How to automatically publish WordPress blog posts to Facebook

Simon sent me an email asking how to automatically publish (WordPress) blog posts to Facebook. There are a few ways to go about it – here’s what I recommend:

  • Install the Feed Facebook, Leave Facebook plugin to create a custom RSS feed (with brief article text and a link to the original article).
  • Follow the instructions in this WordPress.tv video, but use the above custom RSS feed rather than your normal article feed.

The only real shortcoming is that the blog posts won’t appear immediately since you have to wait for Facebook to check for feed updates (maybe every couple of hours or so) before they will appear in your profile.

Still, I think that this is best way to go about things for a few reasons:

  1. Importing your main article feed usually means that the full text of your articles appear on Facebook. A partial (excerpt) feed means that interested readers visit your website for the complete article.
  2. When importing feeds into Facebook, it isn’t always super-clear that the source is an external website. This technique adds “[…]” (to indicate that there is more) and a “Read the rest on my blog” (to show where it came from).
  3. There are other plugins that post immediately, but they must do so via your Facebook account (so you need to provide them with your account details). I don’t know, this seems potentially dangerous.

I’m not really that big on Facebook. I view my blog as a sort of personal journal, and I’d prefer to have comments and conversations here so that I look back on them in future (and not lose them if/when Facebook is no longer “the” major social networking site).

Hmmm… this initially informative post turned into a bit of a rant…

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