Forcing people to fill out registration forms is so early-2000s. Type in the username and email. Type in the password. Confirm the password. Click the activation link in the email…
It's a time suck. And as hesitant as I am personally about handing over my digital life to Facebook and Google, I do it anyway because I love the convenience.
And I'm not the only one. According to a survey of 600 consumers from Blue Research:
- 86% of those surveyed are bothered by registering at a website.
- 77% of those surveyed think websites should offer social login instead of forcing the traditional process of account registration.
But, as you're probably aware, WordPress doesn't give you an option to offer social login to your visitors by default. Instead, if you allow account registration on your WordPress site, your visitors are forced to do it the old-fashioned way.
Nextend Social Login changes that by offering a simple social login solution for your WordPress site. And in my Nextend Social Login review, I'll share my thoughts and give you a look at the free version, as well as the Pro add-on.
Overall, I was impressed by both the simplicity and how well it looks and works out of the box.
Nextend Social Login Review: The Feature List
Like many WordPress plugins, Nextend Social Login is a free core plugin that you can extend with an optional Pro add-on.
Here's what the free version that's listed at WordPress.org lets you do:
- One-click social registration and social login
- Support for three networks - Facebook, Google, Twitter
- Option for existing users to connect their social media accounts
- Custom redirect URL options after login
- Pull in Facebook, Google, or Twitter profile picture as a user's avatar
- Login widget and shortcodes to place social signup/login wherever you want
- Customizable text and design
And if you go Pro, you'll also get:
- WooCommerce compatibility - I imagine this is a big one for eCommerce stores
- Support for LinkedIn (and plans to add more social networks)
- Comments support to add social login to WordPress comments
- Choose whether to ask for email address or username during registration
- More login layouts and button styles
- Assign specific user roles to users who register via social login (you can even set different user roles for each social network)
- Restrict social login to specific user roles (again, you can use different user roles for different social networks)
Now that you know what to expect, let's take this Nextend Social Login review hands-on.
Hands-on With Nextend Social Login: Playing Around With The Free Version
I'm going to start with the free version on my test site. Then, in the next section, I'll give you a look at some of the Pro features.
After you install and activate the plugin, you can head to Settings → Nextend Social Login to configure it.
Setting Up Your Social Networks
As is the case with any plugin that connects to a social network, you'll need to do some offsite configuration at your chosen social network before you can start using social login.
This isn't Nextend Social Login's fault - it's just the way things are.
What Nextend Social Login does do a good job of is providing instructions to make this unavoidable process as painless as possible.
If you click on the Getting Started button next to any of the available social networks, the plugin will give you detailed written instructions, as well as an embedded YouTube video with more visual instructions (you can't see it in the screenshot, but the video is at the bottom of the page):
I'm not going to show you the process of setting up a Facebook app because it's pretty tedious. But if you want to see it in all its glory, here's a link to the tutorial video that's embedded on the plugin's page.
The entire process of creating my Facebook App took about four minutes. It might take you a little longer (I've already created a Facebook app for this purpose before - so I know my way around the interface), but you're definitely not in for a huge time investment here.
Once you generate your App ID and App Secret via Facebook, you enter them into the plugin.
Then, Nextend Social Login gives you an option to test the configuration. And if everything "Works Fine", you can enable social login for that network by clicking the button:
Once you click that Enable button, your social login will be active on your site. Here's what the default style looks like on my test site:
Overall - a pretty slick implementation. It took me under ten minutes to go from "nothing" to "working Facebook social login".
If you want to add additional networks, you'll need to also complete a similar setup process for those networks (though the process is different for each network).
Configuring How Your Buttons Look
If you want to change your buttons, you can head to the Buttons tab to:
- Change the text that displays
- Use custom CSS styling on the button (the Pro version gives you more code-free controls for some styling, though in a different interface)
Using Social Login In Other Areas Of Your Site
Nextend Social Login adds social login to your regular wp-login.php page by default. But if you want to use social login in other areas of your site, you can head to the Usage tab to grab:
- Simple links
And if you go to your widget area, you can also make use of the Nextend Social Login Buttons widget to add social login in your sidebar or footer:
All in all, the plugin gives you a good deal of flexibility for how and where to display your social login buttons.
Setting Redirect Rules In The Global Settings Area
Finally, the free version also gives you two options for redirect rules that you can set in the Global Settings area:
These allow you to control what happens after a user signs up or logs in via your social login buttons.
Checking Out The Nextend Social Login Pro Features
The Pro add-on is a separate plugin, so you can install and activate it without any hassle even if you're already using the free plugin.
Once you do, you'll, first off, get the option to add LinkedIn social login to your site:
And then you'll also get a bunch of new options for each individual social network.
I laid out these options before, but you can also check them out below. Again, you can:
- Add a prefix to usernames
- Ask for email during registration (with multiple options)
- Ask for a username during registration
- Connect existing accounts based on email address
- Disable social login for certain user roles
- Set default user roles for people who use social registration
Beyond those settings, you also get even more new options in the Global Settings area that help you:
- Control your login form styling and layout
- Add social login to your comment form
And if you're using WooCommerce, you'll also be able to configure the WooCommerce integration in this area:
How Much Does Nextend Social Login Cost?
First off, the free version is pretty dang functional by itself. Depending on your specific needs, you might not even need the Pro version.
If you do need the Pro version, it costs:
- $25 for a single site license
- $100 for a ten site license
But here's the interesting thing about the pricing:
You get support and updates forever with those prices. That's all-in - you'll never need to pay more to keep getting updates.
That gives Nextend Social Login a pretty dang good value proposition.
Final Thoughts On Nextend Social Login
I think Nextend Social Login is a great way to add social login to your WordPress site.
It's easy to set up and looks good out of the box. I was able to go from a fresh test site to a well-designed social login form for Facebook in under ten minutes.
If you're interested, the free version is pretty flexible already, so I'd recommend getting started with that.
Then, if you decide you need the advanced features like social login for comments, user roles, more styling options, and WooCommerce support, it's easy to upgrade to the Pro version later on because it's an add-on.