Beautiful Share Buttons Without the Extra Pounds
I used to adore the Flare plugin share buttons. However, once I became aware of the extra download time it took for my favorite plugin, I pulled it from my website. With only 3 seconds to engage site visitors before abandonment kicks in, Flare was adding too much overhead and sadly I had to let it go. It’s like eating cake all the time and expecting never to have to pay the price on the scale. Not planet reality.
However, Flare wasn’t totally at fault, share counters certainly added to the download lag. Having count totals for each time your post is shared means your website has to check in each social media service to find out what the latest count is. Cue in Jepardy music. That means your share plugin is going to Facebook, Twitter, GoogePlus and perhaps LinkedIn, to get those totals. That is a lot of extra time and they aren’t necessarily quick. It’s best to simply turn them off – remember 3 seconds is all you have before people will start giving up and leave your website.
Simple Share Buttons Adder
I read about this plugin on BlogAid last summer and at the time, I thought this was referring to a similar plugin that was asethically challenged. Fortunately, that isn’t the case.
Since the proof is in the testing, my first speed test showed 1.66 seconds. After setting up the plugin, the second test was 1.65 seconds (no total counts for shares). I’m assuming the time difference has to do with being on a shared webhosting server (lots of websites on one computer box) which will have some fluctuations on download speeds if the server is busy.
So what makes Simple Share Buttons Adder plugin special? It looks good AND is not download heavy. Eurkea, we can eat cake and not have to squeeze into jeans! You can see what it looks like in action on my site.
- If you decide to use your own custom icons, be sure to put in the full URL. If it is in the media library – you can find the URL path there.
- Also on the Stylings tab, make sure the Button Size matches your image size otherwise it will override it with less than stellar results.
- Also be sure to drag and drop which social media sites you want for sharing icons. I would recommend keeping it 4 max, less overwhelming that way.
- Don’t use the counters, those totals will cost you download time. Just say no!
- BlogAid made a nice tutorial on setting up the plugin.
However, I want to stress you might not need social share icons. There are already indications people share blog posts and other links on their own if they are excited about it. Those lovely icons could be competiting for attention, so keep that in mind with your marketing efforts and maybe limit it to just blog posts or not at all.
FYI – there is a pro version of Simple Share Buttons which uses sprites, that alone makes it worth consideration!