July 05, 2012

New Facebook Extension Offers Closer WordPress Integration
Until recently, integrating a WordPress site with Facebook has been a rather hit-and-miss affair, with functionality spread across third-party extensions that were often less than reliable. The release of a Facebook for WordPress extension, developed in partnership with WordPress, has removed much of the hassle involved in making your site social.
This is a smart move by both parties. WordPress is the Goliath of content management systems, underpinning 16.6% of the top million websites. The new extension will cement the relationship between Facebook and WordPress-based content publishers, driving traffic in both directions and allowing WordPress users to leverage the huge popularity of Facebook for content marketing and brand awareness. Some of the web’s foremost destinations are early adopters, including TechCrunch, BuzzMedia, and The Next Web.

The most obvious functionality to use is Social Publishing and Mentions. The plugin will distribute new content on your WordPress site by a number of methods including on the author’s Timeline, a Facebook Page, or, via mentions, on other Pages and Timelines.
As you might expect, the extension includes the option to add Like, Send, and Subscribe buttons to posts. It also brings along a couple of widgets that can be added to post and pages, including the Facebook Comment Widget, which allows for very close integration between a Facebook page and a WordPress page. Comment threads can be synced across Facebook and WordPress posts so that conversations can develop without being fragmented across multiple sites.
The extension also incorporates widgets to add a Recommendations Box and an Activity Feed to sites. The Recommendation Box shows users (whether they are logged into a WordPress site or not) tailored content suggestions based on previous engagement with a site by them and their friends. The Activity Feed is filled with actions that a user’s friends have taken on the site.
If you would like to install the extension on your Nexcess-hosted WordPress installation, it couldn’t be easier. Unlike many previous methods of integration, there is no need to paste JavaScript into your page. Simply install via the WordPress.org plugin directory, or upload it to your server, and follow the usual installation and activation process from the dashboard.
After installation you will see an additional menu item in the left-hand menu-bar, where you can control which Facebook integration features to activate.
The new Facebook for WordPress extension offers a simple one-click way to bridge the gap between Social Media and a WordPress site. If you’ve given it a try, let us know how it went in the comments or on Twitter!


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