In the modern day, creating a site and posting content is just not enough. To be popular and be loved by all, an intriguing social presence is highly necessary. Also, it is imperative that all posts are connected to at least Facebook so that people can share the content if they like it. In this post, I will guide you through the installation of such plugins.
First, we will look at adding like and +1 buttons to your posts and then, the addition of a bunch of sharing links.
Facebook Like Button:
Search for “Facebook” in “Add New Plugin” after logging on to your WordPress admin. Install the Facebook plugin. Note that this has been developed by developers from Facebook itself.
Alternately, you can head on to Github, where they have hosted their code for the plugin and follow the installation instructions.
Install and activate the plugin. You would notice that there is a new “Facebook” option under the “Settings” in the left panel. Click it to go to the setup screen. Alternately, you can visit the ‘Installed Plugins’ page and click ‘settings’ under the installed Facebook Plugin.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you are asked for an App ID and an App secret to setup the plugin for use. Let’s see how to go about generating these numbers.
Head over to Facebook Developers application page and click on the button that says “Create a new app”.
Provide an “App name” and an “App namespace”. Note that the namespace uniquely identifies the application and can not be a duplicate. Click continue to go to the next screen.
Head back to the settings screen for the Facebook Plugin and fill in the values for App ID and App Secret. Note that double clicking on a value selects it and you don’t need to precisely select the whole value.
Next, head on to the ‘Like Button’ settings under the Facebook settings option. You will see the various options that your like button could have and also decide on the positioning of the buttons.
It is generally advisable to have the like button at the end of the posts, but many developers prefer it to be both at the top and bottom of the posts, especially if the posts are very long. You can also choose the width of the widget and the color scheme.
Click ‘Save Changes’ after you are satisfied with the options and head over to your post to check it.
Voila! There you have the like button.
Note that I was using the localhost for WordPress and hence the 1659 likes for the page http://localhost/wordpress/
Google +1 button:
There are many plugins which do the job of adding a +1 button, but some of them require you to add a code snippet like “[ plus_one ]” inside your posts where you want them to appear. That makes it a tedious job and an automated plugin comes in more handy.
In “Add New” option under Plugins, search for “Google +1 Automater”. Select the option that I have highlighted in the screenshot.
In case you are not able to find the plugin, head over to the webpage of the plugin and follow the installation instructions.
After installation, activate the plugin and go to the settings of the plugin, either by clicking ‘Settings’ under the plugin name in the list of installed plugins, or by clicking ‘Google +1’ under Settings on the left sidebar.
Select the display options in the settings. You can see the live generated preview of the button as you make changes in the page. When you are happy with the output, click the “Save Changes” button to finalize the changes.
Head over to any of your posts to check if the button is working properly.
Shareaholic Share Buttons:
Now that we have added like buttons, let us see how you can enable your readers to share your posts in popular sites. The best such widget available today is provided by “Shareaholic”.
Search for Shareaholic in the Add New option under Plugins and select the one highlighted in the screenshot below.
Install the plugin and activate the plugin. You can find its settings by clicking ‘Settings’ under Shareaholic in the list of the installed plugins or the separate Shareaholic link on the left sidebar.
Since ‘Sexy Bookmarks’ are the latest ones in Shareaholic and they might just not have support for the others in the future, let us concentrate on that. Click on the settings button next to Sexy Bookmarks.
On the top, you can see the green indicators indicating that all the requirements for this plugin have been fulfilled by your server. In case anything is red, you would unfortunately have to go back and select another option.
You can then work your way through the options that you want to display in your bookmarks sharing bar. Note that if you select too many options, they would continue on to the next line in the bookmark bar making it look clumsy, especially in devices with small screens like netbooks.
There are more functionality settings as you scroll down the page and also a plugin aesthetics option that allows you to specify the image that you would use as a header for the plugin. Click on ‘Save Changes’ once you are done fiddling with the controls.
Head over to any of your blog posts to check how it looks.
There you go. If you have followed all the steps in this post, you would have enabled quite a few nice options for your readers to connect to social networking sites.