social sharing icons on your blog

NOTE: I am currently trialling a different social plugin on Blog Tyrant to test performance.

If you run a blog you’ll know how frustrating it can be to get some nice looking Facebook, Twitter and Google+ social sharing icons that actually work.

I’ve tried dozens of plugins and all of them seem to fall short in one way or another.

Sometimes they’re not responsive.

Sometimes you can’t add them to the best location.

Sometimes they don’t aggregate your shares correctly.

But two weeks ago I found a plugin called Mashshare that allows you to simply add some social media sharing icons in the style of the popular blog Mashable.

Check it out.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase the plugin I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support. It means a lot.

What does this social sharing plugin look like?

Let’s just start by giving you a quick demo of what this thing looks like.

You’ll find it at the bottom of all of my articles by default but you can also add it anywhere else you like by using a little short code.

Now, I have my version set up to only show Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. But the premium version of the plugin allows you to add pretty much any network that you like.

As you can see, it looks almost identical to the sexy sharing icons that Mashable uses on their posts (this is a screenshot – don’t click it!).

mashable sharing icons

I was instantly struck by the visuals of this plugin. Normally I find social sharing icons really clumsy and always look as if they’ve been “tacked on” as a second thought.

But the Mashshare plugin really seems to overcome that problem. I was so impressed that I even left a 5-star review on the plugin’s WordPress page:

Mashshare review

This is not something I normally do but was just feeling a bit gooey about finding a solution for this social icons problem at long last.

Features of the Mashshare social sharing plugin

Okay, this plugin has a truck-load of features while still remaining pretty lightweight. I’ll go over some of my favorites and let you explore the rest for yourself.

Please note that some of these features are only available if you’ve purchased the Add On for €18.00 per year which gets you all the extra icons, email support and so on.

1. Select icons to show and which ones you want enlarged

The first thing that I liked was the ability to choose how many icons you want to display. Here’s just some of them.

social media

You can also select how many “big” icons you want to appear before the plus sign. For example, you can see that I’ve just chosen the Twitter and Facebook icons to be the main big ones. But you could have Google+ and LinkedIn or even Facebook and a Subscribe button.

2. Set the color of the big number

I love the green numbers that Mashable use so I just copied that, but you can set the share color to whatever you want. This is a nice touch as you can tweak it so that it fits your branding, stands out from the rest, etc.

3. Add an email opt-in button or link

I really like this one. You can set one of the social icons to be a mailing list subscribe form or a link that goes to a mailing list landing page. This is really cool if you want to have an opt-in area at the bottom of your post but can’t afford to pay a designer to make you something custom.

4. Set the caching time and post exclusions

You can set the numbers to refresh at a time gap of your choosing.

cache

This is cool because, if you’re like me, you’ll want less requests taking up server juice.

You can also set the plugin to exclude certain pages or posts if you don’t want the sharing icons to appear in some places. This is nice as I often see people with social icons on pages that no one would ever share like an About page or whatever.

5. Get support from the developer

One thing I really like about this plugin is that it seems be be run and operated solely by the creator, Rene, who is a really lovely guy. I’ve sent him a few stupid questions and he always responds really quickly and with a friendly response.

6. Enjoy a “stacked” responsive design

I’m not sure that anyone uses social sharing icons on their mobile devices but it’s at least nice to know that the icons won’t muck up your sexy responsive WordPress theme by not being compatible.

responsive social sharing icons

The above is a screen grab showing you how the Mashshare icons “stack” when on a mobile device. This is so much nicer than having teeny tiny icons that no one can see, or icons that get cut off outside the content area.

7. Lots more for the tech geeks (and some cheating?)

If you’re into things like styling your own buttons, designating what order the plugin executes in, and even adding a loading animation to the number then you’re really going to enjoy playing around with this.

One of the features that I don’t use but I know that a lot of new bloggers might enjoy is the ability to add “fake” numbers to each post so that you’re blog doesn’t look totally empty.

I’m not sure about the ethics of this (and any SEO impacts?) but I know some people might like adding a few counts so it’s not on 0-5 all the time.

How to install the Mashshare social icons on your blog

As always, this plugin is only for people who are on a self-hosted WordPress set up. This is yet another reason to get your blog installed on your own host – there is just so much cool stuff you can do with plugins and widgets.

To install Mashshare just go PLUGINS > ADD NEW and then search for Mashshare.

Mashshare

You then just click INSTALL and ACTIVATE and you’re ready to go. Head over to the Settings tab and set it up how you’d like to see it. If you purchase the Add On you’ll have to upload a new file but the instructions come with the download and are very simple to follow.

Note that this plugin has an excellent amount of positive ratings and has been updated recently. These are two things you should always look for when installing a new plugin.

What social sharing icons do you use?

Have you found a social sharing plugin that you really like? Are there any limits on it that you wish existed somewhere else? I’m really interested to know what solutions every one has for this common problem. Please leave me a comment and let me know.

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  1. That’s awesome dude, I’m gonna head over to my blog and install ’em right now!

    Thanks for the share.

    1. Let me know what you think once it’s installed.

      1. Look nice, I think the share count is wrong, but will see after a day or two, see if it sorts itself out.

        Shame you have to pay for the G+ button!

        1. Make sure you sign up for the API – that makes it a lot more accurate.

  2. So crisp.

    1. Rice crispy.

      1. πŸ˜€ Even better!

        Been a while since I’ve heard that one, haha.

  3. Michaela Clark on September 12, 2014

    Love these!!

    1. They’ll work well on your new set up! No more sidebar things! πŸ™‚

  4. Another cool plugin, thanks Ramsay for share.
    Lol

    1. Ha. No worries.

  5. Very nice!

    Any way to remove the + button for the smaller icons? Would prefer them to be ever showing…

    1. Hmm… you can set it so that you have them all showing as large icons, but not sure you can have the small icons showing without the + symbol. I’ll ask Rene.

  6. Looks sweet!

    Tried a bunch and they kept breaking my themes.

    Will test this out.

    #kudos

    1. Hope you enjoy.

  7. Dharmone Events on September 12, 2014

    Hello Ramsey,good morning. Thanks for ur regular informative posts. Please I need a favour from you. Can you send me cool premium templates for blogger. Please. I’ve searched everywhere and the ones I’ve seen are not satisfactory. Please I’d appreciate you sending them to me. Keep up the hard work dear. God bless you.

    1. Hi there.

      I’m sorry but I don’t know anything about Blogger. I only work on WordPress.

      Good luck.

    2. Noufal Binu on September 12, 2014

      Awesome one! Thanks Ramsay πŸ™‚

      1. No worries!

  8. Sue Anne Dunlevie on September 12, 2014

    Heading over to pick up the plug-in now! Thanks for the great article, Ramsay.

    Sue

    1. Hope you enjoy!

  9. Danny Brown on September 12, 2014

    Hi mate,

    Great overview of a solid plug-in. I was using it (including the premium add-ons) but found the counts to be erratic (even with the API connection). Twitter and Facebook counts, no problem – but G+, LinkedIn, etc, seemed to have frequent issues. Having said that, Rene’s support is excellent, so hopefully that will be ironed out in upcoming updates.

    I’ve recently switched over to Flare Pro from Filament Apps, and love it (especially the approach to mobile sharing). Will be doing a comparison post soon between that, MashShare and Ultimate Social Deux, will ping if interested?

    Have a great weekend, mate!

    1. Sweet. Yeah definitely let me know when the comparison goes live!

  10. Does the plugin support VKontakte? I’m totally tired of good plugins all simply ignoring Russian largest social network.

    1. Yes it supports VK. I am aware of this social network so i implemented support for it in the Mashshare Network Add-On

      @Ramsay this is an awesome article

      1. Hey, thanks!

  11. jamie flexman on September 12, 2014

    This is the closest thing I’ve seen to what I really want on my own blog. I want my buttons to resemble those on this website – http://markmanson.net/5-life-lessons-5-years-traveling-world/

    I have a feeling this is custom code though. Thoughts?

    Are the buttons on this mashable plugin responsive with width or are they fixed depending on how many buttons you display?

    I currently use Social Deux, which you can see at the bottom of my own articles – it’s good, but still the best of a (somewhat bad) bunch that I’ve found so far.

    The ones on Viral Nova were good too.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, though. πŸ™‚

    1. I reckon you could do that with this plugin – just select three to show as big ones and have no small ones. Although it will still show the count. That’s a lovely theme that one.

      1. jamie flexman on September 15, 2014

        Actually it shouldn’t be hard to modify the code to remove the share count.. hmmm.

        Yeh it is a great theme. He employs his own graphic design artist and developer full time – now everything on his site, including the images going forward, will be custom. Nice if you can afford it.

  12. Salman Ravoof on September 12, 2014

    This is an awesome plugin indeed. There is a dearth of social sharing plugins. Hope WP developers fill this need by introducing more such awesome plugins in the future.

    1. Thanks Salman.

  13. This is so crazy. Just 2 days ago I was asking around on Twitter for suggestions for social sharing plugins because mine was driving me nuts. The only issue when changing to a new one is that you lose all of your past share numbers, right?
    Thanks.

    1. jamie flexman on September 13, 2014

      Lori – nope, the plugin only grabs the information from the social media sites, it’s not stored within the plugin itself. I’ve changed mine 3 times in the past and it’s always been fine. Just don’t change your permalinks within your website and the numbers should always remain.

      1. ^ This.

  14. Aziz Q Shaikh on September 13, 2014

    Can’t it be used for free on self hosted site or blog?

    1. Yes it can.

  15. Chelsea_Certspring on September 13, 2014

    Oh yes.. this is detailed πŸ™‚ Let me try it and get back to you. By the way, thanks for sharing insight, I am sure this will be a great help for everybody around.Quite needed…!

    1. Sounds good.

  16. Monday Must-Reads [09.15.14] on September 16, 2014

    […] Mashshare Review: How to Add Mashable-Style Social Sharing Icons to Your Blog […]

  17. Nathan Cooper on September 17, 2014

    Realy good plug-in, Ramsay, thank you for sharing, keep up the great work. Best regards, Nathan.

    1. Thanks Nathan.

  18. I’ve tried so many social sharing plugins and still haven’t found the perfect one. I want it to be simple and not slow down my website, while having crisp graphics.

    I’ve been using Shareaholic for some time now and I’m quite pleased with it, but I’ll give this plugin a try.

    Thanks for the awesome post Ramsay!

    1. Hope it helps.

  19. Andrew Park on September 18, 2014

    Interesting…will have to check this out. Some really good info on this blog!

    1. Thanks Andrew.

  20. Thanks a lot for sharing dude! I’m going to install this on my website right now πŸ™‚

    1. I had a look. Looks good!

  21. Rodney Robinson on September 22, 2014

    I like the attractiveness of these social media buttons. Perhaps I will give it a try. thanks again, Ramsey.

    1. Thanks Rodney.

  22. Shamir Islam on September 23, 2014

    Hey Ramsay, have you ever tried the easy social share plugin?

    Actually, there are so many out there that it’s sometimes very hard to go with one.

    1. Yes I agree – there is a lot. I’ll use this one for a while and see how it goes.

  23. I use Shareaholic, but I do like this one also. I may get it. The visual part is amazing.

    1. Luke, what do I have to do to make you smile? πŸ™‚

      1. Lol! I hate this avatar! I’m trying to change soon.

  24. Social share icons Mashable-style are the real deal!

    I was actually gonna learn some designing skills to make them, glad there’s a plugin, thanks for the share.

    I notice that you have different text written over the buttons which is kinda short. Their “Share on Facebook” “Share on Twitter” ones are actually filling up the whole button and makes it more eye-catchy, at least in my eyes:). Maybe change them and share with us the case study of the social button text conversion… that would be sick xD.

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