The subscribe function in Facebook allows you to follow updates from people who you’re not friends with. Any Facebook user can now broadcast themselves to a public group of followers, Twitter-style, while reserving private status updates for their Facebook friends.
So if you’re a WordPress blogger and want to use Facebook to expand your reach, adding the subscribe button to your site is a pretty logical idea.
Adding the subscribe button to your site
You need to allow people to subscribe to your Facebook profile. If you haven’t yet done this, read the instructions here.
If you’re trying to build a public following on Facebook, it’s a good idea to customize your profile URL. By default, your URL is just a bunch of numbers, but you can go to www.facebook.com/username and change it to something more memorable.
Venture over to the Facebook Developer site, where you can get the code for your own subscribe button.
The process is fairly self-explanatory. You need to enter your own Facebook profile URL for the subscribe link. (For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m just using Mark Zuckerberg’s URL, which is listed by default).
You’ll need to play around with the color and width settings to get the right look for your own WordPress theme. You can also choose from three different display formats: standard, button count and box count.
Once you’ve got the dimensions and display format right, you need to choose how you will embed the ‘subscribe’ button on your site. You have three options: HTML5, XFBML and IFRAME.
If you just want a basic solution and don’t need to do any serious customization, go for the IFRAME option. This HTML code can be placed straight on your site, wherever you want the button to display.
The end result
I’ve added the IFRAME code to a sidebar widget in the Twenty Eleven theme, and this is what it looks like:
And that’s all there is to it. Your readers can now sign up for your public updates on Facebook, directly from your WordPress blog.
Looking for more WordPress-Facebook integration tools? Check out Ultimate Facebook from WPMU DEV. This plugin is regularly updated and has everything you’ll ever need to connect your WordPress site harmoniously with Facebook.
Photo: Mr. Guillotine.