Love it, hate it, or mildly tolerate it, you can’t dismiss Facebook’s massive success. Even in markets where it doesn’t dominate the social web, Facebook is catching up and will likely succeed.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that there was an Internet before Facebook and many of us have existing blogs or websites. Integrating with Facebook is a great way to get additional exposure for your content, whether you re-publish your blog content directly on Facebook, or you use something like Facebook Connect to add the Facebook login/profile experience to your own site.
Here are some great ways to integrate your website or blog with Facebook.
Although using something like WordPress to power a site or blog is becoming increasingly common, many people have sites using either a custom CMS or something coded in XHTML/PHP (PHP), Ruby, Django, etc.
If you fall into this category, the Facebook Developer Wiki is a great source of information.
Even better, last week, Facebook introduced the Facebook Connect Wizard and Facebook Connect Playground that makes implementing Facebook Connect into your site easier, and also offers up sample code and widgets for comment boxes, Facebook Connect buttons, and more.
WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most popular publishing platforms out there. Given WordPress’s vibrant community, you’d think that integrating Facebook into your WordPress site would be a breeze.
Well, it is and it isn’t. There are a number of plugins available but getting everything set-up can still be a bit complicated. Never fear, here are some great resources and tools for integrating your WordPress blog with your Facebook page:
WP-FBConnect — This plugin was started by Facebook engineer Adam Hupp. Although it hasn’t been updated as much as some of the other options, it does offer a way to integrate Facebook Connect with WordPress. This way, users can use their Facebook login to leave comments (and have them published to their feed) and have their Facebook avatar show up (with a Facebook designation) on your site. Check out Adam Breckler’s excellent tutorial for more help with this plugin.
Sociable Facebook Connect — Sociable.es has a Facebook Connect plugin too and it is frequently updated and offers other features, like the ability to add a box displaying recent visitors, commenters and friends. Be aware that the Sociable plugin will create a new user for your Facebook Connect users on your blog (this isn’t always ideal).
WPBook — WPBook does a few unique things, first, it lets you cross-post all of your blog content onto Facebook (which is great if you don’t already have that set-up). Second, it makes sure that comments published on one entry show up on the other. So if you have comments on both your Facebook Note and on your regular blog entry, everyone can see the comments at both places. This is great for users who want to get their content out to more people, but don’t want to deal with trying to track down a lot of separate conversations.
Add Your Blog Feed — If you don’t care so much about comments, but just want your blog content to show up on Facebook, you can follow Six Apart’s excellent guide to adding your external blog feed. It’s intended for TypePad users, but good reading for anyone using a blogging platform with RSS support.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out Tim Marsh’s excellent Dummies Guide to Integrating Facebook into WordPress. I ran across this in my research and was impressed with the level of thought and care that went into the post. Tim also released a free 40-page eBook (PDF link) that you can download with even more information.
Drupal and Joomla are two of the more popular open source content management systems. Both offer lots of robust features that are especially useful for large sites and communities.
Drupal in particular is often used when creating larger community sites. Because many of these sites might already have existing user profiles or logins, adding Facebook connectivity can be attractive for users — because who wants to sign up for another account — and for site owners who want to build a broader and more robust community.
There are a number of Facebook plugins for Drupal, but these are a few of my favorites:
Drupal for Facebook is really interesting because it isn’t just about letting users login with Facebook credentials (which it can do), but about using the power of Drupal to create Facebook applications and to push Drupal-site content out to Facebook. The project has been around for more than two years and is actively developed.
Drupal Facebook Connect is a module that plugs in Facebook Connect logins into an existing Drupal site. That way, users can login with their Facebook profile, see what Facebook friends also have an account on that Drupal site and publish customizable content back to their Facebook feed. Users can also invite Facebook friends to join the Drupal site. This is very cool for anyone who has a web-app based in Drupal.
Drupal Facebook Connect Module is another option for Drupal users that want to add Facebook Connect logins to their existing site.
On the Joomla front, jwFacebook Comments 1.5 allows site-owners to add a Facebook comment box to the bottom of Joomla entries.
If your primary focus is just letting users leave comments using their Facebook login, you might want to look at some of the third-party commenting systems that integrate with a variety of platforms and sites.
At Mashable, Disqus is our commenting system of choice. Disqus added Facebook Connect support last December and you can link your Facebook and Disqus profiles together. Disqus also lets users log in with Twitter (Twitter) credentials.
Similarly, JS-Kit’s Echo system lets you log in with a number of different identities and also choose where you want your comment published (on the site and to your Facebook friends, to your Twitter followers, etc.).
Third-party commenting systems like Disqus and Echo, which take some of the stress and mess of OpenID and Facebook Connect out of the equation, can do a lot to encourage more people to comment on your site.
You know that awesome “Share on Facebook” button we feature here at Mashable (Mashable)? You can get your own here, and there is even an easy plugin for WordPress users.
So site owners — how do you integrate Facebook with your blogs and sites? What are some of the best practices you can offer to others? Did we miss your favorite plugin or tool? Let us know in the comments!