A Step by Step Guide to getting your WordPress Blog Approved for Facebook Instant Articles

Do you own a site that uses WordPress? Do you want to publish Facebook Instant Articles using your content from the WordPress site?

You have come to the right place!

WordPress is one of the most preferred content managing systems in the world. Millions of blogs and professional websites use WordPress. The good news for all of us is, Facebook has really made it simple to publish Instant Articles for all WordPress users.

If you are new here and wondering what Instant Articles are, check out our Introduction to Instant Articles.

You can get your WordPress site approved for Instant Articles in 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Sign up for Instant Articles

Step 2: Install the WP Instant Articles plugin in your WordPress site

Step 3: Develop and submit sample articles for approval

Step 4:  Begin publishing Instant Articles

Quite simple right!? But simple does not always mean easy.

So let’s go really really slow.

Pre-requisites

Before you can start configuring your Instant Articles. Please go through the following checklist to have all the prerequisites in place.

  • A WordPress site (the reason is evident from the blog post title right!)
  • A Facebook account
  • A Facebook page

A Facebook page is necessary for you to start publishing Instant Articles. This Facebook page is the platform through which your Instant Articles get published.

Step1: Sign Up For Instant articles

The very first step in your journey of publishing Instant Articles is the signup.

Go to the Facebook Instant Article page and click on the signup link. Provide your username, password and log into your Facebook account. You will be able to see the following page.

Sign Up for Instant Articles NEW

Select the page from which you want to create the Instant Articles, click on the checkbox to agree to terms and conditions. Then click on “Access Instant Articles Tools”.Sign Up for Instant Articles NEW-1

You will be able to see the following popup confirming your access to Instant Articles. Click on continue.

screenshot-www.facebook.com 2016-09-02 14-16-08

You will be able to see the following screen. This is the place from where you are going to publish,control and edit all your Instant Articles. Click on the “Connect Your Site” option as shown below

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You will be able to see the following screen

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Enter the URL of your site in the bar shown above. The next step is to copy meta tag provided and add it to your header.php file. You can do this by directly editing your header file or by using one of the several plugins that are available in WordPress for editing your header file.

To directly add it to your header.php file. First, log into your WordPress dashboard.

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Scroll over to the “Appearance” tab on the left navigation bar.

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Click on the “Editor” option on the bottom. You will be able to see the following screen.

Edit Themes ‹ Etsyresources.com — WordPress

On the rigt side, you will see “Theme Header(header.php)”. Click on it.Paste the metadata that you copied to your clipboard into the <head> tag, as shown below.

Edit Themes ‹ My Blog — WordPress

Once this is done, click on “Update File” button at the bottom of the page.

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 Now go back to Instant Articles dashboard on Facebook and click on Claim URL.screenshot-www.facebook.com 2016-09-02 16-10-54

You will be able to see the following success message.

The Mega Guide To Configure Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress

Once you have achieved this step, we can move on to the next step that is setting up your RSS feed. The reason for doing that is, all the content that you create on your WordPress site will get automatically updated on your Facebook page. This does not mean Facebook will publish the post. The content will be ready anytime for you to render them as Instant Articles.

To setup your RSS feed. Click on “production RSS feed”.

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Enter your RSS feed URL. The URL will generally be your website name/feed/instant-articles.

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Click on save.

Wow, Congratulations you have officially signed up for the Instant Articles program.

Step 2: Installing the WP Instant Articles Plugin

To install the Instant Articles WordPress plugin, first, login into your WordPress dashboard.

Dashboard ‹ My Blog — WordPress

Then select Plugins –> Add new.

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You will see the following page.

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In the search bar that appears on the top right corner of the page, search “Instant Articles for WP”. Make sure that you are selecting the official plugin. For the official plugin, the author should be Automattic and Facebook. Then install & activate the plugin.

searching plugin

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you will be able to see the Instant Articles plugin in the main navigation menu on your left.

plugin on the control panel

The next task is to configure the plugin and this is where all the fun begins. Click on the Instant Articles plugin from your main navigation menu. You will see the below screen.

creating app id 1
To create Instant Articles, you will need an app id and app secret from Facebook. Let’s see how we can create this. Click on “here” hyperlink on the top of your screen as shown below.

creating app id 1

 

You will be re-directed to

All Apps Facebook for Developers

Click on the “Add a new app” button. And you will see the following screen.

select website

On the next screen, select website option. The following screen will ask you to name your application.You will need to provide your application a proper name. It can be anything your name,website name, company name. It should be a name that you can pinpoint at a later point in time. So go ahead and select a name that you can remember.

Quick Starts Facebook for Developers

After selecting a name of your choice, click on “Create New Facebook App ID”. You will see a popup asking for your name and email id.screenshot-developers.facebook.com 2016-09-02 16-53-03

Please enter a valid email id and in the categories dropdown select “Apps For Pages” and then click on “Create App ID”.

Quick Starts Facebook for Developers_enter url

At the bottom of the next screen. Enter the URL of your website and click “Next”.

Wow! great going. Now you have successfully created your Facebook app. If you have followed me till here you should see the following screen.

aravindan_demo Dashboard Facebook for Developers

The dashboard of your app provides the app id and the app secret(click on the show button to see your app secret). Copy these values to the clipboard.

Now that your app is ready. Click on the app review on the left pane.

aravindan_demo App Review Facebook for Developers_live

On the top of your screen, you will see a query asking you if you want to make your app go live. Make the option yes. Now it’s time to head back to your WordPress dashboard. Go back to your Instant Articles plugin page and paste the app id and app secret that you stored in the clipboard and click Next.

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The next step is to connect your WordPress website to your Facebook account. Click on the “Login with Facebook” logo that appears on your screen.

Instant Articles Setup Wizard ‹ Etsyresources.com — WordPress

Wow. Now you are done with configuring you WordPress plugin for Instant Articles.

We have just a few more steps and then you are all set to publish your Instant Articles. So hang in there and keep going.

Step3: Submitting your articles for review

To start publishing Instant Articles you need to submit some sample articles from your site through your RSS feed. The Facebook team will review articles and approve your site. This is a one-time process. Once your feed is approved every step is automatic.

Facebook has a few expectations from all publishers. In order to get their approval, you have to live up to these expectations. Here are a few steps to help you do that.

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The style section allows you to create the style of your Instant Articles. We will discuss further on how to style your Instant Articles in the future. But for now, let us complete the bare minimum styling.

getting-started-with-facebook-instant-articles-styles

Click on the style option and select “default”.

Facebook expects you to have a HD logo in order to start publishing. Go ahead and upload the logo of your website/company and click save.

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Tip 1

In case you don’t have a logo. Create an image of size 690 by 132 with your company name. This should serve as your temporary logo.

There should be a minimum of 5 articles in your RSS feed to get the Facebook team approval. But I personally recommend having at least 10. Once this is done, you can submit your feed for review. Click on the “submit review” button.

Tip 2

You can either wait until you have created 10 new documents before submitting your feed for review. Or you can select 10 of your previously published documents and update them(even without making any changes). This allows these documents to be added to your RSS feed. Thus enabling you to get approved.

Congratulations! you have completed the process for setting up your Instant Articles.The Facebook team will review your feed and authorize you to publish Instant Articles. Usually, it takes about 3-5 business days for your feed to be approved. Once it is approved you can start publishing your Instant Articles.

To know all about Facebook Instant Articles download our Free e-book: Complete guide to Facebook Instant Articles.

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