I have personally tested many WordPress social sharing plugins to find the optimal solution for both my own and client websites. Here on Tripwire Magazine we also tried out different solutions over time, but recently I stumbled over a new plugin and ended op choosing it after a short test drive!
Social networking sites gained popularity over the past few years. Facebook reached over a billion users in September 2012 and Twitter topped 500 million registered users same year. With this tantamount number of users to share your website, it is just crucial for a blogger, internet marketer or someone owning a personal website to take advantage of these popular platforms. WordPress currently offer plugins to add social sharing functions to your website. A quick Google search or a trip at the WordPress.org Codex would turn out hundreds of paid and free plugins for use.
However, with all these available plugins, one that stands out (and that I personally tested) is Flare, a social sharing bar for WordPress. Flare is free and a simple yet eye-catching social sharing bar that gets you followed and help users share your content via the share buttons on posts, pages, and other media types. The plugin is fairly easy to configure and you can quickly set it up to bring your website’s social sharing status better in no time.
This plugin allows you to configure multiple social sharing buttons for some of the most popular sharing services like:
You can reorder the icons and customize the appearance of each. The post type to which the icon would show up can also be controlled. It allows the user to configure whether Flare would be displayed at the top, bottom, left or right side of the post or page content. Flare buttons work in IE7+ as well as current versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera; unfortunately vertical following does not work in IE6.
Flare is available at wordpress.org. You can download this plugin directly from this link. You can upload the zip file and install it from there or use an FTP program to upload the zip file to your server and activate it later inside the WordPress administration. Plugin installation can also be done via the WordPress plugins options page where you have the option to find it and press install.
Installing the plugin adds the Flare Admin UI in the Dashboard menu. You can start configuring the sharing and following options for the icons displayed in your website. Go to the share tab and specify where you want flare to appear.
Flare options page for configuring the plugin placement
The social sharing bar can be styled to your preference. You can change the button type, background color and flare scoring for the specific page or post.
Style options menu.
Choose what style of button you want to display.
Customize the color of your buttons.
Social sharing buttons can be configured via the Button Options menu. Here you can edit how the buttons would look like in the website when displayed.
You also need to choose where the share bar would appear. You can have it either in your website’s posts, pages or media.
Next, you need to configure the Follow tab for your website. Select the button type on the first row and click save. Button options can be seen by clicking the plus (+) sign. It will open a row of available social sharing buttons available for use.
Pick the button you want to use and add the URL of your account. Hit save and you’re now good to go.
It is important for a website to have a good social outlook as more and more visitors will come to it. Flare is a good, free plugin to start getting traffic from social networking sites. It has all the necessary features needed to help your website gain traffic from these powerful social platforms. It is easy and simple to use and I highly recommend it to anyone.