Basic Performant Sharing Buttons

June 18, 2015 - Jake Bresnehan

This is a lightweight, simple solution for adding sharing buttons to your site. Like many things, there are many ways to achieve this but the main goal of this solution is performance.

Every major social network provides an easy way to add sharing buttons to your site, but the downside of many of these is each button loads various scripts and stylesheets increasing the page weight. Generally speaking, say you wanted to have 4 sharing buttons (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn) it’s more than likely you will be loading 8+ extra resources.

Using the provided solutions from the major networks is convenient, but less then ideal if performance is a main priority.

A few things to keep in mind with this basic solution is you won’t get the full pop-up experience which has become a common pattern for most sharing buttons. But adding the _blank value to the target attribute to open the links in the new tab kinda gives you the same effect in my opinion.

So our goal is to share the current page and not bloat the page. Thankfully, each major social network provides a URL that we can pass in some arguments to archive just this.

For the last few years Brad Vin has been keeping an up to date list of the most useful Sharing URL’s. Brad has 12+ URL which you might find helpful but for this article we are only going to explore 3. Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Facebook{url} Google+{url} Twitter{url}&text={title}&via={via}

To kick things off you will see the above require some arguments.

  • URL (dynamic)
  • Title (dynamic)
  • Via (static)

There are a few ways to dynamically pass values into the URL. It really depends on how your site is built. The examples below will utilise WordPress’s built in functions.

Creating the Twitter share URL using WordPress’s built in functions:<?php echo  esc_url(  get_permalink() ); ?>&text=<?php echo get_the_title(); ?>&via=wdweekly

The above uses get_permalink() wrapped in esc_url(), which makes sure the current page URL is clean and get_the_title() gets the title of the article. Also the passed in via argument is the Web Design Weekly twitter handle wdweekly.

So the next thing we need to do is add this in the desired location within our site and create the appropriate markup like so:

<a href="<?php echo get_the_title(); ?>&url=<?php echo  esc_url(  get_permalink() );?>&via=wdweekly" target="_blank" title="twitter"> Twitter</a>

To take the links to the next level all we need to do is add some SVG icons within our link markup and we have our super speedy sharing buttons.

Twitter SVG Icons added

<a href="<?php echo get_the_title(); ?>&url=<?php echo  esc_url(  get_permalink() );?>&via=wdweekly" target="_blank" title="twitter">
    <svg width="56" height="56" viewBox="0 0 56 56" xmlns=""><title>Twitter</title><g fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd"><path d="M.106.183h55.127V55.31H.106V.183z" fill="#00ACED"/><path d="M37.09 21.016c-.728.352-1.504.58-2.325.685.837-.538 1.48-1.387 1.784-2.404-.784.497-1.65.852-2.575 1.06-.735-.85-1.79-1.38-2.95-1.38-2.234 0-4.045 1.946-4.045 4.354 0 .338.035.673.102.988-3.355-.174-6.34-1.914-8.336-4.544-.346.642-.545 1.388-.545 2.19 0 1.506.714 2.848 1.8 3.617-.663-.026-1.287-.21-1.832-.54v.06c0 2.105 1.395 3.862 3.245 4.27-.34.097-.698.143-1.07.143-.258 0-.505-.018-.755-.078.513 1.737 2.008 2.998 3.777 3.023-1.385 1.174-3.128 1.864-5.023 1.864-.328 0-.65-.02-.966-.06 1.79 1.24 3.912 1.964 6.2 1.964 7.44 0 11.51-6.638 11.51-12.39 0-.186-.004-.372-.013-.558.79-.623 1.476-1.39 2.018-2.262" fill="#FFF"/></g></svg>

Facebook SVG Icons added

<a href="<?php echo  esc_url(  get_permalink() ); ?>" target="_blank" title="Facebook">
    <svg width="56" height="56" viewBox="0 0 56 56" xmlns=""><title>Facebook</title><g fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd"><path d="M.32.183h55.127V55.31H.32V.183z" fill="#3B5998"/><path d="M32.446 24.287h-3.108V22.25c0-.766.507-.945.865-.945h2.192V17.94l-3.02-.01c-3.352 0-4.114 2.508-4.114 4.114v2.243h-1.938v3.467h1.94v9.81h4.076v-9.81h2.75l.358-3.467" fill="#FFF"/></g></svg>

Google+ SVG Icons added

<a href="<?php echo  esc_url(  get_permalink() ); ?>" target="_blank" title="Google+">
    <svg width="56" height="56" viewBox="0 0 56 56" xmlns=""><title>Google+</title><g fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd"><path d="M.5.18h55.127v55.127H.5V.18z" fill="#DD4B39"/><path d="M28.49 29.307c-.54-.38-1.57-1.31-1.57-1.855 0-.64.18-.954 1.144-1.707.986-.77 1.685-1.855 1.685-3.115 0-1.5-.67-2.963-1.924-3.446h1.89l1.336-.965h-5.966c-2.674 0-5.19 2.026-5.19 4.372 0 2.4 1.822 4.335 4.543 4.335.19 0 .372-.004.552-.017-.176.338-.303.72-.303 1.113 0 .667.358 1.208.81 1.65-.342 0-.673.01-1.032.01-3.314 0-5.864 2.11-5.864 4.297 0 2.155 2.796 3.503 6.108 3.503 3.777 0 5.863-2.143 5.863-4.298 0-1.728-.51-2.763-2.086-3.878zM25.3 26.32c-1.537-.047-2.998-1.72-3.263-3.74-.266-2.017.765-3.562 2.3-3.517 1.538.047 3 1.665 3.264 3.684.265 2.02-.765 3.618-2.302 3.572zM24.7 36.53c-2.29 0-3.944-1.45-3.944-3.19 0-1.707 2.052-3.128 4.342-3.103.534.006 1.032.09 1.484.238 1.243.864 2.134 1.352 2.386 2.338. 0 1.742-1.12 3.1-4.34 3.1z" fill="#FFF"/><path d="M34.846 26.494v-2.322h-1.87v2.322h-2.32v1.87h2.32v2.322h1.87v-2.322h2.323v-1.87h-2.324" fill="#FFF"/></g></svg>

All going well you should now have some nice looking buttons.

Basic Social Buttons

To see a working example just click on the sharing icons at the end of this article.

If you are still not convinced and are still keen to use the provided code snippets from the major networks, Nicolas Gallagher and Mathias Bynens have worked together to create a handy async script that could be helpful.

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