With the popularity and ease of Facebook Live, parishes and organizations have embraced this platform for live streaming of their Divine Services. If you are broadcasting to Facebook Live only, you may be missing out on reaching visitors who are not on Facebook. There are several options available to you for connecting your website to your live broadcasts.
Facebook Live is a great product, but it has some limitations. With a paid service, such as Vimeo, you are able to easily embed a video player on your website one time that then can be used over and over again without any additional maintenance.
If you will be using Facebook Live only, please follow one of the options below for connecting your website to your Facebook Live video.
1) Link to Your Parish's Facebook Page
The easiest option is to add a link on your website to point your visitors to your Facebook page. A nice graphic will go a long way to attract attention to your site visitors. You might want to offer an explanation that a Facebook account isn't required to watch your live videos. Just make sure your Facebook page and video settings are set to public.
2) Use Facebook's Page Embed Plugin
Though you can't embed the player itself, you can embed your page's latest posts. When you are live streaming, the live video will appear at the top of the list. This is a pretty good option, and perhaps as close as you'll get to embedding the live player. The added bonus is that your website visitors will then get to see any past posts and archived videos in the embedded list.
To get started, visit: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/page-plugin/
The last step in this process is to place the embed code on your website. If you are using the Content Management System provided by the Department of Internet Ministries, follow these instructions for how to embed the code on your website: https://support.goarch.org/-/embed-iframe-evolution
3) Use a Third-Party Service such as VidLive
There are third-party products, such as VidLive (https://www.vidlive.co), which allow you to create a permanent embed of your Facebook Live videos on your website. Once it is set up, VidLive will be able to recognize when a new video is live on your Facebook page and make it available on your website. You can try it free for 7 days, and then (as of May 2020) costs $7/month or $75/year to use.
4) Manually Embed Your Facebook Live Video (For Each Broadcast)
A more elegant solution, but one that will require manual work for each broadcast, is to embed your Facebook Live video on your website. The adage "you pay for what you get" applies here. One of the limitations of Facebook Live is that the embed code changes for each new live video. So, each time you "go live", you will need to grab new embed code and update your website with it. Here are the recommended steps to take:
a) Start a new live video
b) In a web browser, navigate to your Videos on your Facebook page. On that page, you will see the current live video like in the example below. Click on that video.
c) After clicking on the video, click on the three dots on the right side of the page to reveal the contextual menu. Select "Embed".
d) On the popup that appears, you will see instructions to "Copy and paste this code into your website." Copy the entire code that begins with "<iframe src ..."
e) Navigate to your parish's website. If you are using the Evolution CMS provided by the Department of Internet Ministries, you can follow these instructions to add the embed code. If you are using a different Content Management System, you will want to consult the instructions for that particular system.