How to Follow WordPress Blogs From Anywhere on the Fediverse

You can even follow us directly!

In case you weren’t aware, there’s a plugin for WordPress that lets blogs talk to the Fediverse, and it’s sponsored / owned by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. You can follow a publication, see its articles pop up in your social feed, and comment on them from your own instance. If a blog has comments enabled, your responses will show up on the other end.

A comment originating from Firefish vs how it looks on here. You can scroll to the end of this article to see it!

We Distribute has been experimenting with this kind of thing for almost as long as we’ve been around, and we’ve migrated to the new 1.0.0 release of WordPress-ActivityPub. The guide below will clue you in on how to follow us.

Step 1. Find the Actor

To access our publication on the Fediverse, you’ll need to first find our account details. In ActivityPub, this is called an Actor. While there’s an increasing amount of WordPress blogs that support this, not every publication necessarily spells out what their Actor is.

To follow an Actor in the Fediverse, you only need an Actor’s handle or an Actor’s URL. One or the other will work fine.

Our Actor URL is:

Our handle is:

We highly recommend to WordPress admins using this plugin to publish these details somewhere that’s easy for readers to find. Because the plugin does nothing to change a website visually, readers may have no idea that this kind of functionality exists for a publication.

For most Fediverse platforms, the Search bar actually does more than just search for things – it can be used to pull in remote accounts and posts for you to look at.

The search form on Mastodon.

Paste whatever you copied from Step 1 into your search bar, and hit Enter. If everything worked correctly, you should be able to see a profile for our blog!

A WordPress ActivityPub Actor as seen by Mastodon.

The integration is still pretty limited on profile customization. For the most part, subscribers will only be able to see the site’s name, logo, and tagline in a profile view. Hopefully, more customization options will come in the near future.

Step 3. Follow Us!

Hit the follow button, and your request should come through. If you don’t see any posts in the feed, don’t worry! You can copy and paste links to any of our articles, and that will pull the post into your social feed.

What an Article activity looks like on Mastodon: a link, and a card preview.

One thing to keep in mind is that different Fediverse platforms all render articles differently. If a WordPress blog is just posting Article activities by default instead of Notes, Mastodon will default to just displaying the URL. Firefish, Akkoma, Friendica, and others will instead try to render the basic HTML and inline images.

The same post, shown on Firefish.

There are a few different options for admins to decide how to display federated posts. Unfortunately, there’s not a great “one size fits all” option – we choose to send out the entire Article contents for other blogging platforms to take advantage of. Other admins might prefer to change the output, and turn the posts into Notes with a brief description and a link.

Various options for rendering articles on the ActivityPub side.

Sean Tilley

Sean Tilley has been a part of the federated social web for over 15+ years, starting with his experiences with back in 2008. Sean was involved with the Diaspora project as a Community Manager from 2011 to 2013, and helped the project move to a self-governed model. Since then, Sean has continued to study, discuss, and document the evolution of the space and the new platforms that have risen within it.


  1. Sean Tilley says: This is a test comment, demonstrating how my reply will show up on our site.

  2. kris says:

    I added on my mastodon contact but I never see this article on my stream . Did I do something wrong

  3. LPS says:

    @news great article! It’s so great now to be able to follow the blog directly from the #fediverse 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button