Auto-Generate Facebook-style Link Preview when inserting URL into Editor

  1. Vlad Lasky


    Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ have this useful feature called "Link Preview":

    When you paste a URL into a post, Facebook's server automatically grabs the title and description from the linked website and lets you select a thumbnail image from those available on the linked site.

    This saves so much time that you would otherwise spend finding, copying, pasting, resizing and uploading an image for your post.

    WordPress should also have this feature. I would recommend it work in the following way:

    1. When you are in the WordPress editor, you click a special button called "Generate Link Preview".

    2. WordPress brings up a new small window, which asks you to enter enter the URL into a text field, then you click OK.

    3. WordPress then retrieves the title, description and thumbnail images from the destination site and then displays a draft link preview in the small window.

    4. The user can make any final edits to the link preview, i.e. editing or removing the title, description or choose a different thumbnail image. Once the user is done, they click on a a button named "Insert", which pastes a block of HTML into the editor.

    Here is a free third-party implementation of this feature written in PHP and jQuery. I am sure that it could be adapted to WordPress


    Posted: 3 years ago #
  2. We have a lot of plugins that do that too: http://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/thumbshot

    And possibly Jetpack will in the future. It's not something everyone needs, though, so it will likely remain a plugin.

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  3. Vlad Lasky


    Those plugins don't do what I proposed. Instead, they perform a dynamic link preview.

    i.e. When the visitor hovers over a link, their browser will grab a screenshot from the destination site and show it in a small frame.

    My approach is different. It lets the editor retrieve this information from the linked site at the time that they create their post and then save it in WordPress. No other external servers are required.

    That way, the selected image and captions will always be available (even if the destination site is down) and can be used as the featured image inside the WordPress post.

    If you then share your post on Facebook or LinkedIn, they will use this featured image as their thumbnail image.

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  4. Alisonby

    Yes! Are there currently any plugins that do what Facebook and Tumblr do when you share a link, like you say? I want to share links like this every day on the blog part of my WordPress site, and instead I have to post my own photo and write a little blurb about the site or the campaign or whatever, when really I know the work could be done for me when I just paste the link in. Would love to be able to do this.

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  5. Zaek

    embedly does this, but I am unable to run it on my install. "buggy"

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  6. Alisonby

    Ah, thanks! I just installed Embedly and the first one I tried worked. We'll see how this goes!

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  7. garrisonclark

    Alisonby, or anyone else....Is embedly working for you to do this? I am using their bookmarklet and creating posts that way, but then when I use ANY tool to auto-share these to Facebook, they only show the link and title of the post, but no images and no preview of the text...so what Embedly has in my blog post is no longer in my Facebook autoposted item. This is driving me NUTS! Any ideas?

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  8. For 24 hours, I try to implementey + files data into a wordpress plugin.
    Vlad's idea is brilliant, but not much we can implement this in http + plugin. I mean Pugin quik post widget

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  9. voopress

    Yes, this should be a built in function in any modern application such as WP.

    Having the ability for admins to quickly create links with previews or users submitting links with previews would be worth the effort.

    Posted: 3 years ago #
  10. Fail to apply for POST button function. All text of index.php may be put in a widget in the "HTML text". The problem is the function of the button.

    Another way would be the possibility of publishing in an iframe. The same problem occurs-button function.

    Posted: 3 years ago #

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    This is plugin territory