How to Insert Amazon Widgets in WordPress
Amazon provides lots of useful widgets to its associates at http://widgets.amazon.com. If you want to display one of those widgets on your WordPress powered website, you’re in luck. You have plenty of flexible options to accomplish that.
There are 15 different Amazon widgets:
Search, Carousel Widget, My Favorites, Deals Widget, MP3 Clips Widget, Slideshow, Auto Part Finder Widget, Amazon Blogs Widget, Product Cloud, Wish List, aStore Widget, Search Box, Recommended Product Links, and Omakase.
Each and every single one of them can be inserted in WordPress in at least one of four ways:
- Add widget code while writing a WordPress post
- Add widget code by editing WordPress template files
- Add widget code to WordPress sidebar
- Utilizing the user-friendly WordPress-Amazon-Associate plugin
Configure any of the widgets above to your liking and copy its code. Then, let’s get started.
Add Widget Code While Writing a WordPress Post
You can add your widget code any where in your WordPress post. At the beginning, in the middle, at the end or at whatever spot you prefer. It’s really easy.
While you’re writing your WordPress post, switch to the HTML editor. Now simply copy your Amazon widget code to the spot where you’d like it to appear.
Add Widget Code by Editing WordPress Template Files
Among all the methods outlined here for adding Amazon widgets to WordPress, this one requires most technical knowledge.
Yet, it provides you with the most flexibility because with this method you can insert Amazon widgets any where on your WordPress powered site: the front page, the header, the footer, between posts, inside post pages, in archives pages…you get the point.
But you do need to have some understanding of HTML and PHP to be able to do this. I’ll show you an example of how to insert an Amazon widget between the header of your blog and the list of posts, like this:
In the admin area, go to Appearance >> Editor. And under Templates click Main Index Template (index.php). Now the index.php file is opened up in the editor.
In the screenshot above, I have the Omakase widget. Amazon gave me the following code for it:
I pasted that code in the following position of the index.php of my theme TwentyTen.
I also added some in-line CSS for styling. If you don’t know how to do that, then…oh well…here are some good CSS books from Amazon
Add Widget Code to WordPress Sidebar
Unlike editing template files to insert Amazon widgets, adding a Amazon widget to the sidebar is really easy.
First, let’s clear something up. WordPress has what’s called sidebar widgets. These are not related to Amazon widgets in anyway — they just share the word widget.
To insert an Amazon widget in WordPress sidebar, use the WordPress sidebar Text widget, which can be found at Appearance >> Widgets of the WordPress admin dashboard. Add it to your sidebar. Now all you have to do is paste your Amazon widget code into the text area of the Text widget.
And here’s how that looks on my blog
Any Amazon widget can be inserted in WordPress sidebar using this method — just make sure that your Amazon widget is not wider than your sidebar so it doesn’t break the layout of your site.
Utilizing WordPress-Amazon-Associate Plugin
The most up to date and useful plugin in WordPress for inserting Amazon widgets is WordPress-Amazon-Associate (yeah, that’s what the plugin is called). In addition to allowing you to insert and interact with Amazon widgets, this plugin does a bunch of other useful things. But here I’ll just focus on its ability to insert Amazon widgets.
This plugin works with the following widgets:
It doesn’t work with: Deals Widget, Slideshow, Auto Part Finder Widget, Amazon Blogs Widget, Product Cloud, Wish List, aStore Widget, Search Box, or Recommended Product Links. If you want to use one of these, you can use one of the three widget insertion methods described above.
So, first install the plugin and configure it. Now, the easiest way to insert a widget using this plugin is from the WordPress post editor. While you’re in the editor, click on the “a” button and choose the widget that you want to insert.
Now you’ll see the widget configuration screen.
Configure the widget to your liking, click Insert and you’re done!
So, those were the four ways with which you can insert an Amazon widget in WordPress. If you have questions, suggestions, comments or tips, I’d love to hear ’em!