Building a web presence seems to be necessary nowadays, and there are many ways for you to create your own website while keeping full control over its functionality and looks. Creating a review site can be actually really fun, not to mention rewarding, if you do it right. Many people turn to creating review websites because of all the benefits they can get. First of all, you can choose the products you want to write about, and get as passionate and creative about them as you wish to. If you do it right, you will get nice credibility and great audience. The best thing about review websites is that every product has its audience, and when you start getting people’s attention, you will get a blissful access to free products you can review.
Of course, the main point here is you can earn some cash while writing your opinion about a product, which sounds very tempting, doesn’t it?
Before you create your website, you need to do your homework and do some serious research. First of all, check out your competition! With so many review websites online, it’s more than likely someone is already describing the products you want to describe. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing – it actually means your product has a lot of people interested in reading about it.
While checking out competitor websites keep in mind to go through them thoroughly and ask yourself what it is that you like or dislike about the website. Place yourself in the audience position and feel free to wonder what you would like to see about the product that isn’t there. Finally, ask yourself what would you, as a reviewer, do or write differently? The answers to these questions are going to help you get a clearer picture on how your website should look like.
Once you finish with lurking the competition, start writing your reviews. Keep in mind that each of them represents your own voice that speaks about the product, and again, place yourself in the audience position. What kind of review would you like to read on the product? Do you like open minded reviews where everything is explained in a simple language so anyone would understand, or do you like technical reviews with no personal twists coming from the writer? Surely, no one likes to read a dull review that simply won’t keep one’s attention. Simply, create reviews you as a visitor would like to read. Be unique, keep it simple, but explain every important detail of the products, and finally give your honest opinion about it. This recipe shouldn’t fail, as many successful review websites have shown. If you check out some of the largest review websites such as Yelp or Epinions, you will find out soon enough that these websites strive to bring interesting, unique, yet informative reviews that are actually pleasant to read for just about anyone. Try to make yours just as good, it’s not that hard!
After you finish all your research on the concept of your website, comes the practical part of actually creating it. This is where themes and plugins jump in as the perfect solutions to help you focus all your attention on your lively reviews, while they do all the technical work for you.
free WordPress review plugins
There is a nice amount of free review plugins for WordPress to help you get started with your review website, so let’s mention some of them and make things clearer for you!
Author hReview adds a rating system to your website, and it helps you increase search traffic by making SERP results more attractive and eye-catching. Editorial ratings are fully supported, but your visitors and customers will not be able to add their rating and get involved in the results. This means the rating is going to depend solely on the author’s opinion. This plugin has a premium version as well (more about it here), and that one features more features, templates and control over your ratings. [demo / download]
Book Review plugin is perfect for websites that involve in book reviews. It adds a convenient “Book Info” section to the “Add new post” and “Edit post” pages. Whenever you would like to share a review of a book and simply add a little more information about the book in question, all you need to do is fill this form out. After you fill in the form which includes many important fields such as book title, series, author, genre, publisher, release date, format, etc., you can choose how you want this section to look or where you’d like to place it. You can choose to position it above or below the original post and you can also customize the background and border colors. You can optionally show ratings on the homepage with the summary text. The built-in star rating images can be used easily, but you can also use your own. Up to five links of your choosing can be configured, and you can open the custom links in the same tab or open a new one. An archive of your reviews by title or genre can be shown as well. [demo / download]
Book Review Library plugin enables you to create a library of books with reviews included, and some meta information about the books such as author, illustrator, genre and subjects. Ratings are included as well. With the help of this plugin you can easily list all books of a certain type, for example you can sort them all by author or genre, or rating, etc. You don’t need to be an expert to insert this plugin into your website; you can have it up and running very easily and very quickly. A configurable shortcode that displays a book list is also included along with 2 sidebar widgets: Recent Reviews, which displays the newest book reviews, and Related Books, which displays a list of similar books by genre tags. If you want to customize the way your reviews are shown, you can do this very easily by creating and editing template files. The Genericons iconfont is used in this plugin and it displays the books icons and star ratings on both the dashboard and front-end. [demo / download]
Mage Reviews is a 5 star rating system which gets integrated within the comment form. This plugin will let you add a simple, customizable rating field to your comment form for certain post types. Rating averages will be displayed for corresponding post types as well. Several useful features are included, such as the ability to display recent reviews, easily customize the rating options and choices, display on posts, pages and custom post types, etc. You can upload your own images as rating icons and the rating average gets automatically calculated with multiple display options. The users can be restricted to 1 rating per post. [demo / download]
Rich Reviews is a plugin that lets you embed user reviews and Google Rich Snippet ratings anywhere on your website. Three types of reviews are featured: per page/post, category and global reviews so you can easily customize it to make it fit your needs. You can choose which of these reviews will be added to your website and you can include any of the three key features on literally any part of your website, including page, post, sidebar, footer or widget area. An external stylesheet is included for easy customization. The ratings will be viewable in Google’s results as it has Google Rich Snippets support. [demo / download]
WordPress Review Site Builder enables you to build any type of affiliate or review website. It is compatible with any WP theme so no additional modifications will be needed. It uses custom post types and with a customizable rating feature and easy administration, it will give you full control over your reviews and ratings. [demo / download]
WP Star Reviews, Map, and Testimonials is a simple plugin that allows you to enable your users to leave reviews which you as an administrator can later approve and display on your website. The review form is customizable and the reviews can be displayed on any page of your website. Each review comes with a 5 star rating and an overall rating result is going to be displayed as well. You can approve the reviews according to service, item or location. [demo / download]
Easy Review Builder for WordPress is a lightweight plugin that lets you insert nice looking star based review summaries into your website. The rating scale supports multiple rating categories and an auto calculated summary (optional). The summary box looks classy and it is very flexible so you can specify any important review category. Each review point can be enriched by some text for summarizing your thoughts, and you can also add your final rating. [demo / download]
free WordPress review themes
Apart from these free WordPress review plugins, there are a few free WordPress review themes, so let’s check those out, too!
Ready Review comes with a responsive layout and it is great for affiliate marketing. This is an Amazon compatible WordPress theme. It looks very simple and it allows you to present your reviews in a clean, attractive way. The theme is very clean and simple and you will be able to use it even though you have no previous WordPress experience. [demo / download]
GamePress is a WordPress theme perfect for game reviews, as it is completely gaming oriented. It is very easy to use and customize and it comes with 4 various color schemes you can use. An attractive slider is included and presented at the top of the homepage so you can place your most important previews here. Review previews will be shown in the sidebar with a rating result in number and text (mediocre, amazing, good, etc.) You can have all of your latest news shown on your homepage as well, along with a list of recent visitors who left comments. Five sections are included which is enough for you to present your reviews in a proper way. [demo] – [download]
Many nice options can be grabbed for free as you can see, and these free versions let you create a simple website and play around with it, but if you want to have a serious website that’s going to help you make some serious cash, investing in it and getting premium products that are created for this website niche specifically, is the right thing to do.