GD Star Rating Review
|Pricing||Free to use, Support costs € 120.00|
The GD Star Rating plugin is one of the most popular and widely downloaded review plugins for WordPress. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is free to use unlike most other WordPress review plugins that have to be purchased before activation.
The GD Star Rating is a great way to incorporate a fully customizable and interactive ratings and review system on your WP site/blog. The plugin is primarily a ratings plugin but it also does a decent job with setting up reviews on your website.
- Helps create a rating system for every aspect of your website, viz. reviews, posts, webpages and even individual comments
- Saves and lets you analyze voting trend data for individual posts as well as for the whole website
- Each individual vote is logged and each corresponding cookie is saved
- Various rating star styles and sizes complemented by advanced t2 templates system for some great graphics
- Brisk import and export of data via CSV files
- Filters out search bots
- Comprehensive PDF user guide
- Free to download and use
The GD Star Rating plugin is much more helpful to blogs than to review or comparison sites. This is because it creates a complete rating system for your WP site which can be used to rate everything from individual blog posts to webpages to user comments.
The rating graphics include ten 32-bit png star styles available in 4 different sizes. Such extensive styling options let you create a truly unique and personalized rating website.
The CSV file manager lets you import and export data thereby allowing you to post thousands of blog entries or reviews in a short span of time. Additionally, the plugin also comes with an in-built CSS optimization feature and a t2 templates system which allows the plugin to blend seamlessly into any WP theme and improves the visual feel of your WP site.
The GD Star Rating plugin comes equipped with a powerful vote analysis tool which logs all votes on your WP site. The votes from registered users and guests are logged separately and the cookies related to each vote are also saved at the same time. Once the votes are saved the plugin lets you analyze voting patterns for individual webpages/products and even for the whole website.
The one feature which makes the GD Star Rating plugin differ from all others is its function building feature. The function building feature allows you to import or create custom WP shortcodes which can be used to tweak your ratings website. This ability requires additional programming knowledge and is almost useless for lay people.
GD Star Rating is a fantastic ratings plugin and it is actually free to use but the free use comes with a rider – you have to pay for support. To make things worse, this “support membership” fee has to be paid every year. This significantly increases the cost involved in using this plugin and one may consider using other paid review plugins which tend to be better and more effective.
Plugin users have experienced integration problems with newer browsers like Google’s Chrome and certain minor bugs associated with rating graphics like stars and thumbs-up icons. However, these minor bugs and other problems can be sorted very quickly if you have purchased the “support membership”. On the other hand, if you’re using the free version than you’re probably on your own.
Use the GD Star Rating if you have a blog or if you want to review a small number of products. The plugin comes with the most extensive set of ratings features available currently and helps turn your WP site into a great ratings website.
However, the plugin lacks some of the common features associated with other review plugins and may not fulfill all your requirements if you’re building a WP-based review site and you want to make money by acting as an affiliate.
Having said that, GD Star Rating is immensely popular amongst bloggers and has seen close to 700,000 downloads on WordPress.