WordPress.com Sharing Buttons

red question mark WordPress.com bloggers can enable social networking sharing buttons that appear below their posts on their blogs. I originally enabled Official buttons on this page > Settings > Sharing  to appear on my Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results as well as on Posts and Pages. I have now chosen to enable display only on Posts and Pages.

Show buttons on:

__ Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results
__ Posts
__ Pages
__ Media

I insert “the more tag” into each post to enable the display of more posts choices for my visitors on my front page but I found when sharing icons were enabled for Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results:

  •  page loading time was longer;
  •  the amount of space occupied by the sharing buttons and gravatars  rivaled the space occupied by the post excerpts;
  •  the appearance was cluttered.

Reader Feedback on Social Networking Button Placement

I have posted before and after images above and now that I have made this change I’m open to hearing feedback from my readers. I may even change my mind based on your responses.

  1. Does removing the display of the social networking sharing buttons from the front page, archives and search results negatively affect your experiences as a reader of this blog?
  2. Do you consider the hiding of the social networking sharing buttons, which now only appear when the title of the post or comment bubble is clicked and the post is fully displayed on it’s own page, to be an improvement to your reading experience or not?
  3. Which choice have you made regarding the display of social networking sharing buttons on your own blog(s) and why?

Related posts:
Minimalist Blogging: Strip it!
Blogging: Strategies for reducing page loading time
Blogging: How to lose me as a reader

52 thoughts on “WordPress.com Sharing Buttons

  1. Pingback: Disabling Social Media Sharing Buttons: Blogging Suicide or Sanity?

  2. Does removing the display of the social networking sharing buttons from the front page, archives and search results negatively affect your experiences as a reader of this blog?I don’t mind the removal on Archive and Search pages. However, just being able to social share a post is not enough. I want to be able to social share your complete blog and you have removed my opportunity to do that.

    Do you consider the hiding of the social networking sharing buttons, which now only appear when the title of the post or comment bubble is clicked and the post is fully displayed on it’s own page, to be an improvement to your reading experience or not? Nope, even for my page I’m not going to hide anything my users to use to promote ME!

    Which choice have you made regarding the display of social networking sharing buttons on your own blog(s) and why? I’ll be standing up wordpress for blogs.nasa.gov. It’s mandatory that we offer all the opportunities for users to enjoy us and our information.

    • I don’t know what you mean by this: “However, just being able to social share a post is not enough. I want to be able to social share your complete blog and you have removed my opportunity to do that.”

      All I did was move the display of the social networking buttons onto the post pages where the full posts display.I prefer that people actually read posts before they choose whether or not to click a sharing button. And, if any visitor wishes to promote my blog what more do they need aside ftom the URL for the blog?

  3. Hi Timethief,

    Just wanted to extend a massive ‘Thank you!’ to you for the fantastic resources you provide …so helpful to those of us new to this blogging World. – I’ve been building a retrospective chronology of personal hand-written journal notes and videos, documenting my progress as a rookie guitar player, transferring nearly 3 years’ worth of work into WordPress …I went live this week!

    My ‘guitar journal’ posts are infrequent but rather in-depth, so just one post per page, and because of this I actually don’t mind the sharing and like buttons on the front page.

    Thanks again!

    Joel.

  4. Thank you so much for your blog. As a newbie to the blogging community it is wonderful to be able to get help like this. You are doing a great job.

  5. hi timethief,

    In two of my main blogs I don’t have sharing buttons in the front page. They are pointless “if” we use the more tag and just have the summary in the front page. And we have less keywords counted! I just leave the tags and the category, few tags that work like keywords too. In another I have them just because in that blog often I don’t use the more tag, it’s just an informative blog with short post too, so people have the possibility of sharing that way too. In my personal blog I removed everything, sharing, comments and like buttons everywhere, but I don’t care about the traffic there, I know people know how to share if they want, they follow me on my social networks so they can share from there too.

  6. I do not use the Share buttons. Is this the reason why I have lost the Likes?
    All of my Likes and the Like button have disappeared from my photo blog http://northernprints.wordpress.com
    I have read through the forums and cannot find the solution.
    Can anyone help? Thanks.

  7. Hi, Timethief

    It’s been quite a while since my last visit, and I must say, I love your new design. I see you decided to remove the left sidebar…

    Regarding your post, I prefer having the share buttons within the post/page rather than on the front page. I can certainly understand how buttons on the front page would slow down the page. Excerpts on the front page are so much easier to read without them. Then if the reader wants to share the post once they’ve read through it completely, they can. That, of course, is just my preference.

    Great info, and thanks for sharing it.

    Take care,
    Allyson Stewart

  8. Hi timethief,

    Here’s one concern I have. I removed the share buttons on my front page as you recommended. However, I haven’t been using the “read more” tag when I first publish a post so that email readers get the full post. I find that if I use the “read more” tag, the email readers only get the summary. I usually schedule my posts early in the morning while i’m still sleeping. Then I edit the post later in the day and insert the “read more” tag. So this means I won’t have share buttons while the post is temporarily in full post mode on my front page. But I don’t know what else to do so that my email readers will get the full post. WP.com changed it at one point and now they only get the summary if I use the read more tag. Any thoughts on working around this?

    • I have my RSS Feed set to “summary” and set up it long before I began to insert “the more tag” to split content and display only beginnings of posts on my front page. I did that to put an end to the content theft I was experiencing and the time and energy I had to devote to getting my content removed from splogs. The summary setting working very well when it came to dealing with content theives. That’s why I was unaware that Staff had made any changes in this regard. I’m sorry but I don’t know of a workaround you can use.

      • Thanks for your thoughts on this. I guess the only solution is to put the share buttons on the front page the night before I publish a post and then take them off the front page the next day when I add the read more tag. A little bit of a hassle, but I don’t want to keep my email subscribers from the chance of reading the full post. It’s clear that most email subscribers don’t click over.

  9. I’m with you on this, TT. I just removed the sharing buttons from my homepage. Now it’s less cluttered and page load time has improved significantly.

    At first I wanted the buttons to be available upfront because I sometimes post just a picture and a few lines and my readers shouldn’t have to click to another page. But now I’ve noticed that the second I post a long-ish article (with the “read more” tab and with my feed set to summary), a “Like” comes in (but no page views) which is absurd.
     
    I agree that there’s some dishonesty in clicking “Like” when one hasn’t even seen half the post. For the blogger, there’s also no satisfaction to be had. 

    I’m glad you brought this up, TT. Thanks!

    • We’ve used adthis as a share on all pages (html site) – it’s my understanding and experience is that if I (as a user) chose a share at a top level that’s what i’m sharing. If i chose it at a post level then i’m sharing that level. kwim? If i just wanna share an image i can and that’s the way we will use social media in this instance. This is why I would use it at all levels (except search and archives, i don’t get that). :)

  10. Hmmm, I’m the opposite. At least for the share buttons, I like to have them up front for the reader who is skimming along, to share the blog post. It’s just less clicking for the reader. That’s all. We already click alot on the Internet. As for the avatars, etc. I honestly thought I had disabled showing a person’s photo avatar, intead of generic drawn faceless avatar.

    • Hi Jean,
      You can disable the display of avatars/gravatars in the Recent Comments widget. You can also disable the display in comments themeselves on this page > Settings > Discussion
      Avatar Display
      __Don’t show Avatars
      __Show Avatars

      And on the same page you can disable the display of Hovercards.
      Gravatar Hovercards
      __View people’s profiles when you mouse over their Gravatars

  11. I’m so glad I discovered your page on the forums. I need some advice and wasn’t sure where I could post a question for you. For the past four days none of my posts have publishing on the Word Press Reader Topics Page (i.e. Life, Humor, Weekly Photo Challenge etc…). I publish my post and then check the Reader’s page and nothing. Is there anything I can do on my end to fix this or this a Word Press problem? I checked the forums and it seems a few others are having the same issue but I got no answers. Can you help?

    http://thewishfactor.wordpress.com

    Thanks for any anwers :)
    The Guat

  12. Much obliged! I woulda bet money that the sharing buttons only displayed on my posts and pages… Wrong! I just checked, and they were displaying on my front page as well. News to me… : (

    Well, they’re not displaying there any more. We’re right in sync on the issue: the idea that someone could like or share a post without even reading it seems ludicrous. Add in extra load time, and it compounds the felony, so to speak.

    Thumbs-up to your change, and many thanks for raising the issue! : )

    • Hi Mark,
      I started answering forum questions early this morning and have done nothing but since then. :( There are many unhappy bloggers out there who are livid about the changes being made without prior consultation or warning and I am among them. The reason you were surprised to see the sharing buttons on the front page is because Staff made a recent unannounced change which resulted in front page display of sharing buttons. Thanks for your feedback on the sharing button issue. It appears we are in synch.

  13. Morning TT! I think mine is set up the way you recommend here, I just dashed back to my blog to look and it is, but I don’t remember doing it, it is always so useful to read your blog.

    Do take this bit out as it is off topic….Can I ask you something different? How have you managed to keep the ‘Notify me of new posts via email box’ visible (when I start to write a comment) but unchecked? A blog friend of mine and I have had to take it off all together as it is checked by default now if we enable it in settings, and WordPress have confirmed to me by email that this is what they have done. If you have a different fix for this I would be really pleased to know what it is.

  14. Thanks for this, timethief. As I get my blog ready to launch on WP, it’s so helpful to have the benefit of your experience. In Blogger there is no ability to remove any of the sharing buttons and I doubt I would have realised i could do this in WP without this post.

  15. TT,
    my preference is for the second option – clean, lean and to the point. Options for sharing still exist for those who want to!

  16. Hmm…. I’ve disabled this feature and only use the like button. Perhaps I’m new and don’t fully understand the benefits but why should I allow others to post my writings elsewhere without any participation, not even a like?

    • There are many who want to bring their blogs to attention and who feel that having their visitors promote their posts throughout all possible social networks is a way to increase their audience.

      • That is true. From a designing point of view, do you really want your competitors to see and spread your designs for duplication? Hmm… I really should change my target market from machine knit producers to non-producers. When producers duplicate your work it reduces its value and profit. It would be nice to select which posts owners want others to share. Am I making sense?

        • Whatever we place on the interent is there for all to link to and to recommend. We don’t have control over which post may be shared. I think you could be targeting handknitters who may want to become machine knitters.

  17. timethief,

    It really looks nice without the share buttons (and likes) on the front page. I’ve been noticing it seems to take eons for my page to load. The share buttons are probably just one factor, but it is an important one to consider. I may try this too. It takes guts to disable your share buttons even on the front page alone. I really admire your willingness to experiment with this.

    I recently noticed that Leo Babauta has disabled share buttons from his posts entirely. I asked him about it on Google+ and this is what he said:

    “Yes, I have removed sharing buttons from Zen Habits. I believe people know how to share without my encouragement, if they’d like to do so. Most people would rather read without the distractions of buttons, pop-ups, ads and so forth.”

    This might be an easier decision if you have so a large following. I probably wouldn’t remove the share buttons altogether because it does take more work for the readers to share, but I admire Leo’s view on this.

    • Hi Sandra,
      I appreciate your feedback and thank you for sharing what Leo Babauta had to say on this subject. No sooner were sharing buttons provided than there were bloggers posting to the forum who wanted them to appear on the front page rather than at the end of posts. There have also been those who want a blog “like” pop-up that appears as soon as one clicks into a post. The idea of providing buttons for visitors to click before they even read a post does not sit well with me. I consider clicking a “like” button without reading a post to be fraud. Messy appearance does not sit well with me either. I agree with Leo as I do think most readers want a distraction free reading experience.

  18. Hi timethief,
    Thanks once again. This is another very useful post on using wordpress blog efficiently. And here are my answers to the 3 of your questions:
    1. IMHO my reading experience is much better and DISTRACTION FREE without the social networking buttons in the front page. Especially when you have used the “more” tag to restrict the amount of post content to be shown on the front page.
    2. Yes, absolutely.
    3. I have disabled the social buttons on the front page for the very same reasons that you have already mentioned in this wonderful post — page load time (as a reader, I have very short attention span, and I will quickly move away if a page take too long to load) and distraction free reading.
    Here is a portion of my blog: http://indranilsinharoy.com/category/photography-notebook/
    Thank you.

    • Whew! I felt nervous and somewhat undecisive when I published this post. Thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate it.

      • Your site is very informative. You were right, I was wrong. I have referred to this site more times than I can count. I added you to my blogroll, and put a link to your site on all of my “blogging” posts. This site is amazing.

        • @lizfruitberry
          I’m pleasantly surprised by your comment. It made my day and I thank you for making it. Let’s start new right now, okay? Best wishes to you with your blogging and in all you do.

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