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Why isn’t my Facebook like box showing?

Facebook like box for Taskforce Digital as set up in the Facebook DevelopersLate last week, I was working on a couple of Shopify tweaks for a new client, including adding a Facebook like box to the footer. It’s not something I’d done for a while, but I managed to create the HTML5 and Javascript code using the Facebook Developers Like Box tool, insert that code into the right places in the template files, and great, it was done.

Until, I swapped over to Safari to check out all the changes I had made that day. On Safari, the like box wasn’t there.

Where had it gone?

I checked that the Javascript and HTML was still in the source code for the page. It was.

I changed the URL for my Facebook page in the code from https://www.facebook.com/taskforcedigital to http://www.facebook.com/taskforcedigital. The like box still didn’t display.

Finally, after a bit of Googling and reading through comments on forums and blogs, I worked out why.

It’s not me, it’s Facebook

The fact that the client’s like box had disappeared was nothing to do with my code, but rather how they had changed the settings for their Facebook page. As I’m not an administrator of their page, I’ve replicated the issue with the Taskforce Digital Facebook page below.

What had happened was that, when I set up the Facebook like box and tested it on the page, I was logged into Facebook in another tab of Chrome (this is not unusual). The Facebook like box appeared on the page as it should.

Now it's here.

Now it’s here.

However, when I tested it on Safari, I wasn’t logged into Facebook on that browser – and that’s what made the difference.

Now it's gone!

Now it’s gone!

Eventually I worked out that this was because of settings for the page on Facebook. In the Facebook page Admin Panel, you can click on ‘Edit page’ then ‘Edit settings’. Halfway down, you’ll see ‘Country restrictions’ and ‘Age restrictions’. In setting up the Taskforce Digital like box today, I tried setting these restrictions one at a time.

Restricting to the UK.

Restricting to the UK.

Restricting to people aged 17 and up.

Restricting to people aged 17 and up.

It seems that the Facebook like box is accesses these settings and comparing them with your Facebook account settings. When I was logged on, I could see the like box (on any browser I tried). However, when I wasn’t logged into Facebook, Facebook didn’t know that I was over 17 and the box didn’t appear. It wasn’t even using my IP address to guess that I was from the UK. It just wasn’t showing the box.

Remove the restrictions on Facebook, the box on my website reappears – even when I’m not logged into Facebook.

Anyway, hope this helps someone else out there. Perhaps it may even save you some time in trying to find a coding solution for the issue.

I’ve taken the Facebook like box off our sidebar for now, but if you do want to like Taskforce Digital, you can do so on our Facebook page.

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What’s ahead for 2014?

I’m writing this blog entry on the 27th of December from the upper floor of a stone cottage, looking out over the fields and hills of North Devon. On arrival, we were teased by a sticker on the kitchen wall with a wifi code, but so far this combination of letters and numbers has not enabled any sort of viable connection to the internet. Yesterday, in Dartmoor, I couldn’t even log into FourSquare to say I was there.

Husband and child in Dartmoor on Boxing Day. Resolution for 2014 is to take photos of things – such as the view from the cottage – that I actually write about in my blog posts.

Husband and child in Dartmoor on Boxing Day. Spectacular views but no internet access.

While I know that this entry can be synced via Evernote later and posted to the blog later still, I’m used to an immediate, fast internet connection these days. As such, the times without it – the hours travelling north on the train, the week my husband and daughter had to connect at Australian internet cafes, this Christmas without Skype – seem somehow unnatural. It’s hard to remember that, in the grand scheme of things, even the web is new.

For now though, the sun is unexpectedly shining, the child is unexpectedly sleeping, and I’m sitting atop a very high four poster bed thinking about all that’s to come in 2014.

We’ve got the launch of two websites on Taskforce Digital’s schedule for January already: one in WordPress, one in Shopify. I’ve quickly set up this blog using Woothemes’ Canvas, which seems to be fairly flexible in getting the basics of the site layout done. Now I’m looking forward to trying out the portfolio and testimonials modules, and to using the Woothemes framework for a new client site. Perhaps later in the year, I’ll look into Woocommerce as an e-commerce platform as well, but for now, I’m happy on Shopify. I’m keen to try out some of their recently released features, such as gift vouchers, early in 2014.

I’ve spent less time on Facebook in 2013 than I have in previous years, and that’s probably a trend that will continue. I think it’s still a useful platform for those sort of brands that people love – charities that they care about, products that they enjoy using – but for many other companies every change in Facebook’s algorithm makes it harder and harder to have stories seen without paying for the privilege through advertising and sponsored stories. Facebook competitions remain a good way to build up an opted-in email list – but in my experience this year, the call to action works better in the subsequent emails than in a Facebook post. There’s a recent LinkedIn discussion here where a number of social marketeers have expressed their views on Facebook as a marketing tool.

Using the improved Facebook Insights, we may now be able to get more data about our pages’ engagement levels than we could in 2012, but it’s still no match for the combination of AdWords and Analytics in tracking ROI on advertising spend. Features introduced this year, such as bid adjustments based on time, location and device combined with remarketing techniques, have allowed further optimisation of already well-performing campaigns. The addition of the ability to cut and paste keywords, ads and adgroups, not just in AdWords editor but also in the online interface, has definitely cut down on my administration time.

Cutting down on administration time will definitely be a theme for me in 2014, with a new baby due to make an appearance in January. I’ve recently swapped the Taskforce accounts to Quickbooks Online (from the software version), and I’m enjoying the dashboard which gives an overview of what’s earned and owed, and the ability to send invoices with the click of a button. After years of resisting, I’ve also made the move to using a Mac laptop. It’s nice to not have to blow into the air vents to get my business computer started, and the syncing between the laptop, iPad and phone is useful too (though I did manage to delete most of the phone numbers in my phone contacts in the process of doing so).

I think mobile internet’s time has well and truly arrived, and while I’m on maternity leave, the plan is to spend some more time looking into responsive web design and app development. These days I have some clients who get more web traffic from mobile phones than PCs, particularly when the content being accessed deals with health or other sensitive topics. This audience deserves some focused attention too.

Apart from that, I foresee the early months of Taskforce Digital’s 2014 being about MailChimp and Survey Monkey, Salesforce and, as always, the creation of great content. Beyond that, who knows? I’m looking forward to seeing those tweets that link to articles that tell me about things that I’ve never heard of before, I’m looking forward to new videos on Treehouse, new app discoveries, working with new and existing clients on whatever their online challenges will be. I’m excited about building the Taskforce team and increasing the range of skills we can offer.  I’d love to read your reflections on 2013 and predictions for 2014 in the comments below.

Merry Christmas from Taskforce DigitalOutside the window, there are white fluffy clouds and white fluffy sheep on green hills; no sign of December snow. The star’s starting to fall off our Christmas tree. I’ve almost eaten all the mince pies. The year is coming to a close, and we’ll soon be heading back to London.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive season, and wish you all the best through whatever this new year brings.

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HTML writer review

From the old blog.

HTML writer screenshotHave you ever wanted to edit your website when you’re away from your computer? Perhaps you’ve been sitting on the train and seen a sneaky spelling error on one of your pages or you’ve finally decided on a hexadecimal code that would give you the perfect background colour. HTML Writer lets you make these tweaks from your phone.

This application is definitely aimed at those who already know the difference between a <tr> and a <br>. There’s no WYSIWYG editor here and no explanations for beginners, but there are quick insert buttons that allow the experienced web developer to open and close popular tags, or add in particular attributes or snippets of code. You can use these tools as you edit a file or, if you have a lot of time/can type quickly on your iPhone, create a page from scratch.

However, the functionality doesn’t end there. There are also a number of well thought-out extras that make this application a very helpful tool for website developers. These include previewing your edited pages before they’re released to the internet, accessing and uploading photos you’ve taken on your phone, emailing your finished files, and downloading the source code from any web page.

The application also allows FTP access to your website host. However, while testing it I found that I could only download and upload files in my root directory. Whenever I tried to drill down to the HTML files in my sub-folders, I got a message saying ‘connection failed’. Perhaps there’s a setting I could change if I had greater knowledge of how these things work, however it’s not a problem I’ve had with any other FTP client however and, for me, it limits the usefulness of an otherwise excellent application.

If you’re building a website from scratch or wanting to make lots of coding changes to an existing one, in front of the computer is probably still the best place to be. But if you’ve got a simple website and you want to make simple edits to its pages while you’re out and about, then this is the application for you.

Download from iTunes
Developer: Ronald Wheland
Released: 7 March 2011 (Version 2.6.2)
Price: £1.79

First published on iPhoneAppCafe.com. Happy to answer comments here or there.

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