Web Development Tips – Customize AddThis Toolbar Buttons

Web DevelopmentSearch engine experts recommend adding social media links to your website.  Although it can seem inconsequential, this small tip will help increase the number of likes and shares your website receives on social media.  This tutorial reviews the steps necessary to add the “AddThis” toolbar to your website, and how to customize the buttons to show the social networking sites that are most relevant to your business.

  1. Visit the AddThis.com website to create your toolbar.
    You will need to register and create an account on their site.  Once this is complete, be sure to follow the next step exactly so that you have the correct buttons and source code.
  2. From their home page, click “Get the Code” in the top-right, and select “Smart Layers”
    This will pull up the code generation wizard
  3. Scroll down, and customize the options
    1. Select “A Website” under Platform
    2. Turn OFF: Follow, What’s Next, Recommended Content
    3. Turn ON: Share
    4. Theme: Transparent
    5. Profile: My Profile
    6. Click “Generate Code”
  4. Copy and paste the code before the closing </body> tag of each page of your site

Once you have completed the above steps, you have the basic version of the toolbar on your site.  The next step will let you customize the buttons that are displayed on your page.

Under the JavaScript that you pasted on each page, find the following line:

'numPreferredServices' : 5

and replace it with your customized buttons using the line below:

'services' : 'facebook,twitter,linkedin,email,google_plusone_share,pinterest_share,print,more'

As you can see, it is a comma-separated list (no spaces) of the services you want to link on your bar.  Delete the items that are not relevant to your site, and change the order of the items in the list so that your most-relevant buttons are on top.

Update all the pages on your site with this code, and you will have a customized AddThis toolbar on each page of your site.  This update will help bring visitors to your website and increase your social media presence.

Written by Andrew Palczewski

About the Author
Andrew Palczewski is CEO of apHarmony, a Chicago software development company. He holds a Master's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has over ten years' experience in managing development of software projects.

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