Rating Manager is a premium WordPress plugin that allows visitors to rate your content and rate comments.
It is a light solution that uses the XML based SVG image format. This helps ensure that the plugin does not add unnecessary weight to your website pages.
Rating Manager has full support for Rich Snippets. The Rich Snippets feature is supported by search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex. This can help increase your traffic from search engines.
The plugin can also be extended by developers using the included hooks, filters, and functions and has full support for WordPress Multisite and comes packaged with its own widgets.
In this article, I am going to show you how Rating Manager can help improve your website.
What Can Rating Manager Do For You?
Before I show you how Rating Manager can be customized, let’s take a closer look at what the plugin does and how it can help you and your website.
As soon as you have activated Rating Manager, you will see a couple of new features added to post types such as blog posts and pages.
The bottom of your blog posts will now display a row of five greyed out stars. When you hover over these stars, you can rate the article in question. The simplicity of this rating system makes it more likely that visitors will rate pages.
Full support for Rich Snippets means that when visitors rate your pages, the rating will be displayed in your search engine listings. This helps your pages stand out from competitors.
Rating Manager adds a rating system to your comments area too. Users can rate comments positively or negatively. The number of likes and dislikes are displayed next to each comment.
Comments with a higher rating can be displayed prominently at the top of your comments area (more on this later).
Rating articles is not simply a useful way of grabbing attention in search engine results. It can also highlight your best content to visitors.
One way to take advantage of this is to display the Rating Manager widget on your sidebar.
The widget allows you to display the top posts from a wide range of timescales: Today, 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year. You can show ratings from any post type and order a defined number of results in an ascending or descending order.
The great thing about Rating Manager is the level of customization that is available. The plugin gives you full control over every aspect of the rating system.
Customizing Rating Manager
The settings area for Rating Manager is divided into four areas: General, style, messages, and comments.
One of the great things about Rating Manager is that it works with any type of WordPress post type. In the settings area you can define which post types display ratings and which do not.
By default, ratings are displayed after the content area, however you can choose to display it at the top. If you prefer, you can display it above and below the content area. A field is available that allows you to insert the form directly into a specific hook location (those of you who have used WordPress frameworks such as Genesis will have a good understanding of how hooks work).
The rating form can be enabled and disabled on different areas of your website too.
Pages can be excluded from the rating system by specifying their ID in the general settings area. Alternatively, you can assign a post tag that will exclude those pages from using the rating system.
Ratings can be submitted by guests, registered users, or both. The ratings that are submitted by users can be stored using cookies, IP addresses, cookies and IP addresses, or a registered user’s username.
At the bottom of the settings area you will see an option to enable feedback and send feedback directly to a specified email address. Rich Snippets can be disabled in this section too.
The number of SVG based vector icons that are available for selection is impressive. A total of 70 icons are provided. This includes stars, awards, plus symbols, ticks, trophies, and more. A custom icon can be used if you do not like the ones that are included with Rating Manager.
Icons can be assigned any size from 10 pixels to 100 pixels. The maximum rating value can also be defined.
In addition to choosing the size of the thumb icons from 10 pixels to 100 pixels, you can also define the color of the icons.
The HTML template for your rating form can be modified easily from the style settings page. Those of you who feel the default rating form looks a bit too plain can easily jazz it up using this template box.
Whenever someone votes or provides feedback, a small text message is displayed. These messages can be customized in the settings area.
In the comments settings page you can choose what post types comment ratings are enabled on and how those ratings are logged.
Two rating modes are available. One uses a thumbs up, the other uses a thumbs up and a thumbs down. If you are concerned about people being upset about their comments generating negative votes, then the thumbs up rating mode would be the better choice.
The size and color of icons can also be modified. This is useful if the green and red color scheme does not fit well with your current website design.
Just like the general ratings form, the comment ratings form template can be easily modified.
One of my favorite features of Rating Manager is the ability to display the comments with the most votes at the top of the page. A custom style can be applied to these popular comments to make them stand out from the crowd.
Rating Manager saves all ratings that are submitted on your website. You can filter this information by post type and date.
The overall stats tab highlights how many ratings have been submitted for each post type for today, the last week, the last month, the last year, and overall.
Ratings for content and for comments can be reset at any time.
I have tested thousands of WordPress plugins over the years. One feature that I always look for in a solution is simplicity and Rating Manager delivers that. The plugin works right out of the box but also gives you a vast array of options to customize things as you see fit.
The support of Rich Snippets means that Rating Manager can help website owners drive more traffic from search engines. You will also encourage visitors to stay on your website longer by displaying your most popular articles on your sidebar, footer, or other widget area.
I highly recommend checking it out.
Thanks for reading.