WP Rich Snippets is a plugin that has been designed to make it as easy as possible to publish professionally presented reviews on a WordPress website. The plugin adds a set of custom fields to the post or page editor which when completed by the user, presents information such as the price, rating, description, call to action buttons, and more, in the published post.
WP Rich Snippets also helps increase search engine traffic by making your site standout in the listings. This is achieved thanks to its ability to add semantic markup, such as star ratings and other information to the listing.
These two aspects of the plugin combine to send more visitors to your reviews, which engage your users better thanks to their professional appearance and eye-catching call to action buttons.
Features and Usage
The WP Rich Snippets plugin has been created for WordPress users who want to publish reviews on their website that standout from the competition. To achieve this plugin has two core features:
- Allow you to publish great looking reviews on your WordPress site
- Display rich snippets in the search engine results pages
The first is achieved by adding an additional metabox to the WordPress post editor screen. From here you can enter additional information about the item being reviewed, such as:
- Type of item being reviewed
- An overall ‘editor’ rating (start or percentage)
- A short description
- Pros and cons
- Pricing details
- Location for restaurant reviews
- Opening hours
- Add images and videos
- Call to action button with link to the subject of the review
- Review criteria (add multiple custom criteria for rating the item)
- Author name (option to override the post author)
Then when the review post or page is published, visitors will see the information in the WP Rich Snippets metabox published as part of the post.
Any content you add to the default WordPress post editor will be displayed with the WP Rich Snippets content. Through the settings you can choose to display the review box above or below the main post content.
This means you can still use all the regular publishing capabilities of WordPress to write your reviews if you wish, but then compliment them with the review box features of this plugin.
The other aspect of this plugin is the rich snippets feature. This feature helps your site communicate better with the search engines, informing them of the type of content you are publishing.
The end result of this is that your review posts will be displayed along with additional information in the search engine results pages. This in turn will help increase the number of users who click through to your site to read your review.
This aspect of WP Rich Snippets doesn’t really require any user input apart from the review content which is added when creating the review post. The plugin then works in the background to display this information to Google and the other search engines.
Other Features of WP Rich Snippets:
- Add an attention grabbing call to action button to your reviews
- Add an optional demo button to your review
- Customise the button colour and text
- Use shortcodes to publish a list of recent reviews on a page or post
- Let readers submit their own reviews
- Choose a rich snippets type (review, product, organization, restaurant)
- Add location and opening hours
- Insert images, galleries, and YouTube videos
- Widget for displaying review
- Range of optional add-ons for extending the features
- Import / Export settings between sites
Setting up WP Rich Snippets
After you’ve installed the WP Rich Snippets plugin its essential to validate the plugin with your API before you can begin using it. Once you’ve entered the key you get access to the WP Rich Snippets dashboard and settings pages.
The admin area for the plugin is divided up into the following pages:
- List All
- Blog News
- Import / Export
The main settings page is divided up into a further seven tabs, allowing you to setup how the plugin functions on your website.
Through the settings you can choose a currency to be used on the front end of the website, choose which post types (including custom post types) the plugin is enabled on, and choose a link target for the call to action buttons.
You can also enable user ratings for your reviewed items, and even make it a requirement of your visitors. WP Rich Snippets can also be set to check the user’s IP address to prevent multiple ratings being submitted from the same source.
Set Global Review Criteria
Another feature of this plugin is that you can create your own set of custom criteria for the item being reviewed. This could include criteria such as ease of use, value for money, overall performance, or whatever works for the type of items you will be reviewing.
Through the criteria tab on the plugin settings pages, you can create a set of default criteria that will be made available each time you publish a review on your site using the WP Rich Snippets plugin. This not only saves you lots of time, but also makes sure your reviews are consistently graded throughout your site.
If you enable the default criteria feature, then when a review is being added, those default fields will be available to the user. However, reviewers can override them if they wish and add their own criteria from the post editor screen.
Then once the post is published, the criteria will be displayed using the percentage that was entered by the reviewer for each criterion. While this is just one feature of this plugin, it does give a good demonstration of how it works and the level of control you have over how it functions on your site.
Enabling User Reviews
Through the global settings of the plugin, you can choose to enable user reviews and ratings of the items you are covering.
If this feature is enabled, then the default WordPress comment submission form is transformed into a user review submission form, where along with their name, email, and website address, visitors can rate the product using the default criteria, and leave a review comment.
Once the user review has been approved, it can be viewed, along with any others via the user reviews tab which is displayed at the top of the review post, provided the review type is set to aggregate from the individual post settings.
If the settings are configured correctly, the overall editor rating is replaced by an aggregate user rating and the user reviews tab allows the reader to see the individual user reviews that have been left for that particular item.
If the settings aren’t configured in this way, then the user reviews tab isn’t displayed, the editor rating is displayed, and the user review is displayed as a comment beneath the post, with just the star rating and not the individual criteria that was entered by the user.
This was the only major aspect of the plugin that I found confusing to work with and difficult to get a clear understanding of what effect the different settings and options had in their various possible combinations.
However with a bit of experimentation you should be able to find a combination that works for the type of website you are building.
WP Rich Snippets Add-ons
There are a number of useful add-ons available for WP Rich Snippets, which depending on your chosen pricing plan, may be included with the plugin, or available at an extra cost.
Here is a quick overview of the some of the add-ons for WP Rich Snippets:
- WPRS Call-to-Action: adds a further info box to the end of your reviews containing a brief summary and a call to action button
- WPRS Compare: use a shortcode to insert a comparison table of items you’ve reviewed
- WPRS Ranking Table: display a sortable table with ranked reviews
WP Rich Snippets is available on four pricing plans plus a limited free version:
- Single Site: $69
- Multi Site: $139
- Unlimited: $199 (includes all add-ons)
- Ultimate Deal: $299 (lifetime support and updates)
Except from the Ultimate Deal plan which includes lifetime support and updates, the price includes one year of updates and support which can be renewed for a further year for $49
WP Rich Snippets actually comes in a package with two other plugins: Author hReview and WP Reviews. However, these two plugins are for the most part scaled back versions of WP Rich Snippets. You can compare the features of the three plugins on this page to get a better idea of how they all fit together.
It’s also worth noting that only one of these plugins can be active on a site at a time, making WP Rich Snippets the obvious choice due to its greater feature set.
Support and Documentation
There is some online documentation for the plugin. However it doesn’t appear to be in a completed state with some features of the plugin not yet covered on the site. Customers with an active membership can sign up and use the support forums to submit any questions they have.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
WP Rich Snippets contains all the features you need to start publishing eye catching and attractive reviews on your WordPress site with ease. Whether you are building a review website or just publishing the occasional review, it’s a valuable tool to have at your disposal.
The option to allow visitors to add their thoughts and ratings to the published reviews is another great feature which elevates this plugin from just being a review publishing tool to one that can be used to create an interactive user community, where visitors can share their opinions on a range of different types of items.
Overall WP Rich Snippets is a pretty straightforward plugin to use. However, there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to the online documentation, as I found it quite confusing at times to determine the purpose of some of the settings and options and how they all work together.
This included how the different rich snippet types (review, product, organization, or restaurant) differed from each other, and what effect the review type (rating, percentage, votes, or aggregate) option had. While some of the options were self-explanatory, others weren’t and it would’ve been nice to be able to read up on them to find out more about how they work.
While the typos that are present on the plugin’s website and the admin pages might give the impression that this is a half-baked product, this really doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead it’s a well thought out and executed plugin that anyone publishing reviews on their website can benefit from.
The optional add-ons give you the ability to add some really useful features to your site and if the number of add-ons increases, this could become an even more powerful plugin. As it is though, WP Rich Snippets looks like it’s the best option out there for anyone who wants to publish professional looking reviews on their WordPress while still using their existing theme.
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