How to Create Facebook Application with PHP for Beginner

Facebook is the fastest growing social networking application that currently has more than 350 million active users. One of it’s key features is Facebook Platform, that enable us to build  applications on Facebook. Currently there are a lot of Facebook  applications built by developers around the world such as game, which is the most popular application on Facebook.

This tutorial will guide you through the creation of a Facebook application using Facebook PHP API that will display Hello World text, called Hola Mundo.  Before we begin to create Facebook application, there are a few things that you have to know:

  • You should be familiar with PHP  programming language
  • You need to be familiar with web hosting fundamentals and have a place to deploy your application
  • You must have a Facebook account

If you have meet the requirements above, you are ready to get started  building Facebook application through this tutorial.

A. Setting Up Your Application

Facebook Developers Area

Facebook Developers Area

  • Type the application name (Hola  Mundo), choose Agree on Facebook Term and then click Create Application button
Create New Application

Create New Application

  • Then Facebook will create two keys for your application, the API key and the secret key, write them and save on a file for later use.
Setup Application

Setup Application

  • Go to Canvas tab and type a unique URL for your application (hollamundo) on Canvas Page URL, it must be unique or you’ll  get error message if the URL has been used by another application.  In this case i use hollamundo rather than holamundo because it has been used by another application. On Canvas Callback URL, type the URL for the application page on your server . Choose FBML On Render Method option under Canvas Settings,  which enables you to build full Facebook Platform applications that deeply integrate into a user’s Facebook experience. Let another setting options to it’s default then click Save Changes button.
Canvas Settings

Canvas Settings

  • At this time your application is ready, try to type your Canvas Page URL on browser and see what the results. What you get is an error message because your application doesn’t exists on your server, ok don’t worry, lets go to next steps.

B. Configure Application on Your Host

After configuring your application on Facebook, it’s time to do a little bit coding and some server administration tasks.

  • Download Facebook  Client Library and extract it, you will find two directories inside,  footprints and php. Copy all files from php directory and upload them to your facebook application directory on your server, that must be the same with Canvas Callback URL you set before.
  • Create index.php file with the following contents:
include_once 'facebook.php';

$apikey    = 'typeyourapikeyhere';
$secretkey = 'typeyoursecretkeyhere';

$fbObj     = new Facebook($apikey, $secretkey);

$myuid     = $fbObj->require_login();

$fbml      = "<h2>Hello world, my name is <fb:name uid=\"$myuid\" useyou=\"false\" />,"
           . "welcome to my first facebook application!</h2>";
echo $fbml;

Simple right ? Facebook has made it simple using FBML, all you have to do is apply the predifined tags on your code. You can read the complete explanation about FBML on Facebook Developers Wiki page here .

line 2:  include the facebook main library file

line 4&5:  define your api key and secret key

line 7:  create an instance of Facebook client class

line 8:  get your facebook user id (uid), the require_login method is used to force user to logged into Facebook before using the application. If they are not logged in, Facebook will redirect them to Facebook login page first and then brings them to your application page after they logged in.

line 9:  your page content’s that display your name using FBML Fb:name tag.

Now your application is complete and ready to be accessed by anyone in the world. Type your Canvas Page URL on browser and you’ll get Allow Access page which is default for Facebook application for the first time access, click Allow button to access your application.

Allow Access Page

Allow Access Page

Your Application Page

Your Application Page

You can view live example application above here

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  1. says


    Great tutorial, however I did not work for me.

    I created a directory in my website

    I called it ‘facebook’.

    I created the index.php file and dragged it into the my new ‘facebook’ directory along with the the php files in the facebook client library. I did this using FTP.

    When I go to preview the app I get this message…
    Not Found
    The requested URL /facebook/ was not found on this server.

    Apache/1.3.37 Server at Port 80

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong and I hope you could help!



  2. Hass says

    hi lorenz

    i’m now stuck at the canvas callback url
    i understand that i can’t use localhost for my application and neither do i have a webhost. I saw that you use some ip address for the callback url. can you help me with these cuase i think that is my main problem to display my application on me please.
    thank u so much

  3. says

    Nice tutorial. Like that. I am facing 1 problem now. Redirection Problem. When I hit the Url of my app then it start infinite redirection url. I think the token is not getting verified. Please let me know how can I resolve this??

    Rahul Anand

  4. says

    Quick question, it looks like I could just add the rest of my php script under the code facebook provides, so in other words if i had a stand alone php script I could easly turn it into a facebook app. I this right what I am understanding?

  5. U Tanna says


    I am facing some unique problem in fb app.
    Recently we have shifted our fb app to another server
    We have installed lamp server on new server and copied all files in that new server, keeping all root directories and folder positions to be same and also changed all pointing to new servers.

    But when we tried to open app it is showing us “Failed to load source for:”

    Please help

  6. says

    Thank you for this guide. We will insert this facebook login on our rating and review site. It works already on our test-site. The only thing we could not manage is to replace the text “login with facebook” with the login button of facebook. Any idea how to solve that problem? Thank you.

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