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How to Setup Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress (Step by Step)

Have you heard about Facebook Instant Articles? Want to add Facebook Instant Articles on your WordPress site? In this step by step tutorial, we will explain what are the pros and cons of Facebook Instant Articles as well as show you how to easily setup Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress.

Facebook Instant Articles

What is Facebook Instant Articles?

Instant Articles is a Facebook feature which allows you to load your content 10 times faster by using a customized mobile format. It is based on the same technology used in Facebook apps for mobile devices.

Instant Articles load up to 10 times faster than a normal web page. This incredible boost in speed provides a better user experience for mobile users.

Many popular media sites like BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, Mashable, and countless others are using it on their websites. You can easily spot instant articles in your Facebook feed by the lightning bolt icon.

Lightening bolt icon displayed on an Instant Article in Facebook feed

Pros and Cons of Facebook Instant Articles

Like everything else, there are some advantages and disadvantages of using instant articles on your website.

Pros of Using Facebook Instant Articles

  • Faster load time means significant improvement in user experience.
  • Due to speed, users are more likely to share your content.
  • Access to monetization options through Facebook Audience Network.
  • Boosted Facebook Page Reach.
  • Facebook’s massive user base can bring new wave of traffic to your site.

Cons of Using Facebook Instant Articles

  • Users will not see your sidebars. It will hide your useful widgets, email list forms, and everything else that is not part of the article.
  • You may witness a drop in advertising revenue, as Facebook instant articles limits the advertisers as well as the number of ads you can show on an article.
  • You can use some images and videos on your article, but Facebook instant articles will limit that as well.
  • Most shortcodes, custom fields, and other WordPress features will not be displayed in your articles.

Considering the pros and cons of using Facebook Instant Articles, it is a mix bag for publishers. It actually depends on the type of content you produce and your business goals.

If you’re a news media site, then it makes sense for you to add it. If you’re a business website, then it may not be a huge difference maker.

What Do You Need to Enable Facebook Instant Articles in WordPress?

There are a few requirements for setting up Facebook Instant articles on your WordPress site. You need a:

  • Facebook page for your WordPress website.
  • Facebook page app (we will show you how to create it later in this article).
  • At least 10 or more articles on your website.
  • Instant Articles for WP plugin (We will show you how to set it up later in this article).

Having said that, let’s get started by applying for Facebook Instant Articles.

Signing up for Facebook Instant Articles

First you need to visit Facebook Instant Articles website and click on the sign up button to get started.

Sign up for Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook will now ask you to select a page. Here you need to select the Facebook Page for your website.

After that check the box to agree with Instant Articles terms and then click on ‘Access Instant Articles Tools’ button.

Select your Facebook page

This will take you to the publisher tools on your Facebook page, which will now have an instant articles section.

First, you need to prove the ownership of your website by claiming your URL.

Claim your website URL

Scroll down a little to the Tools section on the page and click on the ‘Claim your URL’ to expand it. Facebook will show you a code snippet.

Meta tag to claim ownership of the URL

You need to copy the code and insert it into the <head> section of your WordPress site.

There are two ways you can add this code to your website.

You can edit the header.php file in your child theme and paste the code just before <head> tag.

But if you are not using a child theme, then you can use Insert Headers and Footers plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After activating the plugin, go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page and paste the code into the header section.

Insert code in your header section

Click on save button to store your changes.

Once you have added the code to your website, you need to switch back to the publisher tools section of your Facebook page.

Add your website URL below the code you copied earlier and then click on the claim URL button.

URL claim success

The next step is to add an Instant Articles RSS feed for your website. Here is how you can generate an Instant Article feed for your WordPress site.

Simply install and activate the Instant Articles for WP plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will generate an instant articles feed for your WordPress site.

You can find the feed by adding /feed/instant-articles after your site’s URL, like this:

http://www.example.com/feed/instant-articles

Copy your instant articles feed URL and switch back to your Facebook page’s publishing tool section. Scroll down to the Tools section and click on ‘Production RSS Feed’ to expand it.

Add instant articles feed

Paste your Instant Articles feed URL and click on the save button. Facebook will show you a success message that your feed is added.

Setting up Facebook Instant Articles plugin for WordPress

In the previous step we installed Instant Articles for WP plugin to generate RSS feed for instant articles. Now you need to set up rest of the plugin settings.

You will notice that upon activation the plugin added a new menu item in your WordPress admin bar labeled ‘Instant Articles’. Clicking on it will take you to the plugin’s settings page.

Instant Articles WP plugin settings

This plugin requires an App ID and Secret keys for activation. You will need to create a Facebook app for your page to get those keys. Let’s take a look at how you can do that.

Creating a Facebook App for Your Page

First, you need to visit the Facebook for Developers website. Click on the drop down menu next to My Apps menu on the upper right corner of the screen next to your profile photo.

Create a new Facebook app

This will bring up a popup on screen. You need to click on website.

Choose website for your app platform

This will take you to a quick setup wizard. You need to enter a name for your Facebook app. This could be anything that helps you identify the app.

Click on the ‘Create New Facebook App ID’ button to continue.

Enter a name for your FB app

A new popup will appear asking you to provide a contact email address and select a category for your app.

Enter an email address and select Apps for Pages as app category.

Provide an email and choose category for app

Click on create App ID button to continue.

The popup will disappear and Facebook will now create an app for you. On the quick start page, you will see new information about how to use the app.

You just need to scroll down a little to ‘Tell us about your website’ section.

Add your website URL

Enter your WordPress website address here and click on the next button to continue.

Even though Facebook will be showing you that there are more steps in the set up wizard, but that’s all the information you needed to enter.

You can now click on the ‘Skip Quick Start’ button at the top right corner of the page.

Finish quick start

You will be redirected to your newly created app’s dashboard. You will be able to see your App ID and to see your App secret key you will need to click on ‘Show’ button.

App ID and secret keys

Before you copy these keys, first you need to make your app live and publicly available.

Click on the ‘App Review’ link from the menu on your left.

Make your App live

On the next screen, you will see that your app is under development mode. Click on the toggle to switch it to ‘Yes’ and make your app live.

Now click on the dashboard link from the left hand column to go back to your app’s dashboard. Copy your App ID and Secret keys.

Return to your Instant Articles for WP plugin’ settings page on your WordPress site and paste your App ID and Secret keys there.

plugin settings

Click on the next button to continue.

The plugin’s settings page will now show you a login with Facebook button.

Login with Facebook to continue

This will take you to Facebook, and you will be asked to give the app permission to access your profile information.

After giving permissions, you will be redirected back to your WordPress site. Click on the ‘Select Page’ drop down menu to select your Facebook page.

Select your Facebook page

Your WordPress site is now ready for Instant Articles. There are still two more steps left.

Setup Style and Branding for Your Instant Articles

Visit your Facebook page and from the admin bar and click on Publishing Tools. From your left hand menu, click on ‘Configuration’ under Instant Articles.

Customizing style of Instant Articles for your website

Scroll down to the Tools section and then click on the Style tab to expand it. Facebook has already added a default style for your website.

Click on the default style to customize it.

This will open up a popup where you can upload your website logo. Facebook requires images that are 690 by 132 pixel minimum.

Upload logo and customize colors

After uploading the logo, click on Save and then click on Done.

Submit Your Instant Articles Feed for Review

Before you can submit your Instant Articles feed for review, you need to make sure that you have at least 10 articles in your Instant Articles feed.

If you have already published more than 10 articles on your website, but the feed is not showing all of them, then you need to edit your last 10 articles and simply click on the update button.

Once you are sure that you have 10 articles in your Instant Articles feed, you are now ready to submit it to Facebook for review.

Go to your Facebook page and click on Publishing Tools from the admin bar. After that click on the ‘Configuration’ link under Instant Articles on your left hand menu.

Look for ‘Step 2: Submit For Review’ on the configuration settings page.

Submit for review

If there are no errors with your Instant Articles feed, then you will see a ‘Submit for Review’ button. Go ahead and click on this button to send your feed for review.

That’s all, Instant Articles will become available for your website once Facebook team has reviewed and approved your feed.

Troubleshooting Tips:

Facebook requires that your Instant Articles feed match specifications described on their developer website. Instant Articles for WP plugin handles that part for you.

However depending on the theme or plugins you are using on your site, you might see some errors or warnings. An easier way to troubleshoot those errors is by editing a post and scrolling down to the Facebook Instant Articles meta box below the post editor.

Instant Articles for warnings

Most of the errors are caused by plugins or theme adding content into your posts that is not supported by transformer rules used by Instant Articles for WP plugin.

You can create your own custom transformer rules. Refer to the plugin’s documentation to learn how to add your custom transformer rules.

However, we feel that it would be difficult for most beginners to do that on their own, so you may need a developer. You can try to configure your other plugins and themes and stop them from adding content blocks into your posts.

Incorrect URLs

If you are continuously getting Empty Feed error when submitting your Instant Articles feed, then check the URL you are trying to add.

http://www.example.com/feed/instant-articles

http://example.com/feed/instant-articles

These are two different URLs, and depending on your WordPress setup, entering the incorrect URL may result into a 404 error.

If you are still seeing the empty feed error, then try updating the last ten posts on your site. This will change their time modified and will add them to the feed.

We hope this article helped you set up Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 40 useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog.

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Reader Interactions

106 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hi!

    First of all, thanks for this article! :-)

    But, I’m with a problem when you say:

    Simply install and activate the Instant Articles for WP plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will generate an instant articles feed for your WordPress site.

    In my case, my RSS url doesn’t work:

    Do you know why?

    Thanks a lot, dude!

      • I did that and one more thing…

        I went to my Facebook Page > Publishing Tools > Published Posts at the top of the sidebar.

        From there, I located my most recently shared blog post and clicked on it to open the Post Details box.

        Then under the little down arrow that is your normal edit button on a post, I clicked on ‘Refresh Share Attachment’

        That was the thing that made it all work. :)

  2. Hi Admin. Thanks for nice step-by-step tutorial. I just want to ask, how to add related articles at the bottom of instant articles. it is automatically show only for visitor or need some code to make them appear?. Thanks.

  3. Thanks for this great post. I followed your steps and i managed to set it up on my fb page. But I have a problem.

    I have customize the styles in with facebook style editor and everything was okay when I review it with fb pages apps. But the problem is, when i share the articles, the published post used ‘default’ style instead of the other one. Please help me.

  4. In my WordPress account under every post its written that your article is being submitted with 0 warning but at facebook publishing tools I still can’t press the submit button it says
    We have automatically detected one or more common errors that need to be fixed before you can submit for review.
    Missing Logo
    All articles must include a logo, which you can upload in the Style Editor.
    Examples
    and list of my posts
    Hope You Could Help me out

  5. No matter what changes I make, I cannot submit articles.There has to be a better plugin than this one. It;s always buggy or not compatible with “this version of WordPress” I got it right the first time with a client;s site, but after I cannot publish any other new articles. Tried to set up my site, I can’t submit articles at all.

    My head hurts.

    • I am replying to my own comment (weird) because I fixed the problem I was facing. Missing logo. My articles were fine, but no matter how many style editors I created, I couldn’t fix the ‘missing logo’ error. What I did was go back to the ‘default’ or ‘preset’ style editor and customized it. Voila! Articles were submitted. Problem solve. I am still looking into it though. Maybe it’s me, but I find this plugin a wee bit buggy

  6. Hi, I am running multiple lingual website. I want to run the instant article both of the above domains. How is it possible? Do I need to merge two rss feeds. Need your suggestion.

  7. Hello, WB Team.

    Great and detailed guide on Facebook InstantArticle.

    Sir, I am also using this tool for my website. My posts have been submitted to InstantArticle with some errors. I fixed some of those. But, I can’t find solution for this,

    “no rules defined for in the context of InstantArticle”.

    Sir how to fix this problem. Please help me.

  8. Hi, very helful guide but my blog begins with https not http. after i insert the code given by facebook in header, i could be claimed the url but when i tried tu insert the url begin with http it’s fine

    i accessed my url http://example.com/feed/instant-articles but it said that the url was not found because my blog automatically direct http to https

    how to solve this, thanks :)

  9. All the links that I share are being converted into instant articles. I want only selective articles to be published as instant articles. I use affilate links in some posts which dont wirk in instant articles. Please help!

  10. Next, log into your Facebook account
    Log in with Facebook to finish connecting the Instant Articles Plugin to your account.

    Login with Facebook

    after This, it is not logging in just it reloads nothing happens
    sir can You Guide me Please regarding this problem

  11. This is by far the most useful resource I’ve found for adding FB Instant Articles.

    One question, do you have a tutorial for excluding certain post categories from your Instant Articles feed?

    Thanks!

  12. on this step “The plugin’s settings page will now show you a login with Facebook button.” when i click on login with facebook the page reloads and nothing happens please help me asap

  13. hello team,
    great material, thks. I hv created everythg and it all seems well however on the post page this error:
    *This post will not be submitted to Instant Articles due to a rule created in your site.*
    How can i go over this thks.

  14. hi thanks for this article but the instant article cant recognize short code because i use it to embed my videos is there a way around this pls

  15. hi i have done all the processes but i keep getting this error at the final stage : Permissions error pls how can i fix this

    • You can check what causes this issue if you look at Instant Articles settings on Facebook. For me, the page logo was missing. Once I uploaded that, the Permissions Error went away.

  16. I’ve just been approved for Facebook Instant Articles. I’m using the “Instant Articles for FB” Plugin to publish my Instant Articles. I just published blog Post and it shows up as Live in Instant Articles. How do I get the Instant Articles link? I don’t see it anywhere and I don’t have any idea how to access it. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Garland Smith

  17. Hi and thanks for the post. I keep on getting doubles to my production feed? Any idea how to prevent this?

    • Aaand I just figured it out. It was due to the URL-structure change we did for the site. A lot of work deleting the duplicates after…. Take notice ;)

  18. Hi there! I have some problems with this plugin. How can I log out the app form this plugin because this plugin can’t connect with facebook anymore. When I first installed it, I couldn’t select my fb page because it wasn’t showing them at all so it just redirected to the first step. I tried deactivating, deleting the plugin and I installed it again but it is stuck again at that that state. I also tried deleting the app, but it just doesn’t work! Anybody had these problems?

  19. Great tutorial, i want to ask you how can i fix Facebook comments and related articles in instants articles. Thank you for your feed back

  20. Thanks for this article! It was super helpful with the step by step instructions. I’m about halfway through and the plugin won’t show the settings page in wordpress. When I click Instant Articles on the left sidebar, it’s just a blank screen. When I try other ways to get to the settings page, it remains a blank screen. It says it’s compatible with WP 4.6.1 which is what I have…any ideas why I can’t get to the settings page in WP?

  21. I had created an app Id using different email id now As he is not there so I want to transfer all things through my id…I have created a new app Id but m getting an error to submit the articles as “articles cannot created using this page please create and update it from the original page’
    Please help me on this

  22. Hi

    Thats one helluva post…Thanks a ton for doing this one. However, I am facing one issue – I have added the fb tag to my site’s header, but under tools, it is just not allowing me to add my URL (that part remains non-highlighted). What could be going wrong?

  23. I have installed the instant articles plugin in my blog. but when I try to open the instant article rss feed link I am getting an error message “ERROR: This is not a valid feed template.”. Any suggestions on what I have done wrong?

  24. Hello Team,

    Thank you for the detailed guide on FB instant article. Everything is fine but I would like to ask one question:

    We all know this renders the page and boost loading speed by making some adjustments in the site design and structure, like you mentioned in the cons.

    So I just want to know will it render the articles for people visiting from FB only or for everyone visiting my site via an source (organic or direct)?

    Thank You,
    Karan

  25. Hi thanks for this helpful guide. I think I have followed the instructions but when I try to Login to Facebook from the WordPress plugin I get the following messaege:

    Can’t Load URL: The domain of this URL isn’t included in the app’s domains. To be able to load this URL, add all domains and subdomains of your app to the App Domains field in your app settings.

    Any idea what I have done wrong?

  26. Why my url not claiming. it shows this kind error

    “The fb:pages tag on the url doesn’t contain this page’s id. The url has fb:pages tag but they don’t have this page’s id. Please work with your developers / webmaster to add this tag to your website.”

  27. Hey ! I’m having issues with my photos on Instant Articles. They are pixelised. However, they have a high resolution on my wordpress and look good on my website. What am I supposed to do ?

  28. Hi, about using AMP and Instant Articles in the same time, any problem?? They can be used together without problems, especially in SEO??

  29. Great article. But I am stuck. The feed seems to work fine but no articles ever get submitted.

    They all say: This post was not yet submitted to Instant Articles.

    I am really stuck and need help.

  30. Hi!
    Great article, but I’ve got a doubt. Doing that will decrease the pageviews on my website? Or everytime someone sees the article will count as a pageview on google analytics?

    thanks

  31. This primer is great….but stops right where I needed help. Is there a follow up on how to set up Facebook ads on these Instant Stories?

      • Any chance you can also cover a bit of more advanced features? I set this up and it works well, but I would like it to automatically set up images for Facebook likes and comments. I believe this can be done with the Transform options somehow. I would also like it to pull in related posts, which it seems to skip.

        • Our audience is mostly beginner level WordPress users so we tried to keep it as simple as possible. We will try to cover the topics you mentioned in separate articles soon.

    • Hi BoB,

      You can setup from Audience network from tool section in setting and follow the setups. I have written detailed guide on this and it quite simple.

  32. Thanks so much for this. :) I was wondering, once you have IA set up – if you post a link to a blog post in Facebook, do you need to use a specific IA link? Or does FB automatically detect that there’s an IA version of the link?

      • Is that a “yes you have to use a custom link” or “yes Facebook will automatically detect there is an Instant Articles version to serve”? For example I use Edgar and have hundreds of posts cycling through, so once I have Instant Articles setup do I need to adjust those links or will they post the same way and Facebook itself simply decides what version to serve? Also, will users on desktop see the Instant Articles version or will they still be taken to the full website page? Lastly, to Instant Article views count as page views on your website or are they essentially served from a cached version on Facebook’s servers?

        Thanks, great tutorial as usual.

  33. Maybe you write some information about other ways of sharing WordPress-content with FB?

    Like Facebook Autopublish for example?

    that would be of great value… I use this plugin and it works well

  34. How do I disable it? Facebook won’t tell and I have searched everywhere.

    They started showing on my FB page even though only 1 step of the process was done.

    I need people to go to my website and it’s causing a huge mess when there are giveaways on my blog.

    • You can undo the steps you have taken. For example, remove the feed from Production RSS in publishing tools of your facebook page. Remove URLs from Claim Your URL. Remove Meta tag you added into header. Delete the App you create for your page.

      Admin

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