X-Cart:Facebook Tab

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Revision as of 16:54, 28 April 2011 by Vladimir Gurinenko (talk | contribs) (FacebookTab Frequently asked questions)
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With Facebook Tab, you can embed your X-Cart based store into your Facebook page with just a few mouse clicks.

Millions of users all over the world literally fell in love with Facebook; some have made Facebook their browser’s home page. For others it’s the only place online they would visit during an entire day. So, bringing your products to their target audience by simply adding a storefront to your Facebook page is a way to boost your sales effortlessly and cheap or totally free: just message your friends or buddies who have liked your FB page with the storefront tab. Finally, you can take advantage of Facebook Advertisement, which costs just a few cents.

On top of that, a storefront on Facebook allows users to shop for their favorite products, share their thoughts and leave comments without leaving their favorite the Facebook website and thus build up a community of happy customers advocating your brand all over the Net.

Summing it up, your key benefits with Facebook Tab:

  • It boosts sales.
  • It builds community around your brand.
  • It saves promotion and marketing money.

And here is what it looks like:

XC FBtab-01.png

System requirements

To be able to successfully install and use the Facebook Tab module, you must have a working copy of X-Cart verision 4.1.0 through 4.4.x, Gold or Pro editions, already installed on your server.

Note: If you do not remember the version of your copy of X-Cart, you can find it in the Summary/Environment info section of the X-Cart Admin area (select Administration -> Summary) on the menu.

Limitations of current version


  • Facebook Tab currently supports one language, which is the language set as default in the Admin area of your store.

Product Configurator

  • Facebook Tab currently does not support Product Configurator.

Custom Mods

  • Facebook Tab currently does not support custom mods; only the default functionality is now available.

Use Facebook as Page feature

  • Feb 11th 2011 Facebook released new Fan page feature - "Use Facebook as Page" mode. Unfortunately, on some pages the tab may fail to work as expected, showing just a blank screen. We have already submitted a report on this issue to Facebook's bugtracker and will additionally inform you when the issue is resolved by Facebook.

Meanwhile, if you see a blank page when using the "Use Facebook as Page" feature, try switching to your personal account, and you should be able see the products on the tab.


These instructions on both installing and removing the Facebook Tab module are the same for both X-Cart Gold and X-Cart Pro.

Obtaining latest version

To obtain the latest version of Facebook Tab:

1. Sign in to your Qualiteam Account.

2. In the File Area section, find the Facebook Tab distribution package and download it to your computer.

The distribution package is archived in the file fbtab-x.y.z.tgz, where x, y and z indicate the version of the module. Make sure the version of the module matches the version of your copy of X-Cart.

Installation steps

For instructions on installing Facebook Tab manually, please read Facebook Tab Manual Installation.

To install the Facebook Tab module:

1. Copy the distribution package you have downloaded to the X-Cart root directory on your server or hosting account.

  • If you use a Windows-based server or a UNIX-based server without terminal access:
a) Extract the contents of the archive with the Facebook Tab module files to a directory on your system using your favorite compression program (WinZIP or any other archiver that supports TAR files).
b) Use an FTP client to upload all the files extracted from the archive (retaining the directory structure) to the X-Cart root directory on your server or hosting account.
  • If you use a UNIX-based server with terminal access:
a) Use an FTP client to upload the archive with the Facebook Tab module distribution package to the X-Cart root directory on your server or hosting account.
b) Decompress the package by typing the following command:
tar -xzvf fbtab-x.y.z.tgz
Important: Make sure to maintain the directory structure while unpacking and uploading the distribution package; otherwise, some critical files can be overwritten!

2. In a web browser, run the installation script at httр://www.example.com/install-fbtab.php, replacing the variable www.example.com with the real domain name, where your X-Cart is installed.

3. Enter the Auth code, accept the License Agreement and click the Next button.

Note: The Auth code is a random code that was generated after you installed your copy of X-Cart. If you do not remember the Auth code, find it in the Summary section of the X-Cart Admin area (select Tools->Summary on the administration menu), right over the License info subsection. Another way to find out the code is to retrieve the value of the $installation_auth_code variable from the file <xcart_dir>/config.php .

4. The installation script copies the files and activates the module. Click the Next button to continue.

5. The installation script generates a new system fingerprint. Click the Next button to complete the installation.

Note: In certain server environments, the module could fail to install properly due to incorrect initial permission settings.

To make sure that your module installed properly:

1. Log in to the X-Cart Admin area and make sure that FacebookTab module is enabled in the Modules section (select Settings -> Modules on the administration menu).

2. Open httр://www.example.com/fb_tab/index.php, replacing the variable www.example.com with the real domain name, where your X-Cart is installed.

If you can see the tab/products data from your store on your Facebook tab (like on the image below), that means that the installation is completed successfully:

XC FBtab-success.png

If you get a blank page, try following this advice - I installed FacebookTab, but the page is blank. If you have any error on the page, contact our support team to investigate the issue.


To set up Facebook Tab, enable and configure it in X-Cart and then add the tab to your Facebook page.

Enabling in X-Cart

Once you have installed the Facebook Tab module, enable it in the X-Cart Admin area.

To enable Facebook Tab in X-Cart:

1. Log in to the X-Cart Admin area and go to the Modules section (select Settings -> Modules on the administration menu).

2. On the list of modules, find the "Facebook Tab" item and select the check box by the item's name.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Apply changes button to apply the changes.

XC FBtab-02.png

Configuring settings

To configure Facebook Tab settings:

1. Log in to the Admin area and open the Modules page by selecting Settings -> Modules on the menu.

2. Scroll down until you see the Facebook Tab item and then click on the Configure link by the item.

This opens a page with options and settings for the Facebook Tab module.

XC FBtab-03.png

4. Enter your Facebook user profile ID, then select the products to be displayed on your Facebook Tab and then click the Apply changes button.

Note: To obtain your Facebook user profile ID, open the Facebook Tab application page and then click on the Get my Profile ID link at the bottom of the page. You must be signed in to Facebook to be able to get your profile ID.

Advanced options

Facebook user profile ID 
Entering your Facebook user ID adds the Like button to each product displayed on your page. The ID links the Like button's clicks statistics with a specific user.
Bestsellers tabs settings 
Bestseller appearance settings:
Show the store bestsellers in a separate tab - enables the Bestsellers tab on the page.
Bestsellers tab name in Facebook - bestsellers tab caption. Name it any way you like: Featured, Deals, Most Popular, etc.
Number of products in bestsellers list - maximum number of products to be shown on the bestsellers list.
Note: Entering a number of products greater than 15 with a non-empty Facebook user profile ID may cause difficulties with showing the page on Facebook, as retrieving data for a great number of products from Facebook servers may cause a delay that exceeds the server's response or page load timeout. With the Like buttons disabled, still avoid entering values greater than 50 to ensure good performance.
Bestsellers products list type - select the layout for your product list: Simple matrix or Detailed list. The Simple matrix format shows the product image and the price; the Detailed list shows all that plus the detailed description of the product options.
Note: The same settings apply to the Featured Products tab.
Categories tabs settings 
Category appearance settings; similar to the Bestsellers and Featured tab settings. The categories display all the products belonging to the categories and their subcategories. Facebook Tab ignores the categories' enabled/disabled status; instead, the categories can be turned on/off with the check box by the category name on the module configuration page.

Customizing look and feel

X-Cart 4.4or above

On any page of any product, you can have a Facebook's Like'n'Comments block to maintain the the statistics of user likes and comments. To embed this block in your pages, edit the template skin/common_files/customer/main/product.tpl and add the following lines of code to it:

<div id="fb-root"></div><script  src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#appId=136267806421194&xfbml=1"></script>
{include file="modules/Facebook_Tab/customer/like_button.tpl" product=$product}
Note: In the older versions of X-Cart, edit the template skin1/customer/main/product.tpl instead.

If you have an application ID, you can replace the appId parameter in the script URL with your application ID value. By default, the parameter takes the ID value from the xcart_shop application.

Or, you can just add the Like button alone and maintain the statistics with the button. To embed the button in your pages, edit the same template, skin/common_files/customer/main/product.tpl, and add the following lines of code to it:

{assign var="comments_url" value="`$http_location`/product.php?productid=`$product.productid`"}
<script  src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script><fb:like href="{$comments_url}" show_faces="true" width="450"></fb:like>

Adding to Facebook

To add Facebook Tab to your page on Facebook:

1. Make sure that you use Facebook as personal profile by turning off the "Facebook as Page" feature when associating pages with FacebookTab.

2. On the Facebook Tab application page, enter the full URL of your X-Cart store and then click the Apply button.

3. If the URL is marked valid (green indicator), click the Select pages button and select the page to add the X-Cart store to.

4. On the next page that appears, click the Add X-Cart Shop button to add your store to your page on Facebook.

XC FBtab-04.png

5. Once pages are matched with FacebookTab, you can switch back to the "Facebook as Page" mode.

Getting help

For more information and further assistance, please refer to:

FacebookTab Frequently asked questions

How can I track sales or any stats from FacebookTab?

You can track the stats if you integrate X-Cart with Google Analytics. You'll be able to see visitors coming from Facebook and track their sales using the "E-Commerce" section in your Google Analytics account.

How can I add the tab to my profile page?

Facebook does not allow adding application tabs to profile pages. You can add the tab only to community/business Facebook pages.

However, you can convert your personal profile to a business page: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18918. Keep in mind that once you have converted your profile to a Page, you can't revert this change.

I cannot use FB-app due to a permanent redirect

Probably you are surfing with the "Facebook as a page" feature enabled. Switch back you your personal profile and then add the tab to the required pages. When you are done, you can switch back to using the "Facebook as a page" feature.

The tab doesn't appear on my pages

Make sure that you are adding the products tab to community or business pages, and your pages are listed in "The pages where X-Cart products tab is already added:" section of the FB-application. If the list is empty, it means that the tab isn't added to any pages.

However, if the list is not empty, and the tab still fails to appear, click on the "Edit page apps" link of the required page. Then find the "X-Cart Shop" application in the central area and then click on the "Edit settings" link. Now, add the tab in the popup box that appears.

In this popup, you can also rename your tab.

How can I rename the tab?

Click on the "Edit info" link on your community page and then select the "Apps" link on the menu at the left. Find the "X-Cart Shop" application in the central area and then click on the "Edit settings" link. In the popup box that appears, enter the desired name and then click the "Save" button.

I have installed FacebookTab, but the page is blank

Your http://www.example.com/fb_tab/index.php page is blank?

Probably, the reason is in incorrect permissions set for the templates on your server. Please make sure that the templates are copied properly:

  • for X-Cart 4.1.x-4.3.x - the "<x-cart>/skin1/modules/Facebook_Tab" directory exists and is not empty
  • for X-Cart 4.4.x - the "<x-cart>/skin/common_files/modules/Facebook_Tab" directory exists and is not empty

If directory is empty, copy the respective files from "<x-cart>/fb_tab/templates/modules/" directory to the directories that are empty.

In these examples, <x-cart> stands for the directory, where your X-Cart is installed.

How to show hidden products in FacebookTab?

A disabled product appears neither in the web store nor in the FB-Tab. However, a category does.

So, create a new category, then assign a few active products to it, then disable this category for the web store, but enable it for the Tab on the module configuration page in the admin area.

How to make products tab default for all users?

Facebook doesn't allow to set a certain page tab as landing page for visitors who already "like" that page (or for page owners). Instead, those visitors see the first page tab on the list (usually the "Wall" tab). But new visitors and people who do not yet "like" the page see the tab set as "Default Landing Tab" by the page admin. For more information, please refer to these pages:

Following Facebook's logic, it is supposed that people who already "like" your page are familiar with that page and can easily find necessary information on it.

By the way, you can move the "Online Shop" link higher in the left navigation pane.