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How to Control Which Images from Your Website Show up on Facebook

How many times have you shared a link from your website via a social sharing button at the bottom of a blog post or by pasting a URL into Facebook only to have a cut off, morphed image show up that does not accurately or aesthetically represent your website or business?

Raise your hand if your answer was “every single time!” Not to worry…we have a fix for you.

How to control which images from your website show up on Facebook via TheEssentialWebsite.com

A while back, there was a method that many people swore by called the Facebook Debugger Tool. Not only did this tool and process never work for me, but the terminology (debugger, fetching and scraping images, etc.) and the page itself was intimidating and overwhelming for people who were still getting used to simply updating content on their site (a.k.a. most of our clients…and likely, most people in general).

With the amount of tools out there today, we knew there had to be an easier, less intimidating and more successful way to get the right image to show up when sharing or pasting a link.

Allow me to share a quick prelude before we divulge our two recommended solutions:
We try to avoid adding more plugins (pieces of software that add functionality to a website) to a site whenever possible. But, if a plugin will accomplish a specific goal without adding a lot of weight to the site and it makes life easier for website owners and the visitors they are trying to attract, then those are really good signs and reasons to add it.

Solution #1: Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags

To quote the first line from the plugin’s description, “This plugin inserts Facebook Open Graph Tags into your WordPress Blog/Website for more effective and efficient Facebook sharing results.” That means there’s no need to go into the confusing Facebook Debugger Tool. It means there is a field in your page or post where you will upload an image (which can be the same image used as your post’s or page’s featured image or a different one), and that image is the one that will be shared on Facebook. Here’s an example of what the field looks like:

Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags

Yes, you will have to do a couple extra steps by creating another image and adding it to your page or post, but the results are well worth it.

Since using the plugin, we have been uploading a square image as much of our sharing has been within Facebook groups, in the comments section of daily prompts/posts. Those links (in the comments) show a small, square image. But, the suggested image size (as shown in the screenshot above) is a rectangular image (1200px x 630px). The image size you choose to create and upload will depend on where and how you tend to share and paste links the most. Keep in mind that other people will be sharing your pages and posts, too.

To summarize the sizing situation:

  • Sharing from your social sharing buttons or pasting a link into a new post on Facebook will pull a rectangular image.
  • Pasting a link into the comments section of an existing Facebook post will pull a square image.

Solution #2: Yoast SEO

Yoast offers a wide range of features beyond sharing the correct image on social media. Yoast is a great solution for those who use WordPress themes that don’t provide fields for Custom Title Tags and Meta Descriptions (like BeaverBuilder). The other theme/framework we use (Thesis) does provide those fields, so unless a client has more advanced keyword optimization and internal linking requirements, we don’t tend to install Yoast.


Either of these solutions will squash the Facebook image sharing frustration situation once and for all! Take a look at both plugins to see which one fits best with your needs, and then install it and enjoy sharing better images.

If you would like help deciding which plugin is best for you, let us know. We’d be happy to help! If you’re not familiar with how to install a plugin, follow these instructions under the heading “Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search” or contact us so we can get you all set up.

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Written by: Stefani Hi there, I’m Stefani Harris, co-founder of The Essential Website. We design and code WordPress websites for ready-to-grow businesses and bloggers, but we do so much more! We are all about helping our clients reach their business goals and see results! I am most passionate about inspiring people to pursue their dreams and to just START! If you can dream it, you can do it! I’m also a big-time dog lover + yoga and fitness instructor.

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