When it comes to the best sharing plugins for your site, Grow – formerly known as Social Pug – is top of the list! Having tested many social share plug-ins throughout my years as a blogger, I’m continually impressed by both the features and their performance. And now that Mediavine has adopted Social Pug, I have no doubt it’s going to be even better! That’s why I’m excited to share with you my thoughts in this Grow social share plugin review.
Social Pug is Now Grow
On November 7th 2019 Mediavine announced their acquisition of Social Pug and Optin Hound from DevPups, combining them under one name – Grow. A perfect partnership if you ask me!
Many know of Mediavine as an ad network, but it’s so much more than that. They go above and beyond to provide content creators all the tools they need to build thriving businesses. They also have a private Facebook group with dozens of experts in the industry, ready and willing to help you make the most of your content.
With that said, it makes sense that Mediavine knows just how great Social Pug is. They had the best behind-the-scenes look at the nearly 100,000 installs their publishers were performing.
In fact, they’re so confident about this acquisition that they’ve already publicly stated it’ll be optimized specifically for Trellis, their new WordPress theme framework.
Grow Social Share PlugIn Review
What is Grow?
Per their own words (and I wholeheartedly agree) – Grow is “the only social plugin you need.” Not only is it incredibly easy to set-up, but you’re in control of where those share buttons go and what they look like. Whether you prefer them before/after the post or in a floating sidebar, it’s totally up to you.
Another fantastic feature is that you’ll be able to track social share counts, helping you identify your pillar posts and track changes throughout the seasons.
What Does Grow Cost?
As of right now, the free aspects of Social Pug will remain just that – free. Under the free plan, you can customize the four “main” social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
And those who paid for the pro version of Social Pug will be grandfathered in under their current plans and placed under Social Pro. From there, Social Pro will cost $49.99/year or $4.99/month. A wee bit more than the $34/year that was Social Pug, but I have no doubt the additional development planned by Mediavine will be well worth the extra $15.
Social Pro is Grow
The premium features of Grow – ie Social Pro – are a must. My favorite feature is that you can customize your social media images and descriptions. While Pinterest has claimed square images are “fine”, we all know that the longer ones almost always do better. That said, longer images are so not what belong on Facebook.
Which is why I love Grow – there’s no need to choose!
So Many Social Networks
Another great premium feature is that they go beyond the four “main” networks and bring in 6+ more, including Reddit, Yummly, Tumblr, and more. Last I looked, Grow offers more social networks than any other plugin.
Why does that matter? Because goodness knows another platform will emerge sooner rather than later, and I’m confident Grow will be there to help us establish ourselves on said platform.
Remember when StumbleUpon left and Flipboard took over? Imagine how many eyeballs you could’ve had on your content had you had the tools to be proactive there!
Then there’s the share count recovery. This was a very big deal when I switched from Social Warfare to Social Pug. It’s also incredibly helpful if you switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
Grow Plugin Speed
Mediavine is also dedicated to ensuring this plugin isn’t yet another one slowing down our sites. They know how important site speed is, both for user experience and SEO. Grow is built to be a lightweight plugin that keeps our sites running smoothly, even when we see that increase in traffic thanks to the beauty that is this social share plug-in!