. I did something similar a few weeks ago, and really liked the setup, but I was a bit annoyed that the Twitter Archive was getting pushed out in my RSS feed. So I wrote a couple little functions (to keep with miscellaneous custom functions that I keep in a little plugin for use on my blog) to define a new custom post type for Twitter archives. Nothing fancy, but here it is: http://pastebin.com/brUh7vw7

  2. I have a question, is there a way to make it auto-import new tweets as you create them, or do I need to come in here and do an import once a week or so?

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