I can’t help but disagree with the many generic guides out there.
Most of them are comparing social plugins I would never use. You know…the typical Monarch, Shareaholic, Sharify, and all the ones offering hundreds of button options display features.
In case you don’t have time to read further, I like Shared Counts, Social Warfare, Scriptless Social Share. Here’s why…
Why don’t I like most social sharing plugins out there
REASON #1 – bloated
Yeaup! Massively bloated, with every and whichever option. Options of where to place the buttons, how to display them, how to style them, animation timing. The fonts, the icon fonts being loaded. So much crap!
UGH! It makes me so exhausted just thinking about it.
And what else do you expect? They’re designed and marketed towards newbies who fall for flashy gimmicks. “Features” and “ease-of-use” are pretty much the perfect combination for a bloated plugin.
REASON #2 – lack advanced features
What advanced features you ask? How about being able to count (and combine) older versions of the URL with the new one…for example, combining the counts for your old HTTP urls with your recent HTTPS urls. How about being able to control the count cache or limit how often the counts are queried. Or how about hooks and filters?
Which social sharing plugins do I like?
1. Shared Counts
If you want a clean full-featured and FREE plugin, Shared Counts is an easy winner. It’s what I use for my most popular sites. I’ve used it to do incredible things. Combining and caching social share counts for both my old HTTP urls with my new HTTPS urls. (For example: if my old HTTPS url got 50 shares and the new HTTPS url got 50 shares, the site count shows 100.) It also combined my counts for my old with-WWW url and new without-WWW url. So that’s basically 4 different url counts together on each page.
It is clean and sexy. You can style it however you want. No silly bloated CSS enqueued by the plugin. It is lean and mean! I love it. And very low cost unless your site makes that many API calls. Useful hooks and filters available for your developer. You can even do your own count calculations, like multiplying the share counts. Anyway, there’s so much you can do with it (assuming you have programming abilities).
2. Scriptless Social Share
This is a clean and beautiful plugin made by a developer I respect (bonus, she’s also a Genesis developer). This plugin is super simple. Doesn’t even show the share counts. No external calls, so your site is really fast. I use it on this site and for sites where silly social count boxes aren’t essential.
3. Social Warfare (paid version)
They now have a free version and I don’t know how good it is but I do remember the paid version being the best one for a while. I didn’t like it because of the pricing but they offered many features that other plugins did not. If you just want to pay some money and get a clean professionally-built solution that doesn’t require any extra programming, Social Warfare is the way to go.
Other ones I’d be curious about
I don’t know how good they are but I like their vibe…
- Grow (formerly Social Pug)- many people raving about this one and switching over to it from Social Warfare. Here’s a handy guide for migrating from Social Warfare to SocialPug.
- Which else?