Facebook Plugins Stacks

COSCULTURE

While there are plenty of effective ways to get a link to your Facebook profile or page onto a website, we’ve often found it problematic to achieve any deeper integration. One of our current favourite stacks — Social Stream from Rapid Ideas— only streams the contents of a personal Facebook account for example, whereas businesses, bands, clubs and societies would much rather link to their Facebook page.

Cosculture’s suite of Facebook Plugins stacks looks to plug this gap by providing a stack for pretty much every Facebook feature that you’d care to offer your visitors – buttons to like, share, send and follow someone on Facebook, along with a stack to display comments, others to handle embedded posts and videos and finally, the Holy Grail: a Facebook page plugin.

First things first – none of the stacks will appear in Preview mode, instead, export the page to a browser or publish it. To get started, just drag in the Facebook Plugins Init stack – this is an enabler that needs to be added to every page containing any of the included stacks. After that, you can drag out the ones you require and drop them into position.

Each stack comes with a set of simple, relevant configuration options (most can take a dark or light colour scheme, some have a width setting or can be ordered by time/social relevance, the Share and Like stacks can have button or box counts and so on). You can allow visitors to your website to leave a comment  and if someone’s said something particularly nice about you – and it’s a public post – you can use the Embedded Post stack to add it to your website; the Embedded Video stack lets you do the same with videos, so long as their settings allow them to be shared.

The two most interesting stacks included here are the Send button which lets you to share a link to the current web page with an individual or group on Facebook and the Page stack which allows you to incorporate your Facebook page into your website (this defaults to the page of Liverpool FC so please feel free to change it immediately…). The Page stack lets you set width and height, select a header size and specify whether you want to display the Facepile, Posts, hide the cover photo and how you want to align the box.

A couple of minor caveats. First, we’ve seen before how big players like Google and Twitter can change how they handle requests from this kind of external service (think PlusKit, Rapidblog and Doobox’ Twitter stacks from back in 2013) and render them useless, either temporarily or permanently. That’s not to say the same thing will happen here, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Second, if your visitors are running a browser plugin that hides adverts, they may not be able to see the stacks, so it might be worth including a little note to that effect somewhere on any pages where you intend to use them.

These Facebook Plugins stacks will be useful for anyone who needs to promote their Facebook presence via a website and – to our knowledge – represent the most complete solution for Rapidweaver users yet. And thumbs up as well for the good, straightforward documentation.

Rob Beattie

Rob Beattie is a freelance copywriter who designs sites using Rapidweaver. He's been reviewing computer hardware, software and web services since 1981. Yes...that long. And he's also the author of 101 Things to Do in a Shed , Fishing: A Very Peculiar History , and The Bluffer's Guide to Fishing

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