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.
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.
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!
- Would you use this plugin?
- 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!