Many of today’s Internet surfers are as interested in being a part of the content they are consuming, as they are in the content itself. An easy example is a “comments” section added to an article where individual comments (and comment chains) may be longer and at times more informative and entertaining than the original essay.
One of the strong advantages of the WordPress software is the many plugins available that perform nearly any task you can think of — including making it easier for your site’s visitors to interact with and share its content. Take for example the following roundup of social media widgets that allow for easy integration of Facebook, Google +1, Twitter and RSS feeds, among other popular platforms.
Many of today’s Internet surfers are as interested in being a part of the content they are consuming, as they are in the content itself.
Social Media Tabs
This plugin adds sliding tabs, each of which contains a social network profile or feed. Tabs may be displayed within a widget area, or configured from within the admin area to “slide out” from the side of the browser window. The plugin supports multiple widgets per page, along with a range of options.
Social Media Widget
One of the most fully-featured widgets, this plugin supports 50 social sharing options along with customizable links for user-added platforms. Multiple icon sizes and packages plus an array of animations; selectable “no-follow” link tags; and other features allow for flexibility of display and matching with nearly any theme.
Social Media Mashup
This intriguing plugin combines Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, YouTube and custom RSS feeds into a single stream. It uses a widget and template tag along with a simple options panel and minimal CSS to make this plugin easy to install and visually compatible with any Word-Press-powered website.
A dynamic and fully customizable solution, Sharebar adds a vertical box to the left of blog posts containing links and buttons to popular social networking sites. If the page is resized below a default width of 1000px, the vertical bar is replaced by a small horizontal bar underneath the post title. An auto mode adds the Sharebar to all posts, while a manual mode enables the bar to be added via PHP include to specific pages and posts only.
This roundup represents a small number of the social media widgets available for WordPress users. Try a few to see which one works best for your needs and watch your site’s functionality and traffic grow.