Ever since I saw the implementation of Facebook Connect on TechCrunch, I wanted to look into implementing it on my blogs as well. However since I was not very active on Facebook, I did not start digging into it until a few days ago. There are are number of solutions available for bloggers today should they decide to take advantage of Facebook Connect.
For now I have settled with the Facebook Connect WordPress plugin by Sociable. The Sociable plugin requires Facebook API so before you start using it, make sure to create new application in Facebook developer section of your account. You may also want to hack this plugin- see in the bottom of the post where described how I did it.
Once installed and configured the Facebook Connect plugin will allow your visitors to logging into your blog using their Facebook credentials. They choose to allow the Facebook Connect application (your blog), to post the comments they leave on your blog to their Facebook account as well.
The Facebook Connect plugin by sociable has a widged that you can place in the sidebar of your blog where the visitors can login as Facebook users. Once logged in, they will also have an option to invite their friends to visit your website without actually leaving your blog.
Another unique feature the plugin provides is the community page, which is hosted right on your blog.
There is however one huge downside wit the plugin. It does not word that well with WP Super Cache plugin. Unless of course you can hack WP Super Cache plugin in such a way that it would serve dynamic pages to Facebook users once they’ve logged in on your blog. If you come across such a hack, please let me know.
Hacking the plugin to display the facebook login button somewhere around your comment box.- do this at your own risk.
Another shortcoming of the Facebook Connect plugin by Sociable is that the sidebar widget is the only place where the login button is displayed. Unfortunately the sidebar is not exactly the first place your visitors might examine when visiting your blog. They many leave a comment without realizing they could have shared it on Facebook. Placing the Facebook Connect login button in vicinity of the comment box can serve as a reminder that they could use their Facebook ID to comment on your blog. Unfortunately I had to come up with my own hack to accomplish that- copy and paste to code below into your comments.php file:
<?php echo "<fb:login-button length=\""
."\" onlogin=\"window.location = ‘"
This is how my comment box looks now with the code above inserted:
It is probably my worst ever attempt to hack anything. Hopefully some one can come up with a better hack. With the above hack, after successful login, the page if refreshed on the very top. Bringing the visitor back down to the comment box would be so much better- but as I said, I suck at coding.
For the list of other Facebook Connect plugins and solutions for other blogging and content management platforms make sure to visit Facebook Connect Plugin Directory.