Recently I released a WordPress plugin which will allow you to easily add a Facebook like box to a WordPress sidebar. Straight from the Widget dashboard you would be able to add the Facebook like box and fully customise it as you would from the Facebook Developer site.
This plugin has been downloaded the most out of all the plugins I have made for WordPress and because of the popularity of the plugin I wrote a tutorial for WpTuts explaining how you can create your own version of the plugin.
A couple of days ago Facebook have now released their own WordPress plugin which links directly to your WordPress account and allows you to integrate all sorts of Facebook features on your WordPress website. In this article we are going to see what is included in the Facebook plugin.
Install The Facebook Plugin
To install the Facebook plugin it's the same as any normal WordPress plugin, you can either do this inside your WordPress dashboard or go to WordPress.org, download the plugin and move it into your wp-content/plugins folder.
Once the plugin has been downloaded then you will need to log into your WordPress dashboard and activate the plugin.
Now that the plugin is activated you see a new Facebook menu item in your dashbaord.
When you first go to the admin screen of the Facebook plugin, they have provided some useful instructions on how to create a Facebook app so that you can use the plugin to it's full potential. Once you have created your Facebook app you can apply the settings needed by the plugin, these are:
- App Id
- App Secret
- App Namespace
Now the Facebook plugin is installed and ready to use, from the plugin you will now have access to the following features.
- Social Publishing and Mentions
- Like Button
- Subscribe Button
- Send Button
- SEO friendly Facebook Comments
- Facebook Recommendation Bar
- Recommendation Widget
- Recent Activity Widget
- Widgets for Like, send and subscribe buttons
- Enable Publishing to an Author's Timeline
The social publisher feature allows you to automatically publish your blog posts to Facebook. But you have the choice to publish it to the authors page and you can also publish it to your websites Facebook page.
From the social publisher feature you will also be able to mention Facebook pages and people in your post. When your WordPress post is published the Facebook plugin will send the post your new article to all of the mentioned peoples timelines, increasing the distribution of your content.
Like Button, Subscribe Button and Send Button
These features makes it very easy to add any of these button to your WordPress content.
You can add 1 or all of these buttons to your page, the Facebook plugin will hook into the WordPress content function and will place these buttons at either the top of the bottom of your content.
This is a new feature that will create a small bar in the bottom right of your website, on this bar is a like button, displays related articles the reader might like and adds what the user is reading to their timeline.
The Facebook plugin comes with 5 WordPress widgets.
- Facebook Like Button - Allows you to add a like button in the sidebar of your WordPress site.
- Recent Activity - This will display the most popular recent activity on your site.
- Recommendations - This will display personalised recommendations of your site content.
- Facebook Send Button - Allows you to add a send button in the sidebar of your WordPress site.
- Facebook Subscribe Button - This will add a subscribe button to your sidebar which allows your visitors to subscribe to your public updates.
If you have a WordPress blog which has a good community on Facebook and has many likes on your Facebook page then I recommend you download this plugin on your WordPress site, with all the features in this plugin it will certainly help you stay more engaged with your Facebook visitors.
If your audience is more involved on other social networks then I feel this plugin will not be right for your WordPress site. For example if your main audience is more active on Twitter than the other social networks, then I feel the only feature that I would use is the auto publish to Facebook and there are already plugins that will do this.
What do you think of the Facebook WordPress plugin? Would you use the Facebook comments instead of the normal WordPress comments?
If you want to give this plugin a try you can download it on WordPress.org now.