Joining the Fediverse with WordPress

My first explorations of the Fediverse started in 2017 and again in 2018 with a data-centric account, but like many others, I lost interest and my accounts were dormant for years. With the announcement that Elon Musk is trying to buy Twitter many people started to post in the Fediverse (again). I updated some of my things like MastoVue, a tool to look at the local timelines of Mastodon instances and search for hashtags, and the visualization of Fediverse instances.

As another experiment, I made this blog subscribeable in the Fedivery by adding the ActivityPub protocol. If you search for @luca with your Fediverse account, you can subscribe to it and get the full posts directly in your Fediverse client. (To be honest, I am not sure if it works as intended because old posts aren’t fetched, so I need to write this post to test it.)

The whole process was super easy thanks to the wonderful activitypub-plugin by Pfefferle. Just search for it in your WordPress backend, install it, activate it and you are done. After activating the plugin, you can search for @username@domain.tld and subscribe. In the plugin settings, I changed the shortlink at the end of the entry to a full link, but that’s not necessary.

This blog showed the error “503 remote SSL certificate could not be verified” the first time I tried to search for it and later no error message but still didn’t show it. The issue was my SEO plugin YOAST, where the author archives were deactivated. After changing that setting, it worked.

For debugging I used the webfinger discovery tool, which showed me the link to the author profile. When I visited it, I was redirected to the homepage and knew that something was wrong. That the SEO plugin was the issue was a guess, but I don’t use many plugins. The next step would have been to deactivate plugins one by one.

Search for @luca with your fediverse account and let me know if it works.


9 responses to “Joining the Fediverse with WordPress”

  1. […] englischen Blog unter habe ich kurz über die Technik […]

  2. Ich habe dich jetzt in Mastodon abonniert. Mir zeigt die App bei deinem Profil 834 Beiträge an. Direkt Artikel sehe ich keine. Nun schauen wir mal. Würde mich freuen, wenn das klappt. Ich überlege nämlich auch das Plugin zu aktivieren 😊

    1. Luca Hammer

      Das liegt wohl daran, dass die Instanzen Beiträge nicht rückwirkend abrufen, sondern nur zukünftige. Es muss also mindestens ein User zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung abonniert haben, damit sie angezeigt werden.

  3. @luca great tools, thanks 😀

  4. @luca It kinda blows my mind that this works.

  5. […] found this guide particularly useful, as it links to Webfinger to test that you’ve set it up […]

  6. @luca I wanted to say this is fantastic! I posted this on HN: don't post HN pretty much never, but this needs more visibility.

  7. @luca I'm not having any luck finding my posts. I installed the plugin, made a post, and can't find anything under or Any hints?

  8. @luca welcome! By the way, mastodon doesn’t fetch older posts, but you can paste this post url into mastodon search to interact with it!

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