The 10 must-haves for social share buttons
What do you look for when selecting social share buttons?
Testing by trial, error and results
Over the years I have tried numerous social sharing option on my sites, and I’m still trying to figure out which works best for my needs. Most were fine and did the job. They didn’t appear to cause any major problems, although there was an impact on the speed pages loaded. Some were easier to install and configure. In all I must have tried more than a dozen, but I’ve ended up favouring four.
My main site, Media Helping Media is on Joomla. This blog is on WordPress. I have been testing the four options on both sites in recent weeks. Some were installed with plugins, and others by adding a script to the template. None of the installations was difficult.
In the end it probably comes down to performance and, perhaps, cosmetics. I’ve drawn up my own checklist for what I am looking for in social share options.
- Doesn’t slow the site
- Easy to install
- Easy to customise
- Includes a ‘more’ option with a link to the major international social sharing sites
- Includes a top, bottom and both option
- Can float at the side of the page if required
- Has counters that can be turned on or off
- Offers a choice of sizes and shapes
- Works online and on mobile/tablet
- Offers analytics.
The four social share options I’ve tried and liked are listed below, along with the their slogan taken from the site. If I have missed one that you would recommend, please add it as a comment below or on the Media Helping Media Facebook page.
“Better Website Marketing – Website tools that drive more shares, follows and conversions.”
“The universal sharing platform”
“The all-in-one content amplification platform”
“Activate your content – free social sharing widgets and insights”
What is your favourite and why?
As far as popularity on Twitter goes, AddThis is way out in front. According to Twitter, @addthis has 2.58m followers, @ShareThis has 1.91m followers, @AddToAny has 211k followers, and @Shareaholic has 59k followers.
I am using the Shareaholic floating bar on this blog with the counters turned off. I am using the floating Shareaholic bar on the main site, Media Helping Media with the counters turned on.
If you have a favourite from the four above and want to recommend them to others, please add your comments below. And if I have missed any free options that you want to recommend, please add them, too.