How to Add a Google +1 Button To Your Posts

Google recently introduced +1 buttons on its search results to indicate that you think something is cool. You can also add these to your blog, so that visitors can recommend your content easily when they read it.

I tried several WordPress plugins with my slightly modified TwentyTen theme before I could get a Google +1 button that worked the way I wanted. I ran these tests with Firefox version 5.

Requirements

I wanted to keep it fairly simple, since I already use Sexy Bookmarks for my main social bookmarking.

Here is what I wanted:

  • It needs to work with TwentyTen; I.e. The buttons appear & do their job

  • Put a Google +1 button at the top and bottom of each post

  • Put the count beside the button, not above it

  • Include a Facebook Like button beside the Google+1 button

  • Put the bottom button above the Sexy Bookmarks icons

Comparison

Initially I tried a bunch of plugins that created a Google+1 button, along with other plugins which created a Facebook Like button. That was a nightmare. Eventually I narrowed my search to only include plugins which created both buttons.

Here are the plugins I tried, ranked in decreasing order of download popularity as at 22nd August 2011:

Plugin

Version

By

Works?

Button at Top & Bottom

Count Beside Button

Facebook Like

Above SB Icons

Sexy Bookmarks

4.0.5.6

Shareaholic

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Digg Digg

4.5.3.3

Yong Mook Kim

Yes

Top

Yes

Yes

No

Really simple Facebook Twitter share buttons

1.7.3

WhileTrue

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

1-click Retweet/Share/Like

4.2

LinksAlpha

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share

1.2.0

Sudipto Pratap Mahato

No

Yes

Yes

Socialize

2.0.4

JonBishop

Yes

Top

Yes

Yes

Yes

Facebook Likes You!

1.4.7

Piotr Sochalewski

No

Yes

Yes

WP Social Bookmarking Light

1.6.9

utahta

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Add Twitter, Facebook Like, Google plus one Social share

2.1.0

Beingmaverick

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

WP Social Toolbar

2.1

DaddyDesign

No

Facebook,Twitter,Google plus one Share Buttons

1.2.1

Jeriff Cheng

Yes

Bottom

No

Yes

Yes

Tweet & Like

1.2.4

Kurt Polinar

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Social Sharing Toolkit

2.0.3

Marijn Rongen

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Social Media Counters

1.1.1

Phil Hancox

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Simple Social - Sharing Widgets & Icons Updated

0.3.5

Fabiancz

Yes

Bottom

Yes

Yes

No

Scrolling Twitter Like Google +1 Linkedin and Stumbleupon

1.0.2

Sudipto Pratap Mahato

No

Side

No

Yes

Yes

Share Center Pro

1.1.1

Bit51

No

Yes

Scrolling Social Sharebar (Twitter Like Google +1 Linkedin and Stumbleupon)

1.0.1

Sudipto Pratap Mahato

No

Side

No

Yes

Yes

The Like Buttons

1.1

kid_rock

No

Bottom

No

Yes

No

Notes

Works?:

  • The most common problem was the Google +1 button not appearing. Things change quickly in the plugin world, so these problems may have since been fixed.

Button Position:

  • Yes: Can be enabled at top and bottom

  • No: Can only be at top or bottom

  • Top: Top only

  • Bottom: Bottom only

  • Side: Puts the buttons at the side instead. Interesting.

Sexy Bookmarks:

  • Yes: Bottom Button appears above bookmark icons
  • No: Bottom Button doesn't appear, or appears below bookmark icons.
  • Hide: Sexy bookmark icons disappear

The Winner

Really simple Facebook Twitter share buttons does exactly what I want.

Sexy Bookmarks

I use Sexy Bookmarks on my blog and although it supports this functionality, a conflict with Simple Facebook Connect causes it to leave a blank space where the button should be for me.

I often find that plugin conflicts cause the Sexy Bookmarks icons to disappear, especially when the plugin is used in New mode. So I tested for this too.

1-click Retweet/Share/Like

LinksAlpha's 1-click Retweet/Share/Like plugin is slightly overkill for my needs, and requires an API key registration. It also shows another button that enables some other tools, including a plugin download link, which I find distracting.

Other Plugins

Other Google +1 plugins I tried briefly before deciding to limit the scope to plugins which also generated the Facebook Like button were:

  • WordPress Google +1 Button by Jacob Gillespie almost works when used with Like by Bottomless. In the Google +1 button settings, set the size to Medium. Things get weird if the Google +1 button is bigger than the Like button. Unfortunately the button appears twice on your home page when used with Advanced Excerpt. The workaround is to enable Hide the +1 button on the homepage in Google +1 button settings.

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About Graham

I'm the creator of BuildYourBlog.net.
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4 Responses to How to Add a Google +1 Button To Your Posts

  1. Jenny says:

    This is just exactly the problem I'm trying to solve, and this post was incredibly helpful to me--the way you laid out your research is great!

    But...I really didn't like your pop-up asking me to like/share/tweet the post or wait some number of seconds. It pops up so quickly that I didn't yet know whether I DID like the article or not...peering around it, I could tell that the article seemed promising, so I waited. If I hadn't been able to tell that, though, I would have just left without reading the article (or telling you that I didn't like the popup), and I wouldn't intentionally come back. I'm not telling you this to be unpleasant (and again, if I hadn't liked your article, I wouldn't have commented at all)--I'm telling you because I'd want to know if it were me :) I don't know if it increases sharing on social networks for you so much that it's worth bouncing visitors...if it works amazingly well, I don't know, maybe you should keep it. But it's not the same as someone sharing something they've had a chance to read and really love. Seems like there's probably a floating plugin that can appear off to the side of the post in a slightly delayed manner, so it grabs attention the same way (by suddenly appearing), but doesn't stop you from reading the post or try to force you to do anything. People are contrary. Like me--I'm going to "like" your post because I want to, not because that plugin tried to make me! :)

    • Jenny says:

      p.s. Whoa, it appeared again after I submitted my comment--I guess it happens on any page load (I assume it finally stops once you do something THROUGH it)

    • Graham says:

      Hmmm... it's supposed to wait a minute before hassling you so you actually get into the article first. I don't like annoying visitors either. I haven't had the pop-up on long enough to say whether it really works or not.

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