Adding a reading progress bar to WordPress enhances the user experience for your readers. You can get more social shares with it, too.
To me, these bars are a great way to enhance the usability of your website. They give your readers an idea of how far they’ve got to scroll to read your entire piece of content – and thus allows them to estimate how much more time they’ll spend on your site.
Recently, I’ve added a reading progress bar on WP Mastery, and I’m getting positive feedback on it. That’s why I decided to write this short tutorial.
The plugin I use is called Easy Social Sharing Buttons. It’s a paid plugin from CodeCanyon and – as you can see – it’s priced at affordable $19.
It’s well worth the money as it comes with countless options to add social sharing buttons to your site. One of which is placing them in a reading progress bar at the bottom of your page.
Here’s how I’ve configured the plugin on WP Mastery:
1. I’ve set the button template to “Metro.”
2. Since I only want the reading progress bar to show on my blog posts (and not on the entire site), I’ve selected only “Posts” in the Display Settings.
3. To hide the social sharing buttons from anywhere but the bottom bar (which we’re adding in step 4), select “Manual display with shortcode only” in the “Display Positions” menu.
4. Now finally, we’re adding the reading progress bar by selecting “Post Share Bar” as additional button display option. This option will insert the sticky reading progress bar to the bottom of the website.
And that’s it already.
Of course, you have to select the social media icons that should go into the share bar from the “Social Buttons” menu. Click on the Social Buttons tab and then go to “Social Networks.” It’ll show you a list of networks you can add.
Let me give you a word of warning:
The user interface of Easy Social Share Buttons is not the most beginner-friendly. Everything is just point-and-click, and you won’t have to deal with code, but it feels crowded.
Take your time and go through the options one at a time. Then you’ll work your way through it.