Even if you are not in Facebook, it’s possible that you might have seen in some sites a blue button that says Connect with Facebook. What this application does, is to provide a system for you to log (or Connect) into that site using your Facebook account. For example, Digg, the popular link submission site, will let you login and submit links using your Facebook credentials and you can even publish each link submission on your wall. Even if it’s one more OpenID or Google Friend Connect (which is not nearly as good in terms of functionality), it’s backed up by millions of user with carefully constructed identity profiles. Now that’s cool. So, how do we integrate Facebook Connect with our WordPress blog? once again, WordPress plugins come to the rescue.
Since I had to do some Facebook Connect development I tried several plugins to achieve this. What I needed was a real WordPress user, as many plugins are merely cosmethical, that is, your Facebook avatar will appear on the page but no real WordPress user is created. Finally, the testing was done using Hybrid Theme framework.
It didn’t worked. Besides, the icons in the widget don’t follow the standards of the sites they represent. As far as I can tell, this plugin didn’t created any real WordPress user.
This is a simple plugin to connect WordPress to Facebook, and the interesting thing is that it created a WordPress user for a matching Facebook user, so your users registered with Facebook credentials would have been real users of the blog. Sadly, it didn’t worked for me.
It should work (it is from Automattic), although I haven’t tested it since it doesn’t create WordPress users.
This huge plugin by Sociable works really good. Besides creating a real WordPress user, the plugin can create a WordPress page destinated to the Facebook community around the site where it is running, that is, a listing including all users logged in using their Facebook credentials. Includes a widget to display recent visitors, friends and comments. There is also a Thesis compatible version and Sociable even created two video tutorials and documentation for its installing. Of course, it supports login and commenting with your Facebook account and publishing to your wall. You could view the first time login as a registering action, since it creates the WP user from that very first moment. Definitely an excellent plugin.
Finally, this is the one I ‘ve chosen by the moment. A plugin constructed in a modular way so you can activate only the components you will be using. Its current features, according to WordPress Extend, are:
* Comment using Facebook Identity (with FB avatar support)
* Automatically Publish new posts to Facebook Profile
* Manually Publish posts to FB Profile or Applicaton/Fan Page
* Login with your Facebook credentials
* New user registration with Facebook credentials
* Share button and Shortcode
* Connect Button Widget and Shortcode
* User Status Widget and Shortcode
* Live Stream Widget and Shortcode
* Bookmark Widget and Shortcode
* Fan Box Widget
* Fan Count Chicklet and Widget
When you register, it will create a new WordPress user. This is the item that currently got me thinking about using Sociable’s plugin, since in the latter, the new user creation is executed the first time you connect with Facebook. It is somehow a bit more transparent. On the other hand, maybe it’s nice that the user is effectively notified that it will be registering in the site. Now, this is the easier plugin to install and Otto is working actively in it. In less than a month the plugin advanced from version 0.9 to 0.11. With SFC you can also link your existing WordPress account to a Facebook account (you can do this from UsersYour Profile on the WP Admin). Whether you need only the commenting system, or displaying a Fan Box or more advanced stuff, like login and registering, SFC has it all. You can discuss the plugin at the Facebook application page for SFC or at Otto’s site.
In an upcoming post, I will show you how to integrate SFC with Hybrid Theme.