If you’re looking for a complete social sharing plugin for WordPress to help you boost social shares, increase engagement, traffic, and improve conversions, then you might enjoy checking out Social Warfare.
Around 2015, I stumbled upon a social share plugin called Social Warfare.
If you’re a long-time reader of Magnet4Blogging, you may vaguely remember that I used to use the Easy Social Sharing Buttons plugin on this site.
For a while, the Social Warfare plugin was the only social sharing plugin I used and recommended to others.
Fast forward to today, there are quite a few options to choose from these days, both free and premium when it comes to social sharing button plugins.
I mean, we have Sumo Share, Mashshare, WP social, and many more.
So, why did I change to this particular plugin?
Prior to switching, I had already heard so many wonderful things about Social Warfare. But, I didn’t really need to change because the plugin that I was already using was good enough.
That said, one standout feature that attracted me to the plugin was the loading time performance.
Warfare Plugins, the company, claimed that their plugin was the fastest of its kind. And as a web designer passionate about improving website loading speed, this appealed to me quite a bit.
So as the story goes, I changed from Easy Social Sharing Buttons from CodeCanyon to the Social Warfare plugin by Social Warfare.
So, let me stop here… Please read the note below before you continue reading this 2019 review of Social Warfare.
Disclaimer 1: I originally wrote this review back in 2015, however, quite a few things have changed since then. So, for full transparency, below you will find my fully revised review of Social Warfare for 2019, incluing whether I would stil recommend it on blogs, and why I no longer use Social Warfare on my site.
What is Social Warfare?
Let’s start at the very beginning.
Social Warfare is a lightweight, feature-packed social sharing plugin for hosted WordPress websites.
The plugin was created by three very talented dudes; Nicholas Cardot, Dustin Stout, and Jason Wiser.
All three of these Gentlemen obviously have extensive background knowledge and experience in content creation, product design, and development.
The plugin is completely free to download and use from the WordPress repository, however, you can expand the plugin’s capabilities by buying the Pro Add-on plugin from Social Warfare.
Who can use this plugin?
Whether you have a personal blog, or small business website, personal brand website, it really doesn’t matter what kind of website you have – If you want to make it really simple for your users to share your content easily on social media, this plugin will help you do that.
There are many free social sharing plugins, why use Social Warfare?
Yes, there are many free plugins you can use. I use a free plugin on this site, and no longer use Social Warfare. But with a free plugin, you don’t get the customization options, frequent updates, or support like you would with a premium plugin.
In addition, using Social Warfare can help most bloggers achieve two critical things –
- It’s super-lightweight, developed for optimum performance in mind. This means Social Warfare isn’t bloated with unnecessary code and will ‘apparently’ load very fast on your website and not cause lag like some other plugins might.
- Unless you want to expand the options with the pro-Add-ons, you won’t need to install any additional plugins just to add extra social optimization features to your site. Social warfare has most of what you need to optimize each blog post/page for social.
Features of the Social Warfare Plugin
Social Warfare, the free version, already comes with some pretty cool features. These include the following –
- Social sharing network buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin, and StumbleUpon.
- 4 primary placement locations for your buttons.
- Social share counts, including Tweet counts.
- Popular posts widget based on the number of social shares per post.
- Content-protection. (FrameBuster built in to prevent the hijacking of your content)
Social Warfare, the Pro add-on version comes with everything the free version has, plus the following additions –
- Social sharing network buttons for Reddit, Tumblr, Yummly, WhatsApp, Pocket, Buffer, Hacker News, Flipboard, Email.
- Hover Pin button for your images (Pinterest).
- Various styles and custom design and placement of your sharing buttons and Click-to-tweet.
- Minimum social proof setting.
- Share recovery tool for your lost counts.
- Social authorship for Facebook, Twitter and more.
- Link shortening, analytics campaign tracking, and button click tracking.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the features and options of Social Warfare in more detail –
#1. Button customization and display options
With Social Warfare, you can customize your social sharing buttons just the way you want them to look, and according to the company, there are over 5,000 potential style combinations to work through using the Visual Options.
In addition to styling, you can position your buttons almost anywhere you want on your site/page, simply by selecting the placement options available, or manually placing the buttons into your posts or pages yourself using shortcodes.
#2. Click-to-Tweet boxes
I love this feature in SW. You can add a ‘Click-to-tweet’ custom message anywhere in your content. With the pro add-ons you can customize these even further with your own CSS.
#3. Hover Pin-it button
Another one of my favorite features in the Pro version is the Hover to Pin button. This option lets you pin images straight to your Pinterest boards, and as we all know, Pinterest can be a great source for blog traffic.
#4. Popular Posts Widget
One of the coolest features, I think in Social Warfare is the Popular Posts widget.
You can drop this widget straight into your blog’s sidebar or footer area to display your most popular posts by the total number of social shares.
You can also choose a specific network to base your post’s popularity. See image below.
So, those are just some of my favorite features of Social Warfare free and pro version, if you want to check out the full list of Pro features in Social Warfare, simply click here.
How much is Social Warfare?
Once again, just to remind you that there’s a free version of this plugin available to download here.
The Pro version of the plugin is priced accordingly –
Single site – If you wish to purchase the Pro Add-ons to gain access to the extra features, support, and updates, as you’ve probably read from the list above, Social Warfare Premium is very affordable at just $29 per year for a single site license.
Up to 5 sites – If you want to use Social Warfare Pro on up to 5 sites, it will cost you $89 per year.
For up to 10 websites – Then it’ll cost you $139 per year.
For unlimited access – You will have to pay $349 per year.
What’s the pros and cons?
Now, let’s talk about the things that are great about Social Warfare, overall, and the things that suck!
- Clean, modern, attractive design of buttons.
- Built with performance in mind, quick loading and won’t slow down your site, apparently.
- Fully customizable, with over 5,000 possible style combinations for your buttons. (Pro)
- Amazing built-in features, including “Click to Tweet” and “Frame Buster”.
- Lots of buttons placement and display options, including manual placement.
- ACTIVATE TWITTER COUNTS to show Tweet counts!
- A free version of this plugin available from the WordPress plugins repository.
- Affordable Pro add-on available giving you access to tons of extra options, features, settings, support, and updates, only $29 for a single-user license (per year)
- Google Analytics tracking.
- Simple to install and configure.
- Extensive knowledge database and timely customer support (Premium).
- Not really a con, but if you want to continue receiving updates for this plugin, you will have to renew your subscription each year, which I suppose is fair enough.
- Very occasionally conflicts with other plugins, or when new major revisions of the plugin are released, Social Warfare sometimes stops working. However, the Social Warfare team are usually quick to fix bugs. Read more below.
- Tweet counts work 97% of the time, though occasionally, you might experience a period where your tweet counts will not show at all, or at least stop counting for weeks on end. Usually, resetting this option will solve this problem.
And my verdict is?
Yes, the Social Warfare plugin with the Pro add-ons fills all the necessary gaps that all the other social sharing plugins have failed to do in the past. That much I can agree on.
With SW, you get a plugin with built-in social optimization tools, click-to-tweet feature, twitter cards, Twitter counts, and so on, not all social sharing tools out there really provides this much value at an affordable price.
But, I stopped using the plugin a while back and I’ll explain why next.
Why I don’t use Social Warfare on Magnet4Blogging.
Whenever new ‘major’ revisions or updates of the Social Warfare are released, I would advise that YOU DO NOT update to the new version straight away. Personally, I would wait for a few weeks. At least that’s what I wish I did when I was updating the plugin on my site.
Well, when the company released version 3.0 a while back, it unknowingly came with a ton of bugs which caused a lot of websites using SW to crash upon updating to the new version.
Now, this was a one-time occasion, but for me, it was enough to make me not want to use Social Warfare.
The product is still an amazing tool in my mind, but the way the company conducted the release of an update that was more broken than ready for a live release version just astonished me. You can read some reviews provided on their Facebook page here.
Please don’t get me wrong guys. I’m all about transparency and I still love Social Warfare.
And, I have to give credit where it is due because the Social Warfare team did all they could to look after their paying customers the best they could and went about to fix those bugs as quickly as possible. But the whole process took several weeks to fix, and even after that, things weren’t running properly with the plugin, which is why I decided to remove Social Warfare on my site.
I may return to it at some point in the near future, but right now I’m OK with what I’m using on my site.
Where can I download or buy this plugin?
Download the free stripped down version of the plugin here, and click the button below to learn more about the Pro Add-ons.