Updated: 9th November 2015
Are you looking for the ultimate social media plugin to encourage your visitors to share your content? Maybe I have the plugin just for you.
I have used a lot of plugins in WordPress for both my own sites, and my customer’s. And to be honest, there is a lot of crap out there.
Don’t get me wrong, it is great that people develop free plugins in their spare time, but when you are running a serious business/website you want reliable, customizable, well written and develop plugins that you can rely on.
And you want support too.
Because sometimes things go wrong (sometimes very wrong, but we will leave those stories for another time).
So I have installed way too many social sharing plugins over the years, and the problem is that many of these plugins:
- Are lacking features that should be there
- Are NOT maintained at all (so lots of bugs, features that don't work, and open to hacking)
- Have not kept up with the times on Social Media (nowadays it's all about images, and there are lots of great features like Twitter cards and click to tweet)
Enter The Social Warfare PluginThe Warfare team have taken all of the things that are missing in social media plugins and made what is probably the best one on the market. To give you an idea of what is included in this plugin and what it can do, here is a quick rundown:
- Visually stunning social share buttons that are easy to customize to your liking
- Custom shared content so people post exactly what you expect (image, text etc)
- Custom Pinterest image to take advantage of long/portrait images for max Pinterest impact
- Click-to-tweet functionality - enables you to add them throughout your posts for extra tweetables
- Mobile responsive - so the buttons look great on all screens and devices
- Loads fast - the developers are focused on this as most social buttons don't!
There are also a bunch of other innovative and great features worth mentioning, but I will show you those babies in the detailed review below.
Custom Content & Images – Gives You Full Control Over Sharing
If you have not already noticed, images are dominating social media. And you should be adding images to your blog posts that are sharable across all social media platforms.
The problem is, there are two fundamentally different shapes you need to use – horizontal/landscape and vertical/portrait. Social networks like Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn favor wider images, where as tall images do well on Pinterest. This is where one of the features of Social Warfare comes in.
They have taken care of this issue for us! Basically, you can create both styles of images and hide the tall one because it is only needed once.
This is done via a Social Warfare panel below each blog post, which looks like this: This panel allows you to define for each blog post:
- custom Pinterest image and description (that image is only shared, not shown)
- custom Social Media Title ane Description (for all other posts, except Twitter)
- custom Tweet (otherwise the default is taken to be the title)
So in essence, these guys are leaving nothing to chance. You will know exactly what is going to be shared when people click those sexy share buttons.
Custom Buttons That Look Amazing
Yes, the social warfare plugin is a very flexible and great looking social sharing buttons plugin for WordPress too.
The buttons are one of the most important parts of such a plugin because they need to grab people’s attention, but also fit your style and color scheme (if that is important to you).
There are certainly enough options in this area, which I have quickly broken down below:
1. Very stylish layout of the social media buttons with a variety of colors options (seen below)
(Dark Gray Buttons)
The Final option above is NOT PINK, it is a custom color. So you can change the buttons to match your theme.
2. There are also a variety of shapes to choose from
3. The buttons also animate when you hover to share on each network, and there are various options for this too (eg. gray to color , dark to light etc) 4. Where the should buttons appear. You can control where on the page/post you want them to appear
- in general (top, bottom, both or manual placement)
- specifically on blog posts
- when scrolling – float the buttons (top, bottom, left) or not at all
New October 2015: you can now have a floating box on the side of your posts, like with many other social plugins
5. Other options include:
- which social buttons you want to include (from the main 5)
- what order to have the buttons in
- having a colored button around the share total or not
- have the share total on right/left
- the background color behind the buttons when floating
- rounding of the share total to x decimal places (relevant for over 1000 shares)
So, now you know all the options in a nutshell. I know it’s a lot, but this is a great thing, believe me! Basically, you have a very stylish and dynamic set of buttons which are fully customizable. After all, we all have different desires when it comes to our baby (ie. website). So why not give us the choice.
Link Shortening Built-in
Normally most social sharing plugins do not incorporate link shortening with services like Bitly. Info: In case you don’t know why you need this, it is mostly due to the size limit of tweets, but there are other purposes such as link tracking. Back to the point at hand. The guys at Warfare Plugins understand that most of us want our links shortened and many of us have to use another social media tool in order to accomplish this (like Buffer, Hootsuite etc). But with this plugin it is built-in.
- the most popular shortening service Bitly
- They also have their own for those that don’t use such a service
Twitter Cards Built-in (Added in Aug 2015)
Twitter Cards, for those who don’t know, are a great way to add more details and interactions with your content that is share on Twitter. Creating these in the past has not always been simple, but now with Social Warfare it is simpler than ever. You don’t really have to do much at all other than use the plugin.
Connect To Google Analytics
This continues on a bit from link shortening and tracking services. Usually, marketers and bloggers want to see how their posts are doing and where they are being shared. You could get your data from various social media tools, but why not have it built in to your Google Analytics by your social sharing plugin? Basically what they have done is add UTM parameters to your URLS so that you can track your sharing within Google Analytics. This way you see exactly how much traffic is coming via the Social Warfare plugin itself (not other social media sources).
Click-to-Tweet, You Know You Want To!
All the cool kids are using them right now, and you have probably clicked one yourself. You know, once of those sexy “tweetables” you see on the top bloggers websites. There are four built-in color schemes in this plugin, and they look like this: And yes, if you don’t like these, you can customize it completely, of course. How easy is it to add? Simple, just click the button in your WordPress toolbar and fill in the two fields (what appears on the page, what exactly appears in the tweet).
Frame Buster – Is Snip.ly Annoying You Too?
If you have heard about or run into Snip.ly lately you might know what I am talking about. But if not, here it is in a nutshell: Sniply is a new service that allows you to “encourage” people back to your website – great, right? But they are doing it by placing their popups “on top” of other people’s content (maybe yours). So instead of enticing people to sign up to your email list on your site, or luring them back with stunning content, you are using other people’s content, and then slapping a little window on top to get them from someone else’s site to yours. Not my cup of tea, but some people might like this kind of service. So, if you don’t want people luring your readers away by adding little windows on top of your content…the Social Warfare plugin can block it for you. This is built-in to the plugin and is easily turned on with one little switch – flick, and no more borrowing of your audience!
More Additions (August 2015)
A few more cool features added recently include:
- Share Count Recovery – if you change your URL structure in WordPress (and use redirects) you will no longer be able to get the share counts for old posts. BUT with this new change from Social Warfare, you can! yay
- Have share buttons share a different page (eg. you have a thank you page for a webinar or similar, and want to share the actual sales page – now you can use a special short code to easily share a different page)
Is Social Warfare For You?
If you just want something free, basic, not so stylish, with no extra features, there are more than enough social sharing plugins to help you out. However, if you are sick of all the horrible social sharing plugins out there, then maybe it is time for something a little more professional. Social Warfare is great if you are serious about:
- getting more social shares
- making sure your share buttons look as awesome as possible
- having full control of what is shared and how it looks
- using tweetables (click-to-tweet) to get more shares
- generally having a well supported and designed plugin for social sharing
If you want to learn more about this amazing plugin, just click on that big red button below…