In this digital age, each person has become an individual reviewer/critic, and your reviews count for a lot. As a website owner, you are official a “professional” in your niche, and can carry more authority than your typical Amazon review. One thing that will absolutely add an easy-t0-understand element to your review pages is star ratings. With one glance, a reader can tell if you recommend the product or not, and why.
What's more, star ratings, when done correctly, can appear in Google search results.Product review keywords can be competitive in search engines, and any unique element in your search meta can give the advantage, even if you are not ranked #1 on page 1. Stars in the SERPs can mean a higher click-through rate! Compounding results of higher CTR and higher on-page conversions means your site wills tart making more money. Star ratings can be extremely powerful in the world of affiliate marketing.
Here are 10 of the best WordPress star-rating plugins as I see it. Be sure to add your own in the comments if you have a better option. I'll check it out, and maybe add it to the list!
GD Rating System
- Price: Basic (Free) – Personal ($40/year) – Business ($80/year) – Developer ($160/year)
GD is one of the most advanced rating plugins that you'll find anywhere throughout the WordPress community. It was developed to basically handle a comprehensive rating system for any sort of website, covering pretty much every aspect of content rating while maintaining its simplicity and smooth mode of operation.
First off, GD Rating System supports all the basics in any rating plugin like star ratings and whatnot. But what elevates this particular plugin over the rest is the plethora of add-on features that can turn a website's rating system into something like what you see on some major websites (most particularly social media). It allows you to integrate posts and comments, customize your own rating rules, list comments based on their ratings, and display your rating lists in widgets for your site's visitors.
GD also supports feeds, which would even help you manage your content display on top of the ratings. You as an admin would get a similar feed or log showing you the votes and ratings made on your content in chronological order with the capability to block ratings as you wish. The awesome part is that all of these features are extremely easy to implement even if you haven't run a single line of code in your life. One of GD's add-on features is a shortcake UI plugin through which you can run simple lines of code that you can search for online into your normal WordPress text editor along with your content.
Worth noting is the fact that GD Rating System operates on templates similar to WordPress' own templates, which gives it ultimate compatibility with the platform as a whole. One downside to this plugin is that with so many features, it can take some time to learn!
WP Review Pro
There are very few “top WP rating plugin” lists that don't include this plugin provided by MyThemesShop. That's pretty weird, because this is one of the most (if not hands-down the most) popular rating plugins. First of these reasons is that its free version has many features that only come with premium plugins. It works at magnificent speed, and if you have tried any of the subpar plugins before, you would know that especially rating plugins can slow down your website if you don't choose properly-developed ones.
By installing it, you can let your users rate your content, products, photos, etc., and you can choose to be rated based on a star, percentage, or points system. WP Review is generally very customizable to your desires not just in the types of rating systems. You have infinite color and stylistic options, and with some simple CSS modifications, you can add to it the style that would fit your website's general theme with ultimate ease. This particularly matters when it comes to the display of your ratings to the website's visitors.
Generally, WP Review strikes a chord with non-experienced WP users, but many mistakenly think that this makes it a mediocre plugin designed for newbies. It's actually pretty advanced even when compared to rating plugins with a more complex interface despite it being so user-friendly and with no coding requirements.
This one is pretty interesting, most of all because it's the one that I use on my websites. When it comes to style, the people who developed Taqyeem obviously made it their priority. The plugin has all the options you need to install a fully-fledged rating system that your visitors would like to look at. Most plugins still don't give this aspect any significant attention despite its importance. Ironically, an ugly rating system could actually ruin your conversions!
With Taqyeem you can create a proper advance rating system (stars, percentages, or points) with unlimited color and typography options under your command. It supports Google's more than 500 web fonts and will automatically enter the schema meta data to get you star ratings, percentage ratings, or points in Google SERPs. The ratings gathered from your visitors are fed into the microdata that in turn feed your SEO rich snippets that people will see in Google, so if you're ranked, you'll definitely see a benefit from more clicks by using this plugin.
It's also easy to translate in case you are running a non-English or multilingual website. By the by, speaking of translation, “Taqyeem” is Arabic for “rating.”
This is a very inexpensive and useful plugin that I've found helps conversions on one of my other websites.
I love this plugin and it's pretty easy to use, but there are some downsides. First, you have to download a separate plugin to have predefined criteria for different style reviews. For example, you may create different rating systems for different types of products on your site. Also, you'll need yet ANOTHER plugin to have buttons integrated. Right now, I have three plugins from Taqyeem to run my current system of reviews/ratings. They look badass, but I'd like them combined into one plugin for simplicity and speed.
Also, to update you have to manually upload the update via FTP which is a pain in the butt.
This plugin's name is an acronym for “Yet Another Stats Rating.” Although whoever named it doesn't sound so excited about it, this plugin actually carries some pretty exciting features (it's quite common to name things like, for example YARP is Yet Another Related Posts Plugin). It's based on the JQuery plugin RateIT. If you don't know what that means, here is what it basically does.
Through YASR you can run a multi-aspect rating system on your website, meaning that for each piece of content you can create a set of aspects to your content (ex: entertainment, brevity, engagement, etc.) so that your visitors can rate your work in terms of each aspect. It then calculates an average rating based on these factors and the value that you as an admin set for each of them. These ratings are then indexed by search engines which use them in rich snippets. All of that can be activated using simple shortcodes that you can get online very easily.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the design of the plugin is pretty sparse, but it gets the job done. If you're on a tight budget, this isn't a bad choice to start with.
WooCommerce Product Star Rating and Review
Here’s something for the folks who run e-commerce websites. This plugin will allow you to crank up your game another notch by letting you offer your customers a tool to review your products with like any robust e-commerce website. Not only is it necessary for your own appraisal, but also Google likes to find such data on e-commerce websites and could use it to raise your ranking on its search engine and feed your URLs' rich snippets.
Fortunately, this plugin doesn't have some of the faults that most other product rating plugins. You get to choose what type of users can rate your products. You might not want people who haven't purchased anything on your website before giving out false information or spamming your space, and this plugin allows you to make these restrictions according to what you find best for your platform. Also, as obvious from its name, this WooCommerce plugin lets customers review your products after rating them, which is a double advantage that most plugins in this category do not provide.
EC Stars Rating
At the same time, you need to rationalize your expectations a bit. The plugin provides nothing but a basic star rating system and the verification of no double-voting activity. Don't expect a lot of fancy features here!
Five-Star Ratings & Reviews
- Price: $15
Here's another plugin that lets you sense your visitors' pulses in style. This is what you can call a multi-purpose rating plugin. It works for publication websites or blogs, photography websites, or e-Commerce platforms, with just the right features for each of these purposes. You can use it to let your readers comment on your content with absolute ease and leave their ratings without the website slowing down.
Although it's called “Five-Star Ratings,” stars are not your only option for the shape of your rating icons. Actually, in this area particularly, this plugin beats most of the rest. Its animated icons are candy for the eyes and are customizable to fit different styles and contexts. For example, besides the stars, you have thumbs up, ticks, heart shapes, and many other shapes. You can also customize your own icons by uploading an image in SVG format. The five rating points you get are dividable, so a user can rate you at “3.5 stars,” for instance, which will grant you better rating accuracy.
Its e-commerce features are as good as those of exclusively e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce. Users can rate and review your products, and this one too can be customized to only accept reviews that follow an actual purchase. You will find these settings very easy to alter, and the plugin is generally easy to install and apply to your website. And you don't need to worry about multiple ratings because every IP address is only allowed one rating per product/piece of content.
KK Star Ratings
This plugin has been around for a long time and is apparently supported by a pretty strong team. Its latest version 2.4 handles many of its previous shortcomings. You can customize your own templates for the rating system through this plugin, and you even get to choose the number of points or stars you want to be rated according to. KK Star even lets you reset ratings at will on any or all of your pages, and to restrict ratings to one per IP address for every post.
It supports some cool animations as well, and generally, its graphical interface is top-notch. As an admin, you don't need to enter shortcode or go through a whole process to know your rating info. This plugin provides you with a visual button that lets you see your numbers and averages with a simple click. You also get your stats from a column at the side of your screen if you are logged in as an admin.
For blogs or photography websites, this plugin has an extra advantage in that it's a good tool to push forward your most popular content. You can add a widget to your website's homepage or on individual posts that will display a list of your top-rated pages. It also supports Google rich snippets, so it will automatically help your SEO.
- Price: Free – Plus ($7.99) – Pro ($12.99) – VIP ($21.99) – Ultra ($31.99)
There's a unique thing about this plugin, which is that it's not exactly just that one plugin. By installing it, you are given access to its rating features, but also to features from a few other WordPress plugins as well. For instance, you get to benefit from the UltimateMember plugin's user profile features. That way you can let your users create their own profiles and become regular critics of your content. You also get the product review features of the WooCommerce reviews plugin.
Over and above that, you get access to BuddyPress and bbPress' features that will let you run a full forum and social networks where your users can become active members and write their own posts and commentaries. You just need to install the Like BTN plugin and you automatically gain access to this entire ecosystem. All of the code that you might need to activate any of these features is provided on the plugin's website.
As for the ratings, you have all the customization options that you need. You have up to 80 parameters to be rated on that you can choose from, displayed through 41 themes and translated into 40 languages! All of your ratings are automatically captured and fed into our website's Google rich snippets. On the website, you can display lists of your content ranked according to the number of likes for each post.
The plugin keeps you updated at all times with the latest ratings and reviews that you received. Inside your WP Dashboard, it will send you real-time reports and voting statistics in multiple formats that you can pick from.
- Price: Free
This plugin is pretty convenient for WP beginners. It's easy to use and places all the control in your hands as the website's admin. It is completely based on shortcodes which are easily available online, and allows you to customize your rating parameters, and supports page, category, and global reviews. Ratings can be both star-based or numerical, and there are external stylesheets that will give you all the styling privileges that you might want to give your website a sweet look.
You have the option to moderate the ratings and reviews made to your website before they are posted. Whenever a user submits a rating, you will receive it first and decide whether it's approved or not. This will let you filter the ratings you get which will protect you from trolls and spammers. The plugin also integrates with user's profiles, which will let your visitors rate or review you with their regular WP profiles.
What star rating plugin do you use on your website?
What features does it have that helped you choose it above all the other ones out there?
What About Traffic & Conversions?
Plugins are great when they solve specific problems in an elegant way. They can make your website work better, engage your audience, and build your brand.
A plugin won't autogenerate traffic or guarantee conversions though. It won't magically turn your website into a thriving, cash-generating online business
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