Facebook Page SSL and the SmallBiz WordPress Theme

by on September 19, 2011 · 6 comments

Many SmallBiz Theme owners are using the SmallBiz Facebook App to manage their Facebook Page Tabs in WordPress.

On October 1 Facebook will be requiring that all content delivered through Facebook Pages be delivered from a secure HTTPS server using SSL. (Here’s their announcement.)

Getting Ready for SSL

So if you have created custom Facebook Page Tabs, how do you prepare for this?

To have custom Facebook Page Tabs you need two things:

1. A Facebook iFrame App
2. A place to host and serve your content from.

Both of these need to be delivered via SSL now. I’ll show you how to make that happen. But first, what is SSL?

What is HTTPS and SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an encryption method for transferring data securely. When you buy something at Amazon.com, for example, they use SSL to make sure that no one can see your credit card information when you enter it in to buy something from them online.

An SSL encrypted URL starts with HTTPS:// rather than HTTP:// and is preceded by a “padlock”. If you click on the lock, you’ll see information about the certificate and who owns it (see screen shot below.)

Facebook is moving to make your connection to their site entirely SSL encrypted. In order to do that, they need to make sure all the content that is part of your page is served securely. So that’s why we have to jump through all these hoops.

Ok, with that out of the way, here’s what you need to do for your custom Facebook Page Tabs to work once they make this change:

1. Make Your Facebook App Secure

SmallBiz Facebook Page Tabs App for WordPressThe SmallBiz Theme comes with a Facebook App that we wrote to help you connect your WordPress site to a Facebook Page and manage your content from within WordPress (it is based on the Facebook iFrame app).

We’ve moved the SmallBiz Facebook App to one of our secure servers so that it is delivered over an SSL connection now. If you’re using SmallBiz, this is taken care of for you already.

2. Deliver Your Content Securely

secure-sockets-layerYour content also needs to come from a secure connection. This means if you are hosting your WordPress site on BlueHost, for example, and want to continue to show some of your content on your Facebook Page Tabs, you need to install or enable SSL on your server.

There are two ways to achieve this:
A) Purchase an SSL certificate for your server. You can get an SSL certificate for under $100/year. This way, you will be able to deliver content both using http://yourdomain.com and https://yourdomain.com. Or,

B) Use a FREE Shared SSL Certificate. Many hosting providers have something called a Shared SSL Certificate. If your hosting provider has this, you may be able to use it for free. I use BlueHost for my WordPress hosting, and they have Shared SSL Certificates.

Click here for a step-by-step guide and videos for both options -> How to Secure Your Facebook Page Tab Content using SSL.

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

eileen lonergan September 20, 2011 at 6:00 am

Thank you Don for this quick and easy explanation!


Jocelyn September 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Thanks Don for taking care of the Facebook Page app. I love your smallbiz theme, it’s complete with all the tools and training small businesses must have to succeed online. . It’s the best theme for local biz.


Don Campbell September 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Eileen, Joceyln,
You’re welcome. Thank you for the kind words!


Derek Carroll September 23, 2011 at 3:25 am

Thanks Don, this stuff can be really complicated for most people. I love how you condense it to an easy to understand way. It really feels that we have to go a new learning curve everyday on the net. Appreciate your post.


Kevin T. November 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for all your material! I’ve installed the App & it’s been really helpful. I do have a curious question though.

I’m curious about a problem I’m having with my own custom APP. My server is BlueHost and I use word press as my CMS. I created a sub folder and installed WordPress in that folder. Your app is working perfectly with this option. But when I enter the data into my own APP the image simply comes out blank. I enter my “https” url into both the secure tab box and page tab box in app settings. My HTML document is stored in my secure folder and under my non secure URL. Is the problem that I’m typing a “https” URL into the page tab box? If that’s it, what should I type in the page tab box in APP Settings? My information is this:
Original URL: http://www.kocialweb.com/
secure URL: https://secure.bluehost.com/~kocialwe/kocialbook/
My HTML Doc. is located here: https://secure.bluehost.com/~kocialwe/kocialbook/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Facebook-Welcome-Imagae.html
My facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/Kocial
The App that doesn’t work is the one with the red icon labeled “like” us.

I would really appreciate some help. THANKS!


Kevin T. November 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Oh…i’m sorry. I had a typo there. The HTML Document is stored in my secure folder (kocialbook) and NOT my nonsecure folder (kocialweb). The HTML Document uses a photo stored in my nonsecure folder (kocialweb). The reason I have the photo stored in my nonsecure URL is because my Secure Url won’t let me upload the image. I keep getting a IO ERROR message.



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