In this tutorial, we are going to be adding social media icons to a WordPress website using one of the best plugins we have for the job, the Shared Counts – Social Media Share Buttons plugin.
Step 1: Installing the Plugin
The first step is installing the plugin. There are several ways to do so. Check out our detailed tutorial here on how to install a plugin.
Step 2: Configuring Plugin Settings
Log in to your admin dashboard and navigate to Settings > Shared Counts as shown below.
Step 3: Adding Social Media Buttons
You will be taken to another page where you can set up the social media accounts whose buttons you want to display on your website. On this page, scroll down to the Display section shown below.
By default, the Shared Count plugin has Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest selected as you can see above. On the Shared Buttons to Display section, click on the “X” icon to remove any social media site that you do not want to add to your website. If you would like to add a new social media site, just start click on the input field and select from the drop-down as shown below.
I am going to remove Pinterest and remain with just Facebook and Twitter.
Step 4: Choosing Button Style
With that done, we are going to select the share button style to be displayed on the WordPress website. While still on the page above, scroll down to the Share Button Style section and click on the dropdown. Here, select the style that you want. I am going to select the Rounded button style in this case.
Step 5: Choosing a Theme Location
We are now going to choose the theme location where we would like to display the social media icons. To do that, on the Theme Location section, click on the dropdown and choose one of the available three options. We have Before Content, After Content and Before and After Content. I am going to choose After Content in this case.
Step 6: Supported Post Types
The next step is selecting the supported post types. This is basically the post types that will have the social media icons displayed. By default, the Shared Accounts plugin has Post selected. You can choose any other post type that you would like. I am going to leave the post selected in this case.
Finally, click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page. Visiting my posts, I have the social media icons at the bottom of all my posts as shown on the screenshot below.
Getting Shared Counts
Apart from displaying the social media icons on a WordPress website, the Shared Counts – Social Media Share Buttons plugin does another job. As the name suggests, this plugin can show the number of times your post has been shared. Let us go ahead and set this up as well.
Step 1: Setting up Shared Counts
While still on the Shared Counts plugin configuration page, at the very top we have Count Source. By default, we have None selected. Here, there are three options;
- None: no counts are displayed and your website will not connect to an outside API, useful if you want simple badges without the counts or associated overhead.
- SharedCount.com: counts are retrieved from the SharedCount.com API. This is our recommended option for those wanting share counts. This method allows fetching all counts with only 2 API calls, so it is best for performance.
- Native: counts are retrieved from their native service. Eg Facebook API for Facebook counts, Pinterest API for Pin counts, etc. This method is more “expensive” since depending on the counts desired, it uses more API calls.
I am going to use the second option – SharedCount.com
Step 2: SharedCount API
After selecting SharedCount.com as your count source, you will get a field asking you to enter your SharedCount API Key.
To get your free SharedCount API key, you will need to sign up at SharedCount.com. Click here to sign up. After signing up, you will get a confirmation email to confirm your account. Click on the link sent then log in to your SharedCount account.
After logging in, you will be taken directly to your account settings page where you have the API key as shown below.
Copy the API key and paste it to the SharedAPI key section above on the plugin configuration section.
Step 3: More Settings
If you scroll down, you will see more settings related to the shared count. You can change them as you want. Among the settings, you can choose to show the total count for all the services instead of showing the total count for each service. You can also choose to hide zero counts, meaning there will be no count displayed if the count is zero.
Step 4: Adding the Total Counts Button
Scroll down to the Display section then click on the Share Buttons to Display where we have Facebook and Twitter. This is the same section we used before to add the social media buttons. On the drop-down list, you will notice that we have Total Counts option added. Click on it to add the button.
Click on the Save Changes button to save your changes.
There are several plugins that you can use to add social media icons on your WordPress website. We decided to use the Shared Counts plugin since its one of the best and easy to use plugins that beginners will not have any problems using. If you have any issues, kindly share it with us in the comment section below.