Adding an Instagram feed

An auto-updating Instagram feed may be added to any available and compatible interstitial or widget area within our themes. You may use the Instagram plugin of your choice to showcase your images, but all EmPress themes have been specifically optimized for compatibility with the Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed plugin.

The EmPress Barton, Hayes, and Pearl themes also include our Social Feed widget. While not auto-updating, this custom widget formats a series of images in a single row that spans from edge-to-edge of the browser window. It allows you to upload any images to your "feed" that you wish, making it a versatile choice to feature your most popular Instagram images, Pinterest images, TikTok stills, product thumbnails, and more. 


The articles and instructions below provide further guidance on how to set up an auto-updating Instagram feed on your site. 

If you are not using the Smash Balloon plugin, you can install, activate, and customize the plugin of your choice. Follow the plugin instructions for setup; the instructions below may or may not be relevant based on how your chosen plugin is built.

1. Install, activate, and setup the Smash Balloon Social Photo feed plugin

Detailed instructions and customization options for this plugin may be found here. Once set up, copy and paste the shortcode as described in our Help Desk article. Be sure to keep it handy, as you'll need it to embed it into a widget!

2. Navigate to the Widgets tab of the Customizer

The Widgets Tab will show you all available widget areas in your theme. Depending on the theme you purchased, you may place your Instagram feed in an interstitial content block, in a sidebar, or even in the site footer. 

Learn more about the Widgets tab and widget areas here.

3. Add a Custom HTML widget to the widget area of your choice

Add a Custom HTML widget to the widget area of your choice. Then, paste in the Smash Balloon shortcode as copied from above. Save the widget, and publish your changes. If properly configured, your Instagram feed will now appear in your desired widget area!


This section is relevant for Barton, Pearl, and Hayes theme users only.

Exclusive to our Pearl and Hayes themes, the Social Feed widget was designed with interstitial and footer widget areas in mind. The widget allows for manual upload of your favorite images, whether from Instagram, Pinterest, or any other visual platform. Manual upload gives you full control over the aesthetic of your feed. You may link individual image thumbnails to any URL you choose.

Alternatively, Social Feed widget provides another layout option for featuring products, or products alongside previously published content. See the examples below:

To add the Social Feed widget:

1. Navigate to the Appearance > Customize > Widgets

2. Click on the widget area of your choice, based on where you wish to add the Social Feed widget.

3. Add the Social Feed widget to this area. In Pearl, it is named Pearl: Social Feed and in Hayes, it's named Hayes: Social Feed.

4. Follow the prompts in the Customizer to add images and links as you wish, then save and publish your changes!