Sometimes here at Orbital Towers I often find myself working on what I like to call ‘simple but actually quite difficult’ challenge of the week; where I try and sort something that on the face of it looks really easy but actually turns out to be extremely difficult.
Pushing WordPress blog posts to Twitter is pretty easy, thanks to a plugin called WP to Twitter. After installation of the plugin it gives you easy to follow instructions on how to set up a Twitter application at the ‘other end’ which is, thankfully, relatively simple apart from the fact you need to have a mobile number assigned to the Twitter account (which can grow tiresome after the 5th or 6th account linking). The plugin has some useful little widgets within the WP interface to help you get the best out of it, and you have complete control over what appears in your pushed tweets.
So you’d think this process would too, be simple for Facebook right?
Well no. Actually.
Even though there a literally dozens of plugins that claim to do this easily for you, the hardest bit here is creating the Facebook application at ‘the other end’. This is where it becomes a bit of a mission. Instead of creating the application with your account and off you go; you’ve got the API code to put into your WP plugin, you have to be a registered Facebook developer, and then go through privacy setting authorisation with Facebook. I literally spent ages getting this set up only to find I had to send everything off to Facebook for approval and, well…screw that. Not for something supposedly as simple as pushing a WP to Facebook.
Instead I settled on using Publicise; a plugin that comes in the popular Jetpack WP bundle. It isn’t necessary to create a FB application at the ‘other end’ to use it – you simply add your account and off you go…
HOWEVER I then discovered it wasn’t pulling images or titles through from the posts correctly. Concluding that there must have been a plugin conflicting with it, I eventually eliminated any suspect ones in a game of trial-and-error before I think I found the one causing the problem and, I hope, I have fixed it.
An bit of a mission I am sure you’ll agree. It certainly makes me nostalgic for the days of RSS feeds, that’s for sure.