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How To Add A Twitter Follow Button To Your Website
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How to Add A Twitter Follow Button to Your Website

Adding a “Follow” Twitter button requires inserting a small piece of text onto your page. This should be not much more than a “cut and paste” exercise. The code involved is a small amount of html and javascript, although you do not need to know anything more technical than that.

So before you start you need to be able to edit your web content. If you can not do this then it is something your web designer will need to do. Alternatively most web content editors will enable you to do what is required. If you do need professional services then because this is quick and easy it should not be expensive.

Why should you do this?

If you have a twitter account then you need followers. Those that are interested in what you have to say or “tweet” need an easy way to follow you. When someone new visits your website then if they see something they like they can click on your “Follow” button and from that point they will receive everything you tweet. This is a great way to make contact with “strangers” who visit your site.

There are actually four different types of Twitter buttons that you can add to a page.

(a) Share a link

(b) Follow

(c) Hashtag

(d) Mention

For the purposes of this article only “Follow” will be included. Others will be covered in due course but the principles are the same. The code is inserted as one block. It consists of a single html tag followed by a small amount of javascript.

Html

The html is an “a” link tag. The tag itself consists of three settings.

1. href= This is a secure link using https to the normal path for your twitter account. So both the full twitter domain followed by your twitter account are required separated by a forward slash. No spaces should be used and the value should be wrapped in double quotes.

2. class=”twitter-follow-button” This tells twitter what this button is supposed to do

3. data-show-count=”false” If you set this to true, then the number of your followers will be shown. It is only recommended to include this if you have followers and there is sufficient space on your page as this will increase the size of the area used for the follow button.

After the initial a tag, there is the text Follow, a space, the @ character and then your twitter account id.

The final part of the html is the end “/a” tag.

Javascript

You can get the javascript from the twitter website. Login using your twitter id and then select the “Developers” link. Select “Get the Follow Button” and then select “Follow button configuration page”.

The javascript is standard and should not be edited.

Save your page changes and upload online assuming that your content editor does not do this for you automatically. You should always test any changes you make to a web page immediately using at least the three major browsers, Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. Professionals will usually also test using several versions of Explorer, Safari and possibly Opera and others. This twitter code is not “risky” so all browsers should do the same thing. When you make any changes it is good practise to test with multiple browsers as unfortunately the appearance of your site can vary depending on the browser.


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