• Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
$89/year
  • 80%

  • Monarch
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: October 19, 2017
  • Ease of use
    Editor: 95%
  • Functionality
    Editor: 90%
  • Price
    Editor: 95%
  • Support & documentation
    Editor: 90%

Have you ever looked at the social sharing plugins on the market and thought that there was something missing?

A few of the issues I’ve noticed with social plugins include:

  • Dated or generic design
  • Lack of important features
  • Limited support and slow development
  • Not well optimized

But imagine for just a moment if there was a plugin that solved all of these issues.

No longer would you want to jump between different plugins searching for a plugin that did what you wanted it to do – you could finally have a social plugin that ticks all of the right boxes and looks visually stunning.

No more wasting time searching.

In this post I’m going to share a new social sharing plugin with you that could be the solution to all of the issues mentioned above.

Enter “Monarch”.

What is Monarch?

Monarch is a new social media plugin from the team at Elegant Themes.

While Elegant Themes are better known for creating WordPress themes, they makes some very useful plugins too.

Monarch will help you do the following:

  • Add social sharing buttons to key locations
  • Add social follow buttons
  • Encourage social sharing
  • Monitor your social shares

And it does all of that without compromising the design of your site.

Add eye-catching social share buttons with Monarch

The primary function of Monarch is to make it easy to add great looking social share buttons.

You can add these in the following locations:

  • Sidebar
  • Inline
  • Popup
  • Fly in
  • Media (overlaid onto images etc)

You’re able to pick multiple locations if you prefer:

Share Button Locations

You have a choice of all the popular social networks and some additional options like “Printer Friendly” and “Email”:

Social Networks

You can then customize individual settings for each display locations:

Inline Settings

One thing I particularly like is the option to hide share counts unless they’re above a certain number – this is great for avoiding negative social proof.

Once you save the settings everything will be updated and you’ll now have some great looking share buttons added to chosen location:

Inline Social Buttons

There are two locations that are particularly interesting as a way to further encourage social sharing.

This includes share buttons displayed within a popover via various triggers such as time delays or as you are about to leave etc:

Social Sharing Popover

You can also display a fly in share box:

Fly In Social Shares

Add social follow widgets with Monarch

If you want to increase your social following, you need to make it easy for your websites visitors to find you on social networks.

The best way to do this is to use a social follow widget.

With Monarch you can display this via shortcode or a widget which could look something like this:

Social Follow Widget

When adding social networks you can choose the text, URL and add counts manually.

While this does mean that people can use this function to mislead their readers, anyone who does so will earn a bad reputation VERY quickly so these are more of a convenience than anything else:

Follow Button Networks

You can customize settings for the shortcode and widget independently which is helpful:

Follow Widget Settings

Monitor your social statistics with Monarch

Another great feature of Monarch is the ability to monitor your social shares and followers.

Monarch will start monitoring your shares, likes and follows as soon as the plugin is activated:

Monarch Analytics

Pricing

Elegant Themes operates on a membership model.

Monarch and all other plugins are included for either $89/year or $249 for lifetime access.

In addition to all of the Elegant Themes plugins, you’ll also get access to more than 80 very stylish themes, including their latest theme; “Divi” which I’ve used in the past.

You will also get access to new themes and plugins released as long as you are a member.

Final thoughts

This plugin is new and I can imagine there may be a few kinks to be worked out that I didn’t find when testing. Elegant Themes like to do regularly updates so I can see them taking on feedback and improving this plugin as time goes on.

On a personal note, I’ve found myself trying so many social sharing plugins and generally being disappointed – That’s how my experience with free social media plugins has gone.

The likes of Flare and Digg Digg have ended up being somewhat of a disappointment so a premium plugin seems the way to go if you want to get something more advanced.

I like what the Elegant Themes team has done with Monarch. It’s straight forward and has all the important features but it doesn’t have so many features that it’s overly confusing to use.

It’s simple to setup and does the job effectively with some other interesting options.

Click here to check out the Monarch demo.

(Disclosure: this is a sponsored post but we only say good stuff when we REALLY mean it. Read more.)

Pros

  • Share buttons look great visually
  • Lots of settings to customize how buttons are displayed
  • Easily export settings and import them on another website
  • Custom CSS is supported
  • Share counts are cached but you can adjust how often this happens
  • Easily see your social share statistics at a glance
  • Avoid negative social proof when displaying share counts

Cons

  • No shortcode support for social shares
  • Social analytics can only pull in shares from when plugin is enabled
  • Different networks can’t be chosen for “media” display

Monarch

Summary: Sponsored While Monarch is new to the world of social media plugins, it provides a straight forward solution that will make it easy to add great looking social sharing buttons to your site and has all the important features you need to encourage social sharing.

RatingRated 4.5 stars

Posted by The Editorial Team

A team of WordPress fanatics dedicated to simplifying the world of WordPress in order to improve your website, and make your life easier.