When Facebook first released Instant Articles and Automattic released the official WordPress Facebook Instant Article Plugin we were super keen to add it to as many WordPress sites as possible and speed up our readers experience. Unfortunately we quickly ran into problems. Many of the converted articles contained critical errors and Facebook would not approve our Page for use. Some of these errors were from Plugins we were using while others were simply from the WordPress Editor. Instant Articles have a very strict content syntax were as WordPress does not, the simplest thing such as an <img> tag nested inside a <h2> tag was enough to throw an error, and the official plugin didn’t seem to handle these well at all.
On top of that the official plugin was limiting, the styling settings were sparse, while you could set options at a global level there was no easy way to override them for an individual post (something we wanted to do for branded articles) and there was no way to easily view analytics for your articles.
Through this frustration, WP Native Articles was born.
We were convinced that it was possible to build a better content parser than the official one. One that would not expect perfectly formed HTML but could take WordPress’ messy structure and adapt to it. So, after many months of development and iteration, in November 2016 we finally released v1.0.0 of WP Native Articles.
Immediately we could see our hard work had paid off. Errors in articles went down, there were fewer warnings, we could override every setting on a per post basis if wished and finally we could easily see article analytics easily from the WordPress dashboard. Though pleased with our success we didn’t rest and we kept iterating through the firsts half of 2017, pushing out new versions with new features and more and more compatibility.
In the autumn of 2017 we completely rewrote the Content Parser from the ground up and released it out in beta in v1.3.2. It was even better than the first, being faster and way more accurate. We’ve also been adding in more and more features such as the Placement Manager, Mass Post Syncer and our advanced analytics integrations as well as making it compatible with as many other WordPress Plugins as possible.
We have put a lot of hard work into it over the last few years and it is a project we are immensely proud of. We’ve got big features planned for the future and we are firmly committed to making it THE WordPress Plugin to use for Facebook Instant Articles.
We love using WP Native Articles, all our customers love using WP Native Articles, and we know you’ll love using it too.