How To Build A Review Site

wordpress review plugins

Choosing the right review plugin can be tough due to the number features to learn about and the array of plugins to choose from.  With price tags in the $100 range you need to make the right decision the first time.  So how do you decide which plugin to go with?  Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you research the available review plugins…

What Is The Purpose of Your Site?

When reading through the plugin sales pages it is easy to get caught up in all the available features.  Don’t get hung up on the features that you don’t need.  Clearly define the purpose of your site from the outset and measure each review plugin against the specific criteria needed for your site.

Level Of Web Design Experience

Some of the plugins we reviewed are extremely powerful, yet they require some web design and coding knowledge to really tap into their full potential.  If you are a novice web designer then make sure to evaluate the themes tbrands such ashat are included with each plugin as you will want to make sure that you find a design that you are happy with, both aesthetically and functionally.

We rate the ease of use & support for each plugin in our reviews.  Pay close attention to these ratings if this is a concern for you.

Track Record & Outlook

When buying a premium plugin you are often not only buying the current feature set, but also future updates to the plugin.  Because of this it is important to find a plugin that is well managed and developed by a forward thinking devoted developer.  Look into the plugin history to see how often they release updates and how many substantial features are added in each new release.

It’s also worth noting that a few of the premium WordPress review plugins have been sold in the past couple years and are no longer being developed by the original creator.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but keep in mind that the developer running the show is ultimately the one who dictates the support and quality of future releases you will be getting.

We cover these topics and much more in our reviews of each plugin.  Check out our reviews of each WordPress review plugin to make sure you get the one that best suits your needs. Sean -12 Neon what should Now better designers talented comfortable jump left website design

Many of the available review plugins come with their own custom themes.  However, I tend to be a bit picky when it comes to web design and internet marketing.  For this site I wanted to use a theme that I was already familiar with because I knew I liked the look of the theme, and I also knew I wanted complete control for SEO.

Here is the recipe I used for this site in case you want to replicate it…

Website Ingredients

  • WordPress - Hopefully this first one was obvious.  If you’re new to WordPress then your learning curve will be a bit steeper, but rest assured, WordPress is extremely user friendly.
  • Thesis – I’m using the Thesis Theme from Lately Thesis has caught some flack for not complying with the GPL standards, but the fact remains that Thesis has been the trailblazer in SEO friendly, highly customizable WordPress frameworks and I don’t see them playing second fiddle to any of their competitors anytimes soon.  Thesis gives me total control over my on page SEO as well as the look and feel of the site.
  • ThesisFolio Premium Thesis Skin – If you are adept at web design then Thesis will be all you need to create the perfect site.  However, if you are like me and have little to no CSS or html experience then you might want to think about picking up a premium Thesis skin.  The nearly all peopledesign options within Thesis are fairly limiting for the non-designer crowd, but a Thesis skin can dress up your site with a professional design in minutes.
  • MyReviewPlugin- I’m using MyReviewPlugin to handle the reviews for this site.  As you can imagine, I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching each of the review plugins, and this one won out for me.  You can find my complete review here.
  • scribe – Scribe is an SEO plugin developed in part by Brian Clark of Copyblogger.  I use Scribe on all my sites.  What I love about Scribe is that it doesn’t pretend to automate SEO or do the work for you.  At the end of the day, the top SEO’s use their brains, not tools, to get to the top of the search engines.  With Scribe, you write your posts as you normally would, for human readers.  Only after you have written your content to you cycle back and evaluate it from an SEO perspective.  This helps ensure that you don’t get tripped up and compromise the content in your posts because you are too concerned from the get go with SEO.

So, there you have it.  These are the key pieces to this site.  This is just one approach to going beyond the standard themes and features offered with the various review plugins.

Have plugins, themes or tricks you use for your review sites?  Please share them in the comments. through RSS feed linked it the tedious Post navigation

This site is all about the WordPress love.  So, why would I write a post about alternatives to using WordPress when creating a review site?  Because, not all sites have the same requirements.  The software you use should be in alignment with the business and marketing objectives of your site.

In most cases WordPress will do the job, and do it well.  However, there are some limitations to the current WP review plugins. If you find yourself needing a more robust solution then check out the following options:

Joomla Review Component

JReviews is a Joomla rating & review component.  It is extremely robust, offering endless customization options and features not found in its WordPress counterparts.  Much like the review plugins reviewed on this site require a WordPress based site, JReviews requires a Joomla based site.

For those not familiar with Joomla, it is a content management system like WordPress.  However, beginner users tend to find Joomla much less user friendly than WordPress so this should be factored into your decision.

JReviews offers features such as paid listings, Google Maps style searching, featured listings, and much more.  I have used JReviews myself and once I got over the learning curve I was amazed with the power it offered.

<a href=''>PHP My Directory</a>

PHP My Directory is a standalone directory and user review script.  As the name suggests, it is primarily a directory script, though it also has very capable review functionality.  PHPMyDirectory has been around for quite some time and is highly regarded by many web developers.

It integrates well with 3rd party solutions, allowing you to use it in conjunction with your favorite CMS, like WordPress.  It also offers well over a dozen payment gateways so you know it’s built to earn you money.

I haven’t used PHPMyDirectory myself, but it always seems to be the first solution mentioned when discussing directory and review software. your content also