Table of Contents:
- Step 1: Are you set up to display the counts?
- Step 2: Is there enough space to display the counts?
- Step 3: Have you set up your tweet counts?
- Step 4a: Have you checked third-party share count services?
- Step 4b: Have you checked the official APIs?
- Step 5: Do you have any caching plugins?
- Step 6: Is a security plugin blocking the cache trigger from firing?
- Step 7: Is the server throwing an error?
- Step 8: Still not working?
Step 1: Are you set up to display the counts?
First, check your Display Settings inside
Social Warfare > Display Settings to make sure you have the counts set to be activated.
We have three different settings here:
- Total share counts: the sum total of all the shares from all buttons combined.
- Individual button counts: the numbers on the individual buttons themselves.
- Minimum share counts: the minimum number of total shares that must be reached before any counts are shown. This is to avoid having low social proof. If you have a minimum share count set and the post/page in question has not reached that minimum count, this would cause counts not showing.
Step 2: Is there enough space to display counts?
Occasionally, it appears that share counts are not showing due to an error when, in fact, it is simply because there are too many buttons showing and not enough room for the counts to display.
Social Warfare is built to work with every screen size while maintaining the best possible aesthetic. In order to accomplish this, there is a sizing algorithm that determines how much available space there is and, based on that space, decides what size the buttons should be.
If there is not enough space to display buttons, counts, and total shares, it will hide the counts to avoid looking cluttered and messy.
We recommend between 3-6 sharing buttons be active at once for optimal display. Any more than this, and the buttons begin to get very cluttered at smaller screen sizes.
It’s also worth noting that based on numerous studies on human psychology and data from some of our users, having fewer sharing options actually increases the number of shares. In psychology, this is known as the Paradox of Choice.
Step 3: Have you set up your Tweet counts?
To make sure that your Tweet button is set up to get counts activated, be sure to visit the
Social Warfare > Social Identity tab and follow the setup instructions.
Important: Twitter has officially removed support for tweet counts! As such, we rely on a third party that does its best to search for, find, and count the tweets containing your URLs. As a result of these limitations, there is very little support that our staff can provide beyond what you see here. When troubleshooting tweet counts, skip step 4a and go directly to 4b.
Step 4a: Have you checked third-party share count services?
Now we want to check several third-party services to see whether or not our share counts match theirs (or are at least a close match). Here are the services our team recommends:
These services use the same method our plugin uses to retrieve share counts directly from social network APIs (except for Twitter, of course). This ensures the most accurate numbers possible.
If these services are showing different numbers, there are a couple of reasons this could be happening. We’ll troubleshoot those later in the article.
For now, go up to your browser’s address bar and add the following to the end of your URL:
So your URL would look like this:
This will force Social Warfare to fetch the most current numbers instead of the previously cached versions.
Step 4b: Have you checked the official APIs?
If you want to go straight to the source of the counts, the social network APIs, you can do so by using the following URLs. All you need to do is replace the
http://yourdomain.com/post-name/ with your own post/page URL.
Google Plus and LinkedIn have discontinued share counts as of February 2018, so unfortunately, those can’t be calculated for shares that came in after that time.
Facebook Share Counts URL
Pinterest Share Counts URL
StumbleUpon Share Counts URL
Tumblr Share Counts URL
Yummly Share Counts URL
Buffer Share Counts URL
Reddit Share Counts URL
Tweet Share Counts URL (via TwitCount)
Tweet Share Counts URL (via Open Share Count)
Once you put your URL through any of these links, the page that loads will show you the number of shares the social network has recorded. If it differs from what Social Warfare is showing, we have a problem.
If you believe that the counts shown by the social network’s APIs are inaccurate, this is an issue you need to take up with them, as Social Warfare can only be as accurate as the social networks themselves.
Step 4c: (Facebook only) Is Social Warfare Authenticated?
Connect your copy of Social Warfare with Facebook by clicking the “Continue With Facebook” button in your Social Warfare settings at Social Warfare-> Social Identity-> Social Network Connections.
If the button says “Disconnect Facebook,” click that button to disconnect, then click “Continue with Facebook” again to re-connect and re-validate your account.
After re-validating your Facebook account in Social Warfare, clear all your caching plugins/server caches/CDNs/Cloudflare, etc., recheck the page, then re-load it 2 or 3 times to see if the counts have updated.
Important: If the numbers are only slightly different than the third-party tools or official network APIs, it’s likely just timing, as each system updates numbers at different timed intervals. If the numbers are drastically different, we’ll want to investigate further.
Step 5: Do you have any caching plugins?
Assuming you’ve started by clearing all caches, if you are using any caching plugins, turn them off, open your post/page again in a new (preferably Incognito) window, and refresh the page for good measure. You can also use the
?swp_cache=rebuild string again to make sure the numbers are as fresh as possible.
If that worked, congratulations, you’ve found the root of the problem!
However, now you need to go into the caching plugin(s) settings and see if there is a way to have the caching plugin exclude Social Warfare files from its caching. OR see if there’s a way for you to modify how frequently the plugin cache is updated to your preference.
If there is no obvious way to do so, we recommend contacting the plugin developers and inquiring about these options.
Important: If you’re using a CDN or services like CloudFlare, you will need to treat them the same as you are the caching plugins, as the same rules apply.
Step 6: Is a security setting blocking the cache rebuild trigger from firing?
Social Warfare uses a trigger that fires off after the page has finished loading in order to tell the server to fetch new share counts. This guarantees that the end user never sees a slower page load while the various social network APIs are pinged for new counts. You can read more about this here.
To do this, we ping the server with the URL parameters that we mentioned above:
?swp_cache=rebuild. However, we’ve noticed that some security plugins like WordFence block and strip out all URL parameters.
You test this by simply adding
?swp_cache=rebuild that we mentioned previously to the end of any post/page URL on your site. Again, it will look something like this:
If the URL parameters remain in the address bar, this is not an issue. However, if those parameters disappear, you have a security plugin blocking that trigger.
Please let our team know if you encounter this issue so we can investigate further.
Step 7: Is the server throwing an error?
In some instances, your server may be configured so that it doesn’t support the functions we use to contact the social media APIs, or it may even be actively blocking the API requests. To fix this, you’ll probably need to adjust your server. In most cases, simply copying and pasting this section into an email to your hosting provider will allow them to identify and fix the issue immediately.
First, you’ll need to test if this is indeed the case. You can do this by adding
?swp_cache=rebuild to the end of a blog post URL in your browser’s address bar. When you do this, one of three things will happen:
- The post will load correctly.
- The post will stop loading when it reaches the content area. No errors will be shown.
- The post will stop loading when it reaches the content area. It will show an error.
Second, if scenario #2 or #3 occurs, an issue with the server needs to be remedied. Here are the most likely scenarios that we’ve encountered.
Problem #1: PHP – Your server is not using a version of PHP 5.6 or newer.
Solution #1: Have your hosting provider update PHP to the latest stable version.
Problem #2: cURL – cURL is not enabled, cURL multi-functions are not enabled, or cURL is not on the latest stable version.
Solution #2: Have your hosting provider enable cURL and cURL multi-functions and update their cURL library to the latest stable version.
Problem #3: Firewall – Your server firewall is blocking the outbound requests.
Solution #3: Have your hosting provider whitelist access to the social media networks from which the plugin needs to fetch share counts.
Now your hosting provider can check your error logs and see if the above applies. Just copy/paste this info and email them with it; they should know how to help you troubleshoot and fix this.
Step 8: Still not working?
For 99.999% of cases, this process is exactly what our team would do to troubleshoot and solve any issues with share counts.
If you have gone through each step and confirmed that your counts are still not what they should be, please get in contact with our support team.