Before building a rating or review system for your website, it’s useful to look at what other websites are doing. At least once a month we receive a pre-sales question asking us if Multi Rating Pro can be used to setup a rating system similar to Amazon. So let’s compare what Amazon does with Multi Rating Pro even though it’s a bit like comparing Apples and Oranges.
Amazon allows you to review a seller or a product. Multi Rating Pro supports custom post types so you could for example have a custom post type for products which displays specific information about the product. Multi Rating pro does not support rating users or post authors.
Amazon provides a single click star rating form and also a detailed customer review form for logged in users who have made a purchase in the past. Amazon does not support multi ratings or additional rating criteria. The Amazon customer review form displays a featured image, title and author name of the subject being rated. It also has a single overall star rating item, review headline input and a review comment textarea. You may also upload photos/videos with a review.
Multi Rating Pro supports multiple rating items, review fields and custom fields can be setup if needed, however uploading of files is not supported. Note: The new Gravity Forms add-on will provide a richer set of fields to include in the rating form.
The Multi Rating Pro template files can be modified to make the rating form appear almost identical to the Amazon customer review form (See code snippets). The following rating form demonstrates this.
How can users edit/delete a review?
Amazon and Multi Rating Pro allow users to edit or delete their own ratings. The [mrp_user_ratings_dashboard] shortcode displays a table containing all ratings by a logged in user with buttons to edit/delete. Multi Rating Pro also allows users to edit/delete existing ratings from the rating form shown on a post/page.
Overall Ratings and Rating Item Results
The overall star ratings and a detailed breakdown of how many reviewers gave 1 star, 2 star, 3 star 4 star and 5 stars is basically the same for Amazon and Multi Rating Pro. Multi Rating Pro was built primarily with multi ratings in mind and therefore it may not be suitable to show a breakdown of each rating item if you have many rating items. The [mrp_rating_item_results layout="options_block" result_type="percentage" rating_item_id="1"] shortcode can be used to show a breakdown of a single rating item the same as Amazon does.
If a review on Amazon does not comply with their guidelines, it may be rejected or removed. Amazon verifies reviews if a customer has purchased a product. Multi Rating Pro provides similar rating moderation capabilities so you can approve, unapprove or delete ratings. E-mail notifications can be setup to notify moderators of new ratings which require approval. Multi Rating Pro does not currently support a way to mark reviews as verified.
Displaying Customer Reviews
Amazon provides the ability to filter reviews by reviewers, stars, categories and a keyword search. It also provides a sort by most recent and top ratings. All reviews are refreshed on the same screen without reloading the page via AJAX. Multi Rating Pro has the ability to filter reviews by category only and the page needs to be refreshed. Note: This area will be improved in future versions of Multi Rating Pro.
Amazon encourages social feedback for reviews with comments. Inappropriate reviews can be reported as abuse and users can also mark reviews as either helpful or unhelpful. Multi Rating Pro supports commenting on reviews but only if the review was added via the WordPress comment form.
Sidebars or Widgets
Amazon has a sidebar to display the most recent customer reviews.
e.g. [mrp_rating_entry_details_list sort_by="most_recent" limit="2" show_rating_items="false"]
Multi Rating Pro can be used to setup a rating system similar to Amazon, but they do have some differences. Comparing them both is also very difficult because they have different purposes. Amazon.com is an online marketplace and it’s ratings system drives content marketing. Multi Rating Pro enables any WordPress website to have a powerful rating system.
The following code snippets were used to demonstrate how the Multi Rating Pro rating form template file can be changed to appear similar to the Amazon customer review form.