Social media has without a doubt revolutionized the way internet users share information online. When I first started blogging, it was common for readers to subscribe to blogs using RSS.
Nowadays, however, it’s more common for people to subscribe to a website’s Twitter, Facebook or Google+ page in order to be notified of new content.
Social media has become such an integral part of the internet that for the majority of websites, social media traffic is their second highest source of traffic!
As a website owner, you need to make sure you’re taking advantages of these changes by making it as easy as possible for people to share your content — which means including social media buttons on your website.
Let’s take a look at ten of the very best plugins (including both free and premium options) for displaying social media sharing bars and buttons on WordPress posts and pages…
1. Monarch – Part of Elegant Themes Membership
In a short space of time, Elegant Themes managed to establish their WordPress plugin Monarch as one of the best social media sharing solutions available online. The plugin is free to those who have a developer license at Elegant Themes (which costs $89 per year and grants access to their eighty-seven WordPress themes and five WordPress plugins).
Monarch allows you to display social media sharing buttons in a floating bar, in a pop-up, above and below content, and on a fly-in box at the bottom of each page. What’s more, buttons can also be displayed on both images and videos.
The buttons look gorgeous and the plugin offers support for over twenty social media networks. Monarch gives you many ways to change how things get displayed: allowing you to choose from various icon styles, shapes and colors. There’s an option to display the total number of shares next to each button and you can also define what triggers a pop-up or fly-in box to be displayed.
In short: Monarch is a well-rounded social media sharing solution that has an extremely user-friendly interface. If you’re already an Elegant Themes customer, I recommend giving this one a try first!
2. Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress – $14
Available from CodeCanyon for only $14, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is a feature-packed social media solution that supports over twenty social media networks.
If you’re looking for a social media sharing plugin with heaps of customization options, Easy Social Share Buttons is for you. It has dozens of different settings pages and boasts twelve icon sets, nineteen built-in templates, a template customizer, four button styles, nine counter styles, four total counter styles, a shortcode generator, and much much more. Sharing buttons can be displayed above and below content, in a floating bar, in a fly-in at the bottom of pages or via shortcode inside the content area.
The sheer number of options on offer may seem a little overwhelming; however, thankfully, the plugin also features a handy customization wizard that helps you set everything up the way you want in a matter of minutes.
3. Simple Share Buttons Adder – FREE+
Simple Share Buttons Adder is a minimal sharing solution that allows you to automatically insert social media sharing buttons above and below your content area. Buttons can also be inserted into your homepage, archives, and excerpts.
Fifteen social media services are supported. The plugin lets you change the text that’s displayed next to sharing buttons. Additionally, you can also modify the styling of buttons, alignment, and the container. Despite being a simple sharing solution, the plugin offers nine unique button designs, allows the number of shares to be displayed, and comes packaged with its own widget.
Simple Share Buttons Plus (the premium version) is available from $9.99 and offers various additional features such as retina-ready images, click tracking, and sharing statistics.
4. Social Sharing by Danny – FREE
Social Sharing by Danny is one of my favorite social media plugins for WordPress. It’s a simple solution that adds sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, to the end of posts, pages, and media.
The plugin has just a few basic options. You can change the text label, define your Twitter username, and choose whether 16×16 pixel or 32×32 pixel icons are displayed.
Social Sharing by Danny is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a minimal solution for your website.
5. AddThis – FREE+
AddThis (or to give it its official plugin name: ‘Smart Website Tools by AddThis‘), is one of the most popular social media solutions for WordPress. In order to use the plugin, you need to register with the AddThis service.
It offers ten different social media sharing positions. Five of these are free to use and five are restricted to those who upgrade to their pro plan (which retails at either $12 per month or $99 per year). They also offer four follow tools, two marketing tools, and eight recommended content tools.
Everything is configured on the AddThis website. All you have to do on your own website is install the plugin and make sure your account has been activated. Once you’ve done that, any changes you make on your AddThis account will automatically be applied to your website.
The social media sharing tools are great and very easy to install. For each sharing tool, you can choose where the buttons are displayed, the size of buttons, and whether the page share count is displayed.
6. Shareaholic – FREE
Formerly known as Sexy Bookmarks (you can see why they changed the name!),Shareaholic is a versatile free WordPress plugin that offers social media sharing buttons and related content blocks.
The plugin has an interesting configuration page. You can customize your sharing buttons individually for above and below your content on posts, pages, your home page, and categories (i.e. eight unique areas). The customizer allows you to choose from four themes and from seven headlines. If you prefer, the headline can be removed.
The customizer also lets you change the position, layout, size, counter, and alignment, of your buttons. A total of eighty-three social networks and internet services are supported by the plugin.
7. ShareThis: Share Buttons and Social Analytics – FREE
ShareThis is a popular social media sharing solution that offers three button styles. The plugin supports a whopping one-hundred-and-twenty social media networks and services.
Buttons can be displayed above and/or below your content area and there’s also both a choice of either a floating bar or a fixed bar that can be displayed at the top of each page.
Where ShareThis lags behind some competitors is its lack of icon sets. It only offers one style of icons (in either small or large sizes). Official sharing buttons are available — although it’s a little disappointing to see such a versatile plugin not offering any additional icon styles to choose from.
8. Floating Social Bar – FREE
If you want a simple social media sharing solution, you should definitely considerFloating Social Bar. The plugin displays a simple row of official sharing buttons at the top of posts, pages, and media. When a user scrolls down the page, the sharing bar remains fixed at the top of the page.
The plugin supports Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Only a few options are available in the admin area, such as adding a label above the sharing bar, and defining your Twitter username.
9. Jetpack – FREE
Jetpack has evolved into one of the most versatile WordPress plugins available to WordPress users. A total of 34 modules are included with Jetpack and more are continually being added by Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com).
The sharing module is simple but effective. It supports nine social media networks as well as email and print buttons. You can display icons, text, icons and text, or official sharing buttons. Buttons can be enabled on your home page, archives, search results, posts, pages, and media. The sharing label and Twitter username can also be defined.
Jetpack provides a simple sharing solution. The output looks great, and it only takes seconds to configure.
10. Mashshare – FREE+
Inspired by the news blog Mashable, Mashshare is a big-and-bold social media plugin. The free version supports Facebook and Twitter and displays the total number of shares and views. The sharing bar can be displayed above and/or below posts, pages, and other post types.
A subscription box is also available. You can configure the contents of your subscription box by using the WordPress editor. If you prefer, you can link the subscribe button directly to a URL. The subscription box is a fantastic addition to the plugin and one which distinguishes Mashshare from the competition.
Nine premium add-ons are available for Mashshare. This includes an add-on to add support for 17 other networks, analytics, and a Facebook like bar. Add-ons retail at €18 per add-on for a single site license.
SumoMe is a suite of tools deigned to grow web traffic with a free WordPress plugin offering all sorts of helpful features from list builders to scroll boxes and more besides.
In among all that is a feature for people to share web content on mobile or on the desktop. There’s also a convenient image sharer that encourages sharing to Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
While the plugin is free with the most basic features, you’ll be asked to upgrade if you want more options and control over customization.
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