In the market for a social share plugin? Join me as I take a look at the newest release of Easy Social Share Buttons.
This plugin isn’t exactly a new topic at WPLift. It’s actually the exact plugin Daan uses on WPLift, and Oli even wrote about it back in January of this year.
But here’s what is new:
Easy Social Share Buttons has just gotten a whole lot more awesome with new templates and styles, A/B testing, email optins, new dashboard menus, performance upgrades, and lots, lots more.
So to show you all the new stuff, I’m going to dig into Easy Social Share Buttons once again, mainly focusing on the new features.
New Features in Easy Social Share Buttons 4.0
- Performance upgrades – lighter, more optimized code
- Brand new admin panel – better, more user friendly design
- Social A/B tests – test up to 3 options against each other to optimize sharing
- New social networks – Skype, Facebook Messenger, Kakao Story, LiveJournal.com
- Ready made styles – quickly style your site like Mashable, Upworthy, or others.
- New options menu – includes live preview feature
- New email optin subscribe module – build an email subscriber list and integrate with third party mailing apps
- 22 new templates – more options for how your buttons look
- Change order of buttons based on shares – another way to optimize your social sharing
- Sharing improvements – supports sharing multiple images on Facebook
- Lots of other small enhancements! You can check out the full change log here.
Of course, the plugin still includes all the powerful features from previous versions. If you’re interested in reading more about them in detail, you should give Oli’s post a look.
Otherwise, join me as I check out all the new goodies.
Social A/B Test – Optimize Your Sharing Button Placements
I’ll start with what I think is the absolute coolest new feature:
Social A/B testing.
It allows you to test up to three different button/placement configurations against each other to find the option that generates the most shares.
It’s also super easy to set up. I think it only took me about a minute to set up a three A/B/C test.
All you do is navigate to the settings panel for the A/B addon. Then, you need to select the different placement options for each configuration option. Each configuration option is one test variant:
After that, you just head over to Settings to activate the test. You can choose whether you want to test all three configurations or just two of them. You can also clear any data from past tests when you activate a new test:
After activating the test, I went to my site and repeatedly refreshed the page. Each refresh showed a different placement, which means the testing worked properly.
After several refreshes, I went to check out the A/B test analytics to see if it properly tracked everything:
Yup! Every impression showed up. As you can see, it tells you the conversion rate for each configuration, as well as the best performing positions and networks. The only thing I didn’t like was the typos :)
A/B testing is an awesome way to optimize your site. But it’s even awesome…er when it’s easy to implement. This new feature gets a big thumbs up.
The only downside of the A/B testing is that it won’t work with caching plugins. If you use a caching plugin, you’ll need to disable it while you run the test.
Ready Made Styles – Instantly Mimic Popular Sites
If you’ve ever been to Mashable, you know they have a fairly distinctive social button style.
Say you love that style and want to get it for your site. With version 4.0, you can do that with just a few clicks. All you need to do is go to the Ready Made Styles tab and you can instantly mimic popular sites or select from styles created by Easy Social Share Buttons:
One click and everything is set up for the placement you select! This is a huge time saver if you don’t want to go through configuring everything yourself.
New Analytics Tab – Improved Usability
The analytics tab is completely redesigned in 4.0. I don’t think the basic information has changed very much (if at all), but the presentation is much more user friendly.
At the top of the page, you get a quick summary for your site as a whole. You can see:
- Top performing placements
- Clicks by platform (desktop vs mobile)
- Clicks by social network
- Daily clicks for the last 30 days
If you scroll down, you can see your clicks by month as well as your overall top performing posts:
Just remember when performing analysis – these analytics track clicks on buttons, not necessarily actual shares. While the numbers correlate, it’s possible to click the button without actually completing the sharing process.
New Email Optin – Designs and Integrations
You can now collect email addresses directly from Easy Social Share Buttons via an extension module. The module comes with 7 default form designs and can be integrated with all the major email marketing services:
Once you activate it, your form will automatically display after your post content:
If you don’t like the default text, you can always customize it in the settings:
To be honest, if you’re doing anything more than basic list building, you’ll probably still want a dedicated list building plugin. But, for people who just need basic, it’s nice that this feature is included.
And given how often Easy Social Share Buttons gets updated, I’m guessing the email optin functionality will only get better.
Other New Features – New Admin, Social Networks, and More
Other than the major features I’ve listed, you’ve also got a redesigned admin area:
A new option to display popular posts after a user shares your content:
You’ve also got access to new share buttons for:
- Facebook Messenger
- Kakao Story
And a bunch of other small enhancements that might get a little dull to fully run through.
Pricing and Wrap Up
Overall, an already great plugin just got even better. And here’s the best part:
The price didn’t go up at all.
Everything, even the A/B testing and email optin modules, is included in the exact same $19 price. That $19 is a one-time fee and gives you access to lifetime updates. Given how much they improve the plugin, unlimited updates is actually a pretty huge draw.