Facebook Preview Options

Whenever a link to your ProPhoto site is shared on Facebook, Facebook renders a preview of the link, including a title, URL, description, and thumbnail image. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably seen these types of website URL previews many times:

fb_link_preview

The three changeable parts of a preview

Every preview consists of 3 parts: a title, thumbnail, and description. There is also the URL link, but it is the URL of whatever link is being shared, and is not customizable.

fb_link_preview_parts

When do previews appear?

Links to your ProPhoto site will show up inside of Facebook in preview mode in one of two scenarios:

  • when someone using Facebook directly shares a link to your site by writing a status update, post, note, or comment that includes a link to your site
  • when a user visiting your site clicks a “Like” button

ProPhoto gives you control over how these previews are created within Facebook. Read below to learn how Facebook constructs these previews, and how you can influence how these previews appear.

The three main page types that get previewed:

Almost all Facebook link previews are for one of three page types, each of which will be covered individually below:

  • A static WordPress “Page” used as your home page
  • Your main blog page
  • An individual post or page

PAGE TYPE 1: Static WordPress “Page” as site home page

If you use a WordPress “Page” set as your static home page instead of using your blog posts for your home page, then links to your static home page will be previewed in Facebook using these defaults: (ignore this section if you don’t have a static home page set)

  • Preview thumbnail: your logo image will be used as your preview thumbnail, if available. If you have not uploaded a logo, your first uploaded masthead image will be used instead.
  • Preview title: the title of the WordPress “Page” set to be your static front page will be used.
  • Preview description: the custom meta description provides the text for the description, if entered. If not, the excerpt of the text in your static front WordPress “Page” will be generated using the first 300 characters of text on the Page.

If you wish to override the above defaults for the Facebook previews of your static home page, you can do so in the “Facebook Preview Options” customization area of the “ProPhoto” => “Site Settings” => “Social Media” admin screen.

PAGE TYPE 2: Blog posts page

Another common page type that might be linked within Facebook is your blog posts page — the page that shows your most recent blog posts. If you don’t have a static WordPress “Page” set as your home page, then your blog posts page is just your ProPhoto site home page. If you do have a static WordPress front page, then your blog posts page is the “Page” you have set to show your recent blog posts on. Any links to your blog posts page will be previewed in Facebook using these defaults:

  • Preview thumbnail: your logo image will be used as your preview thumbnail, if available. If you have not uploaded a logo, your first uploaded masthead image will be used instead.
  • Preview title: your site tagline (set in “Settings” => “General”) will be used.
  • Preview description: your SEO site meta description (which you set under “ProPhoto” => “Advanced” => “SEO”) will be used. If it is not, set, your Site Tagline will be used.

If you wish to override the above defaults for the Facebook previews of your blog posts page, you can do so in the “Facebook Preview Options” customization area of the “ProPhoto” => “Site Settings” => “Social Media” admin screen.

PAGE TYPE 3: Individual Posts or Pages

The third page type that is often previewed within Facebook is an individual post or page. If you are using Facebook “Like” buttons on your site, when a visitor clicks a “Like” button for a particular post or page, a preview of that particular post or page shows up in their activity stream on Facebook. Links to specific posts/pages are also previewed in Facebook when a Facebook user directly shares a link to a specific post or page from within Facebook.  ProPhoto instructs Facebook to build the previews for individual posts and pages according to these defaults:

  • Preview thumbnail: if you have set a Featured Image for the post/page, it will be used. If you have not, the first image in the post/page will be used. If there are no images in the post or page, the post/page will fall back to the same image as your blog posts page.
  • Preview title: the title of the post or page will be used.
  • Preview description: the excerpt of the post/page will be used. If you have written a custom excerpt or a custom meta description, it will be used. If not, an excerpt will be generated by using the first 300 text characters of the post.

To override the image thumbnail used in Facebook previews for an individual post or page, just upload and set a “Featured image”. ProPhoto will instruct Facebook to use the featured image. You can find a button to click to upload and set a Featured image on the right side of the post editing page beneath the publish box. Click here for more about Featured Images.

Images which have a width-to-height ratio greater than 3:1, or have dimensions greater than 2 megapixels (width x height) will not generate a preview thumbnail on Facebook, due to Facebook’s image requirements.  So be sure that your first (or Featured) image in your Page/Post is not dramatically wider-than-tall or taller-than-wide, or has huge dimensions!

To override the description used in the Facebook preview for an individual post, write a custom excerpt for that post, or a custom meta description for the page. To write a custom excerpt or meta description, first click to view the “Screen options” tab in the upper right corner of the post editing screen. Make sure that “Excerpt” or “Custom Meta Description” is checked. Then, below the main post-editing area, you will see a box to fill in an optional custom excerpt.


Whenever a link to your ProPhoto site is shared on Facebook, Facebook renders a preview of the link, including a title, URL, description, and thumbnail image. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably seen these types of website URL previews many times:

The three changeable parts of a preview

Every preview consists of 3 parts: a title, thumbnail, and description. There is also the URL link, but it is the URL of whatever link is being shared, and is not customizable.

When do previews appear?

Links to your ProPhoto site will show up inside of Facebook in preview mode in one of two scenarios:

  • when someone using Facebook directly shares a link to your site by writing a status update, post, note, or comment that includes a link to your site
  • when a user visiting your site clicks a “Like” button

ProPhoto gives you control over how these previews are created within Facebook. Read below to learn how Facebook constructs these previews, and how you can influence how these previews appear.

The three main page types that get previewed:

Almost all Facebook link previews are for one of three page types, each of which will be covered individually below:

  • A static WordPress “Page” used as your home page
  • Your main blog page
  • An individual post or page

PAGE TYPE 1: Static WordPress “Page” as site home page

If you use a WordPress “Page” set as your static home page instead of using your blog posts for your home page, then links to your static home page will be previewed in Facebook using these defaults: (ignore this section if you don’t have a static home page set)

  • Preview thumbnail: your logo image will be used as your preview thumbnail, if available. If you have not uploaded a logo, your first uploaded masthead image will be used instead.
  • Preview title: the title of the WordPress “Page” set to be your static front page will be used.
  • Preview description: the excerpt of the text in your static front WordPress “Page” will be generated using the first 300 characters of text on the Page.

If you wish to override the above defaults for the Facebook previews of your static home page, you can do so in the “Facebook Preview Options” customization area of the “ProPhoto” => “Site Settings” => “Social Media” admin screen.

PAGE TYPE 2: Blog posts page

Another common page type that might be linked within Facebook is your blog posts page — the page that shows your most recent blog posts. If you don’t have a static WordPress “Page” set as your home page, then your blog posts page is just your ProPhoto site home page. If you do have a static WordPress front page, then your blog posts page is the “Page” you have set to show your recent blog posts on. Any links to your blog posts page will be previewed in Facebook using these defaults:

  • Preview thumbnail: your logo image will be used as your preview thumbnail, if available. If you have not uploaded a logo, your first uploaded masthead image will be used instead.
  • Preview title: your site tagline (set in “Settings” => “General”) will be used.
  • Preview description: your SEO site meta description (which you set under “ProPhoto” => “Advanced” => “SEO”) will be used. If it is not, set, your Site Tagline will be used.

If you wish to override the above defaults for the Facebook previews of your blog posts page, you can do so in the “Facebook Preview Options” customization area of the “ProPhoto” => “Site Settings” => “Social Media” admin screen.

PAGE TYPE 3: Individual Posts or Pages

The third page type that is often previewed within Facebook is an individual post or page. If you are using Facebook “Like” buttons on your site, when a visitor clicks a “Like” button for a particular post or page, a preview of that particular post or page shows up in their activity stream on Facebook. Links to specific posts/pages are also previewed in Facebook when a Facebook user directly shares a link to a specific post or page from within Facebook.  ProPhoto instructs Facebook to build the previews for individual posts and pages according to these defaults:

  • Preview thumbnail: if you have set a Featured Image for the post/page, it will be used. If you have not, the first image in the post/page will be used. If there are no images in the post or page, the post/page will fall back to the same image as your blog posts page.
  • Preview title: the title of the post or page will be used.
  • Preview description: the excerpt of the post/page will be used. If you have written a custom excerpt, it will be used. If not, an excerpt will be generated by using the first 300 text characters of the post.

To override the image thumbnail used in Facebook previews for an individual post or page, just upload and set a “Featured image”. ProPhoto will instruct Facebook to use the featured image. You can find a button to click to upload and set a Featured image on the right side of the post editing page beneath the publish box. Click here for more about Featured Images.

Images which have a width-to-height ratio greater than 3:1, or have dimensions greater than 2 megapixels (width x height) will not generate a preview thumbnail on Facebook, due to Facebook’s image requirements.  So be sure that your first (or Featured) image in your Page/Post is not dramatically wider-than-tall or taller-than-wide, or has huge dimensions!

To override the description used in the Facebook preview for an individual post, write a custom excerpt for that post. To write a custom excerpt, first click to view the “Screen options” tab in the upper right corner of the post editing screen. Make sure that “Excerpt” is checked. Then, below the main post-editing area, you will see a box to fill in an optional custom excerpt. (note: it is not possible to create a custom excerpt for a WordPress page, only for a post.)

Directly Overriding Title & Description in Facebook

Finally, you should know that it is also possible for visitors to directly edit the title and description of the Facebook link preview from within Facebook. To do so, click into the preview area before you finalize your Facebook update or comment, and Facebook will allow you to edit those two fields:

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