Why the lack of customizing the Google +1 Button is awful for website design main blog post image
September 20th, 2011 by Michael Tunnell

Why the lack of customizing the Google +1 Button is awful for website design

You see how great that +1 button could look on a dark background site design (like this one)?


Well unfortunately that is impossible because of the way the Google +1 code is setup. You can change the size of the button, the annotation and many other things but for some reason Google has decided that the design and colors of the +1 button can't be touched by anyone which in turn makes it clash with MANY website designs thus making it awful to implement.




Google +1 button is actually the most powerful and feature rich of all of the official social networking buttons including Twitter's, Facebook's, etc. The +1 button offers many advanced features like Sizing options, Annotation control, vast variety of Languages, HTML5 Valid syntax, Javascript Callbacks, URL control for +1'ing and many more.


+1 button is also the only official social networking button that allows you to "Like" a page/site and at the same time allow you to share it to the network in a status update. (Facebook kind of has this option but it doesn't allow you to customize anything of what is posted to your wall.) For website creators the +1 button Snippet for sharing to the network also allows you to customize the default content presented to your users for sharing on Google+. You can control the thumbnail image, page title, page description and more.


All of these features and options make the Google +1 the most powerful and feature rich social network button available but the unfortunate truth is that the +1 button is also almost unusable just because of the design of it.


Default Sprite image for +1 button


The default look of the button is not ugly and for many sites it looks great but for a LOT of websites it is an eyesore. This site for example is heavily stylized to show off my abilities but if I put this button on my design it just ruins it because it doesn't fit AT ALL. Facebook's Like button and Twitter's Follow button also don't fit very well at all but they offer an alternative style for those of use with dark color site designs. These alternatives are not that good at all and do NOT provide us with anywhere near the control that the +1 button offers but this ONE simple option makes it easy for website designers to utilize these buttons on our dark schemes.


All we ask is a basic option to make this button look better on our sites even if that is to just provide a simple grayscale option. However, the ideal solution would be the +1 button to utilize custom sprite images so we can control exactly how we want it to look.


Please Google...fix the button so I can finally start using it.


*Note - The above statements may confuse anyone who looks to right sidebar portion of this page and sees a custom Google+ button but just to clarify that is not the +1 button that is simply a link to my Google+ profile so it has nothing to do with the +1 button this article refers to.

[g+ icons - seriftuts]