If you are using a self-hosted WordPress blog, allowing people to leave comments or login using their Social Network details can be a great way to boost comments. You could use an external system like disqus or livefyre but if you want to retain complete control over your comments and use the design that comes with your theme then you can still offer this option by using the free Social Login plugin. In this tutorial I will show you how to install and configure it.
Install The Plugin
Download the plugin and then in your WordPress admin, visit “Plugins” > “Add New” > “Upload” and upload the file.
Once you have activated the plugin, you will see a new menu option under “Settings” called “Social Login” – click that and you can start configuring the plugin.
Get your API Keys
This plugin is run by a service called Oneall.com, so you will need to sign up with them to get API keys to enter into the plugin config screen. So go signup with them, add your site URL and other details required and you will get your API keys :
Now you have your keys, go back to the plugin settings screen on your site and enter them in the boxes provided and hit “Verify API Settings” button and if correct, will display the message “The API Settings are Correct”
Choose Your Providers
The next step on the settings page is to configure which prroviders you would like to offer, currently available are :
- VKontakte (Вконтакте)
The final setting is the text used next to the login buttons, ie “Connect With:” which I changed to “Login “With:”
How it Looks
Once you have saved your settings, the plugin automatically adds the buttons to your comment and login forms. Here is how they look on the TwentyTen theme comments :
And here on the login screen :
The plugin also includes a widget which you can use to display a login box on any widgetized area of your theme.
This is a pretty good plugin solution if you want an easy way to add social logins to your site, doing so should increase the amount and quality of comments you receive. I had a couple of annoyances with this plugin though, firstly I browser tested and the buttons do not show up in IE7 – not a huge problem as people can still comment normally who are using that browser. The other is the plugin adds text saying “Powered by OneAll Social Login” to your comments section and your login section and there is no option in the settings to disable this. To me, it looks like ugly and I wouldnt use a plugin that forced me to display a link-back to them. I dont know how this is in the WordPress plugin repository as one of their rules for submitting plugins is “The plugin must not embed external links on the public site (like a “powered by” link) without explicitly asking the user’s permission.”
So all in all, the plugin works well but you have to decide if its worth linking back to OneAll on every comments page of your site.