Why Your Instagram Business Needs a Website (and How to Set It Up)

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Learn how to set up a sleek-looking website using WordPress.com and embed your Instagram feed with the Spotlight plugin for greater engagement.
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Instagram is so much more than just a photo-sharing app these days. Providing significant opportunities for visibility, it is a fantastic channel for creators and entrepreneurs to build – and monetize – a following.

Notwithstanding Instagram’s popularity, you might still want to have a website to connect with non-Instagram users. However, if creating a website sounds like an overwhelming task, don’t fret!

In this guide, you’ll learn how you can set up a customizable and sleek-looking website using WordPress.com, then effortlessly embed your Instagram feed on your website with the Spotlight plugin. Let’s get started.

How Can a Website Complement Your Instagram Account?

An embedded Instagram feed on Everdure’s website

Running a business on just Instagram is entirely possible, and many entrepreneurs have succeeded in doing so. That said, there are many reasons for Instagram businesses to also have a website:

  • Widen your reach: Thanks to the power of search engine optimization (or SEO) you can potentially gain new customers when they discover your business through online searches.
  • Provide customers with more information on your business: Some consumers may prefer to learn more about your offerings on a website before transacting with you via Instagram. After all, having a website is still considered the gold standard for businesses wanting to set up an online presence.
  • Establish deeper trust and credibility: Creating an Instagram account is free, which makes it easy for fly-by-night businesses to set up shop on the platform. Separate yourself from dubious operators by launching a well-constructed and credible-looking website.
  • Increase your conversion rate (and revenue!) With Instagram’s fixed layout, you may not have many options for optimizing your product images and descriptions. In contrast, with a website you’ll have complete creative freedom to show off your products in the best possible light and rake in more sales.

Beat your competition: Not everyone is an active Instagram user. If you have a website, you’ll be in a good position to win the business of such non-Instagram users – especially if your competitors are only on Instagram.

How Can You Add Images To a Website?

Many website builders have made it easy for website administrators to add images to their websites in appealing ways. For example, the best website builders will let you (using a plugin or otherwise) display your images in:

  • Photo galleries,
  • Lightboxes,
  • Image sliders and so on.
Embedding an Instagram feed using Spotlight's highlight layout.

However, if you plan to display your Instagram post images on your website, then it might make sense to embed your Instagram feed directly. By doing so, you can:

  • Add images to your website for boosting website engagement and conversions.
  • Show off your Instagram images to website visitors who may not view them otherwise, and maximize your images’ reach.
  • Repurpose your Instagram content to save time on creating entirely new images for your website.
  • Dynamically update your website images. Your website can automatically display your latest Instagram posts as and when they are published.

Using WordPress.com and Spotlight To Create a Visually Impactful Website

To really get the best of both worlds – namely, a high-performing website filled with gorgeous Instagram visuals – you will need tools to combine the following elements in a simple and efficient way:

  • The power of your website
  • The dynamic nature of your Instagram account.

The first tool you’ll want to check out is the WordPress.com website builder. This managed hosting platform makes it easy for anyone to build a creative website that can support plenty of visual content.

That’s because WordPress.com offers a vast selection of elegant website themes to suit all industries and use cases. You can then customize them by adding photo carousels, tiled image galleries, and other pre-made blocks.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

However, don’t confuse “WordPress.com” with “WordPress.org”! As mentioned above, WordPress.com is a managed hosting platform, which means that your hosting will be taken care of for you. You’ll just need to create an account, then pick a pricing plan to get access to the features you need.

On the other hand, WordPress.org (or often referred to as just “WordPress”) is an open-source software used as the content management system (CMS) for blogs and websites. While it allows for a high degree of flexibility in website creation, you will need to host your website yourself. This can pose extra complexity that you’ll have to be prepared to manage.

WordPress.com offers various pricing plans, but the one that we’d recommend for businesses is the Business plan. It includes all the essential features for running a full-featured website, such as:

  • Premium themes that make your website look good on all devices.
  • A generous 200 GB of file storage to accommodate the images, videos and other media you’ll be uploading to your website. Plus, if you enable the free VideoPress video hosting service, then your videos won’t count towards the storage limit!
  • The ability to install third-party plugins (such as Spotlight!) for adding even more features to your website.
  • Advanced SEO tools to boost your website’s visibility in the search engine result pages.
  • Live chat support so you can get help for website issues. 24/7 priority live chat support is also available on annual plans.
  • Automated backups every 24 hours for peace of mind. These are indispensable in case you need to restore your website to a previous version.

Benefits of Using Spotlight on Your WordPress.com Website

Once you’ve gotten your WordPress.com website up, pair it with the Spotlight plugin. This plugin lets you seamlessly embed your Instagram feed into your website. Spotlight provides a more engaging experience for your visitors, who may just be surprised with fresh and exciting content whenever they check out your website.

What’s more, you’ll have full control over the look of your Instagram posts on your website. Spotlight offers various Instagram feed display layouts and styles, from a standard grid to even a masonry gallery and carousel sliders.

You can also specify which posts are to be displayed on your website, such as those that have a certain phrase or hashtag. This is useful for showing off user-generated content from hashtag campaigns, for example.

Embedding an Instagram feed with a hashtag campaign.

Finally, Spotlight’s embedded Instagram feeds are 100% responsive, ensuring that your feed will look pixel-perfect on all devices.

Spotlight comes in two versions. The free version includes these features:

  • Unlimited embedded Instagram feeds that you can add anywhere to your website.
  • Four fully responsive feed templates, which you can customize with a simple point-and-click interface.
  • “Follow” and “Load more” buttons to drive website visitors to your Instagram page.

If you have more sophisticated needs, consider going for the paid Spotlight PRO version. It comes with all the essential features of the free Spotlight plugin, and other advanced ones such as:

  • Six beautiful PRO templates, including highlight montages and tiles.
  • Caption and hashtag filtering to display only Instagram posts that have certain keywords, phrases or hashtags on your website.
  • Displaying likes and comments in your Instagram feed to establish social proof.
  • Integration with Elementor and WooCommerce for the convenient customization of your Instagram feed within Elementor’s page builder, and the linking of Instagram posts to WooCommerce products, respectively.

How To Create a Website with WordPress.com and Embed Your Instagram Feed with Spotlight

1. Create a WordPress.com account

Go to WordPress.com and sign up for a free account.

Create a WordPress.com account

You’ll then choose a domain name and a WordPress.com pricing plan. As mentioned, the Business plan is our recommendation, but feel free to pick what works best for you.

2. Choose your website theme

When shortlisting themes, choose one that will complement the embedding of your Instagram feed. For example, look for a clean theme that will make your Instagram images pop against a minimalist background.

WordPress.com themes

3. Install the Spotlight plugin to embed your Instagram feed

Install the Spotlight plugin

To add the free version of Spotlight to your website, click on “Plugins” in the left sidebar of your WordPress.com dashboard, followed by “Add New”. Do a search for the plugin called “Spotlight Social Media Feeds”, then install and activate it.

Set up your Instagram feed

Connect your Instagram account to Spotlight, then start designing your Instagram feed to your heart’s content! When you’re done, you’ll get an Instagram feed embed shortcode for adding to any page or post.

You can then also install Spotlight PRO on your website by following the instructions here.

Pro Tips on Maximizing the Embedded Instagram Feed on Your Website

Once you’ve got your Instagram feed on your website, it’s time to optimize it to better engage your visitors. Here are some tips:

  • Add Instagram hashtag feeds of relevant content to keep visitors engaged on your website for longer.
  • Feature user-generated content in your embedded Instagram feeds to showcase how others are using (and enjoying) your products.
  • Display product reviews from customers in your Instagram feed that sing praises of your products – and convince others to buy them!
  • Include search keywords in your Instagram captions. Google may be able to crawl these captions, which can serve as useful content to bump up your website’s search engine rankings.

WordPress.com and Instagram: Better Together

Building a thriving community on Instagram is certainly no mean feat. However, if you’re looking to expand your fanbase, it may be time to go beyond the platform and set up a website for Instagram users and non-users alike.

There are many website builders you can use for building a website, but the WordPress.com platform is a strong choice for its ease of customization and top-notch service. In particular, its Business plan contains all the features you’ll need to create a professional-looking website, while also having the technical backend work taken care of for you.

In addition, once you’ve set up your WordPress.com website, use the Spotlight plugin to embed your Instagram feed in it!

Doing so not only helps you repurpose your Instagram content for your website but also gives people an easy and efficient way of discovering and interacting with you on both platforms. 

If you’re raring to go, then the first step is to build your website – and you can sign up for a WordPress.com account here.

Siew-Ann Tan

Siew Ann is a digital marketer and freelance writer whose writing has been featured in Tech in Asia, Vulcan Post, Website Planet, and others. She also runs lancerX.co, a freelance resource blog for anyone looking to turn their craft into a sustainable and meaningful freelance business.

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