What Is The Fastest Social Sharing WordPress Plugin? Say Hello To Novashare.

WordPress social media plugins, there’s so many

With so many to choose from it can be a little daunting. The degree of bloat varies massively from one social sharing plugin to another. By bloat I mean page size when using social media sharing plugins.

I’ve tried quite a few over my time, Social Warfare plugin, Easy Social Share Buttons, Mashshare to name but a few. All good in their own respective rights might I add.

WordPress’s social sharing plugins vary from adding the type of bloat you’d typically find in a dead body drifting down a stream. Nobody wants that, and I mean nobody.

Me, just now.

Visitors want fast, they don’t want to open up War & Peace, and read a passage while your website loads.

Guess what? They’re gone, like a thief in the night, never to return.

So what can you do to stop this happening? Will anyone step up with a lightweight social sharing plugin for WordPress and answer the call?


*Up steps the Novashare plugin with social sharing at the speed of light

Not my words, it’s a claim made on their website (a bold claim) *remember I’m used to bloat with social media plugins.

This is the part I tell you a little about the Novashare social sharing plugin for WordPress, and why it piqued my interest. Concentrate now.

What is Novashare
What is Novashare?

I spotted Novashare on the wilds of Twitter as I follow Brian Jackson, I was intrigued, to say the least. Why?

Brian Jackson and Brett Jackson are also responsible for WP Coupons and, more importantly, Perfmatters. Perfmatters is a web performance plugin to help speed up your install of WordPress.

More reasons it sparked my interest:

  • A social media sharing plugin for WordPress that only adds 5KB to the front end.
  • Uses inline SVGs for icons.
  • Has a click to tweet box for the block editor.
  • Offers floating social share buttons.
  • Inline social sharing buttons.
  • Hide or display social share counts.

Let’s see if Brian and Brett apply the same speed methodology to Novashare as they do to Perfmatters.


Before I forget, I did a video review of Novashare

I’m so street. I recorded a video review of the Novashare plugin, going through all the motions. If you find my reviews monotonous, hell, you’re going to love my video reviews, with a UK accent. Nice.


Let’s get started with a dive into Novashare

I’ve got a license for Novashare (very kindly donated to me by Brian Jackson himself) he said take it for a spin, and I’m doing just that. That in itself instills confidence.

Installing Novashare
Installing Novashare

Armed with my download from the Novashare website, I’ve installed it and activated it. Done. Installed, easy. Next up the dashboard.


Dashboard UI in Novashare

License tab in Novashare

The first tab deals with the License and activation, how many installs you have, and the status of your License.

What I like about this is you’re never too far away from help. Get stuck? Click on the support icon, need to read the documentation, click on the link.

There’s also a cheeky link to Brian Jackson’s blog offering a guide on how to speed up WordPress. Sneaky beaky, I’ll allow it, though.


Tools tab in Novashare

The tools tab

Also known as the Novashare plugin management tools. Four options here:

  • Clean Uninstall:- If you’d like to remove all traces of the plugin upon uninstalling it, this switch lets you do just that.
  • Accessibility Mode:- Enabling this means that descriptive text will display under each and every setting. Ideal for those who use screen readers.
  • Export/Import:- If you have another blog you’d like to use an existing social share button set up for, you can import/export into another instance of Novashare.

Novashare options

Configuration options in Novashare
Options tab in Novashare

Plenty to get through here, I’ll keep it as brief as possible and explain what each option does. Bear in mind these are global options, so settings here will be site-wide.

Minimum Share Count

If you’d like to hide the number of shares your content receives, setting a minimum share count will help. Let’s say you only wanted to display share counts for posts/pages and only wanted to show them after they’ve hit 10 shares. Enter 10 here, and that’s it.

Share counts will only display once a post has been shared a minimum of 10 times. Cool huh?

Display Twitter counts

We all know Twitter stopped the use of it’s sharing buttons with a counter on them. Here you can enable Twitter share counts via a service called TwitCount.

To use TwitCount (which is free), all you need to do is head on over to their website, sign in with Twitter, add the URL of the site you’d like to display Twitter counts on, and you’re done.

*Important, this service will not give you a history count of how many times your content has been tweeted. It will work from the point of using the service.

Twitter Username

Adding your Twitter username here means, any time a link is shared via Novashare, your Twitter handle will be appended to the tweet.

It’s a great way to get notified of who’s tweeting your content, so you can thank them, follow them (delete as applicable).

Connecting Facebook for Facebook shares

I’ve not done this, mainly as I’m not a fan of Facebook. There are detailed instructions over at Novashare on how to get this set up for your blog. So I’m skipping this (sorry).

Opengraph, Shared Counts Refresh Rate & Purge Counts

The last three options deal with enabling Opengraph output; the default is enabled as well as the refresh rate for shared counts and purging counts from your database.

Being able to set your own refresh rate is perfect for those who favor speed. If you opt for showing shared counts from Twitter/Facebook, it makes a call via an API.

Here you can adjust how often that API is used for better performance from specific times. If you’re not fussed about using the share count, then Novashare doesn’t make the API call.

Google Analytics settings

Novashare offers UTM tracking for social media shares. Here you can add a source, a medium, and lastly, the campaign name.

A useful feature if you’d like to track what social network brings your content the most visits.

At this moment in time, Novashare only supports Bitly for link shortening. If you have an account, you can add your details and output your Bitly links for all social shares.


Click to tweet settings

Click to tweet configuration
Global Click to Tweet settings

Novashare has a click to tweet box for the Block Editor (Gutenberg) inside the post and the classic editor.

Here you can configure what theme you’d like to display as default. There are three on offer, choose the call to action text, and finally the position of the text in the block itself.


Floating Bar Settings in Novashare

I’ve mentioned previously that Novashare offers floating social sharing buttons. Here you can amend to your heart’s content.

Floating social sharing settings
Floating social sharing settings

So far, I’m impressed with the user interface of Novashare. It’s clean, easy to understand, and in fairness, I’ve not had to resort to viewing documentation.

Let’s go through the options for our floating social sharing bar.

  • Enable floating bar:- Enable, disable.
  • Post Types:- Choose the post type you’d like to enable the floating bar to display on.
  • Social network selection:- 17 to choose from, all the popular ones, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Email, Print, Buffer and more.

Social networks work on a simple drag and drop basis. Clicking on one enables it, then choose the order you’d like to display them in via drag/drop. See below for an example:

Gif denotes the ease of dragging and dropping social network icons to set an order of preference.
Drag and drop order of buttons
  • Mobile Breakpoint:- Default here is 1200px, you can change this accordingly and add your own values.
  • Hide Above Breakpoint:- These options deals with hiding the floating social bar when the browsers viewpoint is wider than your mobile breakpoint.
  • Hide Below Breakpoint:- Works on the same basis, only when the viewpoint is narrower than your mobile breakpoint.
  • Mobile Max Width:- Set a width in pixels, where your floating social buttons will display on mobile devices.

Take a look below for an example of the floating social bar from a mobile point of view:

Looks good right? The actual button size of this icons is small and using the standard colors, which leads me on to:

  • Button Size:- Choose from small, medium, or large. For mobile? I’ve gone for small as not to intrude on the content itself.
  • Button Shape:- Squared, rounded, or circular is the order of the day here.
  • Button Color/Hover Color:- Using the color picker, you can choose a HEX value for your button color and the hover. Very useful if you have a particular color palette you need to adhere to.
Change the color of the buttons & hover color
  • Total Share Count/Network Share Count:- Total share deals with the number of shares your content has had. Network shares deal with the individual shares per icon per social network.

See below for an example:

Total share count and per icon share count.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, my blog bites the big one, low share count, right? Well in truth, I’m not too fussed about the share counts, I like having lightweight social sharing options, that’s enough for me!


Inline Content social sharing options

I’ll be brutally honest here, pretty much the same options as the floating social sharing ones. I know people love floating social sharing for mobile devices, that’s why I led with that first.

There is one main difference though.

Inline content settings for Novashare

It’s all to do with the button positions for inline content. By inline content, I mean actually in a post/page.

Choices are above content, below content, above and below. There is another option. Don’t add to the content.

Using this option requires the use of a shortcode. This weirdly isn’t anywhere in the dashboard for Novashare, I had to refer to the documentation for that. The first time might I add.

[novashare_inline_content]

For posterity reasons and my own sanity, the above is the shortcode to use, if you decide not to use above, below or above and below content for your inline social sharing icons.


What about the click to tweet box?

You’ve seen it near the top of the post, for those who missed it or didn’t click to tweet shame on you.

A killer feature for me, I love Twitter, it’s my go-to place for all things. The Novashare click to tweet function works in the block editor and the classic editor.

So those of you who hate the block editor (Gutenberg), you can still use it. I love the block editor, sorry.

All you have to do is enter the word Novashare in the block editor, you’ll then see the Novashare Click to Tweet icon.

Click to Tweet features

There are three different styles when it comes to the colors of the Click to Tweet box. Default Blue, Simple Transparent Background, and Simple Alternate Gray Background.

Click to Tweet Color examples

Colors are all well and good, what else can the Click to Tweet box do? Well, you can change the alignment of the Call to Action Position, either left or right.

Change the Call to Action Text, useful if you want to sex it up a bit. Other options include:

  • Remove URL:- If you wanted to add a quote with no post URL attached to it, you can.
  • Remove Username:- If you’d prefer not to have your Username mentioned at all, simply remove it.
  • Hide Hashtags:- Add hashtags to your Tweet box, they’ll be visible to you in the post editor, not on the front end. Useful if you’d like to add some for more interaction of your tweet.

Here’s an example of the hashtags in the post editor:

Image shows the click to tweet box with hashtags visible in the post editor
I see them do you?

And another on the front end of my test site:

Image shows the front end out put of the click to tweet box, no hashtags are visible.
What dark arts are afoot?

Having fun with the Click to Tweet box, some tips/discoveries I made

What about emojis? Does Click to Tweet support them? Well, as part of my testing for this review, I messed around with it. Guess what? It does.

Example with emojis and the tweet itself:

Pretty cool huh?

Here’s another tip, let’s say you want to mention someone in particular as part of your Click to Tweet box? Check out the example below:

Hey @brianleejackson reading a review of the Novashare social sharing plugin on LayerWP, it’s pretty in-depth have you seen it yet? #socialsharing #WordPress #review  ?? 

See what I did with the above? I put a Twitter handle in there, so if you Click to Tweet, you’ll notice the output mentions the handle.

I’ve added a couple of emojis, and one next to the Call to Action Text as well. Pretty sweet sticks out for sure.

Can you add a URL into the tweet box? Yes. Let’s say you want to quote someone on Twitter using their handle and a link to a specific website you can. Add the URL to the tweet box, and you’re done.

Discovered an issue with the Click To Tweet box

It’s not all roses and perfume with the Click to Tweet box. I have noticed through testing, that adding spaces or entering a new paragraph making the text bold or italic, does the following:

Image shows problem with Click to tweet box when copying and pasting a paragraph with text formats in it.
Couple of issues with Click to Tweet

It’s not a fault; however, adding highlights or bold text could increase user engagement in the blog post, so it would have been nice to have for me. Minor quibble.


Novashare Post editor options

If you’re using an SEO plugin like Yoast, RankMath, SEO Framework, setting an image to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, .etc, is a breeze.

If you’re not using a plugin for SEO and would like to display a different image other than your featured image assigned to the post/page, you can do so with Novashare.

The post/page editor has a new section once Novashare is activated.

Post/page editor in Novashare

Here you can add an image to share on social media instead of the featured image.

The first section deals with social sharing for Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, with clear instructions on the recommended size of the image in pixels, in this case, 1200px by 630px.

You can allocate a different title when the post is shared on these social networks, along with a custom description.

The next section deals with Pinterest. A recommended size in pixels of 800px by 1200px along with a custom title for Pinterest.

What’s cool here is that you can hide the Inline Content social media buttons and/or hide the Floating social bar.

You can refresh the share counts on a post/page basis at the click of a button.

Ordinarily, the social media images would be the job of an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugin. If you don’t have one that supports Opengraph and you need to change the social sharing images, then Novashare will help you do that.


Yes, it does, there is an issue I have found with it though. See below for what I mean.

The above Click to Tweet Box was added via the classic editor

What a pretty bird. Albeit massive and well huge. The above was added via the classic editor in the WooCommerce product editor.

Click to tweet shortcode entry box
Click to Tweet shortcode entry box

Notice the Call to Action Text highlighted in the image? For some reason, this is not pulled into the box itself. Well, we know the box doesn’t work or does it?

Weirdly, if you add the Click to Tweet box in the short product description in WooCommerce this happens:

Shortcode now works
Weird right?

It’s strange, indeed! In fairness, and if you’ve viewed my video review of Novashare, I prefer to display the Click to Tweet box in the short description of the product as opposed to the actual product description itself.

I will say though the Call to Action text does not work on either count despite me entering it.

So technically, it does work with WooCommerce (sort of). I’ve had a few ideas on how to use Novashare with WooCommerce; that’s a post in itself, though.

I’ve also tested the Inline Content buttons, and unfortunately, they look messy in the product description as they center themselves, which just looks wrong.

However, a workaround is to use the Inline shortcode and place it in the short product description in WooCommerce.

It looks rather lovely and in my opinion, is a better place to show them, it’s immediate.


Well, I’ve covered the features, and since I’m using it here on LayerWP, the demo is my site.

Before installing on a test site, I used Pingdom to give me a page size, bearing in mind the test was performed on a shared host with no other plugins activated and no caching.

For testing purposes I only had the Inline Content social buttons activated above the content.

Well, I’ve covered the features, and since I’m using it here on LayerWP, the demo is my site.

Before installing on a test site, I used Pingdom to give me a page size, bearing in mind the test was performed on a shared host with no other plugins activated and no caching.

For testing purposes I only had the Inline Content social buttons activated above the content.

See below for the before:

Pingdom Page Speed Before Novashare
Pingdom Page Speed Before Novashare

With 11 requests and a page size of 119KB, it’s relatively lightweight. What happens when Novashare is activated?

After Novashare activation
After Novashare activation

So 2 new requests, and a page size of 124.5KB. Is that the famous 5KB that Novashare claims? No, it’s 5.5KB. Am I bothered by this? No.

It’s still lightweight as hell, I even tested with everything on, inline above and below, as well as floating social buttons (ALL OF THEM!)

Everything activated in Novashare
Overkill I know

What was the outcome with everything activated? I mean Floating Bar, Inline Content (above and below) and the Click to Tweet box?

Pingdom with everything results
Pingdom with everything results

Wow. Just over 10KB with all everything activated!

That’s incredible if I’m being honest, absolutely astounded by this, credit, where credit is due Novashare is a blazingly fast social sharing WordPress plugin.


Comparing Novashare against other WordPress social media plugins

I’ve installed Social Warfare the free version on my test site, used inline above and below content and floating social bar, ran it through Pingdom:

Pingdom results for Social Warfare
Social Warfare free versionNovashare
Everything Activated Page size: 189.3KBEverything activated Page size: 129.97KB
Requests: 17Requests: 13
Comparing Social Warfare Vs Novashare

Another test, this time using the free version of Mashshare:

Mashshare Pingdom results

The free version of Mashshare supports Twitter, Facebook, and email subscription icons. So it’s only three, and I’ve activated above and below the content.

Mashshare free versionNovashare
Everything Activated Page size: 193.00KBEverything activated Page size: 129.97KB
Requests: 15Requests: 13
Comparing Mashshare free Vs Novashare

I could go on and on and do more, I haven’t got the time. You get the point, Novashare is fast.


Novashare comes in three different license types, a one site license (cheapest option), three site license, and finally an unlimited site license, all with different pricing.

1 Site License

  • 1 Year Premium Support & Updates
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Cost: $29.95

3 Site License

  • 1 Year Premium Support & Updates
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Cost: $69.95

Unlimited Site License

  • 1 Year Premium Support & Updates
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Multisite support

Cost: $149.95


Arguably it is, mainly due to how lightweight it is. With minimal page bloat and I do mean minimal Novashare might be the new kid on the block, in terms of speed and features, it might end up ruling the block over time.


Novashare WordPress Plugin Review Verdict

If you’re looking for a no bloat social media sharing plugin for WordPress, relax, you’ve just found it. Thoroughly impressed and blazingly quick.

Functionality5
Ease of use5
Speed5
Cost5
Compatibility4
Final Review Score4.8

Summary

I’ve had to mark Novashare down on compatibility, mainly due to the issue with WooCommerce. I can’t test it with every single permutation or plugin built for WordPress over the annals of time!

What I will say, and if you get a chance to look at the roadmap and changelog for Novashare, they’re incredibly receptive.

Would I recommend Novashare? 100% Yes, it’s a joy to use, and personally, I love it.


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8 thoughts on “What Is The Fastest Social Sharing WordPress Plugin? Say Hello To Novashare.”

  1. This is awesome Ben! We appreciate the super thorough and honest write-up of our plugin. ?

    It also looks like you found a few display bugs we’ll get cleaned up ASAP (tasks created). Thanks for not just leaving these out. Feedback like this helps make the Novashare plugin better for everyone!

    Reply
    • Hey Brian,

      Got to be honest I really enjoyed my time with Novashare.

      Thank you for giving me a copy to review I appreciate it. You have spurred me on to video so if nothing else thanks for creating something awesome and pushing me into a new direction.

      I’ll happily renew and pay money when the license expires. You can quote that if you like 🙂

      Reply
      • Hey Ben! Just letting you know, the CTA bug has been fixed and next week we’ll be rolling out a fix for the following:
        – Stripping HTML in click to Tweet boxes
        – WooCommerce style issue

        Thanks again

        Reply
  2. Thanks, Ben for giving us the best step by step guide about Novashare tool. After reading your blog post, I’m super surprised. the thing love in your blog article is the way you write a blog post I don’t have seen anywhere :).

    Reply
    • Hey Rohit,

      Thanks for the kind words. Novashare is very good and extremely lightweight, it’s my WordPress social sharing plugin of choice. Let me know if you decide to use it, and if you do I hope you like it as much as I do.

      Reply

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