Facebook Comments Integration – A Quick Review
4 days ago I integrated Facebook comments on WP Mods. At the time I also decided to remove the default WordPress comment system. There were many reasons for this including a decline in traditional comments, increase in spam comments and lack of social media integration.
I’ve had time to look at the pros and cons of integrating Facebook comments on your website so I thought I would share them with you all today. Firstly, I’m a big fan of the way Facebook comments are integrated into websites. Most people stay logged into Facebook whilst they browse the web so they are more inclined to leave a comment. I also think it’s more personable than the default WordPress system; particularly with so many comments being left by people whose sole aim is to plug their website.
I’ve noticed some problems with using Facebook comments exclusively on your website:
- I’m not able to publish the number of comments on my site. Facebook advise using the following code for noting the number of comments on a specific page.
<fb:comments-count href="<?php echo get_permalink($post->ID); ?>"></fb:comments-count> Comments
Unfortunately, the above code doesn’t work therefore I can’t publish the number of Facebook comments on a page.
- Facebook comments are not integrated into mobile designs. All of the mobile designs that I have found use the default comment system exclusively. Browsing through mobile phones and tablets is increasing every month therefore it would be prudent to keep the WordPress system until integration with Facebook on mobile designs has improved.
- I wasn’t too worried about comments going through an external system as Facebook is known for it’s reliability and I don’t see its popularity decreasing anytime soon. Unfortunately, when I logged on yesterday Facebook comments were down (as were Facebook like buttons). I assumed it was a caching issue at first but I noticed that comments were gone from other websites that were using Facebook for their comments.
Due to the above reasons, I decided to add the default WordPress commenting system back. As I noted last week, I wasn’t keen on doing this as it fragments the conversation; effectively creating two discussions on each post. I do believe that it’s the best solution until the points I mentioned above have been resolved. Should things change in the future I’ll let you know.
How To Integrate Facebook Comments On Your WordPress Website
Integrating Facebook comments into your WordPress website is very easy. Below are three methods which you can use to add Facebook comments into your website. I tried all of these methods when I was integrating Facebook here so I can vouch that they all work :)
- Follow Joseph Badows excellent tutorial ‘Add Facebook Comments To Your WordPress Theme‘. All you need to do is add this line to your header template (make sure you replace YOUR APP ID with your comment application ID) :
<meta property='fb:app_id' content='YOUR APP ID' />
and then add the following code to your comments.php where you want the comments to be displayed:
<div id="fb-root"></div> <script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script> <fb:comments href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" width="600"></fb:comments>
- Install a Facebook comment plugin. There are lots to choose from though my favourite is Facebook Comments For WordPress (even if the recent comments widget isn’t working).The plugin automatically integrates Facebook comments onto your posts and pages. It even hides the default comment form for you if you want to use Facebook exclusively.
- Use the official Facebook comment social plugin. Make sure you change the data-href URL to:
<?php the_permalink() ?>
If you are unsure about any aspect of integrating Facebook comments on your website, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help.
I’d love to hear what comment systems readers are using on their website. Are you still using the default comment system or are you using a third party service?