Facebook is undoubtedly the largest social platform in the 21st century. As such, there are very many ways a website can gain from integrating with it. One way of doing this is using Facebook comments instead of the built-in WordPress comments.
When Facebook introduced its social plugins in 2010, what it really did was open a world of new opportunities for websites.
Benefits of using Facebook comments
You may be wondering how your website stands to gain by integrating Facebook comments. Well, here are some reasons. To begin with, integrating Facebook to your WordPress website greatly increases the visibility of your site. Just one comment can easily make your content go viral because it will suddenly be put in front of hundreds of your user’s friends. There is therefore, a great potential for increased traffic.
Secondly, it eliminates anonymity when users are leaving comments. This means that you are less likely to get spam comments because the comment will be tied to your user’s Facebook profile.
There is also increased chances that your readers will leave comments on your content because they do not need to create new profiles just so that they can comment. This in itself is the greatest reason why some people never comment on content no matter how interesting it is. Having Facebook comments though eliminates the need for them to create a profile since they can use the existing one.
How to add Facebook comments to WordPress
There are basically two methods that you can use to add Facebook comments feature to your WordPress website. You can either do it manually or use plugins.
Adding Facebook Comments feature manually
The biggest advantage of manually adding the comment feature to your website is that you only get the feature you want without additional bloat. Unfortunately, this is not the case with plugins because they come with a ton of features that you may never need. This means that the extra code will only slow your website down.
The disadvantage of this method is that you need to understand how it works and also be good with code. It will also take you longer to do it manually than it would if you used a plugin.
While a plugin could potentially leave useless code in your WordPress installation, it is easier and faster than trying to add the Facebook comment manually. Also, you can avoid the extra code by using a plugin that only adds the feature you need. Because we only want the Facebook comment feature, we will use the Facebook comments plugin.
Here are the steps you will need to follow to add Facebook comments to your website.
1. Create Facebook app
Irrespective of whether you are adding the Facebook comments feature manually or using a plugin, you will need to have a Facebook app. If you already have an app for your site, you can use the app ID to configure the plugin. If not, head over to https://developers.facebook.com/apps/ and create one by clicking the Create New App’ button.
After you do this, give a name to your app and then click the Create App ID’ button. You will now be redirected to your app dashboard where you can get your App ID.
2. Install Facebook comments plugin
The next step entails installing the plugin. Head over to http://wordpress.org/plugins and search for the Facebook comments plugin. Download it and then install it to your website. Alternatively, you can go to plugins in your WordPress installation and then select ‘Add New’. A pop-up will appear where you can search for the plugin.
3. Configure the plugin
After installing and activating the plugin, browse to settings, Facebook comments so that you can configure the plugin. The first step would be to select a platform. Click on Add platform’ and then select website. Next, enter your website’s address and save the setting. Now copy your Facebook App ID from your app dashboard on Facebook and paste it into your plugin settings. Now select Save Changes’.
That is pretty much all you need to do. The default settings will work well on most sites. But if you need to customize things further, this plugin offers a wide range of options that you can alter to better suit your needs. Play around to find out what works best for you. Remember though, that if you are not sure what a certain option does, it is best to leave it as it is to avoid messing up.