A few months ago I added the SocialBox plugin to WP Mods to replace the old social media subscription area. The one criticism I have about this plugin is that it doesn’t include a Feedburner email subscription field or option to add Google+.
The plugin can be added easily to any widget area in your design. It supports Facebook, Twitter, RSS, Google Plus and LinkedIn. The width of the widget can be adjusted so that it fits correctly into any widget area e.g. whether it’s in your sidebar or footer.
The colours of each area can be adjusted through the widget area too. This makes it easy to integrate the box with the rest of your design. The default colours are also permanently noted on the widget so that you can easily switch back to the default colours if you change your mind.
It’s a fantastic plugin but there are some limitations. For starters, all of the media fields are fixed. For example, I don’t use LinkedIn so didn’t enter my details into the LinkedIn field but the link still appeared. Hopefully this is addressed in a future version so that when a social media site field is not completed, it doesn’t appear in the box.
If you do want to remove a social media profile from the box or add a new one, you will have to edit the plugin directly. The code was well documented so you should find this fairly easy to do. In just a few minutes I was able to replace the LinkedIn link with a link to my newsletter. This isn’t the most practical solution though as any changes you make will be erased when you make an upgrade so you will have to remember to save the changes you make before you upgrade. Unfortunately, the widget doesn’t have a built in title either so you can’t place the box under a header such as ‘Subscribe’.
Whilst I do love the style of the box, it isn’t perfect in my eyes. I would prefer if the Google+ recommend link was replaced by an RSS link and a note of the number of RSS subscribers you have. Also, I really don’t like the fact that there is a link back to the developers website integrated into the box footer. Hopefully in a future version he releases a premium version that allows you to remove this link.
I’m going to test the box out on WP Mods for a few weeks to see how it performs. I suspect it encourages more people to become of your Facebook page as can click the like button and follow you without leaving the page. Usually the visitor has to go to Facebook and then click the like button.
I did like the SocialBox plugin I was using before however the lack of Feedburner email and Google+ subscription links lets it down (SocialBox was updated yesterday. Support for Dribbble, Forrst, Vimeo and Digg was added but not Feedburner email or Google+. Strange!). Plus I do like the fact that Easy Mashable Social Bar highlights my Facebook and Twitter profiles better.
What do you think of the Easy Mashable Social Bar? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Easy Mashable Social Bar: Information & Download