Buttons, buttons, buttons…
They form the backbone for navigating the web but are so often overlooked...unless you’re MaxButtons, who has a, perhaps unhealthy, obsession with buttons.
MaxButtons gives you incredible control over all aspects of buttons. You can create your own or choose from pre-designed buttons. Then quickly add them to your WordPress site. If you're a dev or designer, you can easily export all the buttons you create to use on other sites.
You may remember that Oli reviewed MaxButtons way back in 2012. But a lot can change in four years, which is why I’m digging in to see what’s up with MaxButtons in 2016.
Let’s find out:
MaxButtons was kind enough to provide me with a Pro license to play around with. I’ve also got access to over 4,800 pre-designed buttons...suffice it to say, I’m swimming in buttons. I’ll now be going through every single button in detail. Hope you enjoy! (just kidding, I’ll be hitting the highlights).
Here are the main features of MaxButtons Pro:
- Create buttons without knowing any code
- Add buttons via simple shortcodes
- Easy integration with Visual Composer, Site Origin Pagebuilder, and Contact Form 7
- Search buttons with Button Manager
- Built-in Google Analytics Event Tracking
- Thousands of free and paid buttons
- Font Awesome Icons and Google Fonts
- Include multiple lines of text
Creating a Button
After you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll be greeted with this settings page. The first thing I've noticed is how much MaxButtons' design has improved since 2012. Right now, it’s pretty empty, though. We need some buttons:
Let’s get started and create our first button. I'll create a button for an awesome snail racing site I'm working on. Clicking on Add New takes you to create a new button. Strap yourself in, because you'll have a ton of options (that's a good thing!). I'll go through them in order.
In the first few steps, you can name your button (which makes it easy to find later) and select what URL it should go to.
One nice feature here is that you can input two separate lines of text. This makes it easy to get the exact text spacing you want for your button. No more frustration trying to get your text to wrap "just right".
You can also see all your settings in a live preview, so no need to guess what things will look like. Note - you can change the background color of the preview, which is a really nice feature for seeing what the button will look like on your live site.
Continuing, you can set options for borders and shadows. You can also pick the background color. You can choose a single color or make it a gradient by choosing a Start and End color.
In the next set of options, you can enable Font Awesome icons. Font Awesome provides 721 icons to choose from. I chose something basic like a mouse pointer, but they have an icon for pretty much everything imaginable.
You can also upload your own image if you want, but that seems unnecessarily difficult to me. I would much rather just use Font Awesome, but it's a nice feature to have if that's something you need.
Next, you can set some advanced options. I didn't touch anything here, but maybe if you're more dev-oriented, you'll want to play around.
In the next option, you can enable Google Event Tracking. This is a super nice feature because it cuts out a lot of complexity. Adding Google Events manually can be a pain, especially if you're not a dev, so it's much nicer to just click a checkbox, enter some text, and be all set up. Kudos, MaxButtons!
That's it for button settings! As you can tell, you have lots of options. It can be overwhelming. But, I don't think you need to worry with all of them. They're there if you need them, but otherwise, you can just focus on the basic design options to quickly create a button.
Adding Buttons to WordPress
After you've created a button, it will show up in your main admin page. If you've got lots of buttons, you can easily search them. Not so necessary with one button, but as they start adding up, I can see this being a very useful feature. Once you find the one you want, just grab the shortcode to add it to your site.
I'll add it to my awesome snail racing post:
On your post page, you either add it by entering the shortcode like I did or clicking the Add Button button. If you click the button, all your buttons pop up, and you can select the one you want.
After adding the shortcode and saving the post, here's what I see on the live site:
As you can see, the button looks exactly like it did on the preview.
The whole process is pretty painless.
Premade Buttons - Adding Button Packs
If creating buttons from scratch isn't quite your speed, you can also take advantage of thousands of pre-made buttons.
MaxButtons has over 5,000 premium buttons, or you can choose from their free offerings. Here's what I see after uploading one of their premium landing page button packs:
Clicking Use this button takes you back to the same button editing page, but with the button already styled. You can change the text or colors if you want. Otherwise, you can just save it "as is" and use it immediately.
I like the button packs because they make things a lot quicker than fiddling around with all the settings. You can still make tweaks if needed, but all the basic design work is done. They'll definitely save you a ton of time.
MaxButtons also includes pre-built social sharing buttons. They have a bunch of options to choose from, which makes finding something to match your site pretty easy:
Given the importance of social media, it's nice that they created an entire dedicated section. Sure, you could always use something like SumoMe, but MaxButtons gives you more control, and it avoids you needing to install yet another plugin.
If you want to share your buttons with the world, or if you're a designer or developer, it's easy to export any buttons you've created. Just select the buttons you want and click Export Buttons:
If you're working on a lot of sites, this will save you a ton of time. You can just export and import as needed.
The Pro version, which is what I reviewed today, costs $19. It gives you:
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited buttons
- Support and updates for 1 year
There is also a free version.
If you want access to all the premium button packs, you can shell out another $80 and get the Get Everything package for $99. That includes:
- Everything in the pro version
- All current button packs (over 5,000 buttons)
- One year of new button packs
I can see the second option being great for devs and freelancers. You can use one of the 5,000 pre-built buttons, instead of always having to build something from scratch. It should save you a ton of time. You can also use them on unlimited sites, so you're never in danger of running out of usage rights.
You can also buy individual button packs or all button packs for $80.
MaxButtons is a very single-minded plugin. It's entirely focused on one thing: buttons. So if you want lots of pre-built buttons, or to be able to create your own buttons from scratch without knowing any code, it's got you covered. Given how even small changes to buttons can have major effects, being able to easily create and test them is a pretty hand feature.