Home » Web Development » Static FBML: Not Every Facebook Fan Page Needs An Application
Static FBML: Not Every Facebook Fan Page Needs An Application

Static FBML: Not Every Facebook Fan Page Needs An Application

You don’t always need a custom application for your Facebook fan page to look amazing. Save yourself time and money by using the Static FBML application instead.


FBML and FBJS were deprecated by Facebook in 2012 in place of iframe applications, so the code in this article will not work anymore. This article is being kept here for historical purposes only.

If you’ve played around with Facebook pages at all, you know that layout-wise, you don’t have a lot of options. It’s one of the reasons some people prefer MySpace, where you can have custom font colors and sizes and custom backgrounds, and one of the reasons I personally have to be paid to logon to MySpace.

A current misconception seems to be that in order to have any custom content or display elements in a Facebook page, such as a custom tab or profile box with a specific promotion or branded look and feel, you need a Facebook application.

This is not true at all, and hopefully, I can save you a lot of time, headache and money by letting you in on a little secret.

There is a Facebook application called Static FBML that could potentially save you a lot of hassle. This application was put out by Facebook, and it allows you to create custom HTML/FBML boxes and tabs on your Facebook fan page.

At its most sophisticated, the Static FBML app can allow you pull FBML elements into a profile box, boxes tab box, or an entire tab, At its most basic, you can use it to create custom HTML boxes in those same places that you can completely design and brand to your liking.

For example, I recently worked on the Facebook fan page for Sunkist Soda. While we do use a custom application to display recent Twitter posts by the Sunkist Soda Twitter account, there is an entire branded tab that is simple HTML. The “Team” tab on this page isn’t a custom application – it’s simply a Static FBML box with custom HTML.

Sunkist Soda Fan Page - Static FBML Box

We also use a Static FBML box on the main page’s profile, with a small box that includes promotions for various campaigns.

The general rule of thumb is – if you don’t actually need to use any scripted languages like PHP or ASP, and you don’t need to access the API to get the user’s information for any reason, you probably don’t actually need an application. In our Sunkist Soda tab example, we’re not accessing the API, and we’re not doing anything database-related. We’re just displaying a nice background image and some thumbnails that link out.

The end result is a beautifully designed and branded tab or box that looks exactly the way you want it to look. When you need to update the content, just login to Facebook and make your changes in the Static FBML box.

Times When Static FBML is Enough

As I mentioned, if you’re not accessing the API and you’re not doing anything fancy, Static FBML will usually cut it. Also bear in mind that you can use Mock Ajax and FBJS in these boxes, so you could actually have a fairly dynamic tab/box, including expandable onclick elements, etc – without an application.

It basically behaves like a stand-alone webpage within your Facebook fan page.

Some suggestions on where beefing up your fan page with Static FBML can really help:

  • Promotional text/graphics that click through your Facebook application or website
  • HTML version of your latest newsletter in its own tab (with signup box!)
  • A shortcut to important links on your website
  • Any other place where you want a custom look and feel within your fan page

Figuring this out sooner rather than later can save you thousands of dollars if you’re considering hiring someone to help you. A contractor is going to have a vested interest in not mentioning this option to you, because it turns a specialized, several-thousand-dollar project into something any jackhole who knows basic HTML can handle themselves.

Advertisement

468x60_makemoney

Advertisement

Net Tuts

flattr this!

About snipe

I’m a tech geek/dev/infosec-nerd/scuba diver/blacksmith/sword-fighter/crime fighter/ENTP/warcrafter/activist, and the CTO at Mass Mosaic in New York City. Tweet at me @snipeyhead or read more...
  • Pingback: FaceWord - Conception d’une page Fan Facebook: Vitrines, Tutoriels, Ressources()

  • http://derooted.com Amir

    Nicely explained. Thank you for sharing this information. I’m spending the day on the subject of FBML Design.

  • http://www.gogrumogru.com Gogrumogru

    Great post! The comments are very handy too. Thanks…

  • http://www.marmarishotelsites.com Marmaris Hotels Turkey

    I wish this information is longer, now Im still stuck on how to put image in my facebook fan page, thanks for the share too

  • http://twitter.com/ssshhPolly Alex Pollock

    Exactly the kind of article I was looking for! Nice one!

  • MVB

    Hi Snipe.. I’m having trouble editing my FBML… When I click on Edit, the following message appears “The developer of this application does not currently allow it to be added”
    I also tried to add the application again but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. What should I do? Thx!

  • Pingback: Facebook Fan Pages para se inspirar | IFDBlog()

  • Carolina

    Hello how do I add an image in the FBML? I can ad the New Tab but how can a I put an image like de Sunkist example?

  • Fbmlcode

    Hi Snipe,
    Could you please tell me how to make poll (i’ve seen “Sunkist Soda” Poll tab), thats really great. What Fbml code for poll tab like that? your help would be great, thanks in advance!

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      Hi – the poll was done as an application, and can’t be done using just FBML alone. Needs a database to store poll entries, etc.

  • Robert

    Any idea why this CSS code from image-maps.com isn’t working in FBML?

    http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=nVJt47WX

  • William E Kelleher

    Hi Snipe!

    Amazing information!

    I am trying to add a tab that will serve as a “question and answer” platform for my fans. Is FBML sufficient for this or am I going to have to go with an application?

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      Hi William – meaning you want people to be able to submit their own questions and answers? That would require an application. If you just want to have an FAQ type of thing, you can use FBML.

      • William E Kelleher

        Yes, we want to have people ask/post our mascot a question, than we will post an answer. Thank you for the quick response!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Danica-Lombardo/100001671297143 Danica Lombardo
  • Nouka99

    thx a lot for the article,
    now just to be sure i correctly got ur point, does this mean that to use fql to get some info about fans , static fbml won’t be enough now?
    if so , then how can i do it? write a serverside php or .net code? then how can i call it then?
    thx

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000076063328 Mohammed Saad Memon

    hey frndzz i m new in makg my facebook page !!!!!! can u tell me hw to u add images n layouts in FMBL,,,i dnt no anytg…Can u help me,,,,I hav MAde FMBL tab, bt i dnt knw hw to use it..plz if u cn help me !!! my email id is memonmsaad@hotmail.com….i wil b watg for ur rplz……….

  • Dublinduff

    hows a going. i have a business page but i have a tab on it bt want to have just a colour plain background for it. anyone know how to do this??? codes etc…

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      Background colors are done via CSS. Google “CSS background color” and you should have several examples.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vknaup Victoria Knaup

    Can you tell me how to add the Static FBML app when there isn’t an Add to My Page? Note: there is an Add to My Page’s Favorite, which doesn’t help with this matter. Thanks.

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      FBML has marked for deprecation for several months. The Static FBML app is most likely being phased out, since Facebook gave us 4+ months of warning.

    • http://www.tsl.ge Paul

      I had that problem – no “Add to my page” link, but you can easily install it to any page for which you are an admin at the following link. Bookmark it!

      https://www.facebook.com/add.php?api_key=fdfd01c9df7d644a68a4e989ae861e44&pages=1&page=112047832220359

      If this tip helped you please click the like button on my web page – thanks!

      • http://www.snipe.net snipe

        That link will likely not work since there is an API key attached to it. That said, it’s a VERY BAD IDEA to bother to install Static FBML at this point. FBML is being deprecated, so whatever you put in that box will stop working. It’s a much better idea to use one of the hosted iframe tab apps and play by the new rules.

      • GriffN84

        Any suggestions for one of those “Hosted iframe tab apps”?

  • Thereal7861

    need facebook fan page api code in php

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      The PHP SDK is available for download along with some sample API code once you create an application in Facebook.

  • Catherine

    Can anyone help me??? I manage several Fan Pages for business. Is there a way to load the Static FBML on EACH page???

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      AFAIK, FBML is being deprecated, so you can’t add the Static FBML app to pages anymore.

    • guest

      who says? i manage several pages as well and added it to each page. ust follow the directions. itwill ask you which pages you want toadd it to.then i went back into the app, and it asked me again and i chose another page. just follow the prompts.

      • http://www.snipe.net snipe

        Who says? Facebook says. Back in February. http://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/462 – it may work right now, but it’s being phased out, so it’s smarter not to create new stuff with Static FBML. We used to use it all the time too, but knowing that it’s going away, it wouldn’t be wise to create new projects with Static FBML.

  • http://twitter.com/ThinkAboutitT1 Dr. Aaron Ramsey

    Hello Sir,
    Could you please help me with this on going problem with Facebook Fan page. I host a Talk Show called The Think About It “TALK” About It show, we have a player by way of html code on our webpage that will play each show live and or archived see it at http://www.thinkaboutittalkaboutit.com we are trying to place that same place and twitter feed on our FB Fan Page on the front or wall so listeners can go there as well as the webpage BUT! facebook makes it impossible i have tried many things even fbiframe. could you please help us? you may send comments or suggestions to thinkaboutittalk@gmail.com Thank You Dr. Ramsey

  • http://twitter.com/ThinkAboutitT1 Dr. Aaron Ramsey

    Hello Sir,
    Could you please help me with this on going problem with Facebook Fan page. I host a Talk Show called The Think About It “TALK” About It show, we have a player by way of html code on our webpage that will play each show live and or archived see it at http://www.thinkaboutittalkaboutit.com we are trying to place that same place and twitter feed on our FB Fan Page on the front or wall so listeners can go there as well as the webpage BUT! facebook makes it impossible i have tried many things even fbiframe. could you please help us? you may send comments or suggestions to thinkaboutittalk@gmail.com Thank You Dr. Ramsey

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      If your facebook tab is in an IFRAME, regular HTML will work.

    • http://www.snipe.net snipe

      If your facebook tab is in an IFRAME, regular HTML will work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000251234325 Jasper Cruz

    HOW CAN I DO THIS

  • http://www.iseoagency.com/ Dorothylim10

    Thank you for this site, it is very helpful.

  • http://epicmagazine.net/ Harikrishna

    hmmm .. the Static FBML is not there now …. Any other Method ??