3 Great Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress | RazorSocial

3 Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress

sharing plugins If you want to drive more traffic to your website, you need to take advantage of social sharing. If one of your blog readers shares your post, their hundreds or thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook fans could see it. If those people then click and then share it too, that number is multiplied again and again.

So, when a website visitor comes to your blog, are the options for sharing your content on social media immediately obvious? As they scroll through your post, are social sharing icons visible?

If not, you could be losing out on a massive number of visitors, sales and conversions.

In fact, when a Google error meant that BuzzFeed disappeared from search engine listings, they focused their self-promotion entirely on social shares, and look where it got them!!

The quality of your content is important but it’s also equally important that you make it very obvious and easy for people to share it so that it gets maximum exposure. The easier you make it, the more likely people are to share your content with their friends and followers.

In this article, we will review three social sharing plugins for WordPress so that you can choose the best one to encourage your readers to share your content far and wide.

If you want to listen to the post, just click on the following or read on!

 

Digg Digg

Digg Digg is quite a popular social sharing WordPress plugin and lots of bloggers use it. With the Digg Digg plugin, you can display a floating widget to the left of your posts and also display a horizontal widget across the top or bottom of your posts.

 

Digg Digg
Social sharing options on the left

 

It supports sharing to the following platforms: Twitter, Buffer, Facebook Share, Facebook Like, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1, Reddit, dZone, TweetMeme, Topsy, Yahoo Buzz, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Sphinn, Designbump, WebBlend, BlogEngage, Serpd, Pinterest, Pocket and Tumblr.

However, Digg Digg hasn’t been updated since 2nd of July 2013. This means that, if it develops any bugs after a WordPress update, or if new social platforms start to emerge, the plugin will not be equipped to deal with them. Even though it seems to still be working well, there’s a high chance that it will start to fail or cause errors at some stage.

Advantages

  • It’s free.
  • Although it hasn’t been updated for a long time, there are still a lot of sites using it. This means it’s relatively stable and the people who use it are obviously happy enough with it.
  • The floating widget, which appears as you scroll through the post, is useful as it is always visible to users when they are scrolling. This encourages more sharing because you don’t need your readers to be at the top or bottom of your post to share it with their connections.

Disadvantages

  • It has not been updated in years so this product will eventually be taken off the market.
  • It does not have good mobile support. The floating vertical share bar does not work on a mobile device so you are relying on the sharing icons displayed across the top and the bottom of the post. There are better mobile sharing solutions and, because there will soon be more mobile devices in the world than people, it is really important to optimize sites and sharing tools for smartphones and tablets!
  • There are no analytics so you don’t know who is sharing your content, the percentage of shares you get, etc. If you want to be able to really analyze what works on your blog and what doesn’t, you need to be able to easily access details of what is being shared, and by who.

Flare

Flare is another WordPress social sharing plugin and it has a similar vertical share bar to that of Digg Digg, which is displayed alongside a post when you scroll. Flare supports a wide range of platforms and provides a good variety of customizable options so you can choose how the social sharing buttons will look and work on your site.

This is great because it means you can make sure the style and design fit your branding.

 

flare
The social sharing buttons will move as you scroll!

Flare is not tied exclusively to WordPress so you can install it on non-WordPress sites too. Two especially nice features of Flare are the statistics that are provided and the mobile sharing facility.

In terms of the stats, they provide a daily report that shows the number of shares on a blog post, the people who shared the content, where the content has been shared and which posts are the most popular.

 

flare statistics
Flare provides really useful statistics

With this information, you can identify social influencers who have expressed an interest in or promoted your content, and this could prove to be the start of valuable new relationships for your business.

When Flare is installed on a website and a visitor accesses that site on their mobile device, if they want to share a post the full screen is taken over with a really nice display. In the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, you can see the total number of shares for each post.

mobile sharing flare
This is what is displayed when you click to share on a mobile device

 

Advantages

  • Flare provides really good, useful statistics. By studying these, you can understand what works and what doesn’t work and start to develop new relationships with people who could become brand ambassadors.
  • You can easily customize how the Flare sharing icons look on your site.
  • There is good support for smartphones and tablets. The mobile sharing option is nicely designed and it is very easy to share posts on a mobile device with the Flare app.

Disadvantages

  • There is a ‘Flare lite’ version that is free but, if you want all the great features it provides, including full mobile optimization, you’ll need to pay for the $89 per year version.

AddThis

AddThis provides a suite of tools and one of them is for social sharing. It provides a good range of options for how the social sharing icons will look and where they appear. You can display them across the top of the post, across the bottom and or at the side as a floating widget, similar to those of Digg Digg and Flare.

 

Add this stats
Really useful statistics provided

Advantages

  • AddThis provides really good mobile support, which is essential.
  • It has a very large network of people who use the plugins and they track user activity across the sites. Based on this information, they can automatically adjust the sharing icons based on the channels a visitor has shared to on previous visits. Clever!
  • When you buy the social sharing functionality, you also get a good plugin you can use for content recommendations.
  • It supports sharing to 330 different social networks!

Disadvantages

  • The Pro version is a paid option. Free users get access to website tools, an analytics dashboard and a weekly analytics email, while Pro users can use nine extra features such as better customization options and priority support, for $99 a year or $12 a month.

 

Summary

Although Digg Digg has historically been a really useful social sharing plugin, the fact that it is no longer updated means that we can’t recommend it above the other options we mentioned. Social networks change and, as WordPress themes and online best practices change, using a plugin that is regularly updated is essential. Old plugins that aren’t updated can also sometimes be a security risk because hackers are always trying to find vulnerabilities in scripts – when plugins aren’t updated, they don’t issue patches or fixes when code is exploited.

For this reason, we would recommend avoiding Digg Digg and, instead, going with Flare or AddThis. Even though Flare and AddThis offer their best features to their paid users, the price for both services is very reasonable and affordable, so don’t let this put you off.

Whether you choose Flare or AddThis will probably come down to the exact functionality you want and the appearance and usability of the sharing icons. Take time to look through their features and prioritize the needs of your site and its visitors.

Do you use social sharing plugins? What is your favorite WordPress social media plugin?

Do you think you will try a new one, having read this post?

Tell us in the comments! We love to hear from you.

Plugged in image by Shutterstock

 

43 Responses to 3 Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress

  1. Hey Ian,

    Thanks for sharing. I was searching from many days regarding floating social sharing plugins to use on my Blog ‘Serp Control’.
    I am going to try ‘Digg Digg’ Plugin as it’s looking cool.

    Thanks!
    ~Nitin Singh

      • I just started using SumoMe because the plugin I was using for social sharing was about to hit the 2 year mark since an update. What I like about it is that it has a lot of options in the free version. In addition to the floating share bar, it also has apps for growing email signups, image sharing, content analytics, Highligther ( similar to ‘click to tweet” but is not limited to specific text) contact forms and heat maps.

  2. Thanks, Ian. Great post as always. I’ve been frustrated over the years with the various social share plugins. Many have been buggy and lacked basic functionality. I tried DiggDigg for a while, but had problems with it slowing down my site, lacking basic functionality and issues with positioning it.

    I tried both Flare and SumoMe, but they were difficult to customize and look good on my site. It didn’t help that you had to log in to an external website to use them.

    Just last week I came across a new social plugin called Social Warfare. It’s developed by Dustin W. Stout, Jason T. Wiser & Nicholas Cardot- and they’ve been working on it for the past year. It’s wonderful and I definitely recommend checking it out. It is really quick to load and you don’t notice any slow down of the site. It also has a great Pinterest share feature where you can add a Pinterest optimized image just for Pinterest. It also has a “click to tweet” feature. I’m not on any commission I promise, but love it!

  3. Social Sharing is an essential for many sites but I’ve yet to find a Plugin that I can fully recommend. All of them seem to be resource heavy so its essential to do before and after speed tests when you install them – for some reason the FB sharing always seems to be the slowest for me.
    Flare looks good but you really have to go with the paid version to get the benefits.
    Social Warfare would be worth a look – it’s cheaper at $24 but the home page is slow to load and there’s no option to try before you buy.
    The free plugins are a poor lot, either buggy, not mobile compatible, very limited options or, like Digg Digg, never updated. Currently I’m using Slick Social Share Buttons – adequate but not perfect.

    • Yes, I’ve spoken with the guys at Social Warfare about the fact they need much more info on the page. A try before you buy might be difficult for them to implement- not sure. I find the page fine to load, maybe they’re under load at the moment though?

      • Taking 10+ secs on a Speed Test from Dublin. A few large images part of the problem but can’t strip out the effect of the Social Sharing way down at the bottom of the page! Not a great advertisement…

    • Brendan,

      I’m the developer over at Social Warfare and I completely agree with your remarks.

      1. The page load issue is true for our home page. Right now we’re just using an out of the box template with very few modifications and we don’t have a caching plugin running. The plugin itself, however, is very well optimized. All images are highly compressed and hosted on CDN’s, etc.

      2. The try before you buy is a great idea which we are currently working on. We’re hoping to have a free version ready to release by the beginning of the year. We’ll see how that goes.

  4. I can’t even count the number of sharing plugins for WordPress I have used and deleted over the years. Funny that I am back to my first one – Shareaholic.
    Although the Social Warfare plugin that Ian suggested looks pretty tempting. Have you tried it?

  5. Ian, what a great post. Will definitely look into Flare. Also, love that you have an audio version of your posts. You da man!

  6. Timely discussion Ian C. as I am evaluating new plugs in at the moment – we are currently using WordPress Social Share button but not very happy with it for lots of reasons not least of which it covers a lot of the screen when viewing on a mobile – kind of makes it hard to read the article!

    Ian AG thanks for the tip on Social Warfare -i think it will be a toss up between that and Flare.

  7. Hey Ian Cleary, we’re working at GetSocial (http://getsocial.io) to provide a beautifully designed social sharing plugin for wordpress. The difference to the existing ones is on the data it provides. Not only we allow you to understand who is sharing your content, but also we tie those shares to actionable goals (signups, subscriptions, purchases).

    We’ve launched the first version (http://goo.gl/CzdFCK) but user experience is still not where we want it to be. All the best & thanks for sharing.

  8. I tried flare but they came out with a new version and stopped supporting the lite version. I also had some issues with the share buttons not displaying. I use monarch which is from elegant themes. So far it’s working well!

  9. Hi Ian, Thank you for your post. I have now Flare installed but is not longer working either for web or mobile. Which one are you using on this page? It looks like SumoMe. I am triying to make it work and there is no way I can do that. Instructions are not clear and no full support on the site. I wonder if these type of apps do not have the capacity for internet users, and If so, why creating apps that do not work?

  10. Hi Ian I am glad you wrote this post as I had been thinking of changing mine. I use shaerohoilc and it is by far the best but it doesn’t have support for non java browsers like opera mini and also does not show the total share count so it is weak in my case as I have huge Gplus share but not others so displaying a cumulative social share would definitely bring the social proof forward. Could you suggest me one that fits in.

    Strange you use non of the three you recommend. I guess you use monarch, right? 🙂

    Anyways have a good week ahead.

  11. Compared to other sharing plugins, Social Warfare Pro has outdone itself. No other social sharing tool can provide great features such as social optimization tools, twitter share count, click to tweet features, and twitter cards. I give this plugin thumbs up to its developers. It has been my choice, and have used it for years hence, am sure it will be yours too. Get it to maximize your WordPress website or blog experience.

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