In early 2019, we began recommending Social Pug to our clients. Another popular social sharing plugin experienced a string of critical issues, culminating in a serious security vulnerability.
After looking at the plugin itself, reading through the documentation, and watching the developer, Mihai Iova, respond to the flood of requests he received during the issues with other plugin in March, we began recommending Social Pug. The free version of the plugin works well and has all of the basic features a blogger needs. However, we purchased an agency license that allows us to extend Social Pug Pro to all Agathon clients as well.
Throughout 2019, Mihai continued to iterate and improve it in response to user feedback. Eventually, the plugin was acquired by Mediavine and rebranded as Grow. This continues to be a plugin we recommend (and one we offer free to Agathon clients).
What is a social sharing plugin?
Social sharing plugins add social sharing buttons and tools to your blog posts and pages without requiring custom coding or complicated setup. For many bloggers, these are an important part of their growth strategy because:
1. They invite readers to share content on their favorite social media sites. This is especially valuable for a social network like Pinterest, which has the potential to drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your blog.
2. They provides social proof. Many social share buttons will also display a badge with the number of shares. With each share, that number increases, increasing the authority of the content in future visitors’ eyes.
Installing & configuring Grow
The following instructions will help you get up and running quickly. Agathon clients can email support, and we’ll install and configure the premium version of Grow for you!
As always, be sure to start by backing up your site before you make any changes.
Then head to to Plugins → Add New and search for Grow by Mediavine. Click Install Now. After it successfully installs, click Activate.
Once installed, you can access all of its settings on the sidebar under Grow.
From the Toolkit page, you can configure the Floating Sidebar or Inline Content. Click on the Settings for either option. Here you can adjust the order of the buttons, edit their labels, select button shapes and sizes, and determine where they should show.
From the Settings page, you can set preferences, configure your social identities, and adjust styling.
Social sharing tools are a staple for most bloggers. We recommend Grow because it’s an easy-to-use and reliable plugin for this functionality!