AddThis

AddThis is a plug-in that allows the reader to “share” the post that they are reading on social networking sites like Facebook, or to post a tweet on Twitter about it.

AddThis

I like this plug-in, because it avoids a line of icons, making the site less cluttered and faster to load.  I even prefer it to TweetMeme for linking to Twitter.

Installing the basic plug-in is quite simple, but there are several options that make it a very powerful and versatile tool.  Here are the steps that I took to install it on DIY Blogger:

1. Log into WordPress using an Administrator account.

2. Select “Add New” in the “Plugins” section of the sidebar

Plugins - Add New

3. Enter “addthis” in the search box and click on “Search Plugins”

Enter addthis in the search box

4. Find the “AddThis” plug-in in the list and click on “Install Now”

Install the plug-in

5. After the plug-in has been installed, click on “Activate Plugin”

Activate the plug-in

6. The button is now active on the blog, although it needs some fine tuning.  In my case, the button text is in German, because the button has recognised that I am in Germany

The button, albeit in German

The pop-up before the fine tuning

7. To change the look of the button, click on “AddThis” in the “Settings” part of the sidebar

Select AddThis to change the settings

8. The first field is for a username.  You do not have to enter anything here, but if you would like some statistics about how often the button is used, then you will need to sign up for an account on the AddThis website and enter your username here

Enter your username if you want statistics

9. Next select the type of button that you would like to use.  I usually use a dropdown one

Select the button type

10. Then select the style of button that you would like.  I am using a “share” button

Select the button style

11. Moving on to the advanced section, you can opt to have the statistics shown in the WordPress dashboard, but to do this you will have to enter your AddThis password

Enter your password if you want stats in the Dashboard

12. There is an option to show the button in the sidebar rather than under the posts, but I do not use it and leave the option unchecked

Select this if you only want the button in the sidebar

13. The next options decide where the button should appear.  Obviously you want it to appear under the posts, but you may want to stop it appearing on pages.  To do this, remove the tick in the relevant checkbox

Where should the button appear?

14. You can enter a “brand”, which is usually just the name of your site

Enter your blog name as the brand

This appears on the pop-up box when someone hovers over the button with the mouse

The name then appears top-right

15. The services field allows you to decide which sites are listed in the pop-up.  Separate multiple sites with a comma.  Adding “more” to the end of the list allows the readers to expand the pop-up to show the entire list of sites that AddThis supports

Select the sites to link to

16. By default, the language is set to “automatic”.  In this case, the button will try and adjust to the reader’s language, which is why I saw a German button, even though the site is in English.  To force the button to use a particular language, you can select one here

Set the language

17. Finally, click on “Save Changes” and the button is now configured!

The finished button

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a blogger from Germany. He has written code for WordPress themes since 2006 and been creating websites since 1994.
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  • Thank you, Graham, for your easy-to-use instructions! Is that a plug-in you use for the “About Graham” paragraph under your post?

    • No, that’s just part of the theme. It uses the get_the_author() function.

  • Is that a plugin you use for the “About Graham” at the bottom of your posts?

  • Nice set of instructions, Graham. I’ll have to take a look at this plugin.