This is a guest post by Rob Summerfield of Newsgrape
Sharing your article-content on social media sites is essential for building up a large readership and is nowadays often seen as equally important as SEO. Share and tweet buttons can already increase your hits in the article overview because A) it is common that users already feel like sharing content as soon as they read the overview and description B) the number of shares often helps users decide whether or not to they want to continue reading an article. However, the current wave of social-buttons also carries along new challenges and problems for your blogs performance. In this article, we will show you how to speed up your WordPress by soft loading social buttons like TechCrunch.
The Problem (Slow Front Pages)
Let’s assume you have added Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest buttons to your blog and are displaying 8 articles per page. In this case it’s safe to say that there might be 32 HTTP queries sent to the different external sites, leading to a deceleration of your blog, which not only affects the user experience (UX) of your users but could also cost you valuable positions on major search engines.
So how can you work against that request-overkill? Easy – don’t start loading the social buttons until your users actually need them. Similar to how TechCrunch does it.
You would probably think that this is super hard, but it really isn’t. There is this cool script called Socialite.js. If you are a tech savvy person, then you can simply follow the directions on the script’s page and do all of this manually.
For all those who don’t like dealing with code, thankfully there is a plugin for that. WP Socialite Plugin uses the socialite.js script and allows you to have social media buttons like TechCrunch.
First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Socialite Plugin. Then go under Settings » Discussions page to customize the settings to your discretion.
Conclusion: The internet is getting faster and faster, the performance demands of users and search-engines are rising and bloggers have to – consequently – respond to those changes. I hope you enjoyed my ideas on optimizing your social-buttons and therefore blog performance, of course.
Rob Summerfield is copywriter and community manager at the social text platform Newsgrape. Having worked with different agencies and at Cannes International Festival of Creativity, Rob is an award winning writer focused on creative solutions for blogging and online content management.