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.
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
3. Enter “addthis” in the search box and click on “Search Plugins”
4. Find the “AddThis” plug-in in the list and click on “Install Now”
5. After the plug-in has been installed, click on “Activate Plugin”
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
7. To change the look of the button, click on “AddThis” in the “Settings” part of the sidebar
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
9. Next select the type of button that you would like to use. I usually use a dropdown one
10. Then select the style of button that you would like. I am using a “share” button
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
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
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
14. You can enter a “brand”, which is usually just the name of your site
This appears on the pop-up box when someone hovers over the button with the mouse
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
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
17. Finally, click on “Save Changes” and the button is now configured!