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How to Add a Floating Social Share Bar in WordPress

A lot of you have asked us about the floating social share bar that we use on WPBeginner. In the past, our reply was simply that it was a custom plugin that we created for our site. That usually followed up with a question what is the best social media plugin that you would recommend? Sadly, there was not a single one that met our standards. We only recommend what we use or would use. After much thought and consideration, we have decided to release our floating social share bar plugin for WPBeginner users and the greater WordPress community. In this article, we will show you how to add a horizontal floating social share bar in WordPress.

Benefits

Most social media plugins for WordPress are bloated. Partially because they support all sorts of social networks. The other part is because social media scripts are inherently slow. Well we fixed both of those issues in this plugin. First, we are only supporting the major social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Second, we delay the loading of social scripts until the user actually brings their mouse over, so your initial page load time is the fastest that it can be. In the past people simply put placeholder images, but we took it one step further. We show the cached version of the count which refreshes at an interval you decide (default 30 minutes). So when the user sees your share bar, it looks exactly the same as it would if the social media scripts are enabled.

Simply put, this floating social bar allows us to maximize our social media visibility without impacting our site speed.

How to Add the Floating Social Share Bar on Your Site

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Floating Social Bar plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu under Settings » Floating Social Bar.

Floating Social Bar Admin Screeen

To add the floating social share bar to your blog posts, simply drag and drop the available social buttons in the enabled social services area in the order you would like to display them. Next, add your twitter ID in the field in the following format wpbeginner. Remember not to include the @ symbol.

The title for the share bar will only show up if there is enough space for it. If you use all sharing buttons, then chances are that you can’t get the title due to width constraints.

You can choose the post types you want to add the floating social share bar such as posts, pages, or any other custom post type.

The last field is the cache interval which is what allows this plugin to be the most efficient. We recommend that you don’t change this number unless you know what you are doing. Here is how it works. By default, this plugin gets the social media count from the APIs and store it in a cache for 30 minutes. It only gets the count for the post when its loaded to reduce server load. For example, if no one visits your two year old post, then this plugin will not waste your precious server resources for that post. It only gets the count right when a user visits the post or page.

That’s it. Now when you go to your post page, there will be a horizontal floating share bar.

Get Floating Social Bar for your site. It’s free, and please do let us know your thoughts. We have tested this plugin for over a year on WPBeginner, but we always appreciate feedback. To help us out, you can go to our WordPress.org page for Floating Social Bar and leave us a rating.

We hope that this article helped you get the coveted floating social share bar to your WordPress site. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Lastly, don’t forget to help us out by spreading the word.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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Reader Interactions

123 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Lots of people like me having problems with your floating bar not working. Do you check your support comments? I guess only option is to assume that since you don’t address the reasons why your floating bar does not work, it must be broken and I must look for another solution. (Sad face)

  2. Hi, thanks for sharing this plugin. Whenever I click on ‘Like’ on the floating social bar, it pops up a window for me to share to my friends. But the window is cut off, making only the left side visible. It only happens to the Facebook Like button and not to G+. Do you know how to fix this?

    • Brian, try adding this to your style sheet or your theme’s custom CSS box:

      /* to fix cropping of fb post-like popup*/
      .fb-like iframe {
      max-width: inherit !important;
      }

      I was having the same problem and this worked immediately!

  3. I absolutely loved this plugin. I made few changes myself to make it better for my blog.

    I am also using Sticky Header by ThematoSoup. So when the sticky header is scrolled down the floating social bar overlapping perfectly.

    Problem is the background of the bar and fsb-sprite image.
    So I edited the css of this plugin to remove background color of the bar and removed background of fsb-sprite image.

    You can see that working on any post of my blog. My blog: Techpingo[dot]com.

    My question: In the free version an image is used as buttons and the counters are placed properly. But how can I use customized version with actual buttons like yours in “wpbeginner.com” blog and sister blog “list25.com” .

    Please tell me how to do it but don’t say me no.

  4. Hi,

    Just wanted to know if the bar could be disabled for mobile devices as social sharing is native on iOS etc. If yes, then how.

    Apologies, if you have already addressed the question in conversations before, I gave cursory glance could not find anyone on this.

    Thanks

  5. Hey i have installed it on my website and it is working great. I want to change the background color of the sharing bar so that it will match with my blog’s bg color. I have tried in CSS file but did not succeeded. can anyone help me how to do it.? Thanks

    • Muhammad, you might try making your own fsb-sprite.png file with a transparent background. This file is located in the theme’s images folder and currently the button images are on a white background. You’ll need an image editing program that supports a transparent canvas, like Adobe Fireworks.

  6. Hi, we are getting a redirect loop on the pinterest button, all others seem to work ok. Any ideas what we might be doing wrong?

    • Its working fine on our test site. Please try disabling other social media plugins and see if this works. If it does work then please notify us about the plugin that was conflicting.

      Admin

      • Hi, thanks. Does the pinterest button on our site work for you? – http://digitalvillas.com/portfolio/dvr43-modern-fantasy-villa/

        The only other social plugin on that theme is the ‘Facebook Social Plugin Widgets’ so we have added the plugin to a new demo site we are making to test it out, this site uses a different theme and has no other social media plugins at all, it is on the same hosting though. We get the same response from the pinterest button.

        On this page you dont have pinterest so we cant test it, is there another site you have it on we can test please?

        Many Thanks.

  7. Great information about how to add a floating social share bar in wordpress?
    I was looking for the information and I got the answer.

  8. Hi, I have a question about the facebook like. When you open this up, you get a share on facebook box, as expected. But if you have multiple facebook pages, how can you direct the share to a specific page, ie personal vs business page. This is a recurrent theme with facebook shares and likes. Any thoughts?
    Thanks
    Paul

  9. I have a question. Let’s say you enable this new floating social bar, what happens to all those prior posts you have out in the world or in your blog, enabled with jetpack social sharing. Do those social buttons disappear from those posts?

  10. I would like to use the new plugin, BUT

    is it alright to install it on a wordpress site that has been customized with different/unique graphics and “navigational icons” were added to the sub header??? *
    (I had someone do this for me)*

    Any kind of info or help on this would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Hi,

    Thank you wpbeginner for creating such an awesome plugin. I installed it and realized it wasn’t floating, deactivated almost all plugins and found the culprits while activating them one by one. Two plugins that conflict with this one are: Facebook TrafficPop™ for WordPress, and WordPress Like Locker; same author from codecanyon.net. Do you guys have any idea how to fix it.

  12. Nice plugin

    One observation : you should remove the white background on the sprite.png so we could tweak the background without having a disgracing white border around the elements.

    For the rest nothing to say, great work

  13. Just installed it.. feeling great.
    i installed it because of two reasons
    its unique
    you are reliable

  14. Thank you for this beautiful plugin. I am having one issue: If I activate the plugin, when clicking at a post, I get an access denied message from my htaccess (I protected /wp-admin directory). If I do not enter any credentials and click cancel, the page and the plugin loads and everything looks normal. Does your plugin require access to /wp-admin folder?

  15. I didn´t like me,, because i need the option to send by mail,, and this plug-in didn’t had it!

  16. Hello , great work with this plugin and in general
    I have a question .
    Is there a way to add my post rating php code in the bar , so it will float with the social buttons too .
    It will be a nice future :)

  17. Perfect timing! I just deleted a social sharing plugin that was giving me serious crawling and indexing issues. Thank you so much. The best things in life really are free. I’m happy to make a donation and will be looking into your other paid products and services in future…you rock!

  18. Hi,

    The instructions on this page say:

    ” Next, add your twitter ID in the field in the following format @wpbeginner.”

    The instructions on the Settings page for the plugin say:

    “Your twitter username when visitors retweet your posts (no @ symbol).”

    Thanks in advance for clarifying this.

    – Greg

  19. Thank you for this plugin. I always appreciated that your social bar didn’t cover the post text while I was reading on an iPad, while many other plugins do. I also appreciate all your many tutorials; when I need to know how to do something with WordPress, your site is usually the first site I search, even before a general Google search.

  20. Are there any plans to create an option to disable the number of shares display? For now I’m not activating it because of the big fat zeros. Will activate when there’s an option or I have decent numbers. ;-)

    • Yes, in our next update which should hopefully go live later today, it will automatically hide the count if it is 0. If the count is higher then 0, then it will display.

      Admin

  21. This plugin is exactly what I need for my newly launched blog. Unfortunately, the row of 0 shares is depressing. Is there any thought to making the counters an option?

  22. Is there a way to customize it so it looks just like the way you have it on here? I installed it, but the font is different, it’s more spaced out between the buttons, and there isn’t the line dividers :)

    • The customization on this site are done to match our design. We use a font called Oswald which has to be loaded first in the design before it can be used by the bar. It doesn’t make sense to load an external font that doesn’t match site design for thousands of users who use this plugin.

      In short, if you would like to do that, then you can override the plugin CSS styles.

      Admin

      • Thanks guys. This is an amazing plugin. Can you let us know how to add the line dividers like the one on your page here and change the font in css? I’m a newbie and don’t know css but i’m willing to give it a shot. What line in css should be changed to add the line dividers and change the fonts?

        Thanks in advance and thanks for the best social media plugin out there.

  23. Is there somewhere to see example of what it looks like and how it works?

    I’ve tried all the rest and none worked to our satisfaction. Would love to see if this is the one for us.

    • I would admit the bias if I was biased.

      This plugin is faster than all other social media plugins including the one in Jetpack. This is faster than even if you paste the social buttons directly in your template. Mainly because all other methods simply load social media scripts on initial page load. We don’t load the heavy social scripts until the user brings their mouse over the share buttons. This allows your initial page load to be the same as you would have without loading any social media scripts.

      -Syed

      Admin

  24. Hello,

    please I saw always the tweet counter at 0, also when there are some tweets. I read that the problem is related the update even 30 minutes of Twitter…but also after that time, the counter is always stop on 0.

    Do you have a fix for this please?

    Thanks

  25. I activate this plugin and selected posts, but nothing showing at all. I am not sure if it is due to conflict with other plugins.

    Is there a way to place it manually in single.php?

    Thanks.

    • Ten, if nothing shows up then it means that your site is not using the_content() tag in the template. You can manually add the plugin like this:

      <?php floating_social_bar($args = array('twitter' => true, 'facebook' => true, 'google' => true)); ?>

      pinterest and linkedin are added the same way as others.

      Admin

      • Hi,
        This sounds like a great plugin and (almost) perfect for what I need.
        Only issue is that I use an events plugin where all events use the same page, so if you click share it will only share the single page, not the single event.
        I need a plugin where I can manually pass it the URL (which I can get from a placeholder in the events plugin) otherwise every event has the same amount of likes/shares, etc.
        Thanks in advance,

        Tom

        • Tom,

          This plugin comes with a manual insertion code that you can use. Refer to the our FAQ section. We added a new variable that is not yet documented but will be in our release later today that allows you to make the bar static. Parameter is static=true.

          You can use the function to insert in your events loop and display it after each event. The plugin doesn’t get the main page URL, it gets the url of the post/page from the loop it is in.

  26. This is really great! I was using publicize but the shares were always at the bottom of the pages and a spacing issue I couldn’t resolve meant that it was essentially hidden.

    I have two questions that are related to layout:
    1. It doesn’t appear on my home page (which is the blog post source and sequentially displays all blogs post). It does appear if I click on each individual blog. I understand why it’s happening, but I’m wondering if there is a way to make it appear on the home page?

    2. My WP layout has a grey background for pages and posts. The floating bar appears in white so it looks a bit out of place. Is there a way to modify the colour of the floating bar?

    Awesome plugin.Thanks!

    • Hi Caitlin,

      1. It doesn’t appear on the homepage because you can’t have 10 floating bars if you have 10 posts. Besides most front pages only show the excerpts, and people don’t/shouldn’t share things by simply reading the excerpts.

      2. At this point, the option to change color doesn’t exist. I’m not sure when it will make it in or if it will make it in. But I will keep it in mind for future features.

      -Syed

      Admin

  27. Having problems with the CSS sprite on Genesis 2.0 bèta. The one for Twitter seems to be bugged, background-image path is incorrect. Looking forward to your fix so I can give this another go. :-)

  28. Hi Syed,

    Thanks for let us know about this and for contacting us. We’ll give it a try some time this weekend and hopefully can write up something for this plugin. Have been looking for this kind of plugin since most of the floating social share bar plugins out there float on the left or right side of the post, not on the top.

    • Danny,

      I have tried the floating on: Mac (Safari and Chrome). Windows (Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer). They are all seem to be working fine. If for some reason the issue persist on your site, then it has to be a conflict with another jQuery script that either your theme or another plugin uses.

      As for responsive, the plugin adjust fine on mobile screen. The only issue was the floating can be buggy. This is why we stopped the floating. In the later version, we are thinking of making it a toggle box called “Share” which when the user clicks on will show the share buttons only for responsive sites on smaller screen resolutions.

      Admin

  29. To be honest (I don’t want to say big words) but I was really looking for something like that! I have a fixation to find the best social sharing plugin and lightweight at the same time. Looks like this is doing the job. I’ve installed on three of my sites and the rest will follow. This will allow me to get rid of the bloated plugins similar to this one and use yours.
    And to be honest a plugin by Syed Balkhi and Thomas Griffin cannot be anything but an awesome plugin.

  30. Really nice.. i am going to install it on my one blog and after testing it.. i will install it on all blogs…

  31. Hello! This looks like a great plugin and something that will definitely fill a need I (many others, too) have for social sharing.

    I haven’t used the plugin yet and have a question similar to Katie’s above. Is there a way to exclude certain pages? Maybe a filter we could add using “if ( function_exist() )” to exclude certain page ids?

    I have certain pages I would like to add the share bar, then other pages that are not password protected (like an email sign up thank you page) where I want to exclude from having the share bar.

    Thanks!

    • Correction: There is a meta box to hide social buttons on individual posts and pages. You just have to make sure that you check the post type from Floating Social Bar settings, and then you can turn it off for individual pages.

      Admin

  32. Hello,

    An option to place the bar below or above the post?

    Select an option under which post types, categories, Social Bar appears.

    An option to disable the floating social bar in edit mode of page / post.

    All of that would be nice!

    Best regards

    raikit

    • We don’t want to bloat the plugin with too many options.

      You do have an option to select which post type you want to add this to. Lastly, we are contemplating adding the option to stop the floating and then choose the position either bottom or top.

      Admin

      • I would very much appreciate an option to stop the floating and just make it ‘stick’ wherever I place it via a function call. It would be awesome if you could incorporate this. I’ve marked the plugin as favorite so I can keep up with its progress.

        • Jean, we already have a function for developers who want to call it manually rather than using the default plugin options. The option for stop floating is being worked on :)

    • I second the suggestion to give a checkbox option for display below the post rather than above the post if it’s not floating. Thanks for the fabulous plugin, guys!

  33. Awesome plugin. I will definitely install it on my website. I will suggest you to add StumbleUpon button in this plugin :) A big thank you for the plugin.

  34. That is a nice thing to have if one don’t want to mess up with the page load time and keep his site scaled.

    Will review it at Freakify sooner than later.

    Good Job. Perfection with Awesomeness.

  35. Just installed it. I ran speed test on a single page and didn’t see any results in speeding up the site HOWEVER, it looks faster to me, my left floating bar used to load forever and this is right there immediately. I love how clean it looks.
    So I removed my other sharing plugin and plan to keep this one for awhile :) THANKS!

  36. woohoo finally a plugin which uses socialite.js perfectly…man i will always support you and i am going to implement this on my site…keep rockin! :D

  37. Great to see a social media plugin that actually tackles the issue of page load speed. The only gripe I have so far is that it loads the whole of twitter bootstrap just for a single admin options page! I know this is on the back end and doesn’t affect front end performance, but still seems a bit excessive. Why not just use default WordPress classes to style the options page – do you really need bootstrap?

      • I know it has no effect on the front end (as I already stated), but come on, this is overkill for one options page for a single plugin. I could just about understand if this were a plugin which required a myriad of complex option screens, but it’s not. I think stuff like this is bad practice. What if many plugins started doing this? It would certainly have an effect then. You don’t need much CSS to style admin pages, WordPress has a lot of styles baked in for this kind of thing. If people used the built-in styles the WP admin would look much more consistent for end users. For a good discussion on this, see the “What Would Core Do” presentation by Jake Goldman of 10up: http://www.slideshare.net/jakemgold/what-would-core-do

        I’m not trying to be awkward here. I really like the plugin. It solves a very real problem. The options screen is nicely done – not at all garish – and sticks pretty close to the look of WordPress core, but I really think you could have done it without using Bootstrap.

  38. Thank you for sharing your plugin.
    I installed it on my site (www.andre-costa.com) but it is not showing anywhere.
    I am going to check your WP plugin page and check whether other people are having the same issue (I may be doing something really silly and that is why it is not working!).

    Thanks again.

  39. Because I have password protected pages for paid products on my site, I had to remove my social sharing buttons until I found something that would allow me to exclude those pages – obviously I don’t want to have people sharing protected pages!

    So my question is, if I were to add this plugin to my pages, is there a way to *definitely* exclude password protected pages?

    • If you select page post type, then it will output on all published pages. Now if your page is password protected, then it should not matter. User won’t get access to the page, they will hit your password wall. Most paid membership sites show a sign up page, so for all it will help increase your signups if your pages are shared.

      Admin

      • Thanks for the reply! Just so I’m clear… if I just have a self-hosted WP site, and it’s NOT a membership site and I have the products that I sell on the password protected pages, even if people share the protected pages, those without the passwords wouldn’t be able to access the pages UNLESS they had the passwords? Thanks again…I love your blog, and recommend it to clients often!

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