Facebook Tab manager Web Development WordPress

Facebook Tab Manager Setup Shortcut

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about promoting this plugin is seeing how people use it, often in ways I wouldn’t have thought of. The other day, I stumbled across a blog post by Michael Brandvold who showed me a different way of adding a page tab that uses Facebook Tab Manager but shortcuts some of the steps related to futzing with the Facebook Developer app.

He suggests using one of the freely available Facebook applications that have been created to help page owners manage their tabs from within Facebook. He recommended the Static HTML app, which mimics some of the functionality of the late, lamented Static FBML app that Facebook no longer makes available for new development. I also tested his technique with the HyperArts TabPress app (which, despite the name, has nothing to do with WordPress) and it worked equally well.

These tools let you paste in a block of HTML code that you want displayed, and you can also then edit and update that code from within Facebook. But what if you would rather take advantage of WordPress and its rich text editor?

Brandvold’s hack is to paste in a snippet of redirection code that points to your Facebook Tab Manager content, something like this:

<html><head><meta http-equiv='Refresh'
content='0; url=' /></head></html>

So instead of a whole page of HTML, you include just enough to redirect to the content you’re managing in WordPress.

There are a few tradeoffs to consider:

  • The page might load slightly slower because the viewer’s browser has to follow that redirect.
  • You can’t customize the icon that appears next to the tab name. You get the ones provided by the creators of the Static HTML and TabPress apps. TabPress also adds a little promo for itself at the bottom of your tab content (although HyperArts will sell you a “white label version” if it’s important enough to you).
  • You should probably have the redirect point to an https (SSL encrypted) web address to avoid triggering browser security warnings, particularly in Internet Explorer.

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