Social sharing buttons are pretty much ubiquitous at this point. Nearly ever site uses them, which is mostly a good thing but, like most things, blindly adding every social sharing button you can to every page isn’t always a good idea.
For one, social sharing buttons often destroy page loading time. For WordPress, a lot of people are installing bulky social sharing plugins that add precious seconds to every page load on the site. This isn’t great for SEO purposes, but it’s even worse for users. Social sharing buttons are designed to help users but if people aren’t able to access your site in a timely manner then it probably doesn’t even matter.
Another problem with traditional social sharing buttons is that they are ugly. You spend hours on customizing the look of your site until it’s perfect…and then you use stock social buttons from 3rd party sites? Most of the time, stock social sharing buttons only add clutter to a well-designed website.
People are starting to put together some smarter solutions for social sharing. I really like what New Internet Order has done with their new offering — Social Share Starter.
It’s minimal, doesn’t shove negative social numbers into users faces and only focuses on essential networks.
This might not be the perfect social sharing solution, but it’s a great step in the right direction for most websites and I’m happy to see people thinking outside of the ‘row of social buttons’ or the fixed position bars that are a pain in the butt when you try to actually read somebody’s content.
It might be easy to copy and paste sharing buttons from social media sites, but you can get a much better solution by thinking critically about how these buttons impact your site and your usability.