WordPress sharing solutions are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, not all of them are good. This has different reasons. Some plugins - like Digg Digg for example - don't work with every website. Additionally, not all plugins offer a fresh or, at least, contemporary design. Original share buttons, those provided by the social networks themselves, are in the past. You will barely see them on a well-maintained website. I got myself an up to date overview that I would like to share with you today.
Sharing Solutions for WordPress in Two Flavours
Some of the following sharing solutions are free. Then, you'll only get a downscaled trial version from others. I will always add whether the plugin is entirely free or if a premium version exists.
AddThis is one of the best plugins, as it offers a lot in the free version already. You can place the buttons above or below the content, and you can also use a sidebar. The most important networks are supported. The buttons in the sidebar can not be altered in the free version. The premium version is 10 USD a month. The loading time of the plugin is acceptable.
Shareaholic is an all-in-one platform not only for WordPress and not restricted to sharing articles. The service is completely free to use. However, you should definitely register for a free account on their website. Afterwards, you can use additional features like floating share buttons and analysis features. The interesting part about Shareaholic is, that "similar articles" can be implemented with just a few clicks as well. The similar articles can also contain advertisements. This way, you can earn money off of it as well. The appearance of the buttons and the similar articles can be adjusted in plenty of different ways. The loading time is okay. The plugin is free.
Shariff has been developed by the editorial staff of German tech magazine c't to meet the German data protection law. Many other sharing solutions provide data for the social networks without even clicking them. Shariff however, only starts sending the data when the share button has been clicked. Just one downer: Shariff can neither be placed above nor below the content. The buttons load very quickly. The plugin is completely free.
Simple Share Buttons Adder is another nice solution for share buttons. You can already do a lot with just the free version. All important social networks are included, but Xing and WhatsApp need to be purchased via the "plus version" if needed. The plus version costs 10 USD once and adds features such as a click analysis and a widget. The loading time, however, is not that convincing. If you depend on a fast website, choose a different plugin.
SumoMe is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting solutions for WordPress. It does offer a sharing bar that can be displayed on any side of the screen (top, bottom, left, right) and a bunch of other tools. There are tools to promote subscriptions to newsletters, text highlighters to share text snippets on Facebook and Twitter and a lot more. Most tools can be used for free. There is a paid version that unlocks further features. This release is available starting from 10 USD per month. A registration on the website
is necessary. The loading time is alright when you have a fast server. SumoMe is currently being used here at Noupe.
The Viral Social Media Buttons are recommendable. They have an appealing, modern design, but require a free registration on the company's homepage. Subsequently, you can adjust the buttons to your personal wishes quickly. The buttons and the share bar load rather quickly and don't slow the website down.
Mashshare is one of the best solutions for sharing on social media. However, Mashshare is a "freemium" solution, which means that there is not a lot to expect from the free WordPress plugin. For free, you get a share button for Facebook, Twitter and a newsletter subscription. This could be enough for a lot of people, however. Other's will want more. Mashshare is a building kit system
, which allows you to buy the modules that you need. Additional share buttons, for example, cost 19 Euro per website. For 39 Euro, there is a bundle with the most important extensions. Mashshare loads fast.
There are tons of sharing solutions for our popular WordPress. Only very few of them are superb. On the other hand, some developers think about what they are doing and offer excellent plugins even in the free area. Whether you want to buy your favourite or prefer a free version is your decision.
Before anyone asks: I didn't present the Pingu-Sharing Buttons on purpose as they offer close to nothing at all in the free version.