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SitePoint PHP Blog: How to Create Your Own Twitter Widget in PHP, Part 1

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 6 January 2011.
PHPDeveloper

From the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial from Craig Buckler (part one of a series) on how to create your own Twitter widget you can drop in anywhere on your site (main content or sidebar). It uses cURL to make the requests to the Twitter servers, so you'll need that installed on your PHP instance.

Because you can! Your own widget will always be more customizable than any off-the-shelf solution, and you'll be the envy of your peers. We've also been asked by several readers for articles about the topic, and it's a great introduction to PHP, REST APIs, JSON, regular expressions and Object Orientated Programming.

In this first part of the series, he helps you set up the class to connect to the Twitter services and fetch the latest statuses for the SitePoint account (obviously, you can substitute yours in its place) and some of the basics like templating and caching. The script uses the REST API since it only needs to fetch, so there's no messing around with the OpenID authentication the Twitter API now requires. You can also download the source for the code that'll be generated during the series.