How to add a Follow Me on Google+ widget to your WordPress site

The WordPress community is great. Google+ is barely two weeks old and there’s already a nifty plugin for the site.

Similar to the “Follow Me” buttons for Twitter and other sites, the Google+ plugin called GoogleCards by mabujo adds a simple way to allow your readers to follow you on Google+.

It shows your profile photo and name from Google+ as well as how many circles you’re in (follows, essentially) along with a button so that you can easily be added to the reader’s own Google+ profile.

And though Google+ is still early in its evolution and very limited in its release, this may be another nice addition to your WordPress site. Here’s how to install it.

Installation and configuration of the GoogleCards plugin

Updated: It seems the original developer has abandoned this utility, as it’s been broken for a while (photos and circle counts not showing properly). But another WordPress developer stepped up and issued a fix. Thanks Kai Thrun! His fix is posted here and seems to work fine. That’s the one I’m using on this site now.

The only difference is rather than searching for GoogleCards, you’ll need to upload the file from your local hard drive. (When you click on Add New,choose Upload, then browse to where you downloaded the .zip file and click Install Now. And then Ok. The rest of the steps are the same.)

Updated again (9/8/11): The original author is back on the job, and a new update was released. The steps below, as originally listed, work again. Enjoy!

First, go to Plugins menu on your WordPress dashboard and select Add New. Then type googlecards in the search box and click the search button.

Then click on Install Now. And then Ok.

Once it’s installed, click on Activate.

Now, you need to go to the widgets screen, found under Appearance, Widgets on the Dashboard.

From this screen, you need to drag the GoogleCards widget onto a sidebar. This will cause the widget to actually display on your site. Pick a good spot, maybe high up under your search widget (if you have one).

Lastly, you need to configure the widget with your own Google+ ID number (the default is for one of the Google founders, Larry Page).

Don’t worry, it’s easy to get. Just login to Google+ and view your profile. You’ll see the number neatly displayed in the URL, like so:

Copy that number and paste it into the Google+ ID field on the GoogleCards widget and hit Save.

Now view your site and viola! You’re done.