18 Top Responsive Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress
No matter what device they’re visiting from, the easier you can make it for visitors to share your posts or pages on their own social networks, the more exposure and traffic you’ll get. It’s as simple as that.
Putting a nice set of shiny social share buttons in the right place on your site is a great first step towards encouraging visitors to share your content.
The incredible range of social sharing plugins available for WordPress make this easier than ever to do but finding the right one to match your requirements can be difficult.
In this article we’ll run the rule over eighteen of the best premium and free responsive social sharing plugins out there to help narrow down your search.
Before we begin though, let’s clarify why finding a responsive option is so important.
Why You Need a Responsive Social Sharing Solution
While many of the highest rated social sharing plugins take responsive design into account out of the box, lots of them unfortunately still don’t.
Non-responsive sharing solutions may look great on desktop but can perform extremely poorly on mobile devices – even if your theme itself is responsive.
Unless specifically catered for, these elements can end up tiny on smaller devices, interfere with other plugins or layout components, force users to endure long loading times, or just simply not work at all. That’s bad news if your site’s visitors are viewing it from a mobile device and an increasing number of them are.
According to We Are Social, web traffic from mobile devices increased by 39% from 2014 to 2015 with one-third of all web pages now being visited via this route. Is it really worth choosing a social sharing plugin that ignores those kind of numbers?
Let’s move on to our list of mobile-friendly solutions.
Premium Mobile Social Sharing Plugins
The first ten plugins on our list are premium offerings with some of them available for as little as $15.
If you want full control over the way your social buttons are displayed on your WordPress site, Ultimate Social Deux is a premium plugin worth using for its wide range of customizable options.
Not only has it been designed for speed, Ultimate Social Deux can also be integrated to work with other popular plugins such as WooCommerce and Visual Composer.
Whether you choose a floating social share display, or buttons with the full social network names plus share counts, everything is optimized to function just as well on mobile as it does on desktop.
Monarch is a gorgeous and extremely versatile social sharing plugin from Elegant Themes which lets you put over 35 different social networks on your site, with the ability to customize the look however you want.
You have control over the size, color, shape, icon orientation, and many other options to best match the layout of your site.
Buttons remain large and easy to see at all times and a fixed expandable share tab is added to the bottom of the screen when the plugin detects a mobile browser. Users can expand and collapse the tab to share the site page any time, no matter where they are on the page.
If you’re really serious about social media marketing, Social Warfare might be the all-in-one plugin you’ve been looking for.
Aside from claiming to have the sexiest looking social buttons available online, the plugin also lets you play with over 75 different style and color combinations to get your buttons looking just right.
Designed to be flexible enough to fit any screen size and function at lightning speed, your visitors won’t have any trouble sharing your content from even the smallest screens.
The plugin also lets you create tweetable inline quotes to encourage even more sharing on Twitter.
For a nice looking and performant social share plugin that displays buttons on any browser window position, the Fixed WordPress Social Share Buttons plugin really delivers.
The button icons are Retina-ready and customizable in both color and size. As the browser width changes, the buttons react and scale down their size to perfectly fit the screen according to configurable settings.
Perhaps the only downside to this plugin is that it really only allows you to display your social buttons on the side of the page, with no options to display buttons anywhere else.
Simple Share Buttons Plus claims to be one of the most advanced WordPress social share plugins out there. It comes with ten different sets of buttons to choose from, all of which are flexible for mobile use.
You can see this in action by visiting the site and scrolling down just about midway to see the Buttons Preview option. This will let you play around and see all the different styles on offer.
Another highly praised and feature-packed social share plugin is Easy Social Share Buttons. This solution includes a “Love this” button, a Comments button, a Send to mail button, and a Print button in addition to over 35 social network buttons.
Optimized for mobile use, you also have the opportunity to set up mobile-specific display types however you like. And with 22 built-in templates plus a template customizer, 18 display locations and four button styles, you won’t short of tweaking options.
The plugin also takes media sharing into account by offering modules for social image sharing.
Floating Social, our very own social share plugin, is another strong responsive contender to consider.
The plugin adds a convenient vertical share bar that floats smoothly along the browser as the user scrolls up or down. You can adjust the size, position, color, or even add your own CSS to further customize its look.
The size of the bar and buttons will change in relation to screen size without overlapping your content or taking up too much room. If you’re happy with just a simple floating bar and don’t necessarily need any other display options, this plugin is worth checking out.
Social Buzz is a plugin that claims to supercharge your WordPress site’s social sharing.
Large share buttons are horizontally placed alongside a share counter and shares graph, all designed to entice the visitor into sharing popular posts across all device sizes.
The plugin comes with three different styles to choose from with the additional option of being able to tweak the CSS. It’s designed for speed and claims to work with 99.9% of WordPress themes so compatibility should not be a concern.
SumoMe is a suite of tools deigned to grow web traffic with a free WordPress plugin offering all sorts of helpful features from list builders to scroll boxes and more besides.
In among all that is a feature for people to share web content on mobile or on the desktop. There’s also a convenient image sharer that encourages sharing to Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
While the plugin is free with the most basic features, you’ll be asked to upgrade if you want more options and control over customization.
While some swear by this plugin for all that it offers, some also claim that it doesn’t work very well with certain WordPress themes.
With over 200,000 installs, AddThis is a very popular social share plugin with a basic free plugin available.
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The Pro version provides share buttons that appear larger and more responsive on mobile screens along with touch-friendly functionality. You can even specify the screen resolution at which it should optimize for touch.
Like many of the other plugins, this one also offers customizable options to perfectly match the look and feel of your site. Despite being such a popular plugin, it doesn’t exactly work for everyone. The free plugin version has had its fair share of negative reviews, so be mindful of that before deciding to install it.
Free Mobile Social Sharing Plugins
Now that we’ve seen what premium plugin options are available, it’s time to take a look at some of the free alternatives. All of the following options are responsive and several of them give the paid solutions a good run for their money in terms of functionality.
Rather than using images to display each button, the buttons are created using CSS3. When a device width of less than 480px is detected, the full-sized buttons are converted into their respective icons.
It’s a great free plugin as long as you’re fine with sacrificing some customization options. You can’t really change the colors, shapes, or sizes as you can with some of the other plugins on this list, and you’re limited to providing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
If you like the look of those fixed social buttons that mimic the look of a menu bar at the bottom of a mobile screen, then you’ll love this GetSocial plugin. Buttons are automatically reformatted so that they’re displayed this way any time a smaller screen size is detected.
This is one of the few free plugins offering a comparable feature set to the premium solutions. Options available include horizontal or vertical floating display, big social counters, and even a welcome subscribe bar you can put at the top.
Anyone who can’t yet afford to invest in a premium plugin but still wants gorgeous social buttons designed to work across all devices and themes should consider the Sharify Social Share Buttons plugin.
This plugin doesn’t offer much in the realm of customization besides the option of different colors. Given how nicely the buttons are designed though, that may not be a problem at all.
Claiming to be the fastest sharing plugin for WordPress, it also comes with caching options to help speed up your site. The plugin offers sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Pocket, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Email, and VKontake.
The plugin supports seven of the biggest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, Reddit) and enavles you to customize your own image for each button, along with its background color.
If the sidebar doesn’t look so great on your site when viewed on mobile, there’s an option to disable it when the plugin detects a smaller screen size.
Share Buttons by AddToAny is a free plugin that offers floating vertical and horizontal buttons – both mobile ready by default – so you can be sure your display will automatically look great on any device.
You can also set breakpoints and customize exactly where you want your buttons to appear, no matter what WordPress theme you may be using. This is an ideal plugin if you really want to give visitors more options to decide where they want to share your icon.
Unlike some of the other free plugins listed here, Share Buttons by AddToAny supports over 100 social networks and bookmarking sites.
Mashshare is a free social share plugin that requires an add-on (also free) to make the buttons responsive. On its own, the plugin features a big total share counter with various sharing buttons beside it. It also gives you the option to set up a subscribe button for your news feed and email list.
The responsive add-on simply optimizes the size of the share buttons so that they’re easy to see and use on mobile devices. It does this by automatically decreasing the width of the buttons to fit them all beside one another in the available space. Text descriptions and the counter can also be removed when smaller screens are detected.
WPSSO is a lightweight, full-featured free plugin that aims to make your social sharing as fast and elegant as possible.
To make your buttons look and function as well as possible on mobile, you’ll also need the free, but rather clunkily named, WPSSO Ridiculously Responsive Social Sharing Buttons + WooCommerce bbPress BuddyPress plugin. This extends WPSSO’s offering to feature social buttons that are optimized at any screen size.
You can configure and style ten social buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pocket, Tumblr, VKontake, Email) and customize the CSS even further for each button with the built-in style editor.
The Easy Social Icons plugin is a good option if you’re fine with the default look of most social networking button images.
If you’re not happy with the default look of each button, the plugin also includes an option to use your own images. Although button styling isn’t a customizable option through this plugin, you can adjust the size of the buttons and display them vertically or horizontally to match the design of your theme.
There’s also widget support so you can display buttons in your sidebar or footer as well.
The fact that more people than ever are shifting their internet browsing habits away from the desktop simply can’t be ignored. By choosing a social sharing plugin that’s built to enhance the mobile user’s experience, you stand to greatly enhance your social engagement and grow your traffic.
The plugins we’ve selected are all optimized for mobile by default. Several of the options we’ve highlighted throughout – horizontal buttons, floating bars, fixed buttons at the bottom of the screen and collapsable tabs for example – are specifically designed to perform well on smaller devices and give your content the best possible chance of being shared.
Which social sharing plugin are you currently using on your WordPress site and why? Let us know in the comments below.