Sep 05 2015 0

Social Sharing Buttons

Recently I updated the layout for my blog to include some buttons at the end of each post so readers can easily share it to some social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+). The service I had selected for this was ShareThis.

Ghostery empowers consumers and businesses globally to create safer, faster, and more trusted digital experiences.

I also recently installed Ghostery within my web browser. And I noticed that all of a sudden Ghostery detected a lot of trackers that were not there before.

Without With
WithoutWithout WithWith

This is something I find unacceptable for a few simple buttons for sharing a post. What will be lost with the new approach is the counter of the number of times a platform was used to share a post. Not a big deal because that feature is not working correctly anyway. It was more a counter of how many times a button was clicked, regardless of something ended up being shared.

Time for a different approach…

Removing ShareThis (i.e. the bloat-ware)

First step is to remove these lines from head.html

<!-- Sharethis social share buttons -->
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "41a990db-7fea-4e7c-8b62-b8764bcdb3c1", doNotHash: true, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script>

and the following lines from entry.html

    <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span>
    <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span>
    <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span>

Adding new lightweight sharing buttons

Each of the platforms I wanted to provide a sharing option for have a simple URL-scheme available for sharing something from the internet.

  • Twitter[Page Title]&url=[Page URL]
  • Facebook[Page URL]
  • Google+[Page URL]

For use on we need to make sure we are using the proper variables known to as listed below

[Page Title] {{title}}
[Page URL] {{blogURL}}{{url}}

Using a bit of magic provided by Font Awesome we can create the following nice looking share buttons. It does require a modification and addition (based on the styling of <kbd>) to the CSS.

The end-result looks as follows

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+

HTML code

Twitter button

<a class="btn" href="{{title}}&url={{blogURL}}{{url}}" target="_blank">
    <i class="fab fa-twitter fa-lg fa-smd-twitter"></i> Share on Twitter

Facebook button

<a class="btn" href="{{blogURL}}{{url}}" target="_blank">
    <i class="fab fa-facebook fa-lg fa-smd-facebook"></i> Share on Facebook

Google+ button

<a class="btn" href="{{blogURL}}{{url}}" target="_blank">
    <i class="fab fa-google-plus fa-lg fa-smd-googleplus"></i> Share on Google+

Updates to styles.css

Modification 1

/* Styling of external links */
a[target=_blank]:not(.btn) {
    margin-right: 1em;

a[target=_blank]:not(.btn):after {
    position: absolute;
    font-family: FontAwesome;
    font-size: 0.8em;
    color: rgb(128, 137, 146);
    text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px silver;
    margin-left: 0.2em;
    content:" \F0C1";
    -webkit-transform: scale(-1, 1);
    -moz-transform: scale(-1, 1);
    -ms-transform: scale(-1, 1);
    -o-transform: scale(-1, 1);
    transform: scale(-1, 1);
    background-image: none; 

Addition 1

/* Styling for ahref buttons */
.btn {
    -moz-box-shadow:0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.2),0 0 0 2px #fff inset;
    -webkit-box-shadow:0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.2),0 0 0 2px #fff inset;
    border:1px solid #ccc;
    box-shadow:0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.2),0 0 0 2px #fff inset;
    margin:0 .1em;
    padding:.1em .6em;
    text-shadow:0 1px 0 #fff;
    text-decoration: none;

/* Colors and alignment for sharing buttons */
.fa-smd-twitter {
    color: rgba(33, 162, 207, 1);
.fa-smd-facebook {
    color: rgba(78, 104, 163, 1);
.fa-smd-googleplus {
    color: rgba(215, 65, 59, 1);

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