6 Free Social Media WordPress Plugins To Help Spread Your Content
What’s up everyone?
Today we’re going to review 6 of the top WordPress plugins that add social media sharing buttons to your website.
To get the word out there about your content and grow your traffic from social networks.
They say “Content is King” and while we completely live by this rule and always strive to bring quality over quantity, what’s good content worth if nobody sees it? You know, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?They say 'Content is King', but what's good content worth if nobody sees it?!
Therefore, after creating awesome content that brings value to your readers it’s high time to get it out there. To make it as easy as possible for your audience to share it with their peers, you need to include social sharing buttons to your website that permit the sharing of your posts or pages.
What social media venues are the best you might ask? Well, that depends on where your audience is, but, generally speaking, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and StumbleUpon are among your best bets. Pinterest is great too if you have beautiful visuals to share.
So… the selection process.
We dived head first into the WordPress plugin repository, searched for “social share buttons” and looked through the first pages of results, selecting whatever caught our eye.
After that, we checked the descriptions to see if the products do match our needs and factored in a few more aspects (one of them was to have a rating of at least 4 stars), which eventually got it down to 6 final plugins to test and review.
We were proud to see that our Social Pug kept its position amongst the highest rated plugins so we included it as well on our list because it’s a product crafted with love, in which we believe confidently.
We approached the testing process from a non-developer user’s point of view, from a person that just started out with WordPress that wanted to quickly try a few options before taking the final decision. In this respect, it was important to see how easy to understand and user-friendly the settings area was, as well as how good the buttons looked and how many styling options were offered.
We hope this will help you get an idea of how these plugins work and ease your process of selecting the one that fits your needs best.
So, without any further ado and in NO particular order, let’s proceed!
1. Social Media Share Buttons
Tested version: 2.0.8
The first thing we noticed was the super-friendly, clean settings area, almost idiot proof we might add – perfect for someone with no WordPress background whatsoever.
They walk you step by step through the settings area and you simply check your preferred options. It also features a live preview – which we think is an awesome and, maybe not necessary, but good-to-have feature.
They also offer a wide variety of templates for buttons – most of them though in the premium version. However, you can’t literally style the buttons yourself (except minor adjustments like size or button spacing) – at least not in the free version. We personally prefer to have more liberty in styling the buttons. In this case, you have to pick a template and go with it – this is great if you need a particular design that they offer “as is” (you do have where to choose from).
Most of the important social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest) are available in the free version.
Floating bars are also a premium feature, as well as a Google Analytics integration.
2. Kiwi Social Share
Tested version: 2.0.4
This one first got to us by their live preview feature and the drag & drop option to arrange your buttons on the spot.
In the free version you have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn and most of the important settings you would possibly require. However, if by any chance you’re looking to have more social media networks available, your buttons in a monochrome style or activate the features on certain custom post types, you’ll need the premium version.
A cool feature available in their free version is the “Click to Tweet” functionality.
And a little minus: we couldn’t order the inline buttons differently from the floating bar. Not that big of a deal, but would have been nice.
3. Social Pug
Tested version: 1.3.5
This one is our own baby, that we keep nurturing with love and attention. We are still improving it and learning along the way from your direct requests and reviews, but we also try to learn from others’ mistakes (or, why not, successes as well) too.
Social Pug features a simple & easy to use interface, with all the basic and most important settings that we truly believe will save you a lot of time in having it all up and running. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest are all available in the free version.
You can edit the floating sidebar and inline content buttons separately, including adding or removing social networks and rearranging the buttons in a particularly desired order.
The PRO version extends the functionality of the plugin by providing a wide variety of social networks to choose from, adds a mobile sticky bar to follow the users as they scroll the page, a share pop-up lightbox, custom colors to name a few.
We value clean, minimal design a lot (like, A LOT) so we tried to incorporate this into the social media sharing buttons’ look & feel as well!
We are considering adding a live preview in a future update – we’ll keep you posted on this one.
Tested version: 3.33.3
We’re suckers for simple, sleek designs – which is why we fell in love with this plugin’s settings area. Very clear and easy to use, features live preview as well and quite a lot of options, like Pinterest alt text, minimum share count to display, floating bars and many social media platforms available.
The buttons look beautiful too and they’re responsive – a clean, minimal approach, with the possibility of changing their colors as well. You can basically make them any color you want (but please do consider beforehand whether it matches your website overall aesthetic or not). We didn’t particularly like that the “square” option actually had the corners a tad bit rounded but oh, well – you can’t have it all, can you?
They also included a sharing report but we didn’t get to the point of actually testing it so no opinions in this regard.
This plugin is completely free, so do consider donating if you end up using it, to help the developers keep it up and running.
Tested version: 3.4.2
This plugin has a neat interface, but we didn’t particularly enjoy it at first glance. It didn’t feel very user-friendly due to the large amount of various settings that might be a bit difficult to digest for someone who’s setting up a plugin for the first time.
However, they offer a large variety in customising your social media share buttons, positioning them, changing their label text, plus social share counts and other additional settings. But for example, you can’t fully style the buttons with just one click – you need Custom CSS for this.
The free version includes only Facebook and Twitter as social media platforms, but they do offer a great load of additional settings via their add-ons (more social media networks, floating sidebar, click to tweet etc).
Overall, we feel this plugin might be a good option for more experienced users.
6. Sassy Social Share
Tested version: 3.1.1
It features all imaginable social media platforms available (they say they have 100+), fully customisable buttons and plenty of settings options to both inlined content and floating sidebar tools.
The buttons are flat & simple, with a clean design and you can change everything from shape to color to size and spacing, even the position of your share count. You can even add a border to the buttons and subtle effects like slight color change when hovering over.
A nice detail touch we appreciated was the reminder to save your settings after each change.
Sassy Social Share is also a completely free plugin, so please consider donating if you end up using it.
And it’s a wrap!
Again, please note that these reviews are the result of a first glance at what the mentioned plugins can do. The client we had in mind was a beginner diving in the sea of social media plugins in order to pick what fits their website best.
If you have any technical questions or particular inquires about any of the plugins above, please contact their respectful owners.
Don’t forget to share the article – you know, to help put our own sharing buttons to good use! 😉
And before ending this, head to the comment section below and tell us about your experience with WordPress social media sharing plugins!
See you soon!