WPBook and WPBook Lite: More Options, More Flexibility

A few months ago I discussed the Future of WPBook in this space, specifically what to do about Facebook’s new requirement that all applications providing canvas pages or page tabs had to be accessible via SSL. As I outlined it then, I saw the options as:

  1. Eliminate the canvas page and tab altogether – make WPBook just focus on cross-posting and comment import, thus potentially eliminating the SSL requirement?
  2. Make it optional – keep the canvas page and tab, but make them optional – only for users who want them and have the necessary SSL certificate
  3. Fork the plugin – make a version of the plugin which works like the current model, but also a second (WPBook Lite?) that only does cross posting and comment import? That way we could have separate directions for each to simplify setup confusion
  4. Stop developing WPBook – There are a number of other plugins which do Facebook posting, and at least one which does Facebook comment importing (probably more). Is it worth continuing to develop WPBook if better alternatives exist?

Ultimately, I settled on Option 3: Fork the plugin, and create a lighter-weight version which did not include the canvas page or tab. The result is WPBook Lite, available now in the WordPress Plugin Repository.

Should I use WPBook, or WPBook Lite?

I suspect this will be the main question folks will face, so here’s a quick comparison table:

Feature WPBook WPBook Lite
Cross Post WordPress Blog Posts to Facebook X X
Post WordPress Blog Posts to Facebook Profiles (Walls), Pages, and Groups X X
Import comments made against Facebook Excerpt Posts to WordPress as native comments X X
View WordPress Blog inside Facebook as Canvas Page Application X
Add WordPress blog as a tab to a Facebook Page X
Requires WordPress blog be accessible via SSL (HTTPS) X

Basically, if you are able to access your blog via HTTPS, and you WANT the view of the blog inside Facebook as a canvas application, or you want the page tab feature, you should use WPBook.

If your blog is not accessible via HTTPS, or you don’t want the view of the blog inside Facebook / page tab, then you should be happier with WPBook lite.

I’ll be updating the instructions over at WPBook.net shortly to reflect Facebook’s new look for developer settings shortly, and will also differentiate between WPBook and WPBook Lite. In theory, configuring WPBook Lite should be significantly simpler for most users.

If you’re already using WPBook and shift to WPBook Lite, you will need to regrant permissions.

Migrating from WPBook to WPBook Lite:

  1. View your WPBook settings page, and write down your profile ID as well as the IDs of any pages/groups to which you want to cross publish.
  2. Deactivate WPBook (but don’t delete it yet)
  3. Install and Activate WPBook Lite
  4. Set up a new Application for WPBook Lite – this time you should only need the “Website” settings under Integration, not any of the “App on Facebook” section settings
  5. Visit the WPBook Lite settings page in WordPress, fill out the required fields (APP ID, Secret, your profile ID), and save the form
  6. Re-visit the WPBook Lite settings page, where you should now see an opportunity to grant appropriate permissions

If done correctly, WPBook Lite should pick up right where WPBook left off.

If you run into problems, please comment in the appropriate WordPress Support Forums: WPBook or WPBook Lite.