Practical Ecommerce

Top 10 Social Sharing Buttons for Your Website

One of the best ways to get traffic to your website is through the use of social sharing buttons. The problem, however, is that while many social sharing options exist, their features vary. Some offer fewer sharing options, some only work on WordPress, and some require more technical expertise to install and configure.

Here is a list of 10 social sharing alternatives that I have tested and recommend. A few are plugins designed specifically for WordPress, but others can be used on almost any website.

1. ShareThis

Used by thousands of sites, ShareThis is one of the most popular sharing tools. It is not limited to WordPress either. Practically any site can embed ShareThis buttons.

Many button styles are offered, small to large, and can display social reach numbers — i.e., the number of times a post has been shared. ShareThis also has one of the largest selections of social sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon and many others. However, one drawback is that it does not support Pinterest.

ShareThis includes the capability for both static and “floating” sharing widgets, in either vertical or horizontal orientations.

2. Socialize

According to its website, Socialize — a WordPress plugin — was designed to make managing and adding actionable social sharing buttons easier and more efficient.

Buttons can be added either inside a blog post or in a box below. The box contains text that encourages readers to subscribe to the blog and leave comments. Additional text can be included, such as calls to action or product mentions.

Socialize offers 12 of the most popular buttons including Pinterest and Buffer, a relatively new app that enables readers to schedule sharing times in order to increase reach and visibility.

3. AddThis

AddThis works on most any website, not just to WordPress. Buttons can be personalized to show users the services that they use most often, and integration with over 300 services — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, many more — is available. AddThis also includes Pinterest as a sharing option.

4. Sharexy

Sharexy gives users the capability to customize not only the look of sharing buttons, but placement either at the top or bottom of the post, as well. Users can choose from over 20 social networks to share with, and sharing via email is also included.

Like ShareThis and AddThis, Sharexy can be used on any type of site. A WordPress plugin is also available.

Sharexy offers both static or floating sharing widgets that can be positioned on the left or right hand side of the page, or at the top and bottom, depending on the user’s preference.

5. Digg Digg

Digg Digg is a WordPress plugin created by Buffer. Users can display all the popular social sharing buttons such as Twitter, Buffer, Facebook (both Share and Like), LinkedIn, Google +1, Reddit, Pinterest and many others.

Customization choices include a floating bar that resides on either the left or right hand side of the page, or at the top or bottom of the blog post. Support for email and print are also included.

6. GetSocial

Another WordPress plugin, GetSocial gives bloggers the capability to add a floating social media-sharing box to blog posts.

It includes Twitter, Facebook Like and Share buttons, Buffer, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Digg. A unique feature allows users to add their own custom buttons.

Buttons can be re-arranged in the order preferred by using simple drag-and-drop functionality. If desired, buttons can also show the number of share counts. Both static and floating versions are available.

7. Slick Social

Slick Social, which is also a WordPress plugin, not only offers the same features and sharing capabilities as others on this list, but users can see summaries of sharing metrics via an administrative panel.

Buttons include Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg, Buffer, Pinterest, and others. Users can also choose to select URL shortening for Twitter from several services: Bit.ly, Digg, Su.pr, and TinyURL.

8. Shareaholic

Shareaholic offers three different button styles: Classic, Sexy, and Sassy. The latter two are designed specifically with mobile devices in mind and, to add an element of interactivity, the “Sexy” version buttons animate when a reader mouses over them.

The buttons can be used on any website, and a WordPress plugin is available. Over 100 sites are supported, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest.

9. Sharebar

WordPress plugin Sharebar adds a fully customizable vertical box to the left of a blog post that contains buttons to popular social networking sites. If the page is resized below 1,000 pixels, the vertical bar disappears and a horizontal sharing bar appears under the post title.

Larger buttons are used in the vertical bar, while the small buttons are used in the horizontal version.

10. Social Media Widget

Social Media Widget allows users to input their social media website profile URLs and other subscription options to show an icon on the sidebar.

It supports many of the same social media sites as others on this list, but also includes support for Orkut, Friendfeed, Flickr, Picasa, Pandora, iTunes, and many others. RSS subscription and email sharing are included, as well.

Social Sharing Best Practices

Sharing works best when the buttons are located in a way they can be easily spotted by site visitors. Here are a few social sharing dos and don’ts.

Do

  • Choose a prominent position (top of the page is best).
  • Place sharing near the content being shared.

Don’t

  • Do not put sharing in the site navigation.
  • Avoid putting sharing only in the post footer or below the fold.
  • The sidebar is not optimal for sharing.

Conclusion

Try several of these to find the one that’s right for you. Regardless of which you choose, do not ignore social sharing. It is one more way to increase site traffic, reach, and exposure within social networks.

Paul Chaney
Paul Chaney
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Comments ( 16 )

  1. Sig Ueland November 22, 2012 Reply

    Nice post, Paul!

  2. Jessi Miranda November 24, 2012 Reply

    Nice article. Thanks for sharing us !!

  3. Shiran November 26, 2012 Reply

    Great info, there is no doubt that social sharing buttons are a must for any site and a great way to get traffic;
    I do think placing those buttons is not enough, websites need to give their reader/customers a reason (and a good one) to click and share.

  4. Ty Whalin November 27, 2012 Reply

    Making use of quality tools such as social sharing buttons and follow buttons should definitely be added to a site. I recently published an article on social buttons and whether or not they should be added. ShareThis and AddThis are definitely the most popular I have seen through the years. Check out this article for more information: http://linkworxseo.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/are-social-media-share-buttons-needed-on-every-webpage/

  5. Carlos Rivera November 27, 2012 Reply

    AddThis is my favorite to use.

    Informative click analytics on their site and easy to use interface.

    Effective, simple, and elegant.

  6. Jim Lane December 9, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for including AddThis in your article, Paul. We offer a number of other tools as well, such as Follow buttons, a Welcome Bar for increasing subscriptions and other conversions, and a widget for promoting trending content. More details at http://addthis.com/social-plugins. Cheers!

    Jim Lane
    VP, UX AddThis.com

  7. Kåre Kork February 8, 2013 Reply

    I would like to recommend addshoppers. They have some very nice tweaks, like giving customers discount if they post on Facebook, and very good statistics. Have used it on this site: http://www.podpad.no with great success.

  8. rayray646 February 28, 2013 Reply

    Interesting article and good coverage on the classic share tools. At SlingPic we have create an image sharing widget that allows people to share images from a site from within the image.With the increasing use of images across platforms like Tumblr and new social networks like Snapchat and Instagram we think image sharing strategies will become as important as those currently used for written content. If you are interested have a look at : http://www.slingpic.com or search for "slingpic" on WordPress

  9. jacksonnnn65 March 26, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for your great information. I want to mention about new sharing website I have found http://makeusknow.com This is a new article sharing website. If you want, you can share your memory, a story, even a legend about their weekly topics.

  10. Tasax Sms Gratis May 8, 2013 Reply

    Hi, nice post, i prefer use addthis simple and cleand. But i some webs i started to add mocanvas, to increase social shares with warm colors and motion. Ex.
    http://mocanvas.com/?b=250

  11. Neculai I. Fantanaru July 21, 2013 Reply

    I prefer simple sharethis. I manage to implement on http://neculaifantanaru.com and works great. I try many other social sharing buttons, but I do not use wordpress, so, plugins are not good. A sharing tools should be able to create a script for simple html pages, not just plugins for wordpress.

  12. Prashanth December 19, 2013 Reply

    I am using digg digg and it perfectly works for me on genesis. thanks for the list

  13. Techtalkbd April 25, 2014 Reply

    very Nice Post :)

  14. Ramachandran October 9, 2014 Reply

    Slick Social Html code

  15. DavidJ November 3, 2014 Reply

    I find a deficiency in this article is it doesn’t tell you which of these are tracking users. All of them? Services like AddThis have severe privacy issues.

  16. Saraha Bright December 18, 2014 Reply

    Great list of the best WordPress social media sharing plugins, all in one place. Im using on my site brightverge.com you can check… Thanks for sharing

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