How to Set the Description of Your WordPress Page Content when Sharing to Facebook

When a visitor shares a Page from your website to Facebook, there are particular details that Facebook looks for to generate a post containing a preview of your content. These details, also known as Open Graph Markup, can be modified using the Open Graph for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags plugin for WordPress. With this plugin you can customize the Open Graph Metadata using the Page/Post Editor interface. In this guide, you can learn how to use this plugin, allowing you to easily customize the description of a Page when shared on Facebook.

Add a Description

When Facebook generates a preview of your Page content, it is searching for the Metadata Markup, including “og:description“. Facebook will load the description found in that variable for the post that will be made once shared. If the og:description tag does not exist, Facebook will load an excerpt from the content. This variable is provided, based on priority, according to your Open Graph for Facebook Settings. In the following section, you can learn the various methods for how to customize the description that is loaded when your Page is shared on Facebook.

Default Description for Your Website

If you want the same description to load for all your Pages, you can set a default description in the Open Graph for Facebook Settings. Simply follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into your WordPress Administrative Dashboard.

  2. Hover over Settings and click on Open Graph for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags.

  3. From the General tab, scroll to the Description settings section. Click on the drop-down next to Default description and select Custom Text.

  4. A text field will appear where you may enter a custom text to be displayed by default. For example:

    “Check out this interesting website. This particular link is great!”

  5. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

Page Editor Open Graph for Facebook Field

In the Open Graph for Facebook Settings, the default description will be used on a Page if no description is provided. Since a unique description may not be desired for every Page you make, setting a default –to fall back on– ensures that there is always a description associated with your website content, when it is shared to Facebook. In this section, you can learn how to set the description of a specific Page using the Page Editor.

  1. Log into your WordPress Administrative Dashboard.

  2. Hover over Pages then click on All Pages.

  3. Click on the Page Title that you would like to set an alternative description for.

  4. Once the Page Editor loads, scroll down to locate the Open Graph for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags section. In the Use this description: field, enter a description of the content to use for this particular page.

  5. Scroll up and click the Update button to save your changes.

  6. Now that you have set a description, the default description will no longer display for this particular Page, when shared on Facebook. However, any other Pages that do not have a description set, will continue to use the default description.

Now that you are familiar with how to modify the description used by Facebook when sharing a Page of your website, you may want to adjust the image that Facebook uses when a visitor shares content from your website.

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