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WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS) used by more than 60 million websites worldwide [1]. It's an open-source CMS written in PHP that is free to install and use with thousands of plug-ins and themes. WordPress started as a pure blogging platform in 2003 but has since evolved into a robust and versitle CMS used by millions. Supported by a large user community and several websites offering free support, getting help is usually quick and a selling point when choosing a CMS.

WordPress' robust plugin framework allows users to customize and extend common functionality to create a unique website experience. This article will explain how to install and activate the Stitchz Social Login WordPress plug-in to integrate social login providers like Facebook or Twitter to your WordPress site. As easy as WordPress is to install and configure so too is the Stitchz Social Login plug-in. Installing the plug-in follows the standard process, with that said, the details of the installation and configuration are covered in this article; for an abbreviated version of these steps check out .

Installation

  1. Log in as an administrator and go to the WordPress Admin console and click "Plugins" in the left navigation menu.
  2. On the Plugins page, at the top, click "Add New". Figure 1.
    Add new Wordpress plugin
    Figure 1.
  3. In the "Search Plugins" field enter "Stitchz" and press Enter.
  4. The first result will be the Stitchz Social Login plugin, click "Install Now". Figure 2.
    Stitchz Social Login plugin search
    Figure 2.
  5. When asked if you really want to install the plugin click "Ok".
  6. After the plugin has finished installing, click "Activate Plugin". Figure 3.
    Stitchz Social Login plugin activating
    Figure 3.
  7. WordPress will show the successful installation at the top of the Plugins page, Figure 4.
    Stitchz Social Login plugin activated
    Figure 4.
    The plugins are sorted alphabetically, scroll down and find the newly installed plugin.
  8. The Stitchz Social Login plugin and all its details will be listed. Figure 5.
    Stitchz Social Login plugin installed
    Figure 5.
  9. Installation and activation is complete, the next step is to configure the plugin.

Configuration

A prerequisite for using the Stitchz Social Login plugin in WordPress is to create an application with the Stitchz service; to create an application go to . When creating an application combine your website's Url with "/stitchz_social_login/auth" (the Stitchz Social Login end point). For example: https://www.YourWebsiteUrl.com/stitchz_social_login/auth

For details on creating an application follow the steps outlined in the previous post .

After the application is setup, begin configuring the WordPress plugin. Some settings from the application are required to properly configure it in the following steps, so keep the settings handy.

  1. First, change the default way WordPress handles web URLs. Login to Wordpress as an Administrator and go to the Wordpress Admin counsel.
  2. Click "Settings > Permalinks".
  3. Under "Common Settings", select any option except "Default", and click "Save Changes". This will modify the .htaccess rewrite rules.
  4. Next, click "Stitchz Login API Settings" in the left navigation menu. Figure 6.
    Stitchz Social Login plugin navigation link
    Figure 6.
  5. Begin configuring the Stitchz Login API Settings, note that each field with (required) is required. Copy the settings from your application into the "App Url", "ApiKey", "AppSecret" and "Redirect Url" fields respectively. Figure 7.

    Stitchz Social Login plugin activating
    Figure 7.

    There are a few things to note about the configuration that may make it simpler. First, the "Return Url" field is the WordPress website's full web Url plus the Stitchz WordPress end point ('/stitchz_social_login/auth'), i.e. https://www.YourWebsiteUrl.com/stitchz_social_login/auth. This value should match the Return Url setup with the Stitchz application.

    Second, the "API Version" field determines how users' authentication requests are sent to Stitchz. The "Standard Login" option is a basic authentication request used to only authenticate a user, nothing else. The "OAuth 2 Login" option sends an OAuth 2.0 authenticated request to Stitchz and returns a valid OAuth 2.0 token that can be used to request further resources without forcing the end user to re-authenticate. Take note that "OAuth 2 Login" requires HTTPS. A future article will cover what requests can be made to the Stitchz API. In the meantime if you're interested check out for info.

  6. After configuring the Stitchz Login API Settings you must sync your configured Social Login Identity Providers from Stitchz. Click the "Sync Providers" button to synchronize the list of providers' setup in the Stitchz application. If all settings are correct a sample login will display with all the configured and active identity providers. Should an error message appear or no sample login is displayed double check the Stitchz Login API Settings and click "Sync Providers" again. If no sample is displayed, continue with the configuration, save all settings, and then check and try again.
  7. The Stitchz Login Addin Settings provides options for where to display the social login form within WordPress and how it will look. Placing a tick in the checkbox "activates" the feature and displays the form on the respective screen. A typical website should activate the first three choices; websites with WordPress commenting turned on should activate all four choices so commenters can login and comment with their social identity.
  8. The "Theme Version" selection changes the way the social login icons look. The current option is "Basic". Additional themes will be included in future updates.
  9. Finally, the "Social Login Notes" field allows the administrator to write a message to all users; up to 255 characters are allowed, with no HTML. The note appears under the social login icons wherever they are displayed. Notes are useful to provide login instructions or share a message.

    See Figure 8 for an example of a complete setup.

    Stitchz Social Login Form
    Figure 8.

Additional Options

As of version 2.5, WordPress introduced shortcodes. "A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. Shortcode = shortcut." [2] Stitchz offers a shortcode that can be placed on any page or blog simply by adding [stitchz_social_login_shortcode].

Wrap Up

Nearly everyone has a social media account, just look at the latest total number of Facebook users, over one billion [3]. Why not lower the barrier of entry and provide your visitors a simple, safe means of registration? With more than 20 popular social networks to choose from, customizing the WordPress site experience with Stitchz Social Login is simple.

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