Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is an all-in-one solution for your WordPress social sharing needs and includes features for increasing your sharing, driving traffic, tracking, and analysis. It’s been around for a while and has recently gotten a significant update that makes it one of, if not the most, unique social sharing plugins available. It also has several addons that give it even more power.
In this review I’m taking a look at the plugin and three free addons:
- Amp support
- Facebook comments
- Post views
The Recent Update
Version 3.6 has added some interesting features. No other social sharing plugin has these unique features, allowing the plugin to stand apart from the crowd. The new features include:
Subscribe button with 3 different modes (unique) – add a mail list subscription to your social sharing buttons with MailChimp integration or a custom form link. The form can even be HTML code or a shortcode from another plugin.
Share Point display method (unique) – this is a method to encourage social sharing.
Most Popular Posts – this is a widget and shortcode to display your most popular posts.
myCred separate hook integration (unique) – this is a separate hook of social sharing with an awards system to encourage social shares.
Extended AffiliateWP Support (unique) – the plugin integrates with several affiliate plugins including Affiliates, AffiliateWP, and myCred.
Amp support (unique) – special mobile buttons for AMP pages.
Free Addon Facebook Comments – bring Facebook comments to your website.
Using the Plugin
To start you can use the quick setup wizard, import ready-made styles, or start building from scratch. To build from scratch you can use the full settings or activate an easy mode and change from easy mode to the advanced settings by clicking a button. For beginners I recommend either the quick setup wizard or easy mode. Both are easy to use and you can always turn on advanced settings when you’re ready.
There are several ways to navigate through the features. Menu links are placed within the WordPress Dashboard. Clicking on any of them opens the plugin’s built-in dashboard where all of the work is done. Shortcut buttons across the top give you easy access to the major features.
Tabs let you choose the primary settings and links within the tabs open the detailed settings within the major settings. I like the navigation structure. It’s easy to use and I never had any trouble finding what I wanted.
Another quick edit box appears in the bottom right corner of your screen for fast navigation. A drop-down box is added to your frontend when you’re logged in to WordPress. The drop-down isn’t a complete menu but it has most of the major links and it will get you back to the plugin’s dashboard. I would like to see an analytics link added to this menu.
Display your social buttons in any location and 31 templates. Most of them are Retina ready. Some of the styles only have small differences but they are different enough to put some thought into your choices.
The templates give you a lot of styles to choose from and they have lots of customizations so you can style them even further. Also within this menu you can choose the style, how the buttons align, and the button width.
Choose from 40 social networks and arrange them with drag and drop. Set it display a few icons and then show a More button or your choice of icons and select how you want the button to operate. You can set up how hashtags, @ symbols, and other features work for the networks.
Enable counters to show the number of shares for each of the networks. If you want you can even customize their names. Other buttons include Like, Follow, Subscribe, Love This, etc. There’s even a URL shortener for social links.
The display settings allow you to adjust the display for post types, several different eCommerce platforms (for examples, you can show buttons after the sale), bbPress, and BudyPress. There are lots of display customization options.
One of the most impressive features in this section is the positions that you can choose for the buttons. This not only allows you to choose the location on the screen where your buttons appear, but also various actions such as fly in, float, popup, on media, and much more. You can even set a different position depending on post types. The positions include a different set of positions for mobile devices. You can even choose different networks to display on mobile.
The Advanced Settings tab includes a lot of features that I didn’t expect to find in a social sharing plugin. Features such as minification, cache, resources loading, translation, and lots more. The advanced settings are selected with on/off toggles or drop-down boxes. All of the features are labeled well so they’re easy to understand and adjust. It’s also easy to get them back to their default settings if you want.
The Style Settings has a lot of customization features for customizing the colors, fonts, counters, buttons, background, hover effects, etc. You can also customize the style for your MailChimp subscription form.
One of the more impressive features in this section is the Additional CSS and Addition Footer CSS features. These code boxes allow you to add your own CSS to create your own customizations. This is an excellent tool for those that like to experiment with code and add features that are not native to the plugin.
The shortcode generator will give you a shortcode based on your selections. Selections include social networks, counters, button styles, customized messages, position, text, and lots more. Make all of your choices and generate the shortcode. This provides an easy way to get the shortcodes to place within your content.
The analytics tab displays analytics for social share click logging and Google Analytics. For Google tracking you can choose between simple or extended. The charts will show you activity by date, device, code position, post, and network. I didn’t see a way to export the charts or data, but it works well with the dashboard.
The Import/Export tab gives you the tools to import or export your settings so you can reuse them on another website. You can also apply a ready-made style. This is especially handy if you’d developed the specific design you like on a test site or want to use the designs on multiple sites.
There are currently five extensions and three of them are free. They are:
- Self-Hosted URLs
- Hello Followers – Social Counter Plugin
- Post Views
- Facebook Comments
- AMP Share Buttons
I installed the three free plugins and tried them out. All three had useful features that made them worth using.
Post Views Addon
The Post Views Addon is an extension is a free addon that posts the number of views the post has had. It will also display the most popular post within a widget or a shortcode. You have several different view and placement options and you can add custom text, choose the way the numerical value is displayed, and choose light or dark text.
Facebook Comments Addon
The Facebook Comments addon will automatically post comments from Facebook onto your website. You have full moderation capabilities if you need it.
Amp Share Buttons Addon
The AMP Share Buttons addon adds share buttons to your Google Amp (Accelerated Mobile Pages) pages. When you’re using AMP your mobile sharing buttons will display. AMP support is unique to the Easy Social Share Buttons plugin.
Quick Setup Wizard
If you don’t want to step through all of the detailed settings you can use the Quick Setup Wizard instead. It simplifies the menu, making it easier to understand and removing most of the complicated advanced settings. You can still get to them any time you want. I found the Quick Setup Wizard to be a great place to get started fast. You can always go back in and make your own customizations once you get your buttons made.
On the right of the top navigation bar is a button to activate Easy Mode. This turns off all of the advanced features and allows you to make quick selections to create your buttons. You can go back and forth between easy mode and advanced mode any time you want.
Update coming soon
Very soon the users of Easy Social Share Buttons will have an update of the plugin (version 3.7). Here we will mention the upcoming changes:
- Separate menu “Easy Optin” (Subscription Forms).
- Increased number of supported services with GetReponse, MyMail and MailPoet (widely requested by customers).
- Three new pre-made designs of subscription forms.
- Extended mini optin module to allow shortcode usage with all the designs.
I found Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress intuitive to use and far more powerful than I expected. The level of basic and advanced design settings is impressive. It has modes for features and getting started easily and you can toggle between them at any time. Navigation is easy and intuitive.
I didn’t need the documentation but it’s easy to get to if you want it and it covers everything in great detail. The support site includes a knowledge-base that covers thousands of topics.
Easy Social Share Buttons is a far more advanced plugin than I expected and is easy to recommend for anyone that wants sharing buttons that includes tools to improve sharing.