With the WordPress Shariff Wrapper Plugin, you can easily integrate share buttons into your website for sharing content without any code. The buttons can be displayed via shortcode, as a widget or automatically in the content. In addition to a variety of options, share counts are also supported as a feature.
At the beginning of this week, I already showed in a tutorial how you can integrate social sharing links into your theme yourself . As a user, however, you may not necessarily want to get into programming and display share buttons without code.
Alternatively, of course, a plugin can also be used. A data protection compliant plug-in should be selected, which also meets the rules of the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Shariff is an established concept for data protection compliant use.
What is Shariff?
I haven't found a source for the origin of the name, but it's pretty much a combination of sharing and sheriff. Just as the sheriff ensured law and order in the Wild West, Shariff is a legally compliant solution for share buttons.
With the official share buttons from Facebook, Google & Co., personal data such as the IP address or cookies of the website visitors are sent to the social networks. This happens when the buttons are displayed, which means that your visitors can be tracked by the networks without their consent.
With Shariff, Heise's c't magazine has therefore developed a solution to this problem.
The concept was originally based on a two-click solution. Visitors first had to activate the share function with one click, which then reloaded the share buttons.
Until yesterday I thought that this is still the common implementation. In the meantime, Shariff also uses simple text links instead of the official buttons. In addition, a data protection-compliant query of the share counts was made possible. This new method can be found in the article Using social media buttons in compliance with data protection regulations .
WordPress Shariff Wrapper
Shariff Wrapper is a WordPress plugin that makes the Shariff concept accessible to WordPress websites. When downloading, care should be taken not to accidentally install the second and outdated Shariff for WordPress plugin.
Shariff provides share buttons that protect the privacy of visitors and are in line with the ...
The plugin is available free of charge in the WordPress plugin directory and is used on 20,000 websites. Shariff Wrapper is developed by the German developer Jan-Peter Lambeck and is regularly updated.
Activate social sharing buttons in the theme
The plugin options can be found under Settings → Shariff in the admin area.
In the basic settings, the buttons can be activated automatically in the theme. The desired services can be defined in any order in a text field. All major networks are supported with over 30 services.
The share buttons can be inserted both before and after contributions, static pages and text excerpts. In addition, the Shariff buttons can be deactivated outside of the main query so that they are not displayed in undesired places.
Manually display share buttons with shortcode or widget
In addition to the automatic integration, the social sharing buttons can also be inserted manually with a shortcode anywhere in the content.
If no arguments are given, the Shariff buttons are presented according to the settings in the plug-in options. In contrast to this, you can use additional parameters to restrict or expand the services as you wish and change the appearance of the buttons.
[shariff services="facebook|twitter" theme="white" buttonsize="large"]
The Shariff widget is based on the shortcode and therefore offers the same configuration options.
In the Help tab in the plugin settings you will find an overview of all shortcode parameters.
Customize the design of the share buttons
In the design options of the Shariff wrapper plugin, you can specify the style, colors and size of the share buttons.
In addition to the appearance of the buttons, you can also determine the horizontal alignment and enter a heading for the social sharing function. The links for sharing can also be opened in a popup instead of a new window if desired.
Advanced settings of Shariff Wrapper
In the advanced settings of the plugin, even more precise details can be configured for certain services. It is very common to provide your own Twitter username, which is then attached to the tweet as via @name when sharing.
In addition to the general plug-in options and shortcode arguments, Shariff Wrapper also inserts a metabox in the editor with which the share buttons can be configured individually for the respective post or static page.
Show share counts in the buttons
The data protection-compliant retrieval of share counts is a feature that Shariff can particularly shine with. In contrast to the official share buttons, where you get tracking of social services in addition to the number of shares, Shariff uses a different method.
With Shariff, your own website calls up the APIs of the social networks in the background and thus determines the share counts. Instead of the visitor's IP address and data, Google, Facebook and Co. only receive the web server's IP address. The protection of the personal data of your website visitors is thus guaranteed.
The query of the shares must be activated in the tab Statistics of Sharif Wrapper:
After activating the statistics, the plugin will call up the numbers from the networks at regular intervals and store them temporarily in the cache. Any problems when calling the external APIs are displayed in the Status tab.
For example, if there are too many queries from the same IP, Facebook restricts access. This can happen with shared web space and many websites on one server, but it should be very rare. However, this problem can be solved by registering a Facebook app ID.
To improve performance, it is recommended by the developer to deactivate the statistics for all social services that are not required. This saves a few API requests and the querying of the counter readings is accelerated.
In the last tab, Ranking , the plugin shows a ranking of your hundred most shared posts and pages and thus offers a quick overview of the number of shares per network for all posts.