Monarch Social Sharing Plugin for WordPress

Monarch Social Sharing Plugin is a powerful and easy-to-use social sharing plugin that allows you to easily integrate social media sharing into your website. This an attractive feature for website owners who want to increase their website readership, build their email subscriber list, and even increase traffic to their websites.

A social sharing plugin is one of the first tools that should be installed on any new website. Good quality social sharing buttons add so much value to your website, help your content get shared and can help your blog rank better in Google’s search results. The Monarch Social Sharing plugin is an awesome free and easy to use tool with tons of options. I’m going to share tips and tricks for getting more out of Monarch Social Sharing every single week.

What if I told you that you can have social sharing built-in to your site without using a plugin? And what if I told you that it can be done very easily with just a little bit of HTML and CSS? While I’m sure you’re ready to hear more, why don’t we start out by meeting Monarch Social Sharing.

Monarch Social Sharing Plugin for WordPress

What Is Monarch Social Sharing Plugin?
To kick this review off properly, let’s answer the questions: What is Monarch exactly? And what should and shouldn’t you expect from it?

Monarch plugin review
To put it simply, Monarch is a WordPress plugin that provides you with a set of social media share buttons and social media follow buttons.

Under the hood, Monarch is a standalone WordPress plugin — and ‘standalone’ is the keyword here. It means all you need to do is install and activate it, and it’s good to go. It’s not one of those SaaS solutions disguised as plugin (cough, Sumo, cough). It is a premium plugin, and there’s no free version available.

There are two main components to Monarch:

Social media share buttons.
Social media follow buttons.
It also has some additional features, such as analytics/statistics for your social media shares, and an import/export module. It’s also mobile-friendly, and offers many customization options for your buttons. Lastly, since it’s a premium product, you get 24/7 customer support.

Let’s look into all of that a bit further:

    Setting up the share buttons is the first thing you’ll be doing after installing the plugin. Monarch gives you a nice set of options here, with five locations for the buttons:

Monarch button locations
(This is also what the main dashboard of the plugin looks like.)

SIDEBAR, POP UP — pretty self-explanatory
FLY IN — appears at the bottom once the user scrolls past a given point on the page
INLINE — goes below and/or above your content (in posts, pages)
MEDIA — gets shown overlaying your actual media files (images, videos), like so:
image shares in Monarch
You can freely choose which locations you want to use just by clicking the corresponding ‘tick’ symbols. Apart from that, each location has its own settings panel where you can fine tune other characteristics.

For instance, you get to select an icon style for the buttons — Monarch has a set of really nice predesigned icons that are unique to each location.

Monarch icon types
Also, every location has several parameters that can be adjusted — this applies to the design and the behavior of the buttons.

For example, for the sidebar you can set:

the orientation of the whole thing (left, right)
the intro animation
whether you want to display share counts or not
whether you want the total number of shares displayed
whether you want to hide the entire block on mobile devices, and more.
Monarch sidebar settings
And, of course, you can choose where you want the buttons to be displayed:

Monarch display settings
Each location has a slightly different settings panel, but they all follow the same layout and general idea, so everything is quite easy to grasp. Here are the settings for the INLINE (left) and POP UP (right) button locations, just as an example:

Monarch inline vs popup settings
Okay, so locations are one thing, but what about the networks supported?

I’m glad you asked!

The promo materials boast about Monarch’s huge number of supported networks, and… I have to give it to them, the list is indeed impressive. There are more than 20 networks available, some of which I’m seeing for the first time (which proves the Monarch guys have really been on top of what’s out there in the social media world).

Anyway, you probably only need three to five networks, so let me just assure you they’re all there:

networks in Monarch
Enabling the networks is simple — just click on ADD NETWORKS, then on the ‘tick’ symbol next to the network you want, and then on Apply. If you wish, you can change the network’s label as well.

Monarch network adding
Lastly, how does it all look?

Very nice!

I mean, things like design often come down to your personal preference, but Monarch’s mission is to give you buttons that look good out of the box, with no need to adjust anything via CSS or some other means. You just jump in, pick the buttons you like, and you’re done!

So, the result, as I said, is nice and predictable — just like the plugin’s website advertises. Here’s what I got while working on this Monarch plugin review:

Monarch Social Sharing plugin review: demo
(You can see the inline and sidebar buttons here.)

    The other component of Monarch is its social follow buttons.

Much like the share buttons, the follow buttons are very handsome:

Monarch follow buttons
The configuration is also nearly the same. You can do things in one of two ways:

If you want to set things up as quickly as possible then just pick a network from the list, add a link to your profile and, optionally, include your number of followers by hand, like so:
manual follow
If you want your numbers to be fetched automatically then you’ll need to provide your API credentials. First, tick the box labeled Get counts via API and then fill in the form:
API integration
Speaking of adding new networks, everything starts in Monarch’s settings, under Social Follow. The panel is very similar to what we saw for the social share buttons:

add network follow in Monarch
To enable a new social network, just click on the big button and then select the network you want. The interesting thing here is that Monarch features even more social networks in its follow module than in its share module. In total, there are more than 35 possible network integrations.

all networks available in Monarch
Now, depending on the network you choose, the integration process can be anything from very simple to very painful. However, the fault isn’t on Monarch, but rather on the networks themselves. Monarch does whatever it can to make the process simpler, and even has a user guide to take you through the difficult parts.

Once you do manage to enable your networks of choice, you can display the follow buttons in one of two ways: via a widget or via a shortcode.

The widget is the classic way to handle things, and probably the most useful.

Just like with share buttons, you can pick the icon styles you like, plus adjust some other details about the widget’s appearance and behavior:

widget display settings
For the shortcode, you get basically the same set of customizations as for the widget, which is great. Once you have everything tuned, just click on Generate Shortcode. You can then take it wherever you wish (posts, pages and so on).

Monarch shortcode
The cool thing about the shortcode is that the settings you’re adjusting only apply to the one you’re creating at that moment. This allows you to use multiple slightly different shortcodes throughout the site.

🧰 Other Features of Monarch
Setting aside the share and follow buttons, Monarch also has some other very interesting features. Let’s run through them quickly:

You can override the share button settings for individual posts and pages. You’ll see a new option box when working on individual posts:
Monarch settings override
There’s a stats module showing you the social share numbers for the whole site, and you can break them down into specific posts, locations and types.
You can import/export your Monarch settings.
It’s mobile-friendly — all buttons appear to be working just fine on mobile.
Multiple triggers for pop-ups and fly-ins. You can decide when and where you want your share buttons displayed.
💰 Pricing
In a sentence: To get the plugin, you need to shell out $89.

However, there’s a little more to that story!

You don’t actually pay for the plugin directly, but rather for a whole Elegant Themes yearly membership. This gives you access to all of Elegant’s themes (including the excellent Divi theme plus hundreds of website packs for it), plugins, all updates, and customer support for one year. What’s more, you can use those themes and plugins on multiple websites.

⏲️ Does Monarch Impact Your Load Time?
With all of those features, there has to be some toll on your site’s performance, right? Let’s find out in this next part of our Monarch plugin review.

My test site is a rather basic one (Twenty Fifteen, Wordfence, Yoast SEO, plus a handful of plugins installed, no caching). In its default setup, here are the results I’m getting:

test a for the Monarch plugin review
After activating and configuring Monarch:

test b for the Monarch plugin review
The difference in load time isn’t too significant, but I’m testing from a location nearby. The impact on the other metrics is a bit more significant, though.

We went from 1.2 MB → 1.3 MB in page size,
from 26 → 37 requests,
and from a B performance grade → C.
Depending on your standards, this may be a lot or not at all. However, those are just the realities of embedding social media elements on a website — getting them from the network in question always takes a while.

Overall, I’m okay with these numbers, and wouldn’t worry about Monarch’s server resource consumption.

👍👎 Monarch Plugin Review: Pros and Cons
Here are a handful of things I like and dislike about the Monarch Social Sharing plugin.


It gives you social share buttons that work out of the box and look great.
You get all of the social networks that matter.
There are multiple display options, including quite original placements such as on-media buttons — share buttons overlaying your blog images.
It’s super easy to use.
It works with the block editor in WordPress.
You get stats on your content’s popularity on social media.
It fights negative social proof by letting you hide your share numbers until they reach a given volume.

The share counts aren’t always accurate (when compared with other measuring tools from the web).
The on-media buttons don’t work on featured images.
🤔 Monarch plugin review conclusion: Should you get it?
Overall, the feature set of Monarch’s is exactly what it says on the tin, and the way those features are delivered is really impressive. The design is clean, it looks right, and there are no serious glitches as far as I tested things.

That being said, there are quite a few alternatives out there, with the big Jetpack plugin and its social module leading the pack.

The decision is up to you, but keep in mind that you not only get Monarch when you buy the license, but also several other excellent tools, including the Divi theme — Elegant Themes’ flagship product.

If you do already have an Elegant Themes license, installing Monarch on your site should be a no-brainer.

The number of people using social media has skyrocketed in the past 10 years! Currently, there are more than 2.34 billion people signed up to one or more social networks worldwide — a figure that is rapidly increasing.

The runaway success of social media has provided an excellent opportunity for website owners to market their business. Website owners can ask users to share content via social media, promote products on social media platforms, and run cost-effective marketing campaigns.

One of the best ways to integrate social media features into a WordPress website is by using the Monarch plugin by Elegant Themes. It is a powerful tool that integrates social sharing and social following functionality into WordPress. This article will guide you through the process of installing and configuring this plugin.

Table of Contents

Why Is Social Media Important?
The Key Features of Monarch
Installing Monarch
Configuring Monarch
Why Is Social Media Important?
Social media is a very powerful tool for digital marketers. It can be used to dramatically improve the success of content marketing schemes, build the profile of a website and build web traffic. Some of the ways that social media can be used include:

Improved brand awareness: Hundreds or thousands of new consumers can discover your brand when a piece of high-quality content is shared via social media networks.

Encourages user engagement: Users are more likely to visit your website and engage with your content if they discover it via social media. They are also more likely to trust your content if it is recommended to them by a friend via social media.

Good for search engine optimisation (indirectly): Although social media doesn’t directly impact your organic search rankings, social media activity can certainly improve your site’s traffic and user engagement. Essentially, the more shares you have received on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, the better chance your site has in driving an influx of traffic.

An excellent way to promote sales, services and products: Businesses can promote their activities on social media to reach thousands of customers very quickly. Social media works particularly well when combined with sales and time-limited discounts.

It helps your website find an audience: Using social media makes it much easier for niche websites to find their audience. Once they find one social media user who enjoys the website’s content, they will share it with other like-minded people on their social network. You can build a loyal customer base very rapidly.

It reaches consumers who may not use conventional media: The number of consumers using traditional forms of media continues to drop. Fewer people are reading papers, listening to the radio or watching live television, particularly in the younger demographics. They are more likely to browse social media networks and consume the content recommended to them by their peers. Your website must participate in social media to reach many of these consumers.

It is a low-cost form of marketing: Compared to other forms of traditional media, social media is incredibly affordable. Your website’s visitors will be promoting your website for you, by sharing the content with their friends and family.

The Key Features of Monarch
Monarch is designed to make adding social media features to your website simple. The plugin’s features encourage users to share your content on their social media networks. It also makes it easier for users to find the social media profiles that you have created, including Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Instagram feeds. The main features of the plugin include:

Social sharing functionality: You can add links for users to share your content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and many more. You can display these social sharing buttons as a sidebar, inline buttons, fly-in box, full-screen popup, and media sharing box.
Social following functionality: You can encourage users to visit your social media profiles with a social following widget. There is also short code available that allows you to insert links to social media profiles within pages.
In-depth customisation options and statistics: The plugin allows you to customise which social networks you use and change the appearance and timing of your menus. You can make menus appear after a delay or when a user makes a specific action, like leaving a comment. It also has a statistics section to help you understand how many visitors are sharing your content and visiting your profile pages.
Social media API integration: The plugin can use social APIs to grab information from your social media profiles. This allows you to display your follower counts on your social follower buttons.
Installing Monarch
Monarch is a paid plugin that is only available for people who have subscribed to Elegant Themes. For $89/year subscription, you get full and unlimited access to all of their themes (including the famous Divi theme) & plugins which you can use on an unlimited number of websites.

  1. Purchase Monarch
    Monarch can be purchased from Elegant Themes.

Purchasing Monarch Social Plugin

  1. Download the plugin’s files
    After you have subscribed to Elegant Themes, you can log in to the Member’s Area. Simply scroll down until you see the Monarch in the Plugin Downloads section. Press the download button and download the Plugin Package. This will be a zip file that downloads to your computer.

Download Monarch Plugin

  1. Upload the plugin to WordPress
    Log into the administration section of your WordPress installation and click on Plugins > Add New.

Installing Monarch Social Sharing Plugin

At the top of the Plugins Page, you will see a button called Add New. Click it!

Click on the Choose File button and locate the zip file you just downloaded. Once it is uploaded, simply click the Activate button to activate the plugin.

Activating Monarch Social Media Plugin

Configuring Monarch
Despite being one of the most powerful social media plugins available, Monarch is very simple to configure. You will find Monarch’s configuration settings under Tools > Monarch Settings. You will notice the configurations options are split into three sections:

Configuring Monarch WordPress Plugin

Social Sharing: These are the social media networks you want users to share your content on.
Social Follow: These are the social media networks where you have a profile page. You can share links to your profile pages to encourage more people to “follow” you.
General Settings: General settings including custom CSS code, API settings and adjusting how often the plugin makes API calls.
Step #1 — Choose your social sharing networks
We’ll start by selecting the social media networks where we are going to allow users to share our content. Click on the Networks button then click on Add Networks.

Configuring Monarch Network

You will be confronted with a popup window that has the social networks you can add. We are going to add Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. You will see a checkbox appear next to each social network that you add. When finished, click Apply.

Adding Monarch Social Networks

Step #2 — Choose where you want Social Sharing buttons to appear
The next step involves selecting where to show our social sharing buttons. Click on the locations button to see which options are available. You will have five menu locations to choose from:

Monarch Social Icons Locations

Sidebar: A bar that sits on the left or right of the screen
Inline: This places social share buttons above or below the content on your page
Pop-up: This triggers a pop-up window with social share buttons in it
Fly in: A small box showing the share buttons flies in from the bottom left or bottom right of the screen. This is a less intrusive option compared to the full-screen pop-up.
Media: This option shows sharing buttons when a user hovers over a media file like an image
Choose the options you wish to use, then press the Save Changes button.

Step #3 — Change configuration options for each location
Each Social Sharing Location has a range of configuration options that can be set. You can change how the menus behave, what size they are, where they appear, when they appear and so much more. Simply change the options for each location, then press the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen.

The options for the Sidebar share menu include:

Icon style
Icon shape
Sidebar orientation (left or right side of the screen)
Display share counts and total shares
Hide on mobile devices
Custom colour settings
Post type settings (which page types to show the sidebar on)
Monarch Social Sidebar Location

The Inline Social Sharing options are similar to the Sidebar options and include:

Icon style
Icon shape (square or rounded)
Icon alignment
Display settings (where to place the buttons)
Display share counts
Outer text colour
Hide on mobile devices
Colour settings
Post type settings (which page types to show the sidebar on)
Monarch Social Inline Location

The Popup and Fly in social share options are quite similar, with both including:

Icon style
Icon shape
Popup title and message
Icon alignment
Number of columns
Intro animation (fade in, slide in, bounce)
Various trigger settings (when to show the popup)
Colour settings
Post type settings
Monarch Social Pop-Up & Flyin Location

The On Media section shares many of the options found in the other configuration sections, including:

Icon alignment
Number of columns
Display share counts and total shares
Display “All Networks” button
Colour settings
Monarch Media Social Sharing Location

Step #4 — Configure your Social Follow settings
The social follow features allow users to find and follow your social media profiles. You set these accounts up in a similar way to the Social Sharing accounts. Start by clicking on Networks then click Add Networks.

Monarch Social Follow Settings

Click on the networks where you have a profile, then hit Apply. We are going to Add Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Configuring Monarch Social Follow

Once you hit apply, you will be taken to a screen where you can enter the URLs of your social media profiles and the labels you want to use for each network. You can also re-arrange the order that your social network profiles appear by dragging each button around. Add your details and hit Save Changes.

Monarch Plugin Social Follow Networks Options

Step #5 — Configure your Social Follow Widget and Shortcode
Your social media profiles can be displayed in a widget that is added to your pages and posts. You can also configure a shortcode widget which you can manually insert into individual pages. The configuration options for these widgets include:

Icon style
Icon shape
Icon placement
Number of columns
Display follower counts
Displaying network names
Hide on mobile devices
Colour settings
Monarch Social Follow Widget Settings

If you intend on using the shortcode widget, don’t forget to hit Generate Shortcode after you have changed your settings. This will create the shortcode that you place on your pages and posts on a one-by-one basis.

Monarch Social Icons Shortcode

Step #6 — Check general settings
Next, head over to the General Settings to see if there are any settings you wish to change. You can alter how often the plugin updates follower counts, alter how the plugin handles permalinks, add custom CSS and API settings for Facebook integration.

Monarch Social Plugin General Settings

Step #7 — Updates, Backups and Statistics
Monarch has the ability to automatically update itself. To enable this feature, click on the “lock” icon on the top right-hand side of the screen. You can enter your Elegant Themes API key to automatically stay updated.

Monarch Updates & Statistics Settings

You will also notice two more icons on the top right menu. They are for importing/export the plugin’s settings and for viewing statistics. Once you have configured the plugin to your satisfaction, it is a good idea to make a backup.

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