I admit that there are two things that I love about the Internet at the moment, more than anything else online. Those two things are blogging and Facebook. So, when I discovered that there’s a free Facebook template available for WordPress, I was all over that like a MakeUseOf reader on a software giveaway contest.
Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve covered quite a bit of material about Facebook, such as how the social network works, and how you can archive your Facebook data. But today, I’m going to go over how you can turn your WordPress blog into a Facebook lookalike.
The ironic thing is that I’m actually annoyed and frustrated by the rigidity of the Facebook templates over the past few years, and the Facebook developers unwillingness to allow users the ability to customize and tweak their profile pages. On the other hand, I’m sure we can all agree that we’re very thankful we don’t have to look at some of those gawd-awful page designs that you’d find on MySpace. So, I guess the Facebook template we have is the lesser of the two evils.
This is also another reason I was excited when I learned about Foxinni, because if you’re using the Foxinni Facebook template for your own hosted blog, then obviously you’re free to tweak the theme all you like. And in all honesty, I really do like how content is laid out and featured to the reader in Facebook – I just wish that we could change colors and modify the appearance just a little bit more easily.
Using The Foxinni Facebook Template For Your Blog
Yes, it’s absolutely true. You can make your WordPress blog have the identical look and feel as Facebook. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, maybe you just love the layout, or maybe you’re starting a blog that’s has content about Facebook and you want to appeal to Facebook users. Whatever your reason is, Foxinni absolutely goes above and beyond in providing the perfect Facebook template for your WordPress blog.
Even better, Malan, the innovative web designer from South Africa, provides the theme absolutely free…what a cool guy! For his efforts, we should really support his paid work over at WooThemes if you ever have the need for a professional theme.
In this exercise, I’m going to convert my blog DebtDreams, which I haven’t done much writing on lately, over to this new, cool Facebook template. First, obviously, download and unzip the files from the Foxinni website, and then FTP the Facebook theme into your WordPress “themes” folder. Then go into WordPress, go into Appearance and Themes, and click on the Foxinni Facebook theme to activate.
Take a look at the preview, and if you like how the theme looks – go ahead and click on the link at the top to activate the theme. Now that we’ve got it active, let’s take a look at the settings and see how the theme can be customized. Under Appearance, if you click on “Facebook Theme Options,” you’ll see the following page.
Since this is a blog about money, I thought I’d go with green. Also I opted to hide the “WordPress” logo, and align my title on the left side. Now, my DebtDreams blog still looks a lot like Facebook, but with the colors that I want!
I really like this theme! The only problem is that the widgets on both sides are matching – so it’s time to customize the sidebars and see if we can make the Facebook theme look even more like Facebook using the sidebar widgets and some code. First, I’ve inserted my profile picture and a link to my profile on the upper right, just like on Facebook. Then, I wanted something a little like the friends widget on Facebook, so I decided to embed my Twitter followers in place of that, using thetool. You can add all of these left sidebar features in a simple text widget with HTML and the embed code.
Then, moving the category widget over to the right bar and adding a few other necessary widgets, the blog finally looks pretty close to my actual Facebook page…except with even more features and customized to exactly how I want it to look.
What makes the Foxinni Facebook template so useful is that so many people are accustomed to the layout and the flow of information as it’s presented on Facebook. In fact, Facebook is drawing more “newbie” Internet users to the web every single day, and the Facebook template is fast becoming the simplest layout for people to follow. If you want your WordPress blog to appeal to people who use Facebook a lot, and you want to have your content flow in much the same way as it does on your Facebook profile, then this is definitely the theme for you.
What do you think of the Foxinni Facebook template? Do you know of any other WordPress themes that offer the same sort of layout? Share your opinions in the comments section below.