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How to make a custom Google+ widget for your blog or website

Want a widget on your website that scrolls through your latest G+ posts? Turns out there's a relatively easy way to build one and make it look any way you want.

I started looking for something like that after the widget I used to use -- from a service called WidgetsPlus -- stopped working reliably. I wanted something simple that actively scrolled through my stream and didn't look like crap, and I couldn't find any other service that provided it.

So I found a way to make my own, pictured here and visible in action at jrstart.com. Here's how you can do the same:

1) First, you need an RSS feed of your Google+ posts. Google doesn't provide this automatically, but plenty of third-party services can help you set one up in a matter of seconds. I used a service called Pluss to make mine; just go to http://pluss.aiiane.com and follow the prompts to authenticate, then copy the feed URL it gives you.

2) Paste your new G+ feed URL into the box on the left side of this page: http://www.widgetbox.com/widgets/make?code=feed  

3) Decide if you want to make a free widget or pay to make a "pro" widget. The free widget works fine but includes ads and fewer options than the "pro" version. A "pro" account costs four bucks a month or 30 bucks a year (see the "Widgets" tab on http://www.widgetbox.com/pricing).

If you want to make a free widget, be sure to click on the purple button that says "Basic." Otherwise, the site will default you to the paid "pro" version.

Got it? Good. Now click the "Make Widget" button.

4) Scroll through the various settings and play around with them until you like the way your widget looks. There are a lot of options to explore, and some of them are slightly hidden (e.g. the "edit settings" link next to "Posts" in the first box on the page). 

5) Once you're satisfied, click the button that says "Save Blidget" at the top of the page.  (If you went the "pro" route, you'll first have to click a button that says "Upgrade Now" -- then the "Save Blidget" button will appear.)

6) Follow the prompts to create a new account. (If you went "pro," you'll be prompted to put in your payment info before reaching the next step.)

7) Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click the link that says "Get Blidget." Then, when the page refreshes, click the blue button with code symbols on it ("< / >").

That's it -- now just copy the code and paste it into the appropriate place on your blog or website and you'll be good to go.

(You're on your own with the code implementation; if you aren't sure how/where to paste code on your blog or website, you'll need to check with your hosting provider, webmaster, or friendly neighborhood geek for help.)

Enjoy!

#googleplus #protip
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14 comments
 
I have a similar one that I've been using for a long time now it's from widgetsplus.com but I see their site just says they're moving to a new server now. You can see mine in action on philnolan3d.com
 
+Roelf Renkema Hey, if you have the resources to create your own app via the API, by all means go for it. But most people (myself included) aren't programmers.

This is just a simple WYSIWYG solution that worked for me. Feel free to use it, ignore it, or do whatever you want!

(And the service is actually "freemium," for what it's worth; you don't have to pay to use it.)
 
hanks,  Raphael! you help so much! 
 
+Phil Nolan Yeah...that's the same one I used to use. It's been pretty unreliable for me lately, though -- either offline or not refreshing regularly (mine was a full month out of date as recently as this morning). 

I've had those problems with it since early August, so I finally decided to give up and move on. But maybe the issues are hit and miss as to whom they affect.
 
Hm. Okay, but thank anyway ^^ if you need help to do something. I'm here. :)
 
Thanks for the tip! I would use it, but currently I use a plug-in that imports my posts and comments into my blog, so it would be redundant. If I come across anyone who is hesitant to mix their G+ posts with regular posts, but wants them on the same page, I will send them this!
 
+JR Raphael I saw it go down for a few days but other than that it's always been up whenever I've seen it. Of course I'm not often on my own website.
 
JR, I'm looking for something related: an RSS feed for the content of my G+ page, including posts from others I subscribe to (including non-public posts that I have access to).  This is motivated by iGoogle going away, and me wanting a widget for ighome or netvibes to give me the equivalent.  Any ideas?
 
+Tim Tautges I'm not aware of any way to generate a feed like that at this point.
 
Bummer. Thanks for the quick reply.
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