What are the fastest social sharing plugins for WordPress?

Want to add social sharing buttons to your WordPress site but worried about hurting your site’s performance?

When it comes to performance optimization, not all WordPress share button plugins are equal, which is why we busted out our test site to run some real tests and find the fastest WordPress social sharing plugin in 2019.

More specifically, I installed ten of the most popular social share plugins on my site, collected some data, and now I’m going to share the best-performing plugins with you.

Let’s dig in…

Fastest WordPress Social Sharing Plugin: The Data

If you just want a quick look at the plugins that I tested and how they performed, this section contains a table that summarizes everything. In addition to collecting the page size and number of requests, I also ran three separate speed tests to assess the page load times.

If you want to learn more about the environment that I used for my tests, I’ll share that at the end of the post:

PluginPage Size (KB)RequestsLoad Time 1 (s)Load Time 2 (s)Load Time 3 (s)
None
(baseline)
43.9110.40.40.3
Social
Warfare
99170.70.70.8
Monarch150250.70.81.2
Social Snap122160.60.70.5
AddToAny144200.61.31.1
Jetpack134270.70.91.0
Kiwi105181.11.81.7
MashShare112150.60.70.6
Social Pug96.7160.80.60.6
AddThis259222.11.82.3
Sassy Social Share138160.70.91.2

The Five Fastest WordPress Social Sharing Plugins in 2019

Rather than sharing details for all ten plugins that I tested, I’m only going to highlight five of them, based on their page load times and the “weight” that they added to the page in terms of page size and requests.

Remember, the base load time for my test site with no plugin installed was ~0.36 seconds. So anything above that can roughly be attributed to the social share plugin in question.

1. Social Pug

Social Pug is among the fastest WordPress social sharing plugins in 2019.

Average page load: 0.66 seconds

Added:

In terms of the “weight” added to a page, Social Pug was the overall fastest social sharing plugin that I tested. The difference isn’t huge between some of the other plugins. But at just 52.8 KB in added size, Social Pug was number one.

To get started, it offers a generous free version with:

Beyond the free version at WordPress.org, there’s also a premium version that adds:

The premium version starts at $29.

2. Social Warfare

Social Warfare is among the fastest WordPress social sharing plugins in 2019.

Average page load: 0.73 seconds

Added:

Social Warfare is a popular option that comes in both a limited free version at WordPress.org, as well as a much more feature-rich premium version that starts at $29.

With the free version, you can add share buttons for the most popular networks as either in-content or floating buttons, including an option to show share counts.

If you go Pro, you’ll get access to more social networks, as well as advanced features like:

Full disclosure – though the issue has since been patched, Social Warfare recently had a security issue, which Wordfence detailed here. This might be something to keep in mind, though Social Warfare has otherwise been a stellar option.

3. MashShare

MashShare is among the fastest WordPress social sharing plugins in 2019.

Average page load: 0.63 seconds

Added:

Note, MashShare only allows Facebook and Twitter in the free version, which gave it a slight advantage against the other plugins – more on this at the end.

MashShare is a popular option that lets you create Mashable-style social share buttons (you can see an example above).

If you like that look, that’s the main reason to choose this plugin over the other options. Other helpful free features include:

And if you’re willing to pay, there are lots of premium add-ons for features like:

4. Social Snap

Social Snap is among the fastest WordPress social sharing plugins in 2019.

Average page load: 0.70 seconds

Added:

Social Snap is a relatively new entrant to the social share plugin space that, like many of the other plugins, comes in a limited free version at WordPress.org as well as a premium version, which starts at $39.

The free version lets you create social share buttons with share counts as:

You get access to all the most popular social networks, as well as other helpful features like social follow buttons and click-to-tweet functionality.

If you go Pro, you’ll get more networks and positions, as well as:

And there are even paid add-ons for non-sharing functionality like:

5. AddToAny

AddToAny is among the fastest WordPress social sharing plugins in 2019.

Average page load: 1.0 seconds

Added:

AddToAny just barely squeaked into the list of the fastest WordPress social sharing plugins. In fact, I was debating holding it off because it added over 100 KB to the page size and was a little slower than the previous four plugins.

However, I decided to leave it in because of one key fact:

It offers universal sharing, which none of the other social share plugins on this list offer.

That is, you can add a single button that lets visitors share your content to any one of the hundreds of networks that AddToAny supports.

Beyond that, AddToAny offers:

How I Tested the Fastest WordPress Social Sharing Plugins

To generate the data above, I set up a basic WordPress test site hosted on the smallest DigitalOcean droplet and using a fast WordPress theme – Astra in this case.

I didn’t make any performance improvements, and the only plugin running is the social share plugin in question. Additionally, I’m testing the default “Hello World!” post.

To generate the load times, page size, and requests, I used GTmetrix.

Without any social share plugins active, my test site had a page size of 43.9 KB and 11 HTTP requests.

In order to make the test as consistent as possible, I tried to use a similar configuration for each plugin whenever possible. That was:

Beyond choosing those three things, I left all of the other settings as the defaults.

Final Thoughts

Based on the plugins that I tested, Social Pug offers the most lightweight approach to WordPress social sharing in 2019, while still giving you an easy-to-use interface, buttons that look great, and more advanced functionality if you want it.

However, other plugins weren’t far behind, and you may prefer the looks and style of a different option.

Because all of these plugins have free versions available at WordPress.org, I encourage you to install them on your own site to find which one is best for you.

And if you want to speed up your site even more, add WP Rocket on top to further make sure that everything about your WordPress site is optimized.

Author's avatar

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer who spends his days inside the WordPress dashboard. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.

10 comments

What social sharing plugin is wp-rocket.me using?

Thank you for awesome post

Why are you not included Shared counts plugin in your list?

Would love to see where Easy Social Share Buttons plugin stand...

I am currently using this and trying to evaluate if i should be switching to a simple, faster alternative as i don't use all of the features that this gives.

Ditto for Easy Social Share Buttons. They seem to be well optimized and they are big fans of WP-Rocket.

So crazy that everything can slow a Wordpress website ! Thank you for this post !

Hi Colin,

Did you test out the free versions or the premium ones as well? Thanks,

-Swadhin

    Hi Swadhin, this post was dedicated to free solutions only. :)

I’ve been using Shareaholic Plugin with great success for the past few years. Love that I can also use Shareaholic on my Shopify store for a seamless look. It adds only 15ms to load time according to the Kinsta guys.

social pug is no doubt the best ever speed optimized plugin. recommended over all other plugins.

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