Setting Up Facebook Login and New Account Registration for Your Forum

If you are embedding a forum into your Facebook page, it makes sense to offer Facebook authentication.  The steps to getting set-up with this are fairly straightforward but warrant explanation.

  1. From your admin dashboard, click on the Authentication tab.  Now select Facebook from the ‘Configure an Authenticator’ drop-down menu.
  2. Open up a new browser window and type in the following address to visit: https://developers.facebook.com/apps . This will prompt you to login to Facebook.  Do so with your regular personal Facebook account or a new Facebook account you created for this purpose.
  3. Next click on ‘Create New App’ and input an App Name. A good name here would be your Company Name and the word Forum (e.g. Acme Forum).  You can leave the App Namespace blank.  Hit save and then you will be prompted to fill in a Captcha box before proceeding.
  4. You should now see a summary app screen that already shows your App ID and App Secret.  There is one more thing you need to do from Facebook before going back to configure the Vanilla side of things.  Where it says ‘select how your app integrates with Facebook’ click on ‘Website’. Type in your site URL, which is your Vanilla Forums URL (e.g. companyname.vanillaforums.com) or if you already have set-up a custom domain you can use that (e.g. forum.companyname.com) and hit ‘Save Changes’.
  5. Now that you have your App ID and App Secret, you can go back and enter them on your Vanilla Dashboard in the areas provided beneath your Facebook Authenticator screen.  So copy and paste the App ID into the ‘Application ID’ and copy and paste the App Secret into the ‘Application Secret’ boxes.  Now you can hit save.  You will see the system work briefly and then it will be saved.  Also click on ‘Activate’ so that the Facebook Authenticator is activated.  Now your Facebook Authenticator is configured and working.
  6. If you select the Facebook Authenticator again from the drop-down menu there are a couple of other options you can choose to configure (you can also set these up while you are entering your App ID and App Secret).
  7. Check the ‘Use Facebook names for usernames’ box if you want your users to be automatically given a username on the forum that is identical to their Facebook name.  Uncheck this box if you want them to set-up a new forum username when they sign-up.  Check the ‘Send users a welcome e-mail’ if you want to send people signing up through Facebook a system e-mail welcoming them to the forum or uncheck this box if you don’t.  When you have finished checking or unchecking the boxes, click on ‘Save’.
  8. That’s it.  Your Facebook Authenticator is ready to go.  Registrants will now see the ‘Login with Facebook’ button when they are signing up.