We have a requirement to add share buttons ( Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, WeChat) on all the pages of our website (excluding some of the landing pages)

We did a POC for the same with the AddThis plugin and it integrates very well and quite comfortably with our website . But we have been asked by our architect to use the Code\plug in provided by each of the social networks and integrate them on to our website separately. His main arguments are below:

  • The support might stop in future (Will they? Can they?)
  • For full features, we need to pay (For eg: Responsiveness) - Although very less

How does AddThis compare to integrating each social network separately? What are the advantages\ disadvantages in using the plugin (in terms of performance , user experience , security) . We do realise that the most important advantage is ease-of-integration.

How do I convince the architect that AddThis is the way to go? Or should I?

  • One clear disadvantage is that you now have to maintain X number of modules/plugins, all with their own update schedules and breaking changes over the course of the life of the site. AddThis presumably takes care of that for you. – Ben Nov 2 '17 at 0:55
  • I used AddThis on a website and was happy. But recently added some of the newer security headers like "Content-Security-Policy" and things start getting very messy. But I think it's even worse if you link to everything separately. Something to consider as you move forward. – user949300 Nov 27 '18 at 6:21

When you use add this you create a dependency on a 3rd party tool (and server since you dont get the source code) So you can balance the effort needed to create and maintain your own buttons versus the dependency risk as well as the additional costs.

Since the effort to create and maintain these buttons (render, load in background, only load when clicked, etc) is extremely low (since there are millions of copy-paste webdesign sites) I would say that implementing your own is better since you get rid of 1 dependency. It also allows you some freedom to design them according to performance specs and gui specs and integration (e.g. with a crm system).

If you lack technical skills in your team/yourself a 3rd party solution is the way to go.

from personal experience I can say that performance of page loading is improved when implementing your own buttons but personal experience is out of scope of the question i think.

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    You have dependencies on all of the sites in the social share regardless. AddThis however does create a single point of failure for all of those dependencies. – Ben Nov 2 '17 at 0:56

As far as I understand, your solution - to use AddThis is most optimal for the said use-case (i.e. implementing share buttons). I don't see any reason to do it any other way since AddThis takes care of the implementation details for you.

What exactly is the architects issue with using AddThis? And what extra functionality does he wish to achieve by a native implementation?

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  • I have updated my question with his arguments – Chillax Aug 8 '16 at 8:37

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