StudioPress has just released an awesome WordPress plugin that allows you to easily link your social media profiles to simply styled icons that you can add to your blog’s sidebar, the right side of your header, and even your footer.
Simple Social Icons is a free plugin that lets you tailor the social icons so that they will look great with just about any WordPress theme. And because this plugin isn’t limited to the Genesis Framework, it’ll work with any WordPress theme, too.
Currently the plugin offers icons for seven social media platforms (Dribble, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Twitter), as well as icons for email and RSS feeds. Because the icons are designed in-house by StudioPress, they’ve been adding new ones as users request them. A YouTube icon will probably be added next.
I don’t have any social media profiles yet, but I’ve already installed the plugin and played around with it on my development site. What’s so nice about the plugin is—using a simple form—you can add and customize the icons right from the WordPress Dashboard’s Widgets page with just a few clicks.
Here’s exactly what you can customize:
- Icon size – Choose from sizes of 24, 32 and 48 pixels.
- Icon Border Radius – Change how sharp the corners are. If you want circles, set the radius to half the icon size.
- Icon Color – Standard hexadecimal notation for the main color of the icon.
- Hover Color – The color of the icon when the cursor is above it.
- Alignment – Set whether the icons are flush with the left or right side of the widget area.
To add an icon to your widget, all you have to do is enter URI (Uniform Resource Identifier, aka the address) of the profile in the appropriate box.
The great thing about this is you can add icons on the fly as you build up your social media presence without have to mess around with any CSS code.
One suggestion I’d make is not to check the “Open links in new window?” box. While advertisers might like to keep readers from leaving your site, the option annoys some of your readers by altering they way they expect their browser to behave. If readers want to open the link in a new window, they can do so by right clicking or holding the control key down when they click. Let them decide.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of StudioPress. My blog uses their Prose theme, and I’m also one of their affiliates. Part of the reason why, though, is that they are the only major WordPress theme developer I’m aware of that gives away plugins and other small freebies to the WordPress community that are useable outside of the Genesis Framework.
So if you’re considering a new look for your blog, check out their themes and see if there’s anything you like.
One final note that the plugin is still in beta. There may be a kink or two still left to be worked out, but they’re rapidly updating it.