How to Add Facebook Like Button in WordPress (UPDATED)

Adding a Facebook Like button is one of the best ways to boost engagement and growth for your WordPress site. With over 2.3 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide, tapping into the platform‘s massive reach can significantly impact your business.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share my 15 years of experience as a webmaster to help you maximize the benefits of adding Like buttons in WordPress.

Why Add a Facebook Like Button in WordPress?

Let‘s first look at some key statistics that highlight the power of Facebook:

  • 70% of US adults use Facebook.
  • People spend an average of 58 minutes on Facebook daily.
  • There are over 150 million active Facebook pages.
  • Facebook drives over 1.2 billion visits to websites every month.

As you can see, Facebook dominates the social media landscape. No other platform comes close in terms of active users and engagement.

Adding a Like button makes it simple for your website visitors to share your content to their Facebook profiles with one click.

This can help you achieve the following benefits:

  • Increased referral traffic as people discover your site through friends.
  • Greater brand reach by leveraging Facebook‘s over 2 billion user base.
  • Improved SEO as higher social shares signal to Google that your content is popular.
  • Building a community by connecting with followers and customers.
  • Driving conversions by allowing users to easily like your business page.

For many websites, 30-40% of referral traffic comes from Facebook. The Like button makes capitalizing on this even easier.

Overall, you should absolutely be using Facebook Like buttons if you want to unlock the full potential of your WordPress site.

How to Add Facebook Like Buttons in WordPress

There are two main ways to add a Like button to your WordPress site:

1. Using a Dedicated Plugin (Recommended)

For most users, installing a dedicated Facebook Like plugin is the easiest option. It handles everything automatically with minimal setup.

My recommendation is using the Like & Share plugin by BestWebSoft. I‘ve used it for several client sites with great results.

Here are the simple steps to set it up:

  1. Install and activate the Like & Share plugin on your WordPress site.
  2. Navigate to Like & Share > Settings in your WordPress dashboard.
  3. Generate a Facebook App ID and App Secret so the plugin can connect to Facebook‘s API. We‘ll cover how to do this later in the guide.
  4. Paste the App ID and App Secret into the respective fields in the plugin.
  5. Customize the button‘s size, layout, and position on your site. I suggest a wider button placed before your post content.
  6. Save your settings.

That‘s it! The plugin will now automatically add the code needed to display Like buttons on your pages. Super simple and easy.

The benefits of using a plugin include:

  • Requires minimal technical skills.
  • Provides options to customize button appearance.
  • Automatically displays buttons site-wide.
  • Easy to update the Like button code if needed.
  • No need to manually edit theme files.

Later in the guide, I‘ll also show you how to manually add the code. But plugins are generally the best option for most website owners.

2. Manually Adding the Facebook Like Button Code

More technically inclined users can directly add Facebook‘s Like button code to their WordPress site.

Here are the steps involved:

  1. Go to Facebook‘s Like Button Configurator tool.
  2. Enter your Facebook Page URL that you want people to like.
  3. Customize the button layout – color, size, icons, etc.
  4. Click Get Code and switch to the JavaScript SDK tab.
  5. Copy the first code snippet.
  6. Paste it right after the opening <body> tag in your theme‘s header.php file.
  7. Copy the second code snippet for rendering the button.
  8. Use a code snippet plugin like WPCode to add this to your pages.
  9. Activate the code snippet in WPCode.

And that should display the Like button!

The pros of manually adding code are:

  • Maximum flexibility for advanced customization.
  • Does not require installing additional plugins.

The downsides are:

  • Need to edit theme files which can cause issues if done incorrectly.
  • Code may break after theme updates.
  • More complex to set up for beginners.

My recommendation would be to stick with a dedicated plugin for simplicity, unless you really need granular control over the Like button code.

How to Get Facebook App ID and App Secret

Whichever method you use to add Like buttons, you‘ll need to provide Facebook App credentials – the App ID and App Secret.

This connects the Like button code to your Facebook app and page.

Here is the process to generate these credentials:

  1. When configuring your plugin or getting the code from Facebook, click the link to create a new app.
  2. Choose "Business" for the app type and hit Next.
  3. Enter your app name and contact email on the next screen.
  4. Click Create App. Facebook may ask you to reconfirm your password.
  5. Go to the app dashboard and click Settings > Basic.
  6. You‘ll see the unique App ID and App Secret for your app.
  7. Copy these and paste them into your WordPress plugin settings or Like button code.

And you‘re done! The credentials will link the button to your Facebook presence allowing users to like your page.

Customizing Your Facebook Like Button

Once you‘ve installed a Like button plugin or added the code manually, you can customize its appearance and placement.

Here are some settings you can tweak:

  • Button size – Set the width in pixels. I recommend larger buttons as they‘re more visible.
  • Show button count – Display the number of Likes next to your button.
  • Button position – Before or after your post content. I prefer before content.
  • Alignment – Left, center or right aligned. Centered looks best.
  • Show share button – Add a Share button alongside the Like button.

Experiment to see what performs best on your site. I suggest A/B testing different button sizes and placements.

Ideal Placement Tips for Facebook Like Buttons

Proper placement is crucial to get the most out of your Like buttons. Based on my experience, here are some best practices:

  • Add Like buttons before your content, so they‘re visible immediately.
  • On blog posts, have a floating bar or sticky button that stays in view.
  • For ecommerce product pages, place buttons near the product photos.
  • On landing pages, position buttons above the fold near your headline.
  • For lead generation offers, put buttons above your opt-in forms.

You want the Like button to be visible when users first arrive on important pages. The easier it is to access, the more likes and shares you will generate.

Going Beyond Likes with a Dedicated Social Plugin

While basic Like buttons work great, you can take social sharing even further with a dedicated social media plugin.

One I recommend is Social Pug. It‘s a powerful platform for managing all your social profiles and sharing buttons.

Core benefits include:

  • Auto-scheduling social shares to Facebook and other networks.
  • In-depth social analytics to see your top performing content.
  • Follower growth tools to help you get more fans.
  • Click-to-tweet boxes to drive viral shares.
  • Retargeting pixel integration.

Tools like Social Pug make it easy to scale up your social media marketing efforts beyond just adding Like buttons.

Analyzing Metrics with Facebook Insights

Once you‘ve added Like buttons, it‘s important to monitor their performance and optimize accordingly.

Facebook offers a detailed Insights dashboard for pages that reveals metrics like:

  • Number of likes and shares over time
  • Post reach and engagement
  • Follower demographics
  • Traffic sources

Analyze this data regularly to see what content gets the most likes and shares. You can also experiment with different button placements to determine what converts best.

Continuous improvement is key to maximize the impact of your Like buttons. Monitor Insights and tweak your usage based on the numbers.

Complementing Likes with Other Social Sharing Icons

While Facebook commands the largest user base, you shouldn‘t limit sharing icons to just Likes.

Add buttons for other top social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Multi-channel sharing increases visibility across different networks.

Most social media plugins like Social Pug make it easy to add buttons for all major platforms with one click.

Having a mix of social icons caters to users on different sites. Don‘t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket. Distribute sharing options for maximum exposure.

Combining With Other Facebook Marketing Tactics

For the best results, use Facebook Like buttons as part of a broader Facebook marketing strategy including:

  • Facebook ads – Drive high-quality traffic to your site by advertising to targeted demographics.
  • Facebook groups – Join relevant groups to connect with potential customers.
  • Facebook Live – Host live videos to engage your audience in real-time.
  • Messenger marketing – Communicate with leads via Messenger bots and broadcast messages.
  • Facebook Events – Promote local events and invite people to attend.

Each platform feature expands your reach in different ways. Use Like buttons as the gateway to bring new visitors from Facebook, then engage them further using groups, ads, live video, and messaging.

Adopt a holistic Facebook presence, with Like buttons playing an important lead generation role.

Success Stories of Companies Using Facebook Like Buttons

Here are just a couple examples of major brands finding success with Facebook Like buttons:

  • Airbnb added Like and Share buttons across their site which helped increase daily sign ups by 15%.

  • Vogue magazine saw a 101% increase in referral traffic from Facebook after adding Like buttons. Their sharing volume also shot up by 145%.

The proof is in the pudding. When implemented correctly, Like buttons deliver outstanding results regardless of your industry.

The Bottom Line

Boosting engagement on Facebook is hugely important for driving traffic and conversions today. Like buttons make it effortless for users to interact with your brand.

I highly recommend adding them to your WordPress site using a dedicated plugin like Like & Share. The setup takes just a few minutes.

Proper placement is key – make the buttons visible on high-value pages. Back them up with Facebook Insights analytics.

When combined with other Facebook marketing tactics, Like buttons serve as a powerful lead generation tool.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to share my experience of growing social engagement and traffic over the past 15+ years as a webmaster.

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.