Recently, I wanted to add Facebook to my website in a variety of ways – including allowing my visitors to “like” my articles and of course displaying my Facebook update on my blog. There are actually several ways that you can integrate Facebook into your website, either to display your own profile information or to let your visitors access their own Facebook information in different ways.
In this article, I’m going to outline a few of the ways that you can add Facebook to your blog or website using widgets and buttons. These widgets and code snippets come from the Facebook collection of tools that you can use on any website you want.
Display Your Profile Information on Your Website
The most common way people add Facebook to their website is by displaying their profile “badge”, usually in the left menu of their blog. This is also the easiest choice, because it’s just a matter of obtaining the code from the Profile Badges area and pasting it into your site.
On your Facebook “Profile Badges” page, you’ll notice that on the left you have several choices for the type of widget that you want to use – like badges, profile badges and photo badges. I’ll cover each of these options.
The profile badge is simple, just select where you want to insert your badge. For websites or on your blog, select “Other.”
Highlight and copy the HTML code in the field below, and then paste it into your blog or on your website where you’d like to insert your Facebook profile badge. For a WordPress blog, which is what I usually use, you can insert the code into a Text/HTML widget on the sidebar.
Just click save, and your profile is on the sidebar of your blog. Every time you update your Facebook profile, the change is reflected on your profile badge.
There are two other profile badge types you can place on your site – the Photo Badge or the Like Badge. The photo badge is much like your profile display, except that it displays your most recently added photos instead of your profile update. The “Like” badge is pretty cool because it’s an easy way to share sites that you like with your visitors straight from Facebook.
You can select any of the items from your list of “Likes and Dislikes” in your profile. It shows up as a link to the Facebook page for that entity. For example, in this case it links to the Facebook page for Band of Brothers.
These are profile badges that folks have been using for a long time, but there are also cool ways that you can help your website visitors access their own Facebook account straight from your site, and hopefully share your URL with all of their friends in the process.
Help Visitors Share Your Content
The more useful Facebook widgets are the “Like” widgets that you can place on your blog to more easily allow your visitors to share articles or content on your site that they especially like. You may have already noticed the Facebook “Like” widget on your favorite websites, as it’s a very popular one.
Just head over to the Facebook Widgets page and choose one of the two Like widgets that are available there – one is just a standard Like link with the count of people who like the page, and the other is a Like box, where visitors can like your Facebook page (if you have one).
To set up the Like button for your site, you just have to provide the URL and customize the widget for the area on your site where you want to place it. When you’re done, just click “Get Code.”
Once you have the code, just paste it into your page where you’d like it to show up, and this is how it will appear on your page:
Keep in mind that if you want an individual Like button for each page of your site, you’ll need to go into Facebook, assign the URL and obtain the code. A better approach (available on the same page where you get the code) is to use the XML code, which Facebook calls XFBML.
If you are a developer, you can create some dynamic scripting that embeds the correct URL for your visitors to like for the particular page that’s loaded. Creating that code is beyond the scope of this article, but be aware that the capability is there if you need it. Check out the Like Button help page for further information.
Let Visitors View Their Facebook Account
My favorite Facebook widget of all of them is the Activity Feed widget. If you have a site that is getting at least some social love in the form of Facebook shares from your visitors, you can show that off in a cool widget. This widget displays the latest articles that were shared by visitors. And when visitors to your site are logged into their Facebook profiles, the widget actually displays the latest updates/shares about your site from their Facebook friends – so they can actually see which of their Facebook friends like your website.
In my opinion, this widget is one of the best ways to create a perfect dialog between your own website and the Facebook community. As you grow traffic to your website from the Facebook community, you’ll see this widget display your popularity and draw in even more Facebook visitors.
There are the buttons and widgets that I chose to add Facebook to my websites, but there are other widgets to try – so experiment and see which ones work best for your site. Have you tried any of these with your own blog? Do you know of any other cool widgets that integrate Facebook into your blog even better than these? Share your insights in the comments section below.