Last updated: 4th June 2018.
You want social share buttons on your WordPress site…but you’re struggling to sift through the thousands of social share button plugins available on the Internet. Sound familiar?
Sometimes too much choice is just as difficult as too little choice. And in this post, I want to help you choose the best plugin for your needs by sharing 11 of the best WordPress social sharing plugins out there.
Yeah – I know. 11 is still a pretty big number! I kept it high because I still want to give you the choice between say, a lightweight option for the major social networks, and a deep plugin with lots of features.
At the end, I’ll recommend some specific plugins that will work best for your unique situation – so I’m definitely not going to leave you out to dry!
Let’s dive in so that you can start getting more social shares in no time!
The best social media sharing plugins for WordPress in 2018
1. Social Warfare
Note: Social Warfare is the actual plugin we use here at Blogging Wizard. You can see it in action on the left-hand side of this page.
Social Warfare is a popular plugin that comes in both a free and a premium version. While the free version works for lightweight social share buttons, most of the powerful features are, unsurprisingly, in the pro version.
These features are what really help make Social Warfare unique, so they’re what I’ll focus on for the most part.
But before I do that, let me assure you that Social Warfare can indeed handle the basics of WordPress share buttons, including things like:
- Social share buttons that just plain look good
- Support for all the big social networks (more in the pro version)
- Multiple placement options, including floating share buttons
- Share counts
That’s all helpful…but here are the features that really stand out:
- Pinterest-specific images. Unlike most social networks, taller images usually do better on Pinterest. To take advantage of that, Social Warfare lets you add a special image that only shows up when your article gets shared on Pinterest.
- Minimum social proof. Share counts are good because they add social proof…but only if you actually have shares! To avoid the awkward situation where a post only has a few shares (that’s called negative social proof), you can specify a minimum share count that must be met before Social Warfare starts displaying numbers.
- Customization. You can easily customize the Tweet that gets shared, add information like Open Graph data, and just generally control exactly how your content will look when visitors share it.
- Share count recovery. If you move your site to HTTPS or change domain names, you normally lose all your content’s old share counts…but Social Warfare can help you recover them.
- Analytics and link shortening. Social Warfare can automatically create links using your Bitly account, as well as set up Google Analytics UTM and Event Tracking so that you know how effective your social share buttons are.
Price: Limited free plugin. Pro version starts at $29 for one site.
Monarch is a flexible social share plugin from Elegant Themes. If you’re not familiar with that name, Elegant Themes is the maker of the popular Divi theme, as well as a number of other plugins and themes. Elegant Themes sells all of its products through a single membership.
That means, upfront, this plugin will be a little more expensive. But I’ll share why it still might be worth it at the end.
Monarch helps you display social share buttons from over 35 different networks in 5 different locations:
- Above/below post content
- Floating sidebar
- Automatic popup
- Automatic fly-in
- On images/videos
For the popups and fly-ins, you can choose how to trigger your social share buttons. My favorite trigger is the option to display social share buttons after a user leaves a comment.
This is a great way to boost your share buttons’ conversion rates because you’re asking after the visitor already showed interest by leaving a comment.
You can also customize the style of your buttons, as well as add social share counts.
Finally, Monarch can also help you add social follow buttons using either a shortcode or widget.
Like I said – to access Monarch, you’ll need to purchase the Elegant Themes membership. There’s a ton of value in that membership beyond social share buttons, though. Learn more here.
Price: $89 for access to all Elegant Themes products, including Monarch
3. Easy Social Share Buttons
Easy Social Share Buttons offers one of the lengthiest feature lists that I’ve ever seen. Depending on your specific needs, that could be a good or a bad thing. But no one can say you don’t have options with this plugin!
And the fact that Easy Social Share Buttons has maintained a 4.66-star rating (out of 5) on over 24,000 sales suggests that plenty of people like its depth of functionality.
First, the basics. Easy Social Share Buttons supports:
- 50+ social networks
- 28+ different positions
- 52+ pre-made templates
- 25+ animations
Yeah – that’s a lot of big numbers with plus signs!
And then there’s a whole bunch of more advanced features like:
- Customization. Customize Tweets, Open Graph data, and more.
- Minimum share counts. Lets you avoid negative social proof by specifying a minimum number in order to display share counts.
- After share actions. Lets you display a custom message after a user shares your content. For example, you could display a like button or an email opt-in.
- Analytics and A/B testing. You can view detailed analytics for your buttons’ performance and even run A/B tests to try and boost your shares.
- Popular posts (by shares). Lets you display a list of your most popular posts by social shares.
- Share count recovery. Helps you recover lost share counts if you change domains or move to HTTPS.
And Easy Social Share Buttons is even moving into areas beyond strictly social share buttons:
- Email opt-ins – a built-in subscribe form module helps you display an email opt-in with your share buttons.
- Live chat – you can display a live chat button for Facebook Messenger or Skype Live Chat.
That’s a long list and I still didn’t even touch on every feature! So if your interest is piqued, click below to keep learning…
So if you’re a fan of Mashable-style social sharing buttons, that’s already a pretty good reason to choose this plugin.
Beyond that, it can also help you display both the actual share count, as well as “virtual shares” to increase social proof (the ethics of this latter strategy is a bit hazy. Personally, I find it dishonest).
MashShare also uses smart caching for those share counts to ensure that it doesn’t slow down your site.
While the free version should be plenty fine if you just want basic Mashable-style buttons for the most popular social networks, you can also buy various premium add-ons for things like:
- More social networks
- More social share button placement options
- Click to tweet and/or select and share
- Google Analytics Event Tracking
And there’s also a neat add-on that lets you ask people to like a page after they share one of your posts. Because they’re already interested in your content, asking for a like immediately after is a great way to boost your chances.
Price: Free core plugin. Add-ons are ~$19 each, or you can buy a discounted bundle.
5. WP Social Sharing
WP Social Sharing is a lot more lightweight than many of the previous plugins. But if all you want to do is add social share buttons for the biggest social networks, this plugin makes it about as simple as possible.
With it, you can quickly add share buttons for:
You can also customize the share text and add custom text before your share buttons.
Everything is responsive, and WP Social Sharing uses CSS3 buttons rather than images.
6. Social Pug
Social Pug is a freemium social share button plugin with some absolutely beautiful out-of-the-box styles.
In the free version, you can create inline and floating social share buttons for:
You can also display share counts to go along with your buttons for social proof.
The free version is fine for basic use, but serious webmasters will likely want the pro version as it adds a number of helpful features like:
- Minimum share counts to avoid negative social proof
- Share count recovery if you’ve changed URLs
- Mobile sticky share buttons. Buttons will “stick” to the bottom of users screens on mobile devices.
- More desktop placement options (popups and shortcodes)
- Custom Open Graph data
- Link shortening integrations with Bitly or Branch
- Analytics integration to automatically add UTM parameters
- More social networks
- Popular posts widget (based on share counts)
Price: Free or starts at $24 for the pro version
7. Custom Share Buttons with Floating Sidebar
Custom Share Buttons with Floating Sidebar won’t win any points when it comes to the creativity of its name, but the name is indeed a pretty good description of what the plugin does.
That is, it helps you add a floating share bar to the right or left of your site. And it also lets you customize your share buttons by adding your own message.
You do get a good amount of targeting options to control exactly which pages/post types your share buttons appear on. And, despite the focus on floating sidebars in the plugin’s name, you can also add regular social share buttons before or after your post content.
There’s one thing to be aware of, though. Unless you upgrade to the Pro version, your floating sidebar will not be responsive. So if you use the free version, make sure that you check the box to Disable Sidebar For Mobile.
Price: Free, or Pro version starts at $40 for a lifetime license
8. Swifty Bar
Swifty Bar isn’t as popular as many of the other social share button plugins on this list. But it includes a unique approach that definitely makes it worthy of this list.
That approach might not work for every single site – but it’s a cool twist on the normal before/after content or floating sidebar.
So how does it work?
Swifty Bar is a sticky bottom bar that displays social share buttons, as well as author information, estimated reading time, and a next/previous button. It looks like this:
Its focus isn’t just on social sharing buttons – but also on making your content more user-friendly and keeping visitors engaged.
All in all, it’s a pretty cool implementation that I haven’t seen any other plugins do.
AddToAny is known as the “universal sharing platform” because it lets visitors share to a huge variety of networks just by clicking a single universal + icon. And it also includes dedicated icons for your most popular social networks.
Combined, this gives you access to over 100 sharing options in a compact interface. You can display these icons before or after your content, as well as in both vertical and horizontal bars (or manually via shortcodes, widgets, or template tags).
Everything is also lightweight and asynchronous to ensure quick page load times.
Other features include:
- Share counts
- Responsive design, even for floating share buttons
- AMP support
- Google Analytics integration
- Link shortening integrations
Finally – AddToAny is active on over 500,000 sites, which makes it the most popular social share button plugin at WordPress.org.
10. Kiwi Social Share
Kiwi Social Share is a lightweight social share button plugin that comes with my personal favorite style – the modern-looking “shift” style (pictured above), as well as three other styles.
In the free version, it helps you create both before/after content and floating share buttons. And it also gives you some targeting options to control which post types your share buttons show up on.
It supports all the major social networks, though not the smaller ones. And it also offers:
- 4 different button shape styles
- Custom colors
- 2 different button group styles
- Share counts
If you need more power, there’s an affordable pro version that adds a Google Analytics integration, link shortening via Bitly, and a few other extra features.
Price: Free, or pro version starts at $19
11. Sassy Social Share
Sassy Social Share is mostly interesting to me because of its unique button styles and customization options. I can’t promise that you’ll love those styles, but I can promise that they look different than the other plugins on this list.
It also supports a good list of networks, with over 100 sharing/bookmarking services.
You can add both before/after content and floating share bars. And you can also target your share buttons to specific post types or individual pieces of content.
Everything is responsive, and you can also enable/disable both vertical or horizontal floating buttons on mobile devices.
Sassy Social Share supports share counts, including customizable caching to make sure you get accurate share counts without any performance drag.
Finally, you can also purchase add-ons for things like myCRED integration, analytics, share count recovery, and more.
All in all, if you want more control over how your buttons actually look, this is a good option.
Price: Free, paid add-ons are ~$9.99 each
Which WordPress social share button plugin should you pick?
After dropping 11 different plugins on you, now’s the part where I try to help you pick the plugin that’s best for your specific situation (because you only need one! Don’t install all 11, please).
If you just want to display basic social share buttons for the popular networks, pretty much any of these plugins can get the job done. Just make sure you pay attention to the plugin’s:
- Button styles – Social Pug and Kiwi Social Share have the best styles of the lightweight free plugins, in my opinion. And MashShare has a unique look that’s great for some sites.
- Button placement options – Remember to pay attention to placement options on mobile, as well!
If you want features that go beyond the basic, though, that’s where things get interesting.
If you’re a blogger or marketer, Social Warfare or Easy Social Share Buttons are probably your best options. Both plugins include extra features that will actually make a meaningful difference to your site’s success.
For example, Social Warfare’s dedicated Pinterest image is awesome if your content usually does pretty well on Pinterest. Likewise, Easy Social Share Button’s “after share” feature is a great way to connect with your most engaged readers. And both plugins include that nice minimum social share count feature that helps you avoid negative social proof.
If you’re already an Elegant Themes member (or interested in the other Elegant Themes products), Monarch is another good option that can get you access to some of those more “bottom-line-moving” features.
No matter which plugin you choose, I highly recommend playing around with the placement of your buttons and the ordering of your social networks to find the combination that gets you as many shares as possible.
And finally, creating an effective social media strategy is more than just slapping some share buttons on your site, so make sure to check out our posts with some great social media management tools and Instagram tools.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
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