Seeing Stars With Ratings

Stephen Yagielowicz

For webmasters running WordPress-powered websites, soliciting viewer reactions to their content can be as easy as adding a plugin that allows visitors to rate or vote on how much they liked — or disliked — your site’s offerings.

Here are a few options for rating plugins that adult webmasters might find handy. Keep in mind that many ratings systems enable webmasters (such as review site owners) to set the ratings, but what we’re interested in here is the customer’s rating of your offer.

While you may not always like the ratings your offerings receive, they will help guide future content choices.

RATE

According to the publisher of Rate (www.wordpress.org/extend/plugins/rate/), most ratings plugins contain too much code, including inline JavaScript, messy markup, weird CSS and more — a problem it addressed by making Rate easy, flexible and nonintrusive. With Rate, a Post/Page/Custom Post Type will display a rating that represents an average of all ratings added by users during commenting. Users can change that rating inline after commenting and the CSS options allow for easy integration with any website theme.

COMMENT RATING

Rather than enabling visitors to rate a website’s content directly, Comment Rating (www.wordpress.org/extend/plugins/comment-rating/) allows visitors to rate comments left by other visitors, displaying highly-rated and poorly-rated comments differently. Its publishers boast that this allows website owners to make use of “user moderated content” that lets readers decide which comments deserve to be shown — and which should be rejected as being inappropriate, for example. Configurable thresholds for all comment types and flexible display and styling options boost this plugins’ appeal.

ROCKHOIST RATINGS

Rockhoist Ratings (www.wordpress.org/extend/plugins/rockhoistratings/) is a simple “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating widget for WordPress posts. While Rockhoist Ratings does not support ratings using “stars,” the AJAX-powered ratings are user-updatable; are displayed to all visitors, logged-in or not; and reveal the total number of up/down ratings, providing an alternative to stars.

While you may not always like the ratings your offerings receive, they will help guide future content choices, targeting them more closely to your actual audience’s desires — and WordPress rating plugins make it easy.

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