Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Michael Brockbank
Part of being successful on Twitch is amassing an audience. But it can be a bit difficult when you’re competing with big streamers during the same time slot. If you have a blog, adding a Twitch widget can vastly improve visibility.
That is as long as you have an active site that people often visit.
In order to become a Twitch Affiliate, a vast portion of the watch time I needed came directly from this website. That was thanks to having the stream in the sidebar.
In other words, I got more watch time from this website than I did directly on Twitch!
Adding a Free Twitch Widget to WordPress
For this tutorial, I’m going to assume you have a self-hosted WordPress website. This will not work if you’re using a free blog. That’s because free sites will not allow the plugin I’m demonstrating to be installed.
Today, I’m showing how easy it is to add the Twitch for WordPress plugin and how it helps you get more viewership.
Step 1: Install Twitch for WordPress
From the WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins and click, “Add New.”
Search for the “Twitch for WordPress” plugin. There will be quite a few plugins for Twitch that will show up. This tutorial is for the one by “KryptoniteWP.”
Click the “Install Now” button and activate it for use.
Step 2: Create a Twitch Application
In order for the plugin to work, you’ll need to add an Application to your Twitch account. This is a free service and allows your website to retrieve certain data from Twitch using API credentials.
Visit the Apps Dashboard in the Twitch Dev Console.
From here, you’ll need to register the application. Add a name for the new app that is easily recognizable in case you have to come back to make some changes.
In this example, I’m just putting, “CP Website Integration.” This way, I know it’s an integration for the ColoradoPlays website.
In the OAuth Redirect URLs, add your domain name and click the “Add” button. This is the address to your WordPress website.
Using the drop-down box under Category, select the “Website Integration” option.
After conducting the reCaptcha verification, click the “Create” button.
Step 3: Copy Your Twitch API Credentials
Click the “Manage” button of the application you just created. As you can see, I’ve set up a few over the years. If you have more than one, make sure you’re managing the correct app.
Here, you will find the Client ID and the Client Secret. You’ll need both of these to put into the Twitch for WordPress plugin.
Click the “New Secret” button.
Twitch may ask you if you want to create a new secret. If it does, click OK.
NOTE: If you have to create a new “secret” later on, you must change it in the plugin. It’s kind of like your password. Any plugin using this secret will no longer work once the new secret is created.
Do not share the Client ID or the Secret with ANYONE.
Copy the Client ID and Client Secret to a safe place. I used Notepad to paste the credentials and just deleted the file when I was done.
Step 4: Paste the API Credentials into Twitch for WordPress
Go back to your WordPress website. In the Settings area, click the “Twitch” option.
In the API Settings section, paste your Client ID and Client Secret.
There are a few other settings in this screen you can adjust to better fit your needs. I simply left everything as default, but it is completely optional.
Scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and click the “Save Changes” button.
If the credentials and API app were set up correctly, the Status and Twitch API fields will change from the red, “Disconnected” message to a green, “Connected” message.
If not, then either the credentials are wrong or your redirect URL may be incorrect.
Step 5: Add the Twitch Widget to WordPress
Now, it’s time to add the sidebar widget to the blog. In the Appearance section of WordPress, click the “Widgets” option.
Next, you’re going to add a new widget to the sidebar. Now, there are a couple of ways you can do this in WordPress. However, I’m just going to go over the simpler option.
Click the blue “+” button at the top right next to Widgets.
Search for and click the “Twitch” widget.
This will add the widget to the bottom of your sidebar. Don’t worry, it’s easy enough to move it up and down depending on where you want to show your stream.
Input the title of the sidebar block. This is optional, but I like to make sure visitors know it’s a live stream.
NOTE: This title may or may not show up on your website. It depends on whether your theme supports titles. As I am using the ColorMag theme, my title will show in the sidebar.
In the Streamer section, enter your channel name. As I am “coloradoplays” on Twitch, that is what I would put into this field.
NOTE: You can add any channel you want to show on your website. The free version of Twitch for WordPress will allow you to show up to three streams simultaneously.
The Game and Language settings are used when you don’t have a streaming video playing. Since I just want to show my stream, I’m not setting these options.
In the Output Settings, you can change the maximum number of streams and hide those that are offline from being shown on your website. As I said, though, the free version only allows for three maximum streams.
You can also change the template settings such as Style, Size, or Preview. Leaving these as “Standard” will use the settings you set in the plugin’s settings screen.
If you want the video to start playing as soon as a visitor arrives on your website, you’ll need to set the Preview option to “Video.”
Once you’re done with the widget settings to show Twitch channels, click the “Update” button on the top right.
Your Twitch stream is now available for viewers to see from your WordPress website.
How Well Does Twitch for WordPress Work?
Twitch is cracking down on how views work from websites other than its own. This is why you’ll often see a blue screen of Twitch informing you of the viewership from the blog when you use the above plugin.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to tell if this has made an impact on how views are recorded on my own stream. I’ve been spending more time streaming on YouTube lately.
At the time of this post, though, the Twitch for WordPress plugin seems to work well enough. Though, there are a few things I’d like to point out.
First, it would be nice to show the offline image from Twitch instead of the default message that appears. The only way to get the channel image to show is by setting the option in the widget.
Unfortunately, this prevents the live stream from loading in the sidebar. You’ll still see that I’m online and my number of channel views but not the gameplay.
Second, Twitch should have an easier, sponsored method to show streams in a widget from a blog. If the company want to get more eyes on creators and bring attention to ads and whatnot, you’d think Amazon would push for a way to make it happen as it would be free marketing.
I guess we’ll just have to see what progresses in the coming year.
How Much Does a Twitch Widget Actually Help?
As I said earlier, having the Twitch widget on the blog is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why I was able to reach affiliate status. A vast portion of my views came from this website.
In fact, there would be days when I would have more than 10 viewers during the stream but only one person actually using the Twitch website.
I simply figured it was a good way to get more people to follow the channel due to the content being shown on the blog. Unfortunately, it really didn’t turn most of those viewers into followers.
Still, I wasn’t too upset as the watch time steadily grew as more people were visiting this website.
I’ll be experimenting with using the Twitch WordPress widget in the coming months. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to update this post.
Taking Your Channel Further Through WordPress
Although this is an easy Twitch WordPress plugin to set up, I am still concerned with how it performs from a technical standpoint. As I mentioned, Twitch seems to be pushing to remove its video content from anywhere except the Twitch site and app.
Nonetheless, the Twitch API in the developer’s panel still has website integration available. Perhaps there is simply an issue with how this plugin utilizes that API.
In any case, I am constantly looking for more efficient methods. If you know of a way to show the Twitch feed on WordPress without making it overly difficult, I am welcome for your input.
Regardless, having the blog to accommodate a Twitch and YouTube channel can help you reach a much wider audience. Even if you have to simply just link to your channel’s URLs.
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