Enhancing your WordPress.com blog’s accessibility and share-ability with social networking icons can be a quick coffee break set up or a longer project. It all depends on the theme you use.
Enabling sharing buttons on your WordPress.com posts and pages for your readers to promote your content across a range of social networks/services isn’t theme dependent. It’s easily done by using the guide.
If you also want social networking icons to appear in your site’s header area or sidebar a few themes have them built in (partial list here – RSS and social media icons).
Built in social media icons
If you use a theme that doesn’t have built in social media icons you don’t need a table for a row of small thumbnail images ie. social networking icons in your sidebar, you just need basic coding for images that link to webpages. You can use the about.me widget or create your own version of one in a text widget.
The About.me Widget
About.me is a free service that lets you create an attractive and informative one-page website that’s all about you as it summarizes your web presence. Upload a photo, write a short bio and connect your favorite websites to show the world the big picture of you.
> Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets
When it comes to widgets, the About.me widget has social media button integration for sidebar display. Your blog is immediately populated with a photo, biography and links to all your social networks. As your about.me page is updated, so is your about.me widget on your WordPress blog.
DIY social networking icons in a text widget
You can use Google search and/or the Icon Search Engine to locate free images of the social media icons you want to use for the various social working sites. There are countless sets of icons you could use. Here’s are just two collections out of many:
Download the icon set you wish to use (or right click and save to your desk top). If there is a .zip file, “unzip” it and open the folder (create an “icon” folder for easier retrieval). Then upload the images to your blog, link each icon image to your appropriate social network profile page, and display them in a text widget in your sidebar.
Using CSS to customize and position social networking icons
If you have purchased the Custom Design upgrade for CSS editing then once you have your DIY social networking icons in an about.me widget, links widget or text widget, you can use absolute positioning to re-position the icons somewhere else on the page, for example to move the widgets from the sidebar into the header area or to the footer area. There are a couple different ways to add social media buttons via CSS editing. Here’s one: How can I change the original social media icons to customized ones?