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September 17, 2014

There are lots of plugins that will add buttons to your blog so visitors can share your content on various social sites. I have been using Add This for years on most of my blogs, and it keeps getting both better and worse. There are many tools to choose from, and you can pick the ones you think are best for your own website.

Available Tools

Sharing Sidebar

Add This has 25 tools that you can use to get more traffic to your blog: 10 Share Tools, 5 Follow Tools, 8 Recommeded Content tools, and 2 Conversion Tools. 14 of these tools are free. The one that I have always used is the Sharing Buttons tool.

As you can see on my blog, I use 5 buttons that are lined up horizontally. The buttons come in three sizes, and can even show share counts if you like. But the thing I like most about them is that they automatically show visitors buttons for the social sites that they use most frequently. The last button opens a small popup where you will find up to 290 other sites that are available, such as Oyyla – if you happen to speak Turkish!

For Better And Worse

Vertical Recommended Content

I mentioned earlier that Add This is getting both better and worse. What did I mean by that? I consider some of the tools to be very intrusive. In the early days of the web, the popup became so ubiquitous and annoying that browser extensions were developed to prevent them from showing.

Recently, new methods have been developed to circumvent the anti-popup extensions. They aren’t called popups – they have new aliases, such as “lightbox” – but they’re still popups by another name. I’m sure you’ve seen them – they’re unavoidable.

What's Next Recommended Content

Rather than go into detail explaining my annoyance with some of the other Add This tools, I refer you to the Add This Blog, which uses them extensively, of course. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and read my comment. While you’re there, move your cursor to the right, and you’ll encounter an impossible-to-avoid slide-in that is quite distracting.

UPDATE: January 11, 2016 – I noticed that Add This has made the ad at the bottom right quite a bit less distracting. It only appears when you scroll almost to the bottom, and it stays on the right, so it doesn’t obscure the main content of the page.


Enough of the bad – now here’s some more good… Add This Analytics are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere. Their reports are nice to look at, and easy to interpret. You can get a summary of your Add This Activity for one of your websites, or all of them at once. Among many other stats, you get a graphical summary of shares, clicks, and follows. And you can even get a report emailed to you weekly.

You don’t need to sign up, or even to download the plugin, to use the Add This Tools. But the Word Press plugin makes the process easier. And if you don’t register, you can’t use Analytics. So why not start right now by downloading the plugin? Log in to wp-admin, go to Plugins > Add New, and type ‘AddThis’ into the search form.

UPDATE: November 19, 2014 – Since I published this post, the newest version of the plugin, AddThis – version 4.0.1, was released, and an Update notice appeared on my blogs. I wasted quite a bit of time before I finally figured out how to leave my old AddThis code the way it was. So here’s how: Check “Revert back to previous version” – that’s all you need to do! Hope that saves some of you from unnecessary grief.

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