Product and service reviews are a critical component of establishing trust for a business. The social proof that comes from customer feedback can be the catalyst that helps bring in new prospects and customers.
Ultimate Reviews, a WordPress review plugin developed by Etoile Web Design, can help you build that trust and social proof. It allows your visitors and customers to submit reviews for any products and services, directly on your site.
Ultimate Reviews makes it easy to accept and manage reviews. The plugin includes many advanced features, including access controls for limiting who can submit reviews, and choosing the specific products you want to make reviewable.
It’s also compatible with WooCommerce, letting you replace the default WooCommerce review system with premium features for leaving customer feedback on the products and services within your store.
In this review, we’ll take a look at the plugin’s features, how to set it up and use it, and give you our final thoughts and recommendations.
Ultimate Reviews Main Features
Here are the main features for Ultimate Reviews:
Ultimate Reviews uses a number of shortcodes, including shortcodes for the review submission form and for displaying reviews.
The plugin integrates with WooCommerce, allowing you to replace the default WooCommerce Reviews tab and product ratings area with Ultimate Reviews. This lets you use more advanced review features on WooCommerce product pages and gives your visitors more customized ratings in your WooCommerce shop.
Review Organization and Management
• Create review categories for organization and classification
• Filter reviews by score, product name, and/or the review author
• Group reviews by product
• Vary the weight for different reviews so that some reviews count more when rating averages are calculated
• Determine which products can be reviewed (i.e., restrict reviewable products to a predefined list)
• Integrates with Ultimate Product Catalog plugin (from Etoile Web Design), allowing you to restrict reviews to only products in your catalog
• Accept or decline reviews as needed
Choose when users can leave reviews:
Admin approval (before review can be displayed)
Confirmation of reviewer’s email address
Required login to WordPress
Facebook or Twitter login
FEUP (Front-End Only Users plugin from Etoile Web Design)
There are many settings in Ultimate Reviews that allow you to customize it the way you want. For instance, you can choose between text and stars for review scores, add images and videos to reviews, restrict reviews to specific products, and set email notifications and login requirements.
• Create and choose review styles (including the ability to use custom CSS)
• Customize labels, fonts, and colors
• Multiple review layout options include: Standard, Expandable, Thumbnail (excerpt with “read more” link), and Image layouts
• Different rating systems, including points and percentages
• Set maximum scores for reviews
• Different methods for users to input scores (e.g., text, drop-down selection, number of stars)
• Different review formats to fit your site’s content
• Display the review author and date
• Use pagination or infinite scroll for reviews
• Set your own review fields (e.g., quality, value, appearance)
• Add custom fields for text, checkboxes, radio buttons, and drop-down menus
When you choose to group your reviews by product, you can enable either full or limited summary statistics. These are shown at the top of the product grouping and display the average score, and how many ratings each score has (including a bar graphic with numbers).
Ultimate Reviews allows commenting on reviews, as well as letting users vote (up or down) on whether they find reviews helpful or not.
Reviews can also be flagged as inappropriate.
SEO and Search Friendly
Aggregate microdata for: WooCommerce, Ultimate Product Catalog, and review display pages (for rich review listings).
Allow visitors to search reviews by keyword. You can also make any review field filterable so your visitors can find the most helpful reviews.
Setting Up Ultimate Reviews
To install Ultimate Reviews:
1. In WordPress, go to Plugins… Add New.
2. In the Search plugins… field, search for Ultimate Reviews.
3. Click the Install Now button for the result that reads Product Reviews (by Etoile Web Design).
4. After it finishes installing, click the Activate button.
After the plugin is installed, you’ll see the Reviews menu in the WordPress admin sidebar, along with the following submenu items:
If you just want to start with the free version of the plugin, you’re all set.
If you want to try out the free 7-day trial or update to a premium version, go to Reviews…Dashboard, and enter the appropriate code in the field that reads Enter product key or free trial code here. Then, just click the Upgrade button.
In the Dashboard section of Ultimate Reviews, you’ll also find access to support and a summary of your reviews (number of reviews, last review posted, number of views, and a list of the posted reviews).
Using Ultimate Reviews
Here are the basic steps for using Ultimate Reviews:
Step 1: Creating the Review Submission Form
To allow your customers to leave reviews for your products, you’ll want to first create a submission form on your site. To do that, all you need to do is place the following shortcode in the WordPress visual/text editor of any page/post:
To limit the review to a specific product, just add the “product_name” attribute, and set it to the name of the product you want them to be able to review, like this:
[submit-review product_name=’your product name‘]
Note: Replace your product name with the actual name of your product.
After a visitor submits a review, you can redirect them to a new page by adding the “redirect_page” attribute to the shortcode, like this:
Step 2: Manually Creating a Review
A. To manually add a review on the backend, click Reviews… Add New (from the WordPress sidebar), or click the Add New tab.
B. Enter the title of your review in the title area.
C. Enter the review’s content in the visual/text editor.
D. In the Review Details section under the main post content, you can set details such as the product name, author, score, and more.
E. If you’d like, choose a Category for the review.
F. Optionally, you can choose a review image in the Featured Image section.
G. When finished, click the Publish button.
After publishing your review, a shortcode will automatically be generated and appear below the title area. If you want to add this specific review to another post or page, you can paste this shortcode into its visual/text editor.
Step 3: Displaying Product Reviews
To show all product reviews, use the following shortcode in the WordPress visual/text editor of any page or post:
To show only the review of a specific product, use the “product_name” attribute, like this:
[ultimate-reviews product_name=’your product name‘]
Note: Replace your product name with the actual name of your product.
Or you can use the product’s Post ID to show its review, like this:
Note: Replace x with the review’s Post ID number, which can be found at Reviews…Reviews.
To show all reviews along with a search box that allows users to search for keywords (premium feature), use:
To show summary statistics for reviewed products with a link to individual reviews (premium feature), use:
The Categories tab (Reviews… Review Categories) lets you add and manage review categories.
To add a category, just give it a Name, Slug (lowercase, URL-friendly version of the name), Parent (if you’re adding a sub-category), and Description.
As a premium feature, the Import tab (Reviews… Import) lets you import reviews in two ways:
• From WooCommerce (as long as you have WooCommerce integration activated in Options… WooCommerce)
• From a spreadsheet
The Options tab (Reviews… Options or Reviews…Settings) provides a number of customization features for Ultimate Reviews.
Some of the options for the Basic settings include custom CSS, review styling, shortcodes, autocompletion of product names when typing, linking review titles to posts, author links, comments, setting which products are available for review, integration with the Ultimate Product Catalogue plugin, review dates and categories, page and pagination controls, and more.
The Premium section includes options for different review formats (i.e., Standard, Expandable, Thumbnail, Image), CAPTCHAs for preventing spam, weighted reviews, review voting (Review Karma), microdata, SEO-friendly permalinks, email notifications, summary statistics, Thumbnail review settings, reviewer restrictions (e.g., admin approval, author email, login requirement, etc.), and other settings.
WooCommerce integration is a premium feature of Ultimate Reviews. WooCommerce options include replacing WooCommerce reviews with Ultimate Reviews, limiting reviews to WooCommerce products, overriding the WooCommerce theme with a custom theme, only letting verified buyers leave reviews, setting reviewer reminder emails, and more.
Options for fields include setting in-depth reviews, adding fields to the submit review form, and adding other fields such as “radio” and “checkbox” field types.
Ordering options include the ability to group reviews by product, the order type used for reviews (e.g., date, votes, rating, review title), and ascending or descending lists for grouping and ordering.
A premium feature, the labeling options let you replace the default text on review pages. This includes changing current labels such as: posted, by, on, score, explanation, product name, review author, review title, author comment, category score, “Send Review” button, and more.
Styling options include: the ability to show or hide the review score beside a review, review skin styles (e.g., Simple Stars, Thumbs, Hearts, Color Bar, etc.), and setting the layout for in-depth review categories. There are also premium styling options here for review titles, content, dates, review scores, and color options.
Video Tutorial: Setting up and Using Ultimate Reviews
Support & Documentation
Ultimate Reviews is an easy to use plugin with an intuitive interface. The developers, Etoile Web Design, promise a support response time of “within 24 hours” on business days.
I was impressed with the amount and clarity of documentation they provide, which begins here. I especially like that they include a Getting Started Guide. They also do a good job of providing explanatory text within the user interface.
If you want to give Ultimate Reviews a closer look, you can check out their demo.
There are several different plans for Ultimate Reviews.
You can try out the free version of the plugin at WordPress.org, or sign up for a 7-day trial of the premium version of their plugin at Reviews…Dashboard.
Here are the premium options for Ultimate Reviews:
Single Site License ($39)
The single site license includes:
6 months of email support (email support is $19.99 per period after the first six months)
2 week money back guarantee
Here are some of the included features:
Labeling and styling options
Ability to require login to leave reviews
Admin approval of reviews
For developers working on multiple projects
Choose between a 5-site or 10-site license
Coming soon, the Enterprise license provides premium support to businesses where Ultimate Reviews is critical to their online success.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Ultimate Reviews is an easy-to-use plugin that allows your visitors to submit reviews for your products or services. It gives you many tools for managing your reviews, including the option to choose which products and services are reviewable, and who can review them. And it’s compatibility with WooCommerce gives your customers advanced features for rating the items you sell in your online store.
I like the variety of customization options for review layouts, styling, and ordering. The plugin also allows you to easily adjust ratings and scoring, add review categories, change how reviews are displayed, and provides different login and/or email confirmation requirements in order to submit reviews.
It’s especially easy to set the length and complexity of reviews. For instance, you can let your visitors provide unlimited length reviews or limit reviews to a certain character count. You can also set up simple reviews with one overall rating score, or offer in-depth reviews with multiple sections, fields, and sub-ratings.
Overall, I found Ultimate Reviews to be a clean, well-documented WordPress review plugin. It provides an impressive feature set without feeling overwhelming to use. If you’re in the market for a review plugin for your site visitors, you’ll want to take a good look at Ultimate Reviews. To find out more, you can visit their website here.