Do You Know What Facebook DeBugger Tool Is?

Photo by debspoons
Photo by debspoons

How Facebook Linter or DeBugger Tool Can Help Your Blog Post Display Correctly.

Most of us use Facebook for communication and social media and just plain old hanging out with people.

But everyone also knows more and more people are using it for business and particularly, Facebook is being used by bloggers to promote their blogs and develop relationships.

But many of us don’t know that FB has developer tools that can be quite helpful.  I found out about such a tool the other day.

Many of you in my Blogging group on Facebook may be aware that I kept having trouble posting my recent posts in our group.

When we post a link in Facebook, you usually get the post with an image and the link to the post along with some text noting what the post is about. Well, for my last 3 posts, I’ve gotten error messages when I posted my link.   I got a 404 Error.

The weird thing is that some people if they clicked on the link would be taken to my post.  Others got the 404 error and couldn’t get to the post. I tried a number of things.

At first I thought it was because I had just updated WordPress to its next version.  That’s when I started having the trouble. But no one else I spoke to seem to have that problem.

I checked my permalinks too and saw something a little weird there too (but that’s another upcoming article.) Smile This whole thing was extremely annoying to me because people get frustrated really quickly and then don’t want to go to your blog anymore.

Well, after trying everything I could think of, I finally called my friend and buddy, Ben Wehde, who I call the WordPress Guru!

The first thing he did was send me to a Facebook Developer page.  Now, I knew that Facebook had Developer stuff but never looked into it.

I had enough of development when I was in school, but I found out there is a very interesting and totally awesome tool there and I want to share it with you.

In particular, I’ve known other people who have posted the blogs, but their images didn’t display or some other weird thing happened when we posted our links and I think this will be useful to them as well. So here’s what I found out.

Facebook Has a DeBugger Tool

I never thought about the inner workings of what happens when I post a link to Facebook so this was extremely interesting to me.

So listen up ‘cause you may need this at some point in time if you are using Facebook regularly to post your links. Facebook debugger tool can fix  these problems and probably many more but these are the two I’ll focus on.

  • Getting a 404 error when you post your link on Facebook?
  • Picture or images not displaying when you post your link on Facebook?

There’s a simple one-time fix for this problem. Go to When you get there, you’ll see a text box where you can place the URL that is giving you the problem.  Enter your trouble URL into the box.


What Does This Do?

What I found out is that Facebook caches our links!   Just like sometimes we have to go and clear our cache on our computer to correct some weird stuff, we may have to clear our cache on Facebook. Weird uh?

But as soon as Ben directed me to the Facebook Developer page where this is located, I plopped the link that was throwing a 404 error in my Facebook Blogging group and hit the DeBug button.

Then I came back into my Facebook Blogger group and posted my link again and refreshed the page by hitting F5 and Waaa-la! (Ben Wehde – you are awwwwesummm!)

Trouble was all gone!  Instantly!  My link showed up,  my image and my description and all was right with the world again after 3-4 weeks of very frustrating ‘head spinning!’  OMG was I relieved!

How Does It Work?

So what happens (summarized version) is that Facebook updated the cached information for the URL you post.    Bottom line is that this makes Facebook display your updated content for that URL.

Try It, You’ll Like It!

If you are having trouble displaying info or something weird is going on, go to Facebook Linter or FB Debugger.   Put your URL in.  It then grabs the content from your page and displays the parsed  meta tags and fixes the problem.

Now I won’t go into too much detail on what that is ‘cause if you’re not a developer, it can make your brain go wonky!  But bottom line is we can control the content of what is displayed and shared on Facebook.

When you post your link to your blog on Facebook and it displays the Title, Image and description from your blog and you ‘change’ it to say what you want it to say, it’s because of the Open Graph meta tags.

For our purposes however, you don’t have to worry about that right now, but I thought it’s a nice little tidbit for you to know.

So I’ve bookmarked that URL for the future, in case I need to use it again or someone else has that nasty little ‘displaying an image or content from their blog on Facebook.’

If you’re having trouble getting some particular page to work in the way you’re expecting, try the debugger tool on the URL first and see if that clears it up.

For additional information on how it works, read the Debugging URLs with the Facebook URL Linter Hope this helps.  Have you ever had these weird problems on Facebook?  Do you know of anyone else who might have.  You can now share and help them as well.

Take care for now,


  1. says

    Thanks for a very useful tip. The only time that I remember using Facebook developer tools was to create a like box for my blog (which I have since removed).

    The debug tool is good to know about. I’m not familiar with Ben Wehde and I’m not keen about joining another membership site right now (even though it is free). I just followed him on Twitter though and circled him on Google+. Thanks for introducing us to him. (Once I get to know him a little better, I’m pretty sure that I’ll sign up.)
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…What is Your Favorite WordPress Plugin? #FridayFindsMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sherryl,

      I didn’t mean to promote his membership site – just meant to introduce him as he is an excellent resource and is called the WordPress Guru. It’s always good to *know* people in case you have a question. I don’t think he has another site, so that’s the one I linked too. Anyway, I don’t blame you. It is about getting to know people, for sure.

      What I would advise though is bookmark that little handy tool in case you need to use it one day. 🙂 I thought it was great and I always try to share good tools.

      Hope you are having a fabulous week-end!
      Take care and talk soon,

      • says

        I’m very grateful that you included that link and I knew you weren’t promoting Ben’s membership site.

        I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a membership site for a while and I’m intrigued by Ben’s approach. (I had expected to be able to access some info site without having to be a member. The fact that visitors have to create an account is actually brilliant. (It implies that access is valuable enough for at least your name and email address.)

        I was curious how someone could find Ben in the first place. (So far, I’ve found out that was originally part of Anyways, thanks for sending me down this path. I’ve been wanting to take my blog to the next level and that one link has stimulated a lot of ideas for me!
        Sherryl Perry recently posted…How to Add Follow Buttons to WordPress without a PluginMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Barbara,

    It seems that your 404 error is gone! Congratulations 🙂
    Sorry for my delay in response and that was because I couldn’t visit our group soon enough and although my name was mentioned, I wasn’t tagged. So, I didn’t get a Facebook notification. Anyways, I am glad you are back in swing!

    Yes, Facebook developer tool is a great way to know why sometimes your images are not picked up by Facebook and some other times, why 404 errors are coming when you share! A great tool to keep in your toolbox.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…ClickToTweet – An Easy Way To Get More TweetsMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Kumar,

      It definitely helped on one of my posts. Still working with understanding why it works for some and not for others when it comes to throwing 404 errors, but it works most of the time. I think I mentioned that. I’ll do an update as soon as it’s working consistently.

      Thanks and not to worry about delayed responses. 😉 We all have that.

      Have a great week-end!

  3. says

    So that’s what the problem is Barbara? I kept wondering why I’d post links and the url and description would show but then there was just a blank box. I couldn’t figure out what the deal was, so I ended up clicking on don’t show the preview. Gosh, technology changes so quickly. I’m going to have to check into that tool. Thank you. Lisa
    Lisa Magoulas recently posted…Vegan Mac and CheeseMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      The first time I used this tool it worked and worked well. I’m not saying this will help everyone who has this error with displaying the page. Let me know if it helps, but I was told this is how this works and helps. Let me know how it goes.

      Hope all is well girl.


    • says

      Hi Sylviane,

      Thanks. This is one of those tools we put in our closet to save for a rainy day. Tool does many different things as a developer tool, but these are the problems most people have. Glad you found it good information.

  4. says

    Hi Barbara,

    I didn’t know about the debugger tool on Facebook.
    I saw you on Sylviane’s blog, so I had to come and check you out.

    Sure glad I did. 🙂 thank you for the great information.

    I’m going to have to go check it out now. Thank you for your time in preparing this post.

    Geri Richmond

    • says

      Hi Geri,

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I didn’t know about it either and thought it was a good share since only Developers seem to know enough about it to make it work.

      Hope you find it helpful and will share.
      Take care,

  5. says

    Hey Barbara, great post.
    I got the error something like 404 error and i was trying to configure my WordPress thought it is causing the error, i tried clearing up my cache several times but the problem was still there, i will try this Facebook debugger tool and see if this helps me post correctly on Facebook, I am glad i found this simple and effective post.

  6. says

    Hey Barbara,

    For some reason I missed this post but it could have been one you were having problems with posting.

    I didn’t realize you didn’t know about this! Gosh, I think it was Mayura that wrote about it early last year that I learned about this and then of course every time I have an issue with my image not pulling I would check this out. It’s my normal routine every morning after my post goes live now. I set up my links for the different groups and I check Facebook’s debug feature to make sure my image is pulling. Tada!

    Thanks for sharing this though because if you didn’t know then no telling how many others didn’t either. Glad you got that part of it figured out at least.

    Adrienne recently posted…Why Branding Matters: Powerful Tips from Brand.comMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Adrienne,

      Nope Ben just told me about it. I’m still getting errors on some posts and don’t know how to fix them but moving on. Yep I’m sure most people don’t know about this – you know why? Because it’s a developer tool and most people run from that stuff. Even though I’m a developer I never once through to check FB images *anywhere.* Anyway, I’m digging deeper now trying to understand more about it and the ‘other’ errors it has to fix. Then I’ll write a post on that.

      I think the problem is there is so much to read and so much to share, it’s hard to ‘catch’ and ‘read’ everything! We’ll have to keep each other posted!
      Talk soon,

  7. says

    Hi Barbara!

    I read a post about the debugger quite some time ago. I was so happy to read it as I was having the “no image/no description” issue on my own blog as well as others and the 404 error. I quickly bookmarked the link and use it quite often. As a matter of fact, I used it today to share a post.

    Definitely good info to pass along! Thanks for sharing!
    Bren recently posted…The Infidelity All Around Is Affecting My Happy MarriageMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Bren,

      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to your comments. Checked out your website and found it interesting.

      It’s good to find tools that we can all use as bloggers. I didn’t know about this one at all. Anyway, share it with others as it definitely can help. Thanks for visiting and I look forward to interacting with you.

      Take care,

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