WordPress Bloggers: Would You Use This Book Rating Plugin?

Book Rating Plugin
Note: This plugin is only available for WordPress bloggers.

I’m always trying to come up with new ideas for WordPress plugins that would help bloggers. After a post on Parajunkee about trying to find the perfect rating plugin, I decided to make my own! A lot of the functionality is based on what Parajunkee was looking for, but I’d like to know what YOU guys would like to see in this plugin! …and if you would use it!

Here’s a bit about how the rating plugin works:

After you install the plugin, you can go to the settings page to select a few options. There will be a variety of rating options you can choose from (different coloured stars, perhaps something other than stars, different sizes, etc.). There is also a box where you can set the default amount of related posts. When used, the related posts shortcode will display a list of posts that have the same rating as the current post. This value can be set globally, but then it can also be set on each individual page as well.

Note: I would also provide a service where I add your own personal rating system to the options list, so that you can continue using your custom rating instead of the options provided. I might have to charge for this since it would have to be done for each blogger individually, it’s a bit of a process, and I can’t overwhelm myself with requests, but it would only be like $5 USD or something.

Book Rating Plugin - Options Page

When you create a new post for a book review, a box will appear below the main text box. You will be able to select a rating from 0.5—5 (including half values). Optionally, you can also override the number of related posts. So if your default is set to 10, but on this particular post only, you want to set it to 0, you can do that and it won’t change the global default.

Then, there are three ways you can display the rating and the related posts.

First, you can use the shortcodes. This means every time you create a new post, after you fill out the rating, you type in the shortcode where you want the rating to be displayed.

Alternatively, if you want to customize where it shows up, but have it be done automatically, you can use the PHP function in your theme files.

Thirdly, if you always want your rating to appear at the end of your post, you can just check a box on the options page and it will be done for you! You don’t have to use the shortcode. Just select the rating, save your post, and it will automatically be added in for you.

Book Rating Plugin - Rating Selection and Display

Plugin Benefits

I’ve actually always used a system like this on my own blog—ever since I created it, so I don’t know exactly how most people display book ratings. I assume most people just have URLs saved somewhere with their rating graphics and then paste them in the blog each time. This plugin removes the need for copying and pasting, or remembering your rating image URL.

Whichever way you go about adding the rating (whether you use shortcode or the checkbox), it makes the whole process much faster and easier!

So now I have two questions for you guys!

  1. Would you use this plugin?
  2. Are there any other features you would like to see?

The plugin is currently fully functional in all of the ways I’ve described. I just still need to add different graphics to choose from and do a bit more bug testing. I want to make sure it’s worth continuing with this project before I put too much more effort into it!

And if you WordPress bloggers have any other ideas for random plugins that would make your book blogging lives easier, please let me know! I’m always on the hunt for fun new projects!

If you’re interested in having any custom work done on your blog, please e-mail me for a quote! The possibilities are practically endless! Have a widget you wish would update automatically? Want to turn any blog feature/HTML code/etc. into a shortcode? If you can think of it, I can (hopefully.. :D) do it!

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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16 comments

    1. You wouldn’t necessarily have to edit all your old reviews. 🙂 You can just start using it from here on out. The only down side is that the “posts with related ratings” part can’t factor in old posts where you haven’t set a rating. But other than that, you can use it 100% without editing every single old post!

  1. *_* Ashley, I’m starting to fall in love with you. Well, at least with your programming skills. 😉 I’d definitively love such a widget, but let me give you something to think about the personalizing part! Instead of having you personalize every single one who request it, couldn’t you add an option where we can paste and save our picture URLs for the ratings one time or have us chose it from the WP media library, and then the widget always uses those? I mean, saves time and lives, and everyone picking up this widget later who wants to personalize it, can do so themselves.

    Caro@The Book Rogue recently posted: Daphne Benedis-Grab: The Girl in the Wall
    1. Great idea! I’ll look into that. I think I’ll have to have people submit a different image for each star rating though. Because some people just have one image saved (one star) and then paste it however many times to get the rating they want.. but some people have separate images for each rating.

      Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  2. To be honest with you, I see so much stuff for WordPress that it tends to get a little frustrating, since I use Blogger as my book blogging platform. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rating system plug-in like this one or similar to this one, set-up for those of us who use the Blogspot platform as well.

    But, with all of that being said, if I were to use WordPress to host my book blog then FOR SURE I would definitely WANT TO USE a rating plug-in like this one and I think that you’ve done a fantabulous job with it! 🙂

    1. As a free blogging platform, Blogger has too many limitations for people to create plugins. I don’t think it’s physically possible to create this plugin in Blogger. Something like this is written in a server side scripting language called php. A self hosted WordPress blogger can use php on their blog since they own the hosting. But when you use a free platform you can’t use php since you don’t have access to upload scripts that communicate with the server.

      It sucks, but if you want that extra flexibility you really need to use your own hosting (and thus WordPress.org).

      It’s kind of hard to explain, but I hope it made sense!

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