Let’s face it, social sharing or commenting in any form is good for your website. The online world that we live in today is built for social communication and interaction. If you have a website, you want to make sure you have the ability to allow social comments in Joomla.
Why Social Comments Engage
If you have been running a website for a while, then you must know how important engagement is. Commenting on blog posts is just one way people interact with your content online. That being said, it is a very important one.
When you give users the ability to post social comments in Joomla, you are allowing them to interact and engage with your content and with others. Yes, you don’t have to allow social commenting, you could always just take your chances with regular comments.
However, a user is probably less likely to comment on a blog post if they have to sign up with an email and sign in to a website. Believe it or not, even that short and simple process is just too much for some.
When you allow social comments, you are allowing people to easily comment on your content through their social media accounts. It is quick, it is easy, it is interactive, and it is fun for most.
There are a few different ways to show social comments on your Joomla website. You can go get an API from Facebook, then do some coding and maybe attach it to the site. Or, you could go an easier way and use a Joomla extension.
I found a great extension that lets you easily allow social comments in Joomla. The extension is full of functionality and comes with a complete set of social sharing tools as well.
Let’s take a look at this Joomla extension and see what all if offers.
Social Comments and Sharing for Joomla
The Social Comments and Sharing for Joomla extension allows you to easily add the ability to let visitors use social comments on Joomla. The plugin has a paid version, but this tutorial will cover the free tools it offers. Honestly, the free version does just fine and comes with a ton of functionality.
This popular, lightweight, and powerful extension offers you the ability to provide social commenting using the following networks:
Obviously Facebook social commenting is far and away the most used and most popular. Showing a Facebook comment box in Joomla should allow your site to gain more comment and interaction traction almost immediately.
Users can share the comment on their Facebook wall and comments can be sorted by top, newest, or oldest. Furthermore, you have the ability to set the comment box to your site standards. Change the width, visible posts, and color scheme of the Facebook comment box so that it matches your website.
Social Comment and Sharing for Joomla also comes with a fantastic set of social share buttons that you can also utilize. The built-in share buttons include:
- Facebook Share, Like Button, & Send Button
- Twitter Share Button
- VKontakte Share Button
- Odnoklassniki Share Button
- AddThis Button
Digging a little deeper, you will find that the extension also offers some great integrations as well. With a responsive design, a share counter, multilingual settings, and integration with Google Analytics, this social comments for Joomla extension has it all.
Let’s take a look at how to install and activate the extension and get it ready for configuration.
Install and Enable the Extension
In order to use the Social Comments and Sharing extension to allow website users the ability to use social commenting, you first have to install and enable it on your Joomla website. You can do this by downloading it off the extension homepage onto your machine.
When you click on the download button you will be taken to the main website for the company that created the extension. You will see that they also offer a pro version of the extension. However, the free version offers everything you need to get up and running and that is the one we are downloading today.
Simply click on the black “Download” button and download the free version of the extension to your machine.
Note: If you want to upgrade for more functionality later, then feel free to go get the upgrade.
Once you download the extension to your machine, go ahead and drag and drop it into the file upload box located in your Joomla control panel area. Simply click on the “Install Extensions” tab located in the left sidebar area of the control panel.
Note: You can also browse for the file and upload it that way if you prefer. Joomla also gives options to install from a folder or from a URL, but the process below is easiest.
Once the extension has been installed you will get a green box message, telling you the extension was successfully installed.
Now that the extension has been installed you have to activate it. On the top menu bar, click on Extensions > Modules. Search for the Social Comments and Sharing extension you just installed.
If it has a red circle with a white “x” in it, click the icon to enable the plugin. If the icon has a green checkmark, it means it’s already enabled and the extension is live on the site.
Configure the Social Comments for Joomla Extension
Now that you have the extension installed and activated, it is time to go ahead and configure it for use. Click on the module link to access the settings for the extension.
Once you have landed on the configuration page for the extension, you will see 13 different tabs. These include:
- Menu Assignment
- Facebook Options
- Twitter Options
- LinkedIn Options
- VK Options
- AddThis Options
- OK Options
Most of the tabs are simple little button selection configurations. However, let’s go over them together. Once you are done configuring the settings how you want, you are all set to run social comments in Joomla.
Select your module style mode and language here, along with a couple of other placing options.
Select where you want the social comments and sharing to show on your site.
Select all of the Facebook comment and sharing options you want here.
Setup all the Twitter options you see fit from this tab.
Select all the LinkedIn options you want displayed from this tab.
Choose your VK options from this tab. Style and select whatever you want.
Choose whether or not you want an AddThis button to be displayed.
Choose whether you want to display to OK button or not.
For the last few tabs that include Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest, simply make the button selections and choices that you want. It is very simple.
The last two tabs will be “Advanced” and “Permissions.” Only use these if you understand what you are doing.
That’s it! You have successfully installed, activated, and configured this extension. You are now ready to allow users the ability to display social comments in Joomla.
Giving users the ability to comment using their social profile will go a long way with them. This should cause more interaction with your content, as many users are much more comfortable commenting in this way.
Have you ever used this Joomla extension before? Did you find that it was easy to use and that your social commenting interaction level went up?