Tell Facebook Who’s Boss!
Two clients asked me recently about how to control which images are displayed when posting links on Facebook. With the ever changing rules of Facebook, it’s been a bit of a moving target. Now they have their own standard code for interpreting your links and info called Facebook Open Graph.
If you always want the same image to display no matter what, you can actually put in a link in the head code telling Open Graph which image to pick. But most of us prefer Facebook to pick a featured image and as backup a default image when there isn’t a featured image available.
The Secret Sauce – And It’s Low Fat!
For WordPress SEO fans, you probably have been utilizing the Social tab and telling Facebook and other services which image to pick. But not everyone has WordPress SEO plugin installed, or they have a Facebook plugin with a bunch of bloated features. Trust me – you probably don’t want a Facebook plugin anyway, many of them slow your website speed with extra scripts. It’s the main reason I mentioned it’s time to retire your Facebook Like Box.
Hat tip to my friend Nadine in NYC who shared this awesome plugin WP Facebook Open Graph protocol. (FYI if you are a Pug owner, Nadine creates pug gifts.) The plugin is lightweight, pulls the featured image and allows you to specify a default image fall back. It also works with GooglePlus and LinkedIn!
How To Set It Up
Once you install WP Facebook Open Graph protocol do the following.
- In the WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings > Facebook OGP.
- You will need to retrieve your Facebook User ID, you can find it with the link and putting in your name after the last slash http://graph.facebook.com/yourusername
- If you prefer to use the App ID instead (FYI no instructions there on the plugin but probably you can google it) for business pages. I use the personal ID since it’s fast.
- Create a default image 200 by 200 pixels. Upload to your Media library, grab the URL and paste it in the "Default Image URL to use" input box.
- If you want the same image every time, you can check the last box "use this if you want to use the Default Image for everything…" but don’t if you want your featured images to be picked up first!
- Click save and you are set! Now don’t you feel empowered?