I have tried oodles and oodles of free social sharing plugins looking for the perfect one. I’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect free one doesn’t really exist. It’s like the mythical unicorn of social media. So you have to pick what quirks you can personally deal with.
That being said, before we go any farther, let me just say that my social sharing plugins on this site are NOT free, but the price is super reasonable compared to many of the other options. After searching and trying so many different free options and coming up with one quirk or another, I finally started researching paid options and decided that Social Warfare was exactly what I needed. So I bit the bullet and signed up for their plugin. I love the way I was able to customize it to match with my theme!
Social Warfare costs $24/per year for a license for one website. I think it’s worth every penny because it’s got some amazing things beyond what you see at first glance. Some of those include being able to customize what words will be propagated for a tweet or which image will come up and a description with it for Pinterest. You really get to take complete control of how social media is shared from your blog! If you’re looking to take your blog up to the next level, I highly recommend it!
And here’s my affiliate link…because even bloggers need to buy Christmas gifts, y’all: Take Me To Social Warefare
Now for my take on the free plugins that I’ve tried…
Pros: Clean and professional looking, simple set up, and won’t slow down your website. I love the extras that are part of this app-heat maps to tell where people click on whatever campaign you’re running, subscription list collection, call to action bar, Google Analytic integration, highlight and share, and more.
Cons: It feels kind of in your face on the mobile view. I don’t know how else to put it. There’s not a lot of ability to customize how they look unless you pay to upgrade and that’s pretty pricey.
I tried this on my collaborative site and didn’t love it. It felt like it would be too much work to share. Weird? I don’t know. It has some nice extras and my bloggers there love to have a Facebook “like” button which this one includes.
Pros: Simple setup, nice clean looks
Cons: I really wished I could change the text that goes along with the social sharing icons, but couldn’t find a way to include that. Not simple enough to share.
Pros: Looks really clean and a lot of website creators incorporate this particular plugin into their designs, including my favorite, (another affiliate because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lauren’s designs!) Restored 316. I use this for my collaborative site, currently. I like a few of the other options that it gives and it looks good and doesn’t conflict with anything else that’s going on in the theme. It hasn’t caused the site to run any slower that I can tell and we’ve done some testing and optimizing to bring site speed up.
Cons: This one has the potential to really slow down your website because it does a TON of stuff…probably way more than you need.
Pros: Simple and clean look.
Cons: No control over how the buttons looks. Never could make them show up on my site, even though the setup was simple.
Pros: Looks great and the setup is simple.
Cons: There are a TON of negative reviews on this one, so do your homework. The related plugins are designed to redirect readers to other trending content on the internet and earn you money, but they are leaving your site. Money is a pro. You might make a buck, but you might lose part of your tribe in the process since you can’t decide what gets shown there.
Pros: Create tweets and include them in the body of your posts.
Cons: I can’t find one! This is a great way to encourage engagement and sharing.
I realize I’ve only given a drop in the bucket where social sharing plugins are concerned. My most general advice is to make sure you have some sort of social sharing set up and be willing to try new things. If you don’t love what you have, go to one of your network groups and ask what others are using.
- Are your social media plugins the best fit for your blog theme?
- Is it easy to share a blog post from your site?
- If not, how can you fix it?