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How to Use Facebook Instant Articles on WordPress

Updated on  7th August

6 Min Read
Facebook Instant Articles WordPress Plugin
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Faster loading web pages grab more attention and retention than slow loading pages. The logic behind is simple. People tend to spend more time on websites which load faster as the content they wish to see loads quicker and chances of navigating to other pages increase.

On the other hand, visitors don’t appreciate waiting for a slow web page to load. This does not only affect the user experience but also affect the ROI of business, especially if it is an ecommerce, as visitors do not come back to the slow loading website no matter how good the content it has.

There are tons of resources available on the Internet, which can help you in speed up WordPress website. These tools and techniques are useful when used properly. There is no doubt that a huge number of readers visit blogs on social media. Businesses and websites share their blogs on social media pages through which they engage with their targeted audience.

Today, we will discuss a very helpful tool which can load your web page lightning fast for the visitors reading your content through Facebook.

What Does Facebook Instant Articles Mean?

Facebook introduced Instant Articles in February 2016, which converts your existing blog posts into an instant resource readily accessible through your Facebook page. These pages are loaded instantaneously and are hosted on Facebook servers. All of this reduces the load time of your web pages and helps in retaining your readers’ attention towards your content.

Lighting bolts shows Facebook IA

Lightning Bolt Icon represents Facebook Instant Articles

The feature was introduced to ensure that pages load even when the internet connection is very slow which is the case in remote areas where 3G or 4G technology is not available. For the same reason, Facebook also launched Facebook Lite app and Messenger Lite app which can be used on phones with low hardware and internet connection.

The other objective of Facebook Instant Articles was to prevent the user from going outside of Facebook to an external resource for reading the blog and to provide speedy pages which can be browsed and read conveniently while staying inside the Facebook application.

How Does It Work?

Just like any web page, Facebook Instant Articles are also HTML-based page, which make them fast. It relies on XML like markup language for styling and functionalities. Rather using conventional JavaScript and loading heavy media files, it is optimized to make the web page light while keeping the interactivity alive.

Let’s see how can we use Facebook IA on a WordPress website.

Integrate Facebook Instant Article WordPress Plugin

Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress are only supplied via the Facebook Pages so you must set one up before signing up for the Facebook Instant Articles. In order to complete the process, you should also have a publication logo and at least 5 publication articles. The last thing, you will require is the WordPress plugin for Instant Articles for WP.

If you have two or more Facebook pages, select the one from your list at the time of signing up for Facebook Instant Article.

Signup Facebook IA

Click on Access Instant Articles Tools button to proceed and on the next screen, navigate to Connect Your website tab and copy the Page ID.

Accessing Facebook Page ID For Instant Article

Next step would be to add a WordPress plugin to work with Facebook Instant Articles. Log in to your WordPress DashboardPlugins Add New and search for Instant Articles for WP plugin from the top-menu bar. Once found, install and activate the plugin.

Installing WordPress Instant Article Plugin

Go to WordPress DashboardInstant Articles to configure the plugin settings.

Plugin Setting Dashboard

Paste the Page ID we copied earlier to connect the WordPress website with Facebook page. It also provides options for displaying Ads, Analytics, Copyright and Styling options for your WordPress Facebook Instant Articles. Click on Save Changes button to complete the process.

Now return to Publishing Tools of your Facebook page and enter your website URL to claim it. In order to send your articles for a review, you should have at least five articles in your production library.

We have successfully integrated Facebook Instant Articles to our WordPress website and once your article feed is approved, it will be available for your reader via the Facebook Page.

Facebook Instant Articles WordPress Plugin Settings

Appearance

This section of the plugin lets you choose the article style of your Facebook Instant Articles. If you decide not to bother yourself with styling then you may leave it blank and default styling will be applied automatically.

Go to your Facebook Page → Publishing Tools → Instant Articles → Styles

WordPress IA Styling

WordPress Plugin For IA Appearance

Next option is for entering the copyright text for your article. And the last option is to adjust reading style i.e. from right to left. This is useful for the blogs published in Arabic or Urdu which is written from right to left.

Ads

Advertisements are extremely important in generating revenue from any bog. These adverts can be of your own promotions or be promoting external products or services. Having a web page with minimal scripting and heavy media does not mean that advertisements cannot be used in these articles.

WP Instant Article ads Setting

Ads can be configured using this plugin through the Facebook Audience Network, Custom iFrame URL and Custom Embed Code.

Analytics

Analytics is useful for gathering data which is responsible for traffic and conversions. Analytics can be integrated with Facebook Instant Articles through the same plugin.

Analytics Setting of WP Instant Article Plugin

Publishing Settings

These settings are used for configuring the overall publication settings of an Instant Article. An article can be published in development mode which is saved as a draft and does not go live.

WordPress Instant Article Plugin publishing settings

Other options include Transformation warnings, IA Status column, and switch to enable and disable Facebook likes and comments.

Who Needs Facebook IA?

Any website which uses the Facebook for promoting and publishing its content. This is ideal for the websites which have readers following them on fan pages and can read their published articles right from their page.

Facebook Instant Articles are not limited to just content producing websites like blogs and news. They can be used by any website who has visitors from mobile devices and to enhance the user experience by reducing the page load time.

WordPress Instant Articles Not Working?

Facebook Instant Articles WordPress plugin makes the whole integration process easier for you but at times you might encounter issues in publishing the instant articles. This mostly happens due to plugins and themes which are not compatible with transformer rules.

You can, however, create your custom rules to avoid such issues. To do so please refer to plugin’s documentation.

In case you see “404 page”, then look for errors in the URL you provided. Fixing the URL can fix this issue depending on your WordPress setup.

Advantages of Facebook Instant Articles on WordPress

WordPress websites are rich in content and require more attention when comes to speed optimization. Hosting WordPress website on Cloud Hosting with Facebook Instant Articles gives you the edge of delivering the same rich content but in a faster way. Let’s see some of the advantages of having Facebook Instant Articles on WordPress website:

  • Loads approximately 10 times faster than conventional web pages.
  • They are shared more as compare to other mobile web articles.
  • In the case of server issues, your article is still available to readers.
  • Reduce load on a web server as Instant Articles are hosted on Facebook servers.
  • Along with speed, monetization is also accessible.
  • Custom styling and analytical tools.
  • Easy reader engagement through Facebook likes and comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I get Facebook Instant Articles?

In order to set up Facebook IA you need to create a Facebook page first and then on your WordPress install the WP Facebook Instant Article plugin. Copy the Page Id to the plugin and publish five posts minimum for review.

Q. What are Facebook Instant Articles?

Facebook IA are fast loading web pages which open instantaneously on Facebook as compare to a conventional web page. These are lightweight pages and enhance the user experience by loading fast on user’s device.

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Ibad Ur Rehman

Ibad Ur Rehman is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He likes to explore latest open-source technologies and to interact with different communities. In his free time he likes to read, watch a series or fly his favorite Cessna 172SP in X Plane 10 flight simulator.

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