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50 Twitter Tools and Tutorials For Designers and Developers

Twitter appears on innumerable personal and professional websites nowadays, whether it is a simple “Follow me” badge in the header or a display of the author’s latest tweets in the sidebar. No longer a fad, Twitter is now a necessity for every website, not just for sharing your thoughts and keeping in touch with people, but also for marketing, advertising and even searching. But you may be wondering, How can I make Twitter work the way I want on my website?

Below, we present Twitter Web Designer and Developer Toolbox, API and Tutorials, a series of tutorials, links, references, libraries and plug-ins that will help you do everything you’ve always wanted to do with Twitter.

Twitter Web App

Twitter Technology Blog1
If you’re writing an application for the Twitter API or just curious about the code, tools and practices, this blog has something for you.

Twitter API Wiki home page2
Download the Twitter API here, and it’s also a great reference for developers.

Twitter API Announcements – Google Groups3
This website is updated only when changes to the Twitter API are released or there is a pending release.

Twitter Development Talk – Google Groups4
Discussion about the development and use of the Twitter API

Follow Twitter Development via Twitter5
Keep up to date with all news via Twitter.

Introduction to the Twitter API Link

Twitter Web App

Twitter API for Dummies6
This is an easy-to-follow tutorial with several examples based on different Web technologies. It has just enough for you to start your own Twitter project.

Using the Twitter API7
This is an excellent introduction to using the Twitter API. The API offers many different ways to connect to your details including XML, JSON, Atom and RSS. This tutorial uses XML, PHP and cURL.

Get Started With the Twitter API
If you’re looking to try out an API for the first time, Twitter’s is a great one to start with. Its API is simple and easy to use. The only thing to keep in mind is that Twitter limits you to 70 requests per 60-minute intervals, so remember to cache or otherwise store your results.

Getting Started with the Twitter API8
Twitter’s API lets you read and write Twitter messages with minimal coding in nearly any programming language. In fact, you can use this API without doing any programming. A slightly more advanced tutorial than the previous three.

Building Your Website Around Twitter Link

Build Your Own Social Home!9
Many of us have not only our own websites, but also Twitter, Flickr, ScrnShots and Facebook accounts, too. This tutorial brings all of these together neatly on one page.

Twitter Web App10

How to Create an RSS-Enabled Micro-Blog with Twitter11
Have you ever wanted to create a simple multi-person blog but didn’t want to bother setting up an entire WordPress installation? If so, this tutorial is for you. By combining Twitter Search, Atom feeds, hash-tags and PHP, you can create an RSS-enabled, micro-blog using Twitter and be up and running in less than 10 minutes.

Twitter Web App12

How to Make a Unique Website for Your Twitter Updates13
Twitter offer a little JavaScript widget that automatically uses the API and returns simple HTML of your recent tweets. This tutorial shows you how to design a unique website for your Twitter updates using this widget.

Twitter Web App14

How to Build a Maintainable Website Using CushyCMS and Twitter15
In this tutorial, you build a simple one-page website and then, in less than 5 minutes, set it up with a Twitter feed for daily updates and with CushyCMS for general content.

Twitter Web App16

Send Message from a PHP Page Using the Twitter API
This is a very simple tutorial (really just a few lines of codes!) that explains how to post a message using the Twitter API from a PHP page.

Twitter Web App

How to Run Multiple Twitter Feeds on the Same Page17
What if you want to display the Twitter feed of someone you admire or perhaps the feed of another author on your blog? This tutorial shows you how.

Twitter Web App18

Add Twitter to Your Blog (step by step)19
This is a simple but great tutorial: a “step-by-step guide to adding Twitter to your blog without it hanging your website”. Great description.

Twitter Web App20

Scripting Twitter with cURL
cURL is a versatile command-line utility designed to script Web page interactions. As a little demo, this tutorial shows you how to use it to easily to overcome the shortcomings of Twitter’s API. You can also view the Perl + LWP version of this tutorial here: Scripting Twitter with Perl + LWP21

PHP + Twitter + Google Calendar + SMS22
This tutorial shows you how to add an event to Google Calendar by text message. It shows you how to hook up your Twitter account to Google Calendar using their APIs.

TwitterZoid PHP Script23
TwitterZoid is the name of this PHP script for parsing Twitter RSS feeds. This tutorial shows you how to successfully implement this.

Twitter and AJAX Tutorials Link

Tweet! Unobtrusive jQuery Twitter Widget Tutorial
Tweet is an unobtrusive, fast-loading, feature-rich jQuery plug-in that lets you easily display your tweets on your website.

Twitter Web App

jQuery Plug-in for Twitter24
This is a simple, unobtrusive and customizable client-side method for easily embedding a Twitter feed on a Web page. From Coda, you know it’s going to be smooth. View demo here25.

Twitter Web App26

PHP and Ajax with the Twitter API
This tutorial shows you how to use jQuery, PHP and a little AJAX to connect to the Twitter API and return results.

Twitter Web App

Authenticating Twitter API Calls with PHP and jQuery
In this tutorial, you are shown how to authenticate the API calls to your Twitter credentials (to be able to return your favorites).

Twitter Followers Counter Tutorial
Here, you are taught how to create your very own Twitter counter, showing how many followers you have. View demo here.

Twitter Web App

Juitter – jQuery Plug-In to Put Twitter Live on your Website
Juitter is a small and fast-loading plug-in. It not only shows tweets to or from a user, but can be filtered to show tweets containing a specific word or restrict searches by language. You can also show avatars, which makes this jQuery plug-in quite unique. View demo here.

Twitter Web App

Twitter Emulation, Using MooTools 1.2 and PHP27
What most people probably don’t know is how simple it is to emulate Twitter’s functionality. Using PHP, MySQL and MooTools JavaScript, you can implement a Twitter-like status system in no time.

Twitter Web App28

Create a Twitter Box in Your Sidebar
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to easily create a fancy box that displays your latest Twitter rants in your sidebar, without having to turn to clunky plug-ins that bog down your blog.

Twitter Web App

How to Create Your Own Twitter WP Plug-In29
In this tutorial, you will be shown how to write a simple widget to allow your readers to share your posts on their Twitter accounts.

Twitter Web App30

How to Display Your Twitter Status Message in a Speech Bubble
Display your latest tweet in a nice speech bubble. It can be a pain in the neck creating this with pure CSS and images, so this tutorial will help. A nice effect.

Twitter Web App

Unobtrusive, Lazy-Loading Badge Using the Twitter API31

Twitter Web App32

A Resizable CSS-Based Twitter Website Badge
If you find the official Twitter badges too big and clunky, then this tutorial is for you. Display your latest tweet in a neat CSS-designed widget that resizes depending on the size of your tweet.

Twitter Web App

Custom Twitter Badge Tutorial CSS33
If you’re struggling to get Twitter to suit your website, then this tutorial will show you how to customize the different elements and create your own Twitter badge. View demo here34.

Twitter Web App

Building My Own Twitter Badge with RSS
In this tutorial, you will make your own Twitter badge with PHP by reading the RSS feed that Twitter provides. The default Twitter badge uses script tags that do not display when a user has JavaScript disabled. This code will render no matter what and still displays links and the names of tweeters.

Official Twitter Badges
Display your latest updates with a customized widget (or “badge”) from Twitter itself.

Twitter Web App

30+ Twitter Icons And Badges35
A large collection of Twitter badges, buttons and icons, available for free download.

Twitter Web App36

Building a Twitter Application Link

How to Build Your First Flash Twitter Mash-Up in Four Lines of Code!37
Build a Twitter mash-up in four lines of code? That’s all you need, according to this tutorial, to get the latest public timeline updates from Twitter into Flash.

Twitter Client for Android38
A tutorial showing how to create a Twitter client for Android (i.e. how to make XML-over-HTTP calls).

Building an Application with the Twitter API39
Twitter API libraries are available for most popular programming languages, and they’re opening up new possibilities for publishing information. In this tutorial, you will use a short Python script to create tweets when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (or any stock or index you like) makes a big jump.

How to Build a Twitter Agent
In this article, you will build a useful Twitter service to track the blogosphere.

Twitter Web App

Building Your Own Twitter Client with Fluid and jQuery40
Here, you will learn how to build your own Twitter client using Fluid (which contains Web apps in their own process/window), to see if it is possible to build a completely open-source, ad-free Twitter-like client on a single Web page, using only JavaScript and HTML.

Twitter Web App41

Twitter Libraries of Note Link

Twitter Web App

TwitterScript42 (Actionscript)
This is an ActionScript 3.0 library for accessing Twitter’s APIs. This was originally code from Twitter, but it is being open sourced so that it can be maintained and kept current.

QTwitLib is currently in a functioning stage, which allows a user to make calls to the library, which in turn makes POST/GET requests to Twitter and returns a message and status code for the action request.

java-twitter44 (Java)
A Java wrapper around the Twitter API.

jtwitter45 (Java)
JTwitter is a small library providing easy access to the Twitter API. Set and get your status, manage your network of friends, message friends, etc.

My Twitter46 (PHP)
This class can be used to set and retrieve a Twitter user status.

TwitterLibPHP47 (PHP)
An object-oriented PHP interface for the Twitter API.

PHP Twitter48 (PHP)
A Twitter class for PHP, forked, modified and enhanced.

PHP Twitter (PHP)
PHP Twitter is a (wrapper) class for communicating with the Twitter API.

python-twitter49 (Python)
A Python wrapper around the Twitter API.

twitty-twister50 (Python)
A twisted client for Twitter-like APIs.

Twittery51 (Ruby)
Twittery is a lightweight Ruby class that interfaces with Twitter’s API to make interacting with Twitter as simple as possible.


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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

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Paul Andrew is a freelance Web designer. He is chief admin for Speckyboy - Design Magazine, a Web design, Web development and graphic design resource blog.

  1. 1

    An example of how I use the Twitter API to create a motion chart of tweet keywords and a twitter world map from over 4,000,000 tweets: Twitter Charts

  2. 2

    Nice roundup. I’ll try some of these for sure.

  3. 3

    Robert Banh

    March 2, 2009 6:49 am

    It’s pretty easy. I used the Arc90 Twitter Client ( to built my app within a few hours:


  4. 4

    I made a few Animated tweet icons i thought i’d share…will add more when i have time.

  5. 5

    sorry about the promotion of my twitter. Maybe i just like twitter that much thats why i need a lot of friends. lol :)

  6. 6

    PockeTwit is another great app for mobile phone! ;)
    @santirocco on twitter :)

  7. 7

    There is a nice app for Sidebar: I wish you mentioned it in this article.

  8. 8

    Nice, shame I can’t even follow @smashingmag on Twitter! Grrrrr

  9. 9

    Jimmy Rittenborg

    March 2, 2009 8:17 am

    You also forget which gather a lot (if not all) of these social updates into one pretty simple and nice Adobe AIR app.. aside from tweetdeck, this thing also allows you to update your facebook status and follow along with whatever your friends are doing, directly from your desktop.

  10. 10

    Eren Emre Kanal

    March 2, 2009 8:48 am
  11. 11

    David Singer

    March 2, 2009 10:29 am

    Twitsrc is great as a Twitter paste bin (with syntax highlighting).

  12. 12

    Dieter Haeck

    March 2, 2009 11:47 am

    Twitter is awesome and this post is pretty interesting.


  13. 13

    First one! Great post as usual!

  14. 15

    Great post. I’ll try these tools.

  15. 16

    Nice Round-Up!! I’m kinda new to twitter and these stuff comes in handy… Thanks Paul for your effort in putting this together & allowing others to learn from it.

    DKumar M.

  16. 17

    I wrote simular functionality by myself about half year ago. But API is good ^_^

  17. 18

    Dinu Dominic Manns

    March 2, 2009 6:38 am

    Great article! Exactly what I was looking for to improve my own website…

  18. 19

    Wow – thanks for the comprehensive list of tools! Wanted to also make sure your readers knew about our new site, My Social Buttons that has lots of Twitter icons, graphics and buttons (along with many other social media tools).

  19. 20

    Great article again. (but you’ve missed the ‘y’ in Paul’s blog URL!)

  20. 21

    March 2, 2009 7:13 am

    I really have to consider Twitter…


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