With so many social sharing plugins available for WordPress it can be hard to know which one to choose. Some might look great and have lots of flashy features, but those animations and detailed graphics can come at a price, which often involves slowing down your site an increasing page load times; a sure fire way to annoy your readers and prevent them sticking around.
Other considerations to take into account when selecting a WordPress social share button plugin include which networks you want to cover, how you want the buttons to be displayed, and how much control you want over how the plugin is deployed on your site.
Top Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress
To save you testing the wide range of options yourself, we’ve complied our list of the top 8 social sharing plugins for WordPress.
Monarch is a new-ish WordPress plugin from ElegantThemes, that boasts some fantastic features including fly-in, inline, popup, and floating social media buttons. It also allows you to display share counts after the post has reached a certain social count. Apart from social media buttons on posts, you can also add follow buttons in your sidebar or other widget areas.
The plugin has a really nice looking interface, where you can monitor social shares, add new popups or fly-ins, and set social triggers to show timely popups. Unlike other plugins, this plugin doesn’t impact your site speed.
In addition you can display social icons in your content area or anywhere on your site, with shortcode.
- Easily add social icons
- Multiple options to display social shares
- Display social icons anywhere on your site with shortocde
- Multiple social triggers
- Hide the post, if it doesn’t have more than X shares
- Easy to use options page
- Track social shares / counts
One of the best things about Monarch plugin, is that you can cancel their subscription anytime, and still get access to Monarch and other 80+ themes and 4 premium plugins including their most recent offering Bloom.
2. Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress
Easy Social share buttons is another popular option, it boost impressive features, similar to Monarch WordPress plugin, and allows you to display social media buttons in 12 different locations. It comes with 12 built-in templates and gives you an option to customize the buttons to suit your needs.
Apart from so many social sharing options, it also lets you decide when to show the share counts and when to hide them. This feature can be very useful, especially for new bloggers who are just starting out, and does not have any social proof to show off.
Easy Social sharing is fully compatible with third party plugins such as bbPress, BuddyPress, WooCommerce, etc. This means, you can easily add social media buttons on your sales pages, forums, or other pages to your site.
It also provides a powerful dashboard to centrally monitor social activity across leading social media networks.
Note: All these features are great, but you should know that it can have a significant impact on your site speed. Since the last update, the plugin has become more resource intensive.
Pros: The plugin comes with a ton of options, templates, and social icons. It is an all-in-one social media solution for WordPress, that doesn’t break your wallet.
Cons: Not free, you will have to pay around $14 to purchase. Plus, it can have a huge impact on your site speed.
3. Kiwi Social Share
Kiwi Social Share makes it easy to add modern social share buttons for all the most popular networks, including:
The UI is simple, and you can choose from different placements like in-content or floating share buttons, as well as different button styles including:
- Shift (a modern look)
- Rounded corners
The plugin also lets you display share counts to add some social proof to your content.
And for another way to let people share your content, the Kiwi Social Share plugin also lets you add click to tweet buttons to your content.
Kiwi Social Share is free and available at WordPress.org.
Pros: Modern button styles, simple user interface, multiple placement options, share counts
Cons: Doesn’t have smaller, less popular social networks
4. Social Snap
Social Snap is a newer social share plugin that aims to be an all-in-one solution for your WordPress social media needs.
It comes in both a free version at WordPress.org, as well as a more feature-rich premium version.
With the free version, you can add great-looking share buttons for the most popular social networks, including:
You can display your buttons in a variety of spots – including before/after your content or as a floating bar. And you can also display the total share count or share counts for individual networks.
If you’re willing to pay, the premium version adds support for:
- A lot more social networks
- Social login
- Social media auto-poster
- Social media meta tags
- Plus a lot more!
The premium version starts at $39 for use on a single site.
Pros: Great-looking button designs, total and individual share counts, lots of positioning options, lots of features (especially in the Pro version)
Cons: The free version only supports the basic, popular networks
Jetpack is a plugin that allows self-hosted WordPress sites to get access to some of the features that WordPress.com sites can make use of. It was developed by Team Social, as documented into the riveting book: The Year Without Pants.
Part of JetPack includes the ability to add sharing buttons to your posts and pages using the Publicize module. Once you’ve installed and activated Jetpack on your site, you can then activate the module from the plugin settings page. There is a good amount of settings available and you can choose which networks to display buttons for and also customize how the buttons will look.
Pros: lots of features more beyond just sharing, good level of settings for configuring the social options.
Cons: not the best looking or flexible share buttons available, requires a (free) WordPress.com account, includes lots of other features you might not need.
6. AddToAny Share Buttons
By the numbers, AddToAny Share Buttons is the most popular social media sharing plugin at WordPress.org.
The biggest reason to choose this plugin is because of the huge number of social networks that it supports.
AddToAny lets you and your visitors choose from over 100 different networks to share your content on. You can create dedicated buttons for the most popular networks. Then, you can add a universal + icon that opens a popup where users can choose from all of the smaller networks, too.
AddToAny lets you display your buttons before/after content or as a floating bar. And you can also add social share counts alongside the share button.
Finally, AddToAny includes a built-in Google Analytics integration that lets you track share analytics.
AddToAny is free and available at WordPress.org.
Pros: Supports a huge number of social networks, share counts, universal sharing option, multiple placement options
Cons: No support for social media meta data
7. Social Media Widget
This is another free option that I like to use on my sites in conjunction with a share bar. This plugin allows you to easily display icons in your sidebar which link to your profiles on the various social networks.
While the other plugins covered here allow you to share the content, this one is a good choice for directing people to your profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, in order to increase your followers.
Social Media Widget is very easy to setup. Simply drop the widget onto your sidebar and then enter the URLs for your pages or profiles on the networks you want to link to. The icons look really good and there are a few different styles to choose from.
Pros: simple and elegant way to display icons for your profiles on various social networks.
Cons: not strictly a social sharing plugin and is focused on getting followers rather than shares.
So, which one of these WordPress social sharing plugins is right for you?
Well, they’re all good options in their own rights – that’s why they made the list. However, some plugins do excel in certain areas, which might push you in one way or another.
Let’s go through some of the tools’ strong points…
If you want the best-looking buttons, Kiwi Social Share offers some really modern-looking buttons in a nice lightweight package.
On the other hand, if you want “the most features” instead of lightweight, the premium version of Social Snap is about as feature-packed a social media plugin as you’ll find. Read our Social Snap review to learn more.
Easy Social Share Buttons is also packed with features. And Elegant Themes’ Monarch is also another good option that can do both social sharing and social follow buttons – learn more in our Monarch review.
If you want the most share destinations, AddToAny is probably the best option for you as its universal sharing approach gives people access to over a hundred different networks from one spot.
And if you’re already using the Jetpack plugin, you might as well just use Jetpack’s social sharing functionality and call it a day.
Finally, Social Media Widget is a nice basic option if you just want to add some social follow buttons.
Have any questions about these social media plugins? Ask away in the comments!