WP Review Engine
|Unlimited Site License||$169.95|
|Single Site License||$99.95|
|Return Policy||30 Days|
|Affiliate Link Management|
|Auto-Generate Ratings & Comments|
|Data Import Tool|
WPReviewEngine is a powerful and easy to use review plugin. There are numerous features geared towards affiliate marketers, but this plugin can be used to create a local business directory, or just about any review site you want.
Below you will find a detailed review of WPReviewEngine. If you prefer, you can skip to any section in this review by using the links below:
Ease of Use & Customization
Track Record & Outlook
- User Reviews
- Editor Reviews – Add your ratings as the editor of the site.
- Reviews on Posts and/or Pages – Display reviews on posts, pages, or both. You get complete control over where your reviews are shown. You can even enable or disable them on a per post or per page basis.
- Micro Format Support – Integrated support for the hReview microformat. This enables star ratings in your Google listing to help your pages stand out in the SERP’s.
- Google Maps Integration – Add Google maps to any post or page.
- Comparison Charts – Comparison charts are auto-generated, and include the overall ratings and data from your custom fields. You can display them anywhere on your site, homepage, category pages, etc. You also have complete control over the data included within the comparison charts.
- “Was This Review Helpful To You?” – Allows users to give a positive vote for reviews which they found useful.
- Sidebar Widgets – Show recent and top rated items in your sidebars.
- Control Post Order Settings – WordPress defaults to listing the newest posts first, which is problematic when it comes to review sites. You don’t want a two star product listed ahead of a 5 star product. Luckily WPReviewEngine gives you control over the post order. You can order the posts from highest to lowest ratings. You also get the option to utilize bayesian weighting, which factors in the number of ratings, as well as the overall star rating.
- Thumbshots Images - Use Thumbshots.com images to add thumbnail images for your posts. Simply enter the url of a site and the image will be auto-generated.
WPReviewEngine comes with a handy link cloaking plugin. It allows you to create professional looking cloaked affiliate links. While this is a nice bonus, it doesn’t have the same customization options or keyword link management controls as the Dr. Link plugin included with MyReviewPlugin.
You can import any database through a CSV file in order to quickly populate an entire directory site. While importing CSV files gives you a lot of options you are restricted to importing from a CSV file, unlike MyReviewPlugin which gives you the option to pull from Yellow Pages, Google News, RSS feeds and more from within their Import Man plugin.
Auto Generate Comments
WPReviewEngine gives you the option to auto generate user ratings and comments to make your site look like it has a lot of contributions from users. The goal of this tool is to make your site appear more legitimate, trustworthy and active. Somewhat ironic, but a nice option to have nonetheless.
Ease of Use & Customization
Installation of WPReviewEngine is simple with the use of FTP. Just FTP three different folders from your install directory and then activate them through the plugin page in the admin section of your site.
The documentation included with the download covers the basics, such as writing reviews, basic settings and more. In addition to the basic documentation there are also two tutorials. The tutorials take you step by step through the process used to build two of the demo sites shown on wpreviewengine.com: golfinventura.com & outstandingregistrycleaners.com. The documentation is a bit on the thin side. No video tutorials or anything too in depth.
One of my favorite aspects of WPReviewEngine is the drop dead easy design customization features. In the “Appearance Settings” section you are presented with customization options for every element in the review plugin.
Within each section you get simple controls that allow you full visual customization. This is perfect for the beginning web designer with no CSS experience. These customization options are only for use on a 3rd party theme.
Alternately, you can choose to use one of the two lackluster themes that WPReviewEngine ships with. If you aren’t particularly concerned with the design of your site then the included themes should be just fine. Luckily, if you are a bit picky about the look and feel of your site then you’ll love how easily you can customize the look of WPReviewEngine.
Like MyReviewPlugin, there is no support forum, so you will need to seek out help from the developer anytime you run into an issue that you can’t solve yourself. WPReviewEngine uses a standard support ticket system for direct support. They offer lifetime technical support with your purchase.
Track Record & Outlook
WP Review Engine launched in March 2009. It was sold the following year, in June 2010 by the original developer. The current version of the plugin, Version 5.0, was the final release by the original owner and was released in April, 2010.
Time will tell what the future holds with the new owner at the helm. This thread on the Warrior Forum indicates that a new version of the plugin is currently in development.
And The Verdict Is…
WPReviewEngine is a very solid all around performer in the review plugin space. It is easy to use, easy to customize and does just about everything most site owners will want out of a review plugin. The included themes (there are only 2) leave a lot to be desired so expect to spend some time customizing your site using a 3rd party theme if design is important to you. While MyReviewPlugin gives it a run for its money, you likely won’t be disappointed with WPReviewEngine.
This Plugin is Good For…
- Affiliate Marketers
- Local Directories
- Product Review Sites
- Business Directories
This Plugin is Not So Good For…
As with MyReviewPlugin, there are few review sites whose requirements won’t be met by WPReviewEngine. You may need to consider non-Wordpress alternatives only if you require any of these features which currently aren’t offered by any of the WordPress Review Plugins.