Do you ever wonder how to create reviews on your WordPress site? WP Review is one of the simple and ready to use plugin from mythemeshop for creating product reviews on your site. We use this plugin to create reviews on this site and wanted to share the features and limitations of the plugin for those looking for using this plugin.
Related: Review of WP Rocket caching plugin.
Free and Pro Versions
You can download the free version of WP Review from WordPress plugin repository either from WordPress.org site or through your WordPress admin dashboard. We recommend you to check the free version first and then upgrade if necessary. The pro version costs
$39 $97 and offered with discounted rate of $25 $87 from mythemeshop site. We have Pro version and this article deals with the features included in the Pro version.
The plugin update process is quite complex that eveytime you need to download the installation file from mythemeshop site and upload on the site using FTP. However, in this method you will miss the global settings page that will only visible when you use the helper plugin.
- You have to download and install the helper plugin.
- Login with your mythemeshop account.
- After connecting to mythemeshop, you can automatically update the plugin from admin panel.
Frankly, this is a tedious for the premium plugin offered for $97 for 3 domains. You have to do this for each domain in order to get the latest update.
Basic Features of Free Version
Though the plugin is simple there are list of features for creating an effective review.
- Rating systems include star, percentage and points.
- The plugin includes a review widget which you can add in sidebar and footer area along with thumbnail.
- Supports 19 different types of Google rich snippet schemas to show the reviews in search results.
- Supports shortcode to include reviews wherever you want on the page.
- Responsive, unlimited colors, compatible with caching plugins, multi-site supported and easy to customize.
WP Review Pro has some more additional features for making the review more beautiful.
- Additional circle and thumbs rating systems.
- Change review width and alignment.
- 16 pre-defined review templates to choose from.
- Show review ratings on the thumbnail of featured images and review widget images.
- Enable user reviews on comments with animated review loading.
- Excellent support to answer your queries.
- Integrated third-party reviews from popular services like Google Places, Yelp and Facebook.
Below is an example of custom review created with the plugin:
This is very easy to use plugin with global settings affecting all reviews and option to customize individual reviews within WordPress post editor. After installing and activating the plugin, you can go to “Settings > WP Review Pro” to customize the options. Enable or disable the options and customize the default styles for your review.
Post Level Settings
It is not necessary to use the global settings on all your review pages. For example, you can setup the global option as star rating and use point rating on specific post. WP Review plugin will add multiple meta boxes in the post editor to customize the review type and display.
You can enable the review in post editor, add review content and customize the colors as per your site’s layout.
On individual posts, you can setup the review as per your need.
- Add review heading, description, price and links.
- Insert review reference links and you can easily add affiliate link.
- Add features and drag and drop the features to rearrange.
- You can add pros and cons for the reviewed product.
- Choose review type and layout.
- Customize colors, size and other parameters.
Widgets and Shortcodes
The plugin allows you to showcase review widget in sidebar or footer. There are 10 widgets to showcase recent reviews, popular reviews, Facebook reviews, etc.
In addition, you can use large number of shortcodes to showcase your reviews anywhere on your site. For example, you can create review page and showcase all your reviews as an index page. However, the problem is that the plugin does not have any blocks for Gutenberg editor. You have to either use classic editor or copy paste the shortcode from the plugin page and customize it as per your need. The review posts shortcode also does not work to show top rated or most commented reviews. Therefore, you can only use this widget on the sidebar and not on the post content area.
Pop-up, Notifications and Comparison Table
The pro version has two additional features – pop-up and notifications. You can enable the settings at site level or use on specific pages. When you have a popular product or discount coupon, you can use the notification bar on top to attract the user’s attention.
You can also replace the default comment system on your theme and WooCommerce pages to replace the review setup with WP Review Pro plugin.
Other important feature of the plugin is to create a comparison table. When you have two product reviews, simply combine the features to create comparison table. You can embed the entire review or only the comparison table anywhere on your site. However, you can’t directly create comparison tables on the post without having the review posts beforehand.
Documentation and Support
You have the following options to get support:
- Raise your query as a ticket in WordPress.org site or in mythemeshop forum.
- View plugin documentation with detailed examples and FAQ.
- Check the review site demo to see how different review types will look.
Problems Using WP Review Pro
Though we recommend WP Review Pro, we also noticed certain issues with the usage of the plugin.
- Header and features in the review – it is obvious that the review header and feature list should have different display view, unfortunately WP review plugin does not differentiate this. Here you need bit of CSS customization to make a difference.
- Google rich snippets – we do not see the reviews are quickly reflected in Google search though the structured data highlighter tool shows everything is fine. We tested the same page with different review tools and Google can crawl it immediately. So we do not see the problem is there on the page level. However, this can also be due to low domain authority in Google.
- The percentage rating number does not show on the thumbnails.
- In order to get appropriate support you need to register with mythemeshop site and create a forum posting with your queries. Queries on WordPress forum may not get quick answers.
- Other than global settings there are no default templates for each review types to choose from. The custom templates are common for all review types and hope mythemeshop will add sample templates in future versions.
User rating is always shown as stars even you use point rating or any other type of rating in the review. For example, if you rate the product with 10 points scale the users will still rate with stars with 5 scale.This option is available with the latest plugin version.
- The plugin will slow down your post editor with many meta boxes.
Working with Third-party Themes
WP Review Pro works well with mythemeshop themes. For example, the sidebar widgets will show different colors for categories in review stars. However, many third-party themes do not offer coloring feature for category and the widgets will not look as shown in their demo page.
This is the same problem with many other features like comment integration and review box coloring. In addition to review box, ratings and buttons also will not blend properly with third-party themes. You need to ask for their help or customize the CSS yourself to make the plugin work for you. In our opinion, this is meaningless for a plugin with $87 pricing which do not work seamlessly with majority of themes.
Site Speed and WP Review Pro Plugin
WP Review plugin directly affects your site loading speed.
- The plugin will add lots of meta data in wp_postmeta table even for the posts that do not have review. In addition, it will also add an additional table wp_mts_wp_reviews.
- It still uses free font awesome 4.7 and loads the CSS / JS / fonts on all pages even though there are no reviews on the page. There are no options on the plugin to control loading of resources only on review pages. Mythemeshop guys still uses free font awesome 4.7 which was obsolete long time ago with no intention to upgrade to the latest version.
- All sidebar review widgets use AJAX features that will kill your site speed. As also mentioned, the widgets will not blend properly with third-party themes and review posts widget will not work on content area.
WP Review is an excellent plugin for converting your WordPress site to a review site. The free version is available without any hidden cost and the pro version is sold for a high price range. Though there are improvements required in terms of customization we recommend to try out this plugin if you are looking for creating reviews. Remember, to use the plugin on a subdomain or separate WordPress installation so that it will not affect the speed of your main site.
- Multiple review templates you can choose from.
- Easy to setup and customize.
- Good support with documentation.
- High cost for a plugin, even the most popular themes are not costly as $97.
- Plugin does not integrate with third-party themes. If you are not using mythemeshop themes, you have to customize the CSS to make the plugin work. Even with that, some features like sidebar widget review color will not work.
- Helper plugin needed for updates.
- Shortcodes do not work in content area and no Gutenberg block.
- Adds plenty of custom fields in post meta and bloat with free font awesome and many scripts affecting site’s speed.