I installed and implemented the "WP Review" Plugin earlier today at one of my websites. I went to one of the reviews that I wrote a while back and updated it to use the "WP Review" Plugin functionally.

I think that it looks nice and professional. This plugin also allows reviews that use the plugin to be included in a sidebar widget which also looks nice and professional.

One of the benefits is that if you are ranked high enough in Google, they include the star rating as stars when displaying Google results.

This plugin has some code behind the scenes that 'asks' the search engines to do this. The search engines may or may not fulfil the request.

In WA, we are encouraged to use as few plugins as possible for a number of reasons. So I am now wondering to "replace" this plugin by knowing what to do:

1) I reckon for the actual "review" template itself that is displayed, I can do the underlying HTML code. I do not foresee an issue here, just some time gone.

2) I don't know how they add the star rating to be associated with the post. There is a new "rating" column, where the list of posts is displayed in the WP dashboard. And the rating column is filled in, in star format.

3) I also do not know how to 'inform' the search engines about this star rating.

The WP Review plugin 'knows' how to do this. I want to do this myself so I do not need the WP Review plugin.

Any thoughts? Any ideas?


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jvranjes Premium
Are you using WP Review plugin? My stopped working, so ratings vanished in posts. This was a free version. They claim that Pro works. This is why I am asking, any experience? I would order it if it works.
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DynamicDavid Premium
Currently I am not using WP Review Plugin. I "learned" the code that it generated and manually add that code, modified of course, to the actual posts.

I would expect the free version to still work. Backup your site, uninstall it, and reinstall it and see does that work.
If not, I would think that you have a theme or WP plugin conflict or maybe even a WP version conflict (there was a WP version update in the last week or so) to see where the underlying problem is.

It may be quicker to create a new website, with a dummy post. Then add the plugin, confirm that it works, and then change the theme, add a plugin, test WP review plugin still works and repeat.

But first I would uninstall it and then reinstall it. (The backup is required because you do not want to lose your WP Review plugin data).

Good luck.
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jvranjes Premium
When you say your code is working, does it mean your ratings appear in SERPs?

As for the plugin, have been in touch with the authors. The free version does not work and this is it. Have seen others complaining as well. Uninstalling is not an option, too risky. It is about 3 sites.

As it seems, they just want to sell the plugin and do not want to repair the free version. They wrote "the update with the fix was out only for the Premium version of the plugin."
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DynamicDavid Premium
Might be time then to try other WP similar plugins?

Or wait a week or so with the hope that the authors will update the free version as well. Like you, I can see their thinking. But if the free version does not work, many people will I assume just go elsewhere.

Tough call. Depends on cost and how much income you think you are missing out on. You might base this on conversions before the free version broke.
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jvranjes Premium
I can see a big drop in traffic. The problem is cannot go for another plugin, have this one in more than a thousand posts. So imagine going through all of them and changing rating with another plugin.

There is a plugin that works fine even in the free version, WP Product Review Lite plugin. Jay was using it in lectures, great plugin.
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DynamicDavid Premium
I installed WP Review on my site just now (the plugin itself was updated 2 days ago) and added a test post which reviewed a test item.

I noticed that a lot of the features are "pro features" and unavailable in the free version.

One of these is "Review Item Schema" (a pro feature).

I published my post and captured the HTML code for it. It does not have "itemtype="http://schema.org/Review" in it, so it looks to me that the underlying "tell google that this is a review rating" code is missing. Therefore google/search engines can not add your rating etc. That is your problem I think.

The "review" looks nice but without the underlying "tell google that this is a review rating" code that is almost pointless.

I noticed that a lot of the features mentioned within the free version are only available as pro features. A sales technique. Okay when it is one or two optional features but it looks like most of the required features are pro features. An annoying sales technique.

Looks to me that you need to buy the Pro version. The license and costs depend on number of websites and it looks like a recurring yearly cost as well.

Time for you to do a cost benefit analysis to determine if this is something that you want to do.

The other option may be to use an older version of the free plugin that had the required functionally. Of course it wouldn't really be supported. Looking up "finding old versions of wordpress plugins" in google may help you with that.

Good luck.
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jvranjes Premium
Thank you David for all the effort. I shall wait just a few days and check if they have a Black Friday discount and order the thing.

I dislike what they are doing and was ready to go for the other plugin mentioned above, but it turns out it causes errors in Search Console for missing items related to Schema. I sent them a question and am waiting for a reply.

Did not think about the older version, this is an option that might help indeed, but in the long run it is pointless.

I wonder when you tested the plugin, if you had Schema enabled in the AIO settings.
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DynamicDavid Premium
My AIO General setting "Use Schema.org Markup" was enabled when I tested the WP Review plugin earlier today.

After installing that plugin, and writing my test post, I clicked on one of the pro features and it brought me to a "buy me" page. It included a $10 discount.

When you get the pro version and install and implement it, you might have to re-submit your sitemap to Google so that it refreshes your pages in its index, hopefully with the correct schema code, rather than waiting for Google to revisit those pages in its own good time.
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TeamIceCream Premium
Hi David,

Thanks for the reference to this plugin. Your question is totally above what I am capable of helping with. (Any points for honesty?) ;-) LOL!

I have experience with projects and what came to mind is to also consider that the plugins often have to be updated when new WP versions rolls out. It is wonderful that you are able to write your own, it will just sometimes be necessary to update it, in order to sync with WP and other plugins which you have installed, which may be updated. Similar to the themes that are sometimes also updated to keep on working on new WP versions.

Hopes my 2c helps! ;-)
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DynamicDavid Premium
I agree. If you touch any of the underlying files (for WP itself, for WP themes, for WP plugins) you are leaving yourself wide open for a lot of work.

No, I will not be doing that.
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DEversley Premium
You can integrate plugin code into the theme. However, I recommend a test environment with your theme before doing on production site.
To get an idea for a DIY, have a look here.

https://ben.lobaugh.net/blog/49518/wordpress-how-to-move-all-your-plugin-code-to-your-theme-file-so-you-think-you-are-not-actually-running-any-plugins

or try this...
copy the code from the plugin into the functions.php file
Be sure to watch your tags

or...
copy the code from the plugin into a folder (name of your choice) and in the functions.php file... include the path to the folder instead.

Are you a developer. Proceed to test in a testing environment
Please note. This is not really recommended for many reasons
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DynamicDavid Premium
Thanks for this.

No, I wouldn't do that.

It would be too much work if the WP Theme and / or the WP Plugin changed. There is just too much scope for error and there would be no easy quick way to fault find quickly.
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DEversley Premium
That's a wise choice, Dave!

All the best!
David
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SowAndReap Premium Plus
Hey David, this is my personal opinion regarding plugins, Sometimes we just need the plugin that helps with our business, if it works fine I wouldn't remove it.

If it causes some sort of conflict with your website, then you may want to consider coding if you know what you're doing with all that code info, :)
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DynamicDavid Premium
I am in the research/getting there stage on this. Think I now know how to do this without a plugin. So will most likely look at this some more tomorrow, it is getting late here.
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SowAndReap Premium Plus
Lol, I know how time consuming researching and figuring something out I feel you on that. Anyways that is pretty cool that you figured it out, you are so smart!
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JHaugland Premium
I have not used any plugin like this, but I will look into it. If this plugin is the one from MyThemeShop (there are more plugins out there with similar names) they normally deliver solid stuff.

Jay had a webinar earlier last year about star rating in search. I have not seen it but maybe it can shed some light on how it's all connected.
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DynamicDavid Premium
Thanks.

I do not doubt that the WP Review Plugin is solid. My concern is that I do not want to use too many plugins, as WA encourage us to kept them less than five.

Earlier today, one of my fellow WA members had an issue, and I referred him to an article I wrote on my website a while back, and part of the information on it, talked about plugins conflicting with each other, which I had completely forgotten about. It turned out that that was the problem.

Thanks for pointing me to this video. Hopefully it will shed some more light on this for me.
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JHaugland Premium
You're welcome
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DEversley Premium
With a properly coded plugin, the strain on the site will hardly be noticeable. I would go ahead and use the plugin for many reasons.
It works.
The lag is negligible
Updates etc.
Theme updates...a bloated functions.php file that makes no sense to anyone should the need to sell comes about etc.
David
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DynamicDavid Premium
I viewed the video. However he recommends using a different WP Plugin to do the same job, so in the same place.

He did show the actual 'code' that it generates behind the scenes. Doing more work/research on that. However I did some more research using Google and think I have found something that will do the job.

More work/research needed as it is getting late here.
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DynamicDavid Premium
I do not want to touch the functions.php file or any of the other php files. It is just far too much work if anything changes.
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