Many marketers -- particularly those without coding skills -- have sorely missed the static FBML application for creating fan pages since Facebook removed it in March of this year. WP4fb attempts to redirect us all back to easy street, and knowing WordPress (which is fairly simple) is the only catch.
WordPress + Facebook = WP4fb
WP4fb is essentially a free WordPress template with Facebook compatibility. The template feeds into Facebook’s iframe application, translating whatever you create using WordPress into a tab on your Facebook Fan Page.
In other words, creating a Fan Page just got as easy as blogging.
Here’s a peek at a working example:
As a bonus, a nifty feature called Fan Gate gives you the opportunity to show different content to a non-fan than a fan. For instance, you can display a message such as “Like this page” for anyone who hasn’t liked your Fan Page yet, while showing more targeted content to all the people who have.
Setting it up
Because WP4fb is a template, not a plugin, you’ll need your own installation of WordPress before you can party. After you've downloaded the latest stable version of the blogging platform (currently WordPress 3.1) and plugged it into its own sub-directory or sub-domain, you'll then need to download the WP4fb template here.
Just as you would any other WordPress template, unzip the file and upload it to /wp-content/themes. The theme will then appear in your list of available WordPress themes, like so:
Once the theme is activated, you'll have to pull a few tricks within Facebook:
Create a Facebook Application
To set up a Facebook app, head over to the platform's developer page and click "Set Up New App". Once you choose a name and agree to Facebook's terms, you'll come to this page, which is pretty self-explanatory:
Use WP4fb as an iframe
Next, you'll want to navigate to the Facebook Integration section of the page shown above and fill out the following:
- Canvas URL: The main path where your WP4fb install is hosted
- Canvas Type: Select "iframe"
- Tab Name: The name of the tab on your Fan Page
- Tab URL: The location of your WP4fb install within the Canvas URL. Fill out "index.php" in this field.
After these changes have been saved, navigate to the Application Profile Page > Add to My Page > and finally, select the page you want to add the custom iframe tab to.
The last set of steps involves configuring the WP4fb settings. You'll have the option to enter a URL logo, integrate social media accounts such as Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, and play around with Fan Gate.
de Kreij has a super handy (and detailed) guide for all of the steps above that is available for download here.
de Kreij says many more features will be added to the Fan Gate perk, both on the WordPress and Facebook front. Stick around and you can expect to see widget compatibality, customizable colors, invite friend forms, custom Like boxes, etc.
Further, di Kreij intends to create a plugin version of the theme, which may turn out to be even handier:
Ready to put your WordPress site right into a Facebook Fan Page? Get on with it.