If you haven’t heard about it already, I recently built and released (along with Syed from WP Beginner) the Floating Social Bar plugin. It is running on this site.
Syed and I were chatting a couple of weeks ago and he mentioned that he had some code sitting around for the floating share bar that he had on WPBeginner. I told him I could make it into a distributable plugin, and within two days, we had it built and released on the .org repo.
There are two main draws to this plugin that separate it from every other social media plugin out there for WordPress: performance and usability.
You may or may not know this already – I am a performance nut. I’m always looking at ways to make things work faster. It’s no surprise, then, that Soliloquy is the fastest WordPress slider on the market. I worked to build the floating social bar plugin with the same idea in mind.
For starters, the plugin uses the Socialite.js script to prevent any of the annoying, bulky social service scripts from loading on page load. Stats are updated in post meta fields and cached to keep queries down. Beyond that, the counts are updated asynchronously via AJAX when the transient has expired, so even when the update scripts are pinging the social services for update counts, it still has zero affect on page load times.
What does this mean for you? This means that your floating share bar is going to load really freaking fast. That is impossible to find anywhere else. Forget Digg Digg – it’s like sticking a giant elephant on your site. And if you use Jetpack for your sharing – well congrats, you’ve got (hyperbole) 5,000 other modules that you just installed with it, too.
In reality, when your page loads, the only part of the floating social bar that is loading is HTML. That’s it. No social service scripts, no update scripts. Nothing that could potentially slow your site down. I’ve been very careful to make sure this is the case because, again, I am a performance nut. You won’t find a social media plugin that is faster or more performant than the floating share bar we released. Period.
The floating social bar is also super easy to setup and customize. Just drag and drop the services you want into the enabled area to enable them. Change around the order as you see fit. Then select the post type(s) you want the bar to appear on (posts is selected by default) and have fun. The plugin does the rest for you. It literally takes you less than 30 seconds to get it setup once you have it installed.
Don’t want the bar to float? You can check an option to make it static, and then you can select where you want it to appear (at the top, bottom or both areas of your content).
The settings area is easy to navigate and understand. There’s no wondering what you need to do because I’ve laid out it for you in both design and text.
All in all, I believe that the floating social bar we released is the best social media plugin for WordPress period. There is nothing faster or more usable on the market. It is dramatically faster compared to traditional social media service plugins, and I guarantee you that it will increase your social media shares.
So I dare you to go ahead and download the floating social bar from the .org repo and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!