I was recently asked about my small collection of social badges on the top of my blog in the sidebar. These are created by the excellent WordPress plugin SocialGrid:


The question related to how to get a similar grid for blogs which are hosted on WordPress.com. Although essentially the same software, as I host my own WordPress blog, I can add plugins like SocialGrid but on a WordPress.com hosted blog you can not install plugins. You only have the options of the widgets available. You can add your own code to a widget via the basic but very flexible ‘Text Widget’ although it will not allow javascript which many of the social sites use to create collections of badges. However it does allow you to write your own HTML code (the language of web pages) so I thought I would have a go at recreating my SocialGrid style badges in a HTML table for WordPress.com even using the same great social media icons which are freely available (feel free to leave them a donation).

I have a few WordPress.com sites but used this one I set up for some WordPress.com training courses put on by OutserveWeb the web training company I work for. The end result looked like this and I have put the code below if it helps anyone.


Change the links and the image urls of course and copy the code into the text widget and drag to your sidebar, images can be uploaded directly through the Media options in your WordPress.com blog. It should be relatively easy to change the grid from 2 x 4 or use other or different size icons.

Html code:


linkedin icon




google icon

rss icon

Creative Commons License photo credit: Huasonic

Social bookmarking buttons/badges for blogs have been popular for a long time  but with the success of Twitter the Tweetmeme button has become widely used especially with blogs like Mashable who can receive over 1000 re-tweets on popular posts. Then came along the  Facebook button which allows you to share a post on Facebook. Both of these buttons have official WordPress plugins (links below) with lots of control over look and location although placement of multiple buttons can be trial and error. The plugins allow you to easily amend the CSS to layout the buttons on a single blog post.

At the time of writing the the CSS settings for the Tweetmeme and Facebook buttons are:


float: right;


clear:right; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top:10px

With Google Buzz now getting a lot of attention it was not going to be long before a WordPress plugin was available to automatically post blog posts to Buzz. Mashable did an excellent post on the current plugins available and all of these without an API available from Google. Currently the Buzz plugin I am using relies on a Buzz user having Google Reader connected to their buzz account so it can post a link through and the counts of the Buzz’s is controlled by bit.ly. No doubt soon Google will open the API and make plugins easier.