Support » Plugin: Facebook Comments » You don't hate yourself enough to use this plugin

  • If your day is going too well and you’re looking to bring a healthy dose of down into your life, try and install and configure this app. Otherwise, go and poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick, as it will ultimately turn out to be a thousand times more rewarding than spending hours trying to work out what the hell you’re supposed to do to set this thing up, and ending at a place where you’ll happily delete your complete website and send hate mail to the app developer. It’s unremittingly awful, completely, utterly, and totally devoid of any possible assistance whatsoever.
    I mean, it all *starts* well enough. You download, install, and activate it just like any other app. All seems well in the world. How wrong you are… You’re given a warning message at the top of your wordpress admin telling you that you need to enter an App Id, so snap to it. Over at Settings > Facebook Comments, you get a flavour of how life’s going to be from now on. Bad. I can’t explain to you exactly what the original attempt was like because, even after uninstalling the app and electing to remove all data for it, when I reinstalled it to follow the steps precisely, I saw that “you already entered your App ID”. So, it *didn’t* delete all data then. That’s not good, is it?
    Well anyway, let’s press on. Under Facebook Setup, we have App Setup, or Create A New App. To try and replicate what should happen as best as possible, let’s go for Create A New App. Alongside that link is the helpful text “you have already entered your App ID, but if you want to set up a new one click + Create New App to the top right of the page. Name the App something memorable e.g. “Comments” and give it an app namespace.” Give it a *what*? What in the name of God is an ‘app namespace’? Ah well, maybe if we follow the link we’ll find out. So, let’s press it. That takes you to developers.facebook.com and there at the top right is a button marked Add a New App. Great, that’s what we’re looking for. So, press that, and a screen pops up asking you to select a platform to get started. Seems reasonable to choose Website, so let’s do that. Now we’re asked to name our new app, so I’m going to enter “comments” just as suggested. Now I’m asked if this is a test version of another app, and since it’s not mentioned in the instructions from Facebook Comments app, I’m going to stick with No. Next is a drop down for Category. Who knows? Select one at random and click Create App ID.
    And here’s where it starts going properly wrong. You have a new page, with four steps shown at the top: Setup SDK, App Configuration, Test, and Finished. Underneath this is a box with a script in it. What should we do with this? Copy it? To put where? Delete it? Dance with it? Who knows. Not a word is mentioned in our app – I know, because I went back and checked. Okay, let’s ignore it then. Underneath that is a field marked Tell us about your website, so I enter my URL and click Next.
    Now we have a message, saying Congratulations! I fear these congrats are a bit previous though, because underneath that are four boxes, marked Share, Login, Social Plugins, and Ads. Which one do we select? Who knows? Any of them? None of them? Again, who knows. Okay, we’ve gone blind up to now, so let’s just guess. Login will do. A MASSIVE page of text follows, with not a clue what to do with any of it.
    Okay, we haven’t a clue what to do with any of that, but hey, I guess maybe the plugin already has what it needs, and I just needed to get that App ID, eh? Let’s go back to the wordpress page and see what’s happening there. There’s lots of settings, with little or no explanation of what they’re for. Want an example? Okay, how about this one: “Enable FBML” and a tickbox. Alongside that is the text “only disable this if you already have XFBML enabled elsewhere”. Well forgive me for being stupid, but that might as well be Greek for all the sense it makes. Here’s another: “Use Open Graph NameServer”, and another textbox, alongside which is “only enable this if Facebook comments are not appearing, not all information is being passed to Facebook or if you have not enabled Open Graph elsewhere within WordPress “ What? Is this English?
    Since you’ll have become aware by now that this is likely to be a fruitless exercise, let’s just accept the defaults and select Save Changes. Ummm, what should happen now? Who knows? No clue is provided by the plugin, other than to say that the above setting are for automatic inclusion, or you can enter the shortcode instead. Well, I have comments enabled on my test page, so at a guess it will now be different somehow, right? We’ll copy the shortcode just in case something isn’t as it should be, and go to the test page. Hmmm, that’s disappointing – the test page is exactly as it was before. Okay, let’s enter that shortcode in there then. Nope, nothing changes now either.
    There’s more, of course, but I’m guessing the review page has a word limit and I’ve probably exceeded it already. This plugin might well work well, but unless you have sufficient coding ability that you don’t actually NEED the plugin, don’t even bother trying to work it out. It will drive you as insane as it’s driven me. Do not, under any circumstances, let it anywhere close to your wordpress installation.

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