This morning I received an email from AddThis about the latest invention of theirs, Smart Layers. AddThis Smart Layers is like a dream come true for me. I’ve been meaning to replace the bloated floating social media sidebar plugin for something more lighter, and also add a floating suggestion pop-up for similar posts, which will pop-up when a user scrolls down the page.
Smart Layers takes care both of those, and adds even more cool features. The only thing that you need to do is copy/paste a small code snippet, like it usually is the case with AddThis.
You’re reading this, so it’s safe to assume you’re on my website, ;). You should see the floating social media toolbar in the sidebar to the left, and also the pop-up suggestion box that comes up as you’re scrolling down the page. They can also be seen on the screenshot above. I’ve decreased the size of the web browser window so that everything fits in a single screenshot, that’s why everything looks crammed up. Floating social media toolbar can be re-positioned to the right, if you want.
Another very useful feature that you get with AddThis Smart layers can be seem when you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. That’s the expanded suggestion box, where up to 4 articles from your website will be scooped up by AddThis and posted as a suggestion for further reading to your visitors.
On top of all these things, you can also add social profile buttons to top right corner of the website. Since I’m not very active on social networks, I don’t have that particular feature of AddThis Smart Layers activated.
Image above shows us AddThis Smart Layers setup page. This is where you can turn off features, like I did with the social profile buttons. You can also select themes (there’s a very basic selection of dark, light and gray colors available), and tweak various other settings. Clicking on the “Generate Code” button, you’ll get the usual AddThis code snippet.
I’ve pasted it to header.php file by opening up the WordPress theme editor. I’ve put it just below the body tag. I’m using WordPress but any website, platform can use Smart Layers. It took a few hours for everything to start working properly. Social sharing and profile buttons worked right away, but for article suggestions you’ll have to wait a few hours until AddThis detects all the content on your website.
AddThis Smart Layers is also optimized for tablets and smartphones. You can even switch to see a preview on portable devices when setting up your Smart Layers layout. All in all, this is a great utility, that can replace a lot of social media sharing plugins and other guest engagement plugins that you might have installed, like post suggestions, for WordPress, which are probably slowing down your blog. Play around and tell me what you think.