There are tens of millions of WordPress sites on the Internet. How can you get your website to be promoted automatically, without your input? Have your readers promote your website for you! Social WordPress plugins can do that and more.
Adding plugins to your WordPress build is a task that most webmasters are familiar with – but many lack the social plugins necessary to take their site to the next level.
With the right mix of plugins, though, your readers can share your content, tweet and pin it to their hearts content, and argue about it later in comment threads built for the modern age.
Read on to find out how our five favorite WordPress Plugins can help make your website more social.
The grand-daddy of them all – AddThis – has over a million downloads. And for good reason. AddThis includes the ability to easily allow your visitors to share your content on almost any social network. And we really do mean any – as of January 2013, it has over 295 social networks included.
Although you probably don’t want to actually enable that many, unless you’re an international site or one which experiences thousands of unique visitors per day. If you’re still small, just go ahead and make it easy for content to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. That’ll keep your visitors happy til the niche markets on your site grow.
While there are hundreds of toolbars available to assist your users in sharing content, Social Toolbar is easily the most stylish. With tons of different options for icons, colors, backgrounds, fonts, and links, you can match your websites style to a T. One thing to watch out for, though?
Looking too stylish for a bland website. The reader’s eyes has a tendency to be drawn to Social Toolbars bright colors, so make sure it isn’t distracting too much from the page you place it on. In addition, the ability to have your latest Tweet pop up is a nice little add-on that doesn’t distract too much from its true purpose. If the initial setup isn’t enough, you can also go pro for full customization.
Despite being spelled like some 90′s energy drink, we’ve found that Social Linkz is applicable on almost every wordpress site we create, whether it’s a blog or for a corporation. Social Linkz is one of the simplest and easiest ways to just throw a couple quick buttons in for every post, which makes it particularly useful on sites with multiple authors that aren’t you.
Just decide the buttons you want, and do some quite back-end editing to get it ready, and it’ll be good to go. All of the buttons will automatically appear at the bottom of each post, and include the social networks that you already selected.
For those who want their social sharing buttons but also want them out of the way, Social Slider comes to the rescue. Popping in on either the left or right side of the browser, Social Slider features the ability to share your content on a wide variety of social sites or other means in a neat and tidy package.
It’s bonus settings, such as customizable icons, the ability to disable on mobile browsers, and color scheme options make it an instant-install for many of the WordPress sites we create.
The word “Social” doesn’t have to mean social networks, as Jetpack Comments shows us. It can also mean users interacting with each other on your own site. While, for years, comment systems on blogs have allowed for many complex and well-articulated discussions to occur. Just kidding!
As anyone who has read comment threads on YouTube knows, you’re well aware that most comment discussions on the net quickly devolve into comment arguments which themsleves quickly devolve into petty insults being traded. But there is a better way, and several plug-ins do solve this problem. With their latest version, JetPack has become our favorite for numerous reasons.
One, it’s built by WordPress.com, so you never have to worry about integration issues when upgrading your back-end. Secondly, it allows for users to simply sign into their already created social networks when trying to comment on your site.
While this may hurt the amount of data you can collect, the increase in interaction you receive is beyond worth the trade-offs. With Jetpack installed, expect commenting on your website to thrive! …and maybe a couple of petty insults as well.
Did you favorite make the cut? If you think we missed one of the top WordPress social plugins, be sure to let us know in the comments!