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16 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins for WordPress

Khalid J Hosein is a blogger, computer consultant and Internet junkie. He is a co-founder of the gadget blog Gizmos for Geeks, and probably spends way too much time hacking his WordPress installs instead of blogging. You can also follow him on Friendfeed @kjhosein.

Social Bookmarking for WordPressEvery blogger wants their material to get shared around the Net and one popular way to encourage that behavior is to give their readers the ability to quickly click a button and save their article to a social bookmarking site. Social bookmarking (SB) sites (and their ilk) such as Delicious, digg, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and so on are extremely popular and can help take a website and/or blog from obscurity to instant fame in a flash.

In this article, I’ll take a look at a large list of WordPress plugins that you can install to instantly add numerous social bookmarking buttons to your blog.

Criteria

Here are the top things that I look for when I’m evaluating SB WordPress plugins:

  • It should ‘work’ right out of the box. This includes having a default set of popular services already enabled when you activate it.
  • Since Twitter is too popular to ignore now, it should include Twitter options. For example, modifying the text that appears before/after a tweet; and specifying the URL shortening service.
  • You can specify what SB services you would like to appear on your site.
  • You can re-order the buttons.
  • Ability to dictate what page types the buttons will appear on (pages, single posts, archives, etc.)

For this list, I also paid close attention to when these plugins were last updated, as many do not include support for Google Buzz (which was released in Feb 2010).

This list does not include related plugins/applications such as Mingle, or specific applications created by the likes of Facebook, Google, digg, Twitter, etc. solely for their sites.

Due to the number of plugins covered, I’ve distilled the amount of information provided here to what I considered their main essence, otherwise this could have easily been a 25-page article!

The Top Social Bookmarking Plugins

1. AddToAny

AddToAny

I’ll start with the plugin that I decided to personally use on my blogs, AddToAny, which is a drop-down menu styled SB app. With over 1 million downloads from the WordPress plugin repository alone, this is not only very popular, but very customizable down to colors and CSS. AddToAny is regularly updated and even has an API and statistics tracking.

2. ShareThis

ShareThis

Another very popular service, ShareThis is one of the founding members of the genre. Also highly customizable, it also has an API and click tracking & analytics. The ShareThis icon is also highly recognized and I applaud their open-sourcing of the icon.

On the downside, the typical installation involves customizing via their website before embedding a Javascript snippet on your site. The WordPress plugin does not have a great deal of options.

3. Sociable

Sociable

Sociable has a few cool features included print and PDF buttons and they recently updated their plugin to include Google Buzz. Sociable includes drag-and-drop re-ordering and the ability to include the sharing icons in your RSS feed as well.

4. AddThis

AddThis

Another very customizable plugin, AddThis includes support for a staggering 290+ services. Although the orange ‘+’ icon is their brand, they let you replace it if you’d like. AddThis is a DHTML pop-up menu that includes a nice searchable interface with dynamic results.

5. SexyBookmarks

Sexy Bookmarks

SexyBookmarks is a very slick plugin that includes icons that animate up out of their ‘semi-hidden’ state when you mouseover. The plugin’s admin page has drag-and-drop re-ordering and you can modify the call-to-action text (“Share and Enjoy” in our screenshot). It also includes extensive Twitter options.

6. Share and Follow

Share and Follow

What’s notable about Share and Follow, and why it is so named, is that it also includes a “Follow” tab, so you can have a cool looking floating tab that includes links to your social profiles. S&F allows you to select the size of the icons (24x24px pictured), tweak the CSS, and includes a few Twittering options.

It also includes the ability to specify the image to be associated with an article which is really useful in the case of sharing on a service such as Facebook.

7. Socialize

Socialize

As you can see in the screenshot, Socialize includes call-to-action text in a box at the content’s foot that encourages the user to sign up for your newsletter and/or subscribe to your RSS feed. Socialize also gives you 2 options, one of which is the vertically floated SB icons to the left or right of your article’s content. Many sites use this option to present Tweetmeme and Facebook Sharing buttons.

8. Digg Digg

Digg Digg

Digg Digg may be a bit of a misnomer, because it certainly supports more than just digg. Digg Digg includes support for 18 services, and lets you position buttons either before, after or floated to the left or right of the article. Its unique feature is the ability to select what they call “lazy loading” which aims to speed up pages by delaying the loading of the SB icons by 5 seconds.

Digg Digg also includes the AJAX floated SB icons, popularized by Mashable, which looks like the buttons on the left of the article are floating no matter how much you scroll.

9. Light Social

Light Social

Light Social is very light indeed. It only has 3 options, one of which is whether it’s enabled or not. The main point of this plugin is not to slow down your WordPress site with a ‘heavy’ plugin. You can not select which SB sites are included or re-order them.

10. OnlyWire

OnlyWire

Somewhat aimed at marketers, OnlyWire allows you and your visitors to submit to multiple SB sites at once; but you must sign up for account in order to customize the plugin. OnlyWire is pretty self-promotional and in some cases this can hurt the user experience. For example, when your visitors click a bookmarking link, it pauses for a few seconds (which can seem like an eternity) before it redirects them to the target SB site.

11. Instant Highlighter

Instant Highlighter

Instant Highlighter is the only application that is not a WordPress plugin but that has an interesting piece of functionality – the ability to highlight a piece of text on the page before you bookmark it. You install it by going to the website, selecting your options and getting some HTML/Javascript to insert into your theme/website.

It also includes an optional vertical floating tab, similar to the Follow tab in the Share and Follow plugin.

Additional Choices

This next set of social bookmarking plugins have their fair share of supporters, but they are not quite as well-developed and feature-rich as most of the ones above. However, if you like the look of any, they may be worth keeping an eye on as their developers continue to improve them.

12. Bookmark Me

Be careful, there are at least 3 plugins called “Bookmark Me“. This is primarily a widget, and does not have a WordPress options page. So you may have issues if your theme does not natively support inserting widgets into posts, or you will have to manually edit your theme’s template to include the code.

13. Social Bookmarks/Social Bookmarking Reloaded

Social Bookmarks contains practically no options and none of the services are selected by default. It also does not include Google Buzz.

Social Bookmarking Reloaded looks very much like the Social Bookmarks plugin with a handful of additional options. Again, none of the services are selected by default, and Google Buzz is not included.

14. I Love Social Bookmarking

I Love Social Bookmarking does not include Google Buzz and only includes 13 SB sites.

15. Social Dropdown

Social Dropdown does not include Google Buzz and it also unfortunately had issues with the drag-and-drop not working when tested for this review.

16. Tell A Friend

Tell A Friend appears to have been created mainly for the purpose of promoting another website, but still looks pretty clear if limited in ability.

Author Bio: Khalid J Hosein is a blogger, computer consultant and Internet junkie. He is a co-founder of the gadget blog Gizmos for Geeks, and probably spends way too much time hacking his WordPress installs instead of blogging. You can also follow him on Friendfeed @kjhosein.

Categories: General

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Comments

  1. cascd ) says: 9/28/2010

    sharebar supposed to be on the list.

    Reply

  2. ambuj ) says: 10/4/2010

    I have visited your blog first time and i found it really interesting .I have bookmarked your blog and looking forward for more informative posts.

    Reply

  3. Gowthaman Thirumurthy says: 10/11/2010

    Indeed, bookmarking on Dofollow bookmarking sites helps a lot, but is usually drive a lot of traffic from http://buzz.faabo.com

    Thanks for the great Post!

    Reply

  4. fareed khan ) says: 11/16/2010

    very big list, i using DIGG DIGG in my blog…

    Reply

  5. Commercial Diver ) says: 11/29/2010

    Ah I’ve seen Digg Digg on a few blogs but couldn’t identify it so thanks! I am using ‘Add to Any’ but fancied a change, can I ask why you stuck with it? Sociable Pro is an option but I cant’ find much info on it.

    Reply

  6. Pete Carr ) says: 2/2/2011

    I use sharebar, plus tweet meme. This gives all the options I need. I used to use sexy bookmarks but it slowed the page load down massively. Another one is the Wibiya toolbar. This has some great options, but again it will slow your site down by a good few seconds, not what we want.
    Pete

    Reply

  7. social bookmarking says: 9/17/2011

    Social bookmarking is the best method for creating back links to the website. In this competitive world SEO is not sufficient for getting back links. This post explains very useful social bookmarking back links which helps to increase traffic to the website. Today I learn very important and useful about social bookmarking from this post. I will recommend all my friends to implement these plugins for increasing traffic to the website.

    Reply

  8. Adriana says: 2/24/2012

    thanks for share!

    Reply

  9. High Page Rank Directory says: 7/31/2013

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Reply