Meta 0.2.0 with Open Graph and Twitter Cards
In addition to support of Redmine 1.4.x and 2.x.x this release comes with support of Facebook's Open Graph and Twitter's Twitter Cards, which will help you improve the presence of your Redmine in social networks and Internet.
Sometimes I get stuck with a plugin’s functionality and the plugin seems not going to have any new features. The Meta plugin used to be such. Other times such plugins appear to literally require more features to be really useful. And the Meta plugin appeared to be such too...
I believe, that the Meta plugin is an underestimated one, as I think, it is essential for any public Redmine installation. Otherwise Redmine will fail to provide useful structured information to social networks and search engines, what is extremely important nowadays. For this reason I review this plugin in my just published book Mastering Redmine. And because the book (with its review) was just published I hurried to carry out this release, which includes the lacking support for recent Redmine versions and some interesting new features...
As it was mentioned before, this plugin provides “description” and “keywords” Meta tags, which were used in the past to show the short summary of the page in search engine results. Yet still these tags are widely used by social networks. In addition, to get more social-friendly data some social networks introduce their own Meta tags:
- Thus, Facebook announced support for the Open Graph protocol, which allows to provide more data about web pages for social networks.
- Twitter, providing more specific social functionality, developed its own Meta tags named Twitter Cards, which are, actually, based on Open Graph.
Looks like Twitter Cards must be enabled for your domain by Twitter. To send the appropriate approval request to Twitter use this link (certainly, do this after you have installed the plugin).
Both these technologies are now supported by the Meta plugin!
So, let’s see how do they work?..
This is this particular news added to Facebook:
While, generally, it looks the same, as if we were using just “description” and “keywords” Meta tags (which existed till 0.2.0), the actual difference is inside. Thus, when I add the news to Facebook, the social network suggests to use only images, which are actually in the news article. But this feature has more power, which is invisible to the end user.
The Twitter, on the other hand, suffers more visible impact (if the domain is approved – mine is not yet):
As you see, a link powered with Twitter Cards tags gets “embedded” into the tweet view with such info as the author’s Twitter username and so on.
As you might be unwilling to include Open Graph and Twitter Cards and as they can come with some specific data, which should be configured, this version of the plugin also comes with the configuration, which can be found in Administration → Plugins → Meta tags → Configure:
The configuration of the plugin also includes settings for Facebook:
- Administrators can be set to one or more Facebook user IDs (e.g., “andriy.lesyuk” or “100000066953233”), in which case the corresponding Facebook users will get access to the statistics regarding likes, and so on.
- App identifier allows the same, but should be used for the cases, when the particular Redmine installation is represented as an app in Facebook (see here).
However, a Facebook user to be able to administer the resource must first “like” this resource, even if his/her username is set as an administrator in the meta tag. So in order to use this functionality you also need the Like Button plugin.
While the name of the plugin was “Meta Tags” the main its goal was search engine and social media optimization. Currently this is done using just meta tags, but in future releases it is also planned to generate SEO-friendly links (see #1986) and so on. Therefore, I was thinking about renaming the plugin with one of future releases... But, currently, decided to drop “tags”, so the name would be just “Meta” (this way technically the plugin has not been renamed). This name, of course, has nothing to do with SEO-friendly links, but.
Due to this change, anyway, users, who use the SVN repository of the project, need to update the repository path as follows:
$ svn switch --relocate http://svn.s-andy.com/redmine-meta http://svn.s-andy.com/meta
To be sure you’ll be among of the first, who will be notified about the next felease, which is going to include some really cool features (see the issue list), subscribe to the Meta project using the “Subscription” form on the sidebar.
To buy the “Mastering Redmine” book, in which the Meta plugin is mentioned along with other interesting plugins and many other useful features and secrets of Redmine, use this link. Note, that buying this book you also donate to my plugins development (as, certainly, I get royalties from its sales) and to Redmine development (as the Redmine team will get royalties as well – see details).