Adding Your Website to Facebook Shows Empty Box to the Left

A while back, we had an empty box to the left of the Facebook logo on our website’s “Add to Facebook” button.

It never changed. Even when we had a lot of content on our site, the box was still there. Even when we had a lot of engagement on our site, the box was still there.

So, what is this empty box?

You can click on the box to bring up a preview of your website. When someone clicks on the “Add to Facebook” button on your site, an invisible window will open, and they will be taken to Facebook to complete the process. But, until that point, the button is simply waiting for you to hit “Add to Facebook”.

The reason behind this oddity is that Facebook has changed how they handle rich media in the past year or so. Up until about a year ago, Facebook allowed you to include any type of media in your posts. So, if you had a YouTube video or an image attached to one of your status updates, people could click on that update and go to YouTube or Grav to view your content.

Now, however, when someone clicks on the “Add to Facebook” button for your site, a new popup will appear and mask the content you’re trying to promote. So if you have an image set as the background for your site, it will not be display.

Here’s an example. Let’s say we have a blog post on our site entitled, “How to Promote Your Blog For Free”. We’ll take a quick look at what that looks like. As you can see, we’ve got a nice big picture of a bicycle.

Now, let’s say we’ve posted that image onto our site. If we then decide we want to add that image as a Facebook “cover photo” for our blog, we’ve got a problem.

In order to do that, we need to go back into our blog post and replace the image we had there with a link to our Facebook page. So, in this case, our blog post would look like this:

  • How to Promote Your Blog For Free

    Step 1: Find the right spot

    When you add a new blog post to your site, you’ll be presented with a few options for where to upload the image. Choosing the right spot is crucial because you can’t change the order of these options. One good option would be your blog’s “header” or the area at the top of your blog posts. This is a place that you’d want to put something unique and engaging. Something that will make your readers click on your blog post.

    In this case, we’re going to click on the “Insert Into Post” tab and then drag our image file into the empty box. When we do that, a little message should pop up, notifying us that our image won’t be displayed because we’re replacing it with a link.

    What does this mean for our bicycle photo? Well, when we add that photo to our blog post, we’ll just have to remember to take that link out when we’re finished.

    Step 2: Make Sure Your Website is Ready

    Now that we have our spot, we need to make sure our website is set up properly to accept Facebook “likes”. If you haven’t launched a website yet, it may be a bit tricky to know what to put in it. One good place to start would be Google. Just search for “free website templates” and you’ll see loads of options to choose from. Just keep in mind that most of these templates are designed for blogs, and not for very large corporate websites.

    Step 3: Make Sure Your Facebook Page is Set Up Correctly

    You’ll need to make sure that your Facebook page is set up correctly to accept “likes” from your website. When adding your website to your Facebook page, you’ll be presented with a few options for where to put the link. As with our blog post, we’ll click on the “Insert Into Page” button and then paste in our link, replacing the image on our site.

    It’s important to note that you can’t put a video or an image as your “cover photo” on your Facebook page. So, if you do, it will not be displayed. We’re going to leave the rest of our Facebook page as it is because we don’t want to tamper with the default design.

    Step 4: Add Your Website to Your Facebook

    Now that our website and Facebook page are set up correctly, we can add our website’s “Add to Facebook” button to our blog post. When we do that, we’ll notice that the “Add to Facebook” button now points to our Facebook page, and not to the blog post, like before.

    If we then decide we want to add our bike photo as a banner above the “Add to Facebook” button on our site, we can do that by clicking on the thumbnail of our Facebook page. The image will then be displayed on our site, as you can see below.

    As you can see, having a Facebook page with a custom banner is much more engaging than having an image set as the background for our site. With a custom banner, we can promote a special offer or event, and people will be more inclined to engage with our content.