WordPress Wednesday: Facebook for WordPress Plugin

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Facebook is undoubtedly the driving force behind the rise of the social Web, and the social network is increasingly becoming a vital component of ‘Net success for online retailers, content publishers and pretty much anyone else working on the Web.

For many, this means finding ways to integrate Facebook functionality directly into their website(s). A recent Pingdom survey of the world’s top 10,000 websites reveals that nearly a quarter of them (24.3 percent) feature some type of official Facebook integration on their homepage, and when one considers “regular” links to Facebook, the number shoots up to 49.3 percent. This integration can be anything from widgets to social plugins.

Now, WordPress website owners can harness the power of Facebook by adding the officially sanctioned Facebook for WordPress plugin to their site, with no coding knowledge required. In addition to offering a range of Facebook functionality, the plugin also supports internationalization and mobile sites, and is WordPress.com VIP approved.

Whenever one publishes a new page or post on their WordPress site, they will have a number of options for distributing it directly to Facebook. This includes the ability to mention specific friends or pages on the social network, as well as add a message that will be posted with the content. Then, once it is published, the content will appear on the friends and pages’ Timelines, and the mentions will also show up in the post on the WordPress site.

Author’s can alter the plugin’s settings so that the post shows up on their Timeline as an Open Graph action, the Timeline of any friend or page mentioned as part of the post and any Facebook page the author chooses that automatically publishes the WordPress site’s content once it is live.

Facebook for WordPress also offers users a variety of social plugins that they can easily enable on posts and pages. This includes Like, Send and Subscribe buttons, comments with SEO support (meaning they can be indexed by search engines) and a Recommendations Bar that lets users start getting recommendations, “Like” content and add what they’re currently reading to Timeline.

Finally, the plugin features a number of WordPress Widgets with drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to include social features like recommendations, recent activity and Like, Send and Subscribe buttons in their sites’ sidebars.

Click here for instructions from Facebook Developers on how to install Facebook for WordPress to your site.

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