A lot of you have asked us about the floating social share bar that we use on Wphelp. In the past, our reply was simply that it was a custom plugin that we created for our site. That usually followed up with a question what is the best social media plugin that you would recommend? Sadly, there was not a single one that met our standards. We only recommend what we use or would use. After much thought and consideration, we have decided to release our floating social share bar plugin for wphelp users and the greater WordPress community. In this article, we will show you how to add a horizontal floating social share bar in WordPress.
Most social media plugins for WordPress are bloated. Partially because they support all sorts of social networks. The other part is because social media scripts are inherently slow. Well we fixed both of those issues in this plugin. First, we are only supporting the major social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Second, we delay the loading of social scripts until the user actually brings their mouse over, so your initial page load time is the fastest that it can be. In the past people simply put placeholder images, but we took it one step further. We show the cached version of the count which refreshes at an interval you decide (default 30 minutes). So when the user sees your share bar, it looks exactly the same as it would if the social media scripts are enabled.
Simply put, this floating social bar allows us to maximize our social media visibility without impacting our site speed.
How to Add the Floating Social Share Bar on Your Site
First thing you need to do is install and activate the
Floating Social Bar
plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu under Settings » Floating Social Bar .
To add the floating social share bar to your blog posts, simply drag and drop the available social buttons in the enabled social services area in the order you would like to display them. Next, add your twitter ID in the field in the following format wphelp. Remember not to include the @ symbol.
The title for the share bar will only show up if there is enough space for it. If you use all sharing buttons, then chances are that you can’t get the title due to width constraints.
You can choose the post types you want to add the floating social share bar such as posts, pages, or any other custom post type.
The last field is the cache interval which is what allows this plugin to be the most efficient. We recommend that you don’t change this number unless you know what you are doing. Here is how it works. By default, this plugin gets the social media count from the APIs and store it in a cache for 30 minutes. It only gets the count for the post when its loaded to reduce server load. For example, if no one visits your two year old post, then this plugin will not waste your precious server resources for that post. It only gets the count right when a user visits the post or page.
That’s it. Now when you go to your post page, there will be a horizontal floating share bar.